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Showing posts from January, 2019

Scottish 80 Shilling Ale 4.0

I have long been a fan of the more malt-forward styles of beer, and the Scottish 80 Shilling Ale (also known as the Scottish Export Ale) is no exception. The roasty and toasty, caramel, and dark fruit flavors of the malt combine with just enough hop bitterness to bring the beer to a perfect balance. The 80 Shilling is a stronger version of the Export Ale, meant to have enough alcohol to stand transatlantic voyages.

I've made three Scottish Ale versions before this. The first version fared poorly in competition, scoring an average of 27 out of 50. The second, to me, was much better. The judges disagreed, scoring it 25.5. The third never made it to competition, so I don't know how it would have scored. To me, it was the best of the three.

This, the fourth version, is actually a recipe from Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles. The recipe in the book scales between a 60, 70, or 80 Shilling Ale. According to the authors, the difference between a 60, …

2019 German Pilsner 1.0

The only lager I've ever  brewed was a Ttopical Stout. Despite my best efforts with that one, it didn't do that well in competition. Judges noted yeasty notes they did not like, despite the beer never getting above the yeast's optimum temperature range. I suspect that was due to pitching only a single packet of dry lager yeast and not a large starter.

I decided to start 2019 by brewing another lager, a traditional German style Pilsner. This time I'll be pitching both a 1 liter starter and some dry yeast, plus plenty of yeast nutrient to ensure a healthy yeast population. I'll also be using a good quality temperature control system to ensure a consistent temperature,

Ingredients
10 pounds Swaen Pilsner Malt (the closest I had to German Pilsner)
1 pound Briess Pilsner Malt
4 ounces Cara-pils/Dextrine Malt
0.5 ounces Magnum hops @ 12.6% AA (60 min.)
0,5 ounces Hallertau hops @ 4.5% AA (10 min.)
1.0 ounces Hallertau hops @ 2.5% AA (4 min.)
1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 pack…

2018 - The Year in Beer

Last year, I took the time at the start of the year to review my homebrewing experiences for the prior year and reflect on what I'd like to accomplish in 2018.

What Did I Accomplish in 2018?
I brewed almost 50 batches of beer in 2017 (48 to be precise). That's up from 36 batches in 2017, 17 batches in 2016, and 15 batches in 2015. That's well above the supposed average of 8.3 batches per year of the hypothetical "average" homebrewer according to the AHA.
I brewed approximately 25 different BJCP styles during the year, including the Tropical Stout, Belgian Single/Dubbel/Tripel/Quad, Saison, Pale Ale, IPA, Scottish 80 Shilling, ESB, Blonde Ale, Australian Sparkling, Irish Red, Cream Ale, English Brown, Dark Mild, Pumpkin Ale, and others.
I entered three competitions: Rhinegeist, the Ohio State Fair, and Barley's Ale House. I didn't place at Rhinegeist. At the State Fair, I took home a fourth place ribbon for a Belgian Tripel. At Barley's Ale House, I won…