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Loch Ness Scotch Brew (#2)

October 9, 2010

Pre-Brew

With ~3 weeks left to the Badger Brew-Off submission deadline, I decided I’d be able to get one more batch in.  Now, I haven’t been able to really test anything I’ve brewed yet due to my bottle temperature SNAFU (finding out the cabinet I wanted to store them in doesn’t get above 60F), but what I have tasted and smelled of my Scottish ‘Tweener was not impressing me too much.  Most notably, it was missing that scotch ale “smell.”  I still haven’t pinpointed what causes the smell, but I know the Loch Ness Scottish has it, so I figured I’d brew it.  Whether it’s “to-style” or not is for the judges to decide, but I personally like it a lot.

After plugging in and tweaking the recipe (for a 2.5 gallon batch with 60% efficiency) I was stunned to see that it would require 125 oz. of grains.  This is about 2/3 of the all-grain 5-gallon Dusseldorf Alt I did.  Obviously the efficiency and higher gravity (1.070) are the culprits, but it wasn’t something that I realized beforehand.

Recipe

BeerSmith Recipe

Brew Day (10/10/10)

With an extra muslin bag in hand, I set out to brew…

3 gallons in my cooler with 3 bags of grains, is definitely the biggest brew I’ve done.  I really hope my gravity comes out alright.

At mash, I pre-heated the cooler and then returned the water to the kettle to get it back up to temperature (168F).  After doughing-in the grains, I was very pleased to find a temperature of 158F from one sample in the middle.  Hopefully I’m able to let it sit in there for 75 minutes.

Note:  the recipe linked below probably indicates a 75-minute mash with 10 quarts (2.5 gallons) of strike water at 170F.  I actually forgot to make this correction and started the brew with the 60-minute mash profile (which specified 3 gallons at 168F).  Seeing that the temperature seems good, I think I’ll be OK.  I’m not actually sure where the old mash profile came from because when I switch back and forth between the 60-minute and 75-minute mash, I don’t see any difference now…

Fermentation

Fermentation started up pretty quickly (bubbling pretty good by the next morning).  The aquarium heater was keeping temperature in the 67.5 – 68F range which didn’t make me too happy, but it’s still not too bad.  I didn’t notice any of the weirdness that I did with my Brown Ale brew (neocortical-looking junk floating on the top), so I think I can dismiss my theory that repitching somehow altered the yeast to do something like that (or at least it’s not a given that repitching will lead to that).  I’m looking forward to this brew coming out.  I’ve had good luck with it twice in the past now, and all signs are looking good for this one, too.

Badger Brew-Off Results

Scoresheets

This was one of my two beers entered in the Badger Brew-Off (the other being my first try at a brown ale) and it didn’t do too well.  I had to submit it when it was just about 1 week in the bottle, so I entered it before I had a chance to taste it.  Tasting it, I have to agree with the judges, though.

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