Dark Ale

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wezzel01
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Dark Ale

Post by wezzel01 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:32 pm

Hi All,

I fancy making a nice winter warmer. Preferably something along the lines of Old Crafty Hen or Old Peculiar (which I’ve made before with success) but with rum or whiskey barrel oak chips.

Anybody recommend a good recipe?


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TheSumOfAllBeers
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Re: Dark Ale

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:42 pm

You could just make your OP or OCH clone and add the chips when it hits terminal gravity? Keep sampling until the oak character is where you want it?

wezzel01
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Re: Dark Ale

Post by wezzel01 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:37 pm

TheSumOfAllBeers wrote:You could just make your OP or OCH clone and add the chips when it hits terminal gravity? Keep sampling until the oak character is where you want it?
Thanks, I was wondering about this. I’m now thinking about brewing either OP or Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild so I’ll try what you suggest.


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PeeBee
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Re: Dark Ale

Post by PeeBee » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:35 pm

I've given up trying to emulate OP after over 30* years attempting it! Although recently (last 2 years) I was getting closer with Graham Wheeler's recipe (CAMRA's BYOBRA book). I think the problem in the end was getting a suitable yeast (I was using White Labs #WLP028, Edinburgh Ale, recently). So I modified the recipe to be more of a "Burton Ale" type; bit more bitterness, lighten the chocolate malt and darken the crystal malt.

I like the "Burton Ale" type - basically a darker, stronger, "bitter", and very malt forward. Very popular but (the name) died out after WWII possibly because wartime British pilots included it in referencing their KIA colleagues ("gone for a Burton") and so the name took on something to remind one of their own human mortality?

Worked well. Christmassy, probably from the dark, very caramelly, crystal malt used. So punched out a 45L batch only yesterday to be ready for Christmas. Remember, the ingredient weights here are for 45 litres.

10Kg MO pale malt (Crisp)
450g crystal malt extra dark (EBC 340) (Crisp)
350g pale chocolate malt (Thomas Fawcett)
40g black malt (Crisp) (for a bit extra colour)

Mashed at 65C for 60 minutes. Water treated to match GW's "sweet pale ale" profile (sparge water treated same but no alkaline salts, acidified with phosphoric acid to pH 5.5-ish). Bring to boil with:

80g Fuggles
65g Challanger

Giving about 33 IBU. Boil for 50 minutes before adding 1/2 Protofloc tablet and 50g Cobb Goldings pellets (adding about 7 IBU). Boil for 10 more minutes, cool to 85C, add 55g Cobb Goldings pellets and steep for 40 minutes (adding about 3 IBU).

Cool to 17.5C and add 2 packets (dried!) S-33 yeast (doesn't chew through complex sugars - dextrins - very well).OG 1.056. FG should be about 1.015 in about 4 days, leaving for 6-7 days before putting in Corny kegs.

Will serve with about 1.1 volumes of CO2 (on hand-pump) after about 30 days "maturing" in Corny kegs. The oak chips might go well with this? If kegging watch the serving pressure (i.e. keep it low). If bottling watch that S-33 yeast, it has a tendency to slowly munch through the dextrins it left earlier.


[EDIT: * I'm always doing that, thinking I'm still young and fit. Try 40 years.]
Last edited by PeeBee on Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:31 am

I'm intrigued by this comment "If bottling watch that S-33 yeast, it has a tendency to slowly munch through the dextrins it left earlier".
As per the no/low alcohol thread, I have now bottled 3 different S-33 fermented batches and wondered why they have slowly become more and more carbonated over the months!
All clear now, any references to the slow continuation of complex sugar munching would help future brews.
Love the Burton ale recipe above, will add that to the plan too.

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by PeeBee » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:45 pm

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:31 am
I'm intrigued by this comment "If bottling watch that S-33 yeast, it has a tendency to slowly munch through the dextrins it left earlier". …
I've often wondered how people got on bottling with S-33 as I'd had long maturing beers over-carbonate in Corny kegs (1845 clones, another "Burton Ale" type and extremely good if you like that sort of thing). Once had a keg go to near 100 PSI that had been maturing for 7-8 months. But I've not come close to S-33's reluctance to ferment dextrins (in beer, that's mostly "maltotriose") from liquid yeasts, though "Edinburgh Ale" (WLP028) wasn't too bad. I suspect the old Whitbread yeast (WYeast 1099, not the "dry" one; 1098) might be okay?

Yeast for Belgian ale types might go down well? S-33 is supposed to be a good choice for such ales though isn't actually a Belgium yeast (I don't think?). I've seen it said that Belgium ale yeasts derived from bottles of Scottish "Wee Heavy". But some sources say Belgium ale yeasts are high attenuators? Yet it is common to use cane sugar in Belgium ale to lighten them up. Guess that's a "contradiction"?

I used to use "Windsor" yeast (dry) in mild ale, probably for the same reason ("Maltotriose" adverse). I was less "analytical" back then.

"Maltotriose" shy yeasts seem to be considered "old fashioned" these days, but are great in malt-forward "Burton Ale" types, old-fashioned "Porter" (not todays' parody of "porter" probably with coffee, chocolate and whatever else) and, as you've pointed out, modern day low-alcohol beers too.
Last edited by PeeBee on Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wezzel01
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Re: Dark Ale

Post by wezzel01 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:45 pm

Thanks PeeBee, that’s very helpful.

All the brews I’m considering are fairly similar but I’ll have a go at yours this time.

Incidentally, I’ve made Old Peculiar a few times with reasonable success but never done a side by side taste test with the original. I normally use half a tin of treacle (225g) and use Fullers ESB yeast (Wyeast 1968).




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Re: Dark Ale

Post by PeeBee » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:26 pm

wezzel01 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:45 pm
Thanks PeeBee, that’s very helpful.

All the brews I’m considering are fairly similar but I’ll have a go at yours this time.

Incidentally, I’ve made Old Peculiar a few times with reasonable success but never done a side by side taste test with the original. I normally use half a tin of treacle (225g) and use Fullers ESB yeast (Wyeast 1968).
I've never tried the "Fuller's" yeast in an OP clone. That yeast and the White Labs equivalent (WLP002) worked okay for London Pride clones but not for ESB, until now when made a terrific "ESB" this time. I have to put that down to fermenting at lower temperature (17-18C instead of 18-22C) or (and?) fermenting it in a larger fermenter (45L batch in 70L fermenter instead of 22L batch in 30L fermenter).

Back in the 80s (who said that … I'm not that old?) there was this rumour OP was primed with treacle. But not substantiated. Until recently I continued brewing OP clones with treacle (blackstrap molasses actually) but began to suspect the distinct and same-y flavour of treacle in beer. Graham Wheeler's recipe (which was probably well researched) has no treacle or molasses. Don't take 40 years to figure that one out like I did.

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by PeeBee » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:40 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:35 pm
… FG should be about 1.015 in about 4 days, …
4 days? Try 2!
Nyrs Gron.JPG
Nyrs Gron.JPG (22.06 KiB) Viewed 482 times
The fast ferment and rapid stop of S-33 yeast is typical. It has finished about 1.015, the graph (Tilt hydrometer) shows higher but I never made any "on-the-fly" corrections this time. Tilt's have a tendency to read high as fermentation progresses (see my "Tilt" thread for a discussion about that).

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by Northern Brewer » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:45 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:45 pm
Yeast for Belgian ale types might go down well? S-33 is supposed to be a good choice for such ales though isn't actually a Belgium yeast (I don't think?). I've seen it said that Belgium ale yeasts derived from bottles of Scottish "Wee Heavy". But some sources say Belgium ale yeasts are high attenuators? Yet it is common to use cane sugar in Belgium ale to lighten them up. Guess that's a "contradiction"?
There's no contradiction, you just can't generalise about "Belgian" yeasts as the Low Countries have been at the crossroads of international trade in fermented products for centuries, and their brewers have ended up using yeast from all kinds of sources. We now know that homebrew yeasts linked to Belgian brewers include lager yeasts, English yeasts, wine yeasts and yeasts most closely related to distilling/bread yeasts, as well as the saison types most typically associated with Belgium.

Not all Belgian yeasts came from Scotland, but specifically Duvel uses a strain (formerly two) that originated in a bottle from Mcewans, harvested by the great brewing scientist Jean De Clerck between the wars.
PeeBee wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:26 pm
wezzel01 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:45 pm
I’ve made Old Peculiar a few times with reasonable success but never done a side by side taste test with the original. I normally use half a tin of treacle (225g) and use Fullers ESB yeast (Wyeast 1968).
I've never tried the "Fuller's" yeast in an OP clone. That yeast and the White Labs equivalent (WLP002) worked okay for London Pride clones but not for ESB, until now when made a terrific "ESB" this time. I have to put that down to fermenting at lower temperature (17-18C instead of 18-22C) or (and?) fermenting it in a larger fermenter (45L batch in 70L fermenter instead of 22L batch in 30L fermenter).

Back in the 80s (who said that … I'm not that old?) there was this rumour OP was primed with treacle. But not substantiated. Until recently I continued brewing OP clones with treacle (blackstrap molasses actually) but began to suspect the distinct and same-y flavour of treacle in beer. Graham Wheeler's recipe (which was probably well researched) has no treacle or molasses. Don't take 40 years to figure that one out like I did.
1968 and WLP002 are clearly not the Fuller's yeast, they lack the orange that is characteristic of Fuller's (but which is apparently present in the Imperial Pub yeast). They appear to be derivatives of WLP007 Dry English. If you're interested in Fuller's, see this thread on HBT which starts with photos of their actual brewing book.

Treacle isn't the same as molasses, it's a 50:50 blend of molasses with refiner's syrup (a darker version of golden syrup, more the colour of invert #2). Mind you I do get some treacle flavour in Old Peculier, whether it comes from actual treacle I don't know. Also bear in mind that recipes change over the years, and there's been a general move away from adjuncts so molasses may have been added in the past but no longer. I also get a whiff of that pear note that you get more strongly in Tim Taylor bottles, so you might want to steer your yeast thoughts in that direction - but given that cask Theakstons is on at almost every Heineken (Star)-owned pub, I'd just look through whatpub.com to find Star pubs near you and scavenge some cask dregs.

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by PeeBee » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:20 pm

Northern Brewer wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:45 pm
^^^
Interesting stuff. Thanks for that.

On Belgium yeasts: Appreciate the clarification. You could tell I wasn't too sure about what I was saying with all the question marks, language like "seen it said" and "some sources", but a number of people may not see my intention was "take with a pinch of salt". Actually … the source I was reading about "Wee Heavy" (I should keep notes of sources, but it would have been a European author) was suggesting 19th century "Wee Heavy". It also mentioned the Scots weren't particularly protective about their yeasts, and having lived in Scotland for a fair while can believe that (it was the English and European Low Country bunch who were the possession-orientated crowd, even now).

On Fuller's yeast: I would have also said the same of 1968/WLP002 yeasts (i.e. they're not same as Fuller's). But not so sure now. I tried, and failed, to explain why "S-33" yeast creates a better 1845 clone. And those yeasts not having the much quoted "orange marmalade" notes of Fullers beers: When I changed my expectations from full-on Seville Orange marmalade (the stuff I have to make myself 'cos it's rare in shops) to the wimpy popular orange marmalades available in supermarkets, all I could taste in my Fuller's clone was "orange marmalade" (fortunately just the hint of, not the overall naffness of the stuff).

On Old Perculier:
Northern Brewer wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:45 pm
… Treacle isn't the same as molasses, it's a 50:50 blend of molasses with refiner's syrup (a darker version of golden syrup, more the colour of invert #2). Mind you I do get some treacle flavour in Old Peculier, whether it comes from actual treacle I don't know. Also bear in mind that recipes change over the years, and there's been a general move away from adjuncts so molasses may have been added in the past but no longer. I also get a whiff of that pear note that you get more strongly in Tim Taylor bottles, so you might want to steer your yeast thoughts in that direction - but given that cask Theakstons is on at almost every Heineken (Star)-owned pub, I'd just look through whatpub.com to find Star pubs near you and scavenge some cask dregs.
Back in the mists of time; I switched from Treacle to Molasses because it had a less powerful flavour. Now with hind sight that's clearly wrong (I do now know treacle is the more "refined" product, molasses is what you feed to pigs). The manufacturer determines the strength of flavour (and you don't get what they feed to pigs from the health-food shop).

I get "treacle" notes from my OP clone. But its got no treacle in it! My explanation is "association" (taste with yer eyes). Hence I didn't associate the same-y tongue coating flavour in beers as treacle/molasses because it wasn't tasting of "treacle" - that was proved to me after many years.

Can you buy "refiner's syrup" (the darker stuff you refer to, not "golden syrup")?

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by Northern Brewer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:52 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:20 pm
the source I was reading about "Wee Heavy" (I should keep notes of sources, but it would have been a European author) was suggesting 19th century "Wee Heavy".
Wee Heavy is one of those beers that huge amounts of nonsense gets written about, particularly by authors overseas. In Scotland it historically only refers to a single beer, Fowler's Twelve Guineas.
PeeBee wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:20 pm
It also mentioned the Scots weren't particularly protective about their yeasts, and having lived in Scotland for a fair while can believe that (it was the English and European Low Country bunch who were the possession-orientated crowd, even now).
Again nonsense - while the exchange of yeast between Edinburgh brewers is particularly well-documented, it happened all over the UK. For instance, a lot of southern English breweries such as Brakspear can trace their yeast back to Mann, Adnams yeast came from Morgans of Norwich and Gales came from Brickwoods of Portsmouth. It was the norm back in the days before effective banking of yeast strains, if your yeast went "off" then you had to replace it.

As far as Fuller's goes, I just suggest you compare S-33 directly against either Imperial Pub or yeast harvested from 1845 bottles.

PeeBee wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:20 pm
I get "treacle" notes from my OP clone. But its got no treacle in it! My explanation is "association" (taste with yer eyes). Hence I didn't associate the same-y tongue coating flavour in beers as treacle/molasses because it wasn't tasting of "treacle" - that was proved to me after many years.

Can you buy "refiner's syrup" (the darker stuff you refer to, not "golden syrup")?
It's more than association, you can get those heavy flavours from the same Maillard reactions among other sources, including some dark malts.

I'm sure anything is possible if you give Ragus enough cash, but AFAIK refiner's syrup is one of those things that like invert you can only buy in wholesale quantities.

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Re: Dark Ale

Post by Hanglow » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:31 pm

Bako I think will sell you refiners syrup in 25kg amounts which isn't as bad as trying to get it from ragus :) Still though you would have to really want to use a lot of it or split with a few people
http://www.bakonw.co.uk/downloads/2019/ ... df#page=25
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Re: Dark Ale

Post by PeeBee » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:45 pm

Northern Brewer wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:52 pm

Wee Heavy is one of those beers that huge amounts of nonsense gets written about, particularly by authors overseas. In Scotland it historically only refers to a single beer, Fowler's Twelve Guineas.
Okay, I'll accept that historically it's nonsense, but in recent times it has come to mean "something". And I don't mean "craft beer" "styles", I mean when I was living in Scotland long before any of that (1980s) and "Wee Heavy" meant something I couldn't afford! The whisky was a cheaper option.

I'm going to guess it's a bit like "IPA" where the name has been misused to mean some contemporary formulation with no resemblance to anything "historic" (in the case of "IPA" the English did that in the 20th century - naming a range of pathetic beers as "IPA" - long before the New World re-used "IPA" to mean the "outrageously overloaded with modern hops" nonsense).

Traquair House churn out loads of what I thought it meant, but none of it is called (or described as) "wee heavy".

Something that used to bother me during my time in Scotland: "Wee Heavy" meant something dark and powerful (that I couldn't afford), whereas "heavy" meant something akin to "ordinary bitter" south of the border (i.e. very restrained ABV). The equivalent of stronger "best bitter" (ABV 4.2-5%) didn't seem to exist. What historical glitch created that anomaly?



The rest of your post needs me to digest it a bit longer yet!

P.S. New World "IPA" is utter nonsense, but I don't mind drinking some of it :) .


Hanglow wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:31 pm
Bako I think will sell you refiners syrup in 25kg amounts ...
Thanks!

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