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Carmelizing for a Scottish Ale

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  • Carmelizing for a Scottish Ale

    I'm planning to brew a Scottish ale, in the 5-6% abv range (as opposed to a Scotch), and was wondering if anyone out there does anything special to get some carmelization in the kettle - or if you pull off some of the first runnings and cook them down separately somehow.

    I'm brewing a 7bbl batch in a 10bbl kettle... float switch kicks on at about 1/3 of the way full, so getting anything noticable from the kettle boil seems unlikely.


  • #2
    I've seen (but not advocated) use of a length of stiff copper wire to trip the float switch on a gas-fired kettle before. That would surely get you carmelization. However, for my part, I'd drop $100 or so on a turkey cooker and a converted sanke 1/2 barrel and boil down some first runnings. *shrug* there's probably a dozen ways to get that job done
    Good luck, and let us know what you figure out, as I'm also entertaining the thought of doing a 80/ Scottish on my 7 bbl system!

    "By man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world" -- St. Arnold of Metz


    • #3
      Just a follow-up on this:

      I set up a burner with a 15gal kettle next to my brewhouse, diverted enough first runnings in there to fill it up, boiled it down for about 3 hours (to 1/3 of it's volume) while getting the big kettle up to temp and boiling it - adding back in after WP.

      The effect was perhaps a little subtle, but nice. For an 80 shilling, it's a pretty modest amount of sweetness in there anyway, and I found it added just the right amount of character. The beer sold VERY quickly too.

      I'll likely use the same method again unless I can come up with something that will handle a larger percentage of the overall volume.