Mair 80 Bobbin

Notes from brew day #12
4-minute read

Brewshido

What’s this? A brew day blog post on the actual brew day? My, aren’t we organised!

With reference to the title, ‘mair’ is Scots for ‘more’ and colloquially a shilling was called a bob back in the day, with the Scottish beers being often referred to as 70 bob or 80 bob etc.

As a result of having some excess grains and hops from my previous brew , today’s beer will be unique and I guess this was my first attempt to design my own recipe. It wasn’t merely a matter of ordering less grains and swapping in those I had in store, though that was part of it! I actually made some conscious decisions on grain choice with respect to my brew day plan.


My previous 80/- brew day had a 50 minute mash, which if I understand correctly results in a sweeter beer as there is a smaller window for the amylase enzymes to break down complex sugars into mono- or di-saccharides which can be consumed by yeast. The result would be a lower alcohol beer as there is less ethanol converted and due to a higher amount of residual sugars a richer mouthfeel and sweeter beer. At least this is my understanding. However, I want to provide as much nutrition to the yeast as possible, to exhaust it before conditioning and I think the 50 minute mash, or at least my management of it led to an excess in active, hungry yeast in the resultant beer, or at least at the bottom of the keg of said beer.

So, I went with the more familiar 60 minute mash but I still want this beer to be reasonably sweet, for future addition of a slightly bitter adjunct, and as such I opted to include Melanoidin malts, 10% of the grain bill. The blurb on the brewstore website states that if this ratio of aromatic (melanoidin) are added it can add a honey-like flavour to the beer.. Sounds good to me and should hopefully make up for the lower volume of residual sugars in my beer, to some extent.

With regards to the hops I have (Magnum, First Golding and Sorachi Ace), I did a bit of reading about their bittering and flavour profiles and decided to include both Magnum and First Golding.

  • Sorachi Ace if used for bittering can lead to a an intense lemon flavour but for flavouring it can bring vanilla, tea & coriander notes, these both sound great but I mis-remembered and thought that these weren’t all suitable for this beer. I intended to use them towards the end of the boil initially.
  • First Golding is a very commonly used hop for this style of beer, its bittering contribution provides a refreshing crisp finish and when used for flavouring can bring orange, marmalade and soft spices to the beer. Both sound good, I’ve gone with this as my primary bittering hop and added some at the end for flavour.
  • Lastly Magnum, a hop with high alpha acid content which is very popular for bittering IPAs, Pils etc. (In Europe anyway). Though it isn’t used much as a flavouring hop, it apparently can impart subtle spice aromas, like nutmeg and this holds interest to me. As such, I’m going with some Magnum mid-boil so that it’s bittering contribution is there but restrained and some in the last 10 minutes with a hope that it subtly adds a little complexity to the flavour.

On double checking the qualities of the hops, I actually did mean to use some sorachi ace.. oh well, plenty left for next time.

No dry hopping, this is ostensibly a malty beer.

For yeast, mainly due to limited alternative stocks at the brewstore https://www.brewstore.co.uk), I’ve gone with WLP029 - Edinburgh Ale. It’s the same yeast used for the previous 80 shilling brews and it makes sense to have some part of each brew to remain uniform.

I will create a recipe template for the site and post the recipe details, stages and notes at a later date.

The original gravity of the beer on transfer to the fermentation vessel was 1.050 which is a bit higher than the other export beers that I’ve brewed which signifies a higher sugar content, so long as the yeast activity is fervent this should result in a slightly stronger beer, I’m hoping for the 5% ABV area which would make my final gravity target around 1.012.. but I’ll be happy with around 1.015ish, I guess. In addition, the beer looked very clear, was a gorgeous colour and smelled great.

It remains to be seen if my experimenting results in a tasty beer, but given this is my first attempt at my own recipe and will be tweaked going forward, so long as it isn’t bad it’s all good!

I am going to have to change beer types soon though as I am running out of 80 shilling based puns for blog titles! Let’s face it, in that regard, I’m never going to top 80 chillin !


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