Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Here's a video I created showing some of the unique processes used to make 1314 or any Strong Scotch Ale. Things to look for in the video are the late addition of the roast malt to the mash-tun, super long mash length at elevated temps, and caramelization of 1 gallon of the first runnings. Schlante and hope you enjoy!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Last Wednesday I brewed up a 4.5 gallon batch of Strong Scotch Ale. I boiled this stuff like nothing before. Took the first gallon and reduced it down to about a quart on the stove top. The full boil was 10 minutes shy of 2 hours. The wort had strong molasses and honey notes, never experienced anything like it before. The fermentation started very early after pitching my huge yeast starter but has been more slow and steady than robust. Quite curious considering the amount of yeast I pitched. Even at a gravity of 1.089 I thought it would rip through it. However I suppose it could be due to the more complex sugars created from higher mash temps and caramelized wort. Below is my label which along with the name celebrates Scottish Independence.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I got the scores and judging sheets back from the PSBO a while back. A surprising thing is that only one bier was noted as having a flaw which was a mild astringency in the 3.2% abv super hoppy specialty ale. Generally the comments were the wood aged bier and weizen were good but not 'enough' to style. The specialty bier was judged as being out of balance and received the lowest score. The results and a few comments are as follows:
Wood Aged Northern English Brown - Score 28 - This bier was 13-14 months old, about 6 months beyond it's prime but still a fine bier. Judges commented the bier was good or very good but the wood and bourbon which were fairly well done over-powered the base bier. Plus my bier was first in the flight which might have effected this perception. All in all I couldn't disagree with their assertions.
Weissbier/Weizenbier - Score 26.5 - This score was to be expected. I did learn the bier is a bit too bitter for style which I hadn't previously realized. Otherwise the judges properly dinged me for excessive fruitiness, slight bubblegum, and low spice. I agree with all except the spice as I get an almost perfect amount of clove spice up front and a hint in the finish.
Specialty Bier Americanized Ordinary Bitter hopped to IPA levels - Score 24 - A big thing which hurt this bier is judging from the judges notes which didn't mention IPA hopping levels I believe this information didn't make it to the judges table. Otherwise they are correct that the bier is a bit thin but dinged me for it being hop centric or out of balance which was much of the point to the bier. I'll be making an updated version of this with a darker crystal malt, higher mash temp, & adjusting the hopping.
Conclusion... I entered a bunch of biers made for flavor not bjcp events and the judging showed. I don't have a big gripe with any of the judges conclusions though I do differ on a few points. All in all they did a great job judging, I see the biers 90% or so as they do. Now to brew more and enter another event! I'm currently mixing up many BIG biers and session ales. For instance I've got a RIS aging, am brewing a Scotch Strong, and will follow that up with a smoked porter. Next the redo of the Specialty bier from above, then I'll be putting a 1.100 Barleywine on the yeast cake before returning to another session brew! Finally I've got to get around to that Imperial IPA!