The leaves are changing, and the air is taking on a chill. What better way to greet the changing season than brewing two warming, hearty beers: doppelbock and Scottish ale.
Last month’s hefeweizen is ready October 2, just in time to enjoy while brewing the doppelbock. The Oktoberfest from last month’s schedule should be ready to drink October 16, but if it needs more time, try it on the October 23 when it’s a full four weeks old.
Holy War and Reward
During the Protestant Reformation, Catholic monasteries were established in what is today southern Germany as counter-Revolution period strongholds. One was the cloister of the Franciscans (St. Francis) from Paula, Italy. The Paulaner monks made strong beer to carry them through fasts during Lent and Advent.
The brew was a dark liquor brewed with more grain than bock but not fermented as thoroughly, which left a sweet finish and lots of residual carbohydrates. The monks named it Salvator, or savior. To this day the Paulaner brewery calls their doppelbock Salvator.
The beer was most likely made dark because the more acidic dark malts naturally lower the pH of the mash (the majority of beers from this period were most likely dark). The water in the south is very basic, so acidifying the mash provided better conversion and a better product with more sugars. The dark malt also must have contributed a sensory influence as well: a rich, dark beer in the middle of winter.
The people of Munich found it similar to bockbiers but stronger, hence the moniker doppelbock (double bock).
During the Napoleonic wars the monasteries shut down, but the Paulaner Brewery still operated. Several other breweries, particularly in Munich, copied the style and adopted the ’ator suffix to emulate the Salvator. German beer law allows any doppelbock with an
original gravity of or greater than 1.074 (18.5° Plato) to carry the ’ator suffix.
According to current German law, doppelbocks must have an original gravity of 1.072 to 1.112 (18° to 28° Plato) and an alcohol content by volume of 7.5 percent to 13 percent. The Great American Beer Festival parameters are a bit different: original gravity of 1.074 to 1.080 (18.5° to 20° Plato), 6.5 percent to 8 percent alcohol by volume, bitterness of 17 to 27 IBUs, and color of 12 to 30 SRM.
Popular imported doppelbocks are produced by Paulaner (Salvator) and Ayinger (Celebrator). Celebrator is a widely acclaimed beer that is dark tawny brown, almost like port in appearance. Its bold, malty flavor is delicately sewn with warming alcohol, caramel, and yeast character. Spaten’s Optimator is a richly vinous drink that shows plenty of alcohol esters and fruits. Pale doppelbocks include Park Priminator from Parkbrauerei (Germany) and Caesarus Imperator from the Swiss Brauerei Hurlimann.
Doppelbocks are also brewed en masse in our country. Tabernash, Full Sail, Sprecher, Capitol Brewing, and Thomas Kemper are all shining examples from great brewers. The Capitol Brewing doppel is also a blonde or pale-style doppelbock and very much worth getting.
Formulation — Malt
Doppelbocks should have a heavy emphasis on caramel, chocolate, and roasted brown malt flavors. A smooth, silky, balanced, porter-like quality should emerge, with alcohol and sweetness combining to form the finish. Depending on the brewer, a doppelbock may have a variety of caramel malts, including pale and dark Munichs, mixed with brown or chocolate and maybe some roasted or black malt (the latter is not as common). The base of the recipe is made of pale pilsner malts and a variety of Munich malts, which can be dark or even cara-Munich. The recipe here is a simple combination of pilsner, 10° Lovibond Munich, 40° Lovibond caramel, and brown malt of about 50° Lovibond. It makes an even brown beer with accents on roasted flavors, hinting at the 40° Lovibond crystal. The large grain bill ensures lots of flavor and alcohol with a long, warming finish.
As usual for a German beer, the hops should be of authentic Noble type for the flavor and aroma and at least continental for the bittering. The recipes here outline a program of German Northern Brewer hops for bittering and Hallertauer hops for flavor and finishing. Other hops just as suitable are German Perle and Brewer’s Gold for bittering and Tettnanger, Spalt, Hersbrucker, and Saaz for finishing.
As with most other styles of bock, this beer should emphasize malt aromas and malt flavors. Hops should exist only to balance the middle and finish, not to create a bitter character in any way. Doppelbock also should contain no real hop aroma in the nose, although pale versions do show more hops in the secondary sensory experience — in the back of the throat during drinking, for instance. This occurs because pale doppelbocks lack dark roasted grains to offset the hop flavors.
Yeast and Lagering
The lagering technique includes primary fermentation at 45° F for the first three days, then raised to 50° F for four more days. Ferment in secondary for one more week at the same 50° F, then cool to 40° F for a final week of settling. Bottle condition at 40° F for three to four more weeks, which will put you roughly at November 14 to 21 for the finished product. Obviously you have to cheat by not filtering the beer this time, but gelatin works as an excellent fining during conditioning if you want brilliantly clear beer in little time. Otherwise it should look good after three to four weeks of lagering in the bottle. Besides, it will last longer with some yeast in there.
The yeast in the recipe is Wyeast 2124 (Bohemian lager), but you also could try the 2206 (Bavarian lager) or 2308 (Munich lager). An alternative from White Labs is German lager (WLP830). The starter for this beer should be two pints.
Scottish ale is a category that encompasses four main types of beers. They are light, heavy, export, and strong — often known as Scotch ale rather than Scottish. In older days these particular styles were known by a designation of shillings. The light was a 60 shilling ale, the heavy was 70, export was 80, and the Scotch or strong was commonly called 90 shilling. Some brewers still use this name system today, but it got its start as a symbol of taxation. The higher the original gravity of the beer, the higher the tax per barrel.
By the numbers, Scottish-style light should have an original gravity of 1.030 to 1.036 (7.5° to 9° Plato), 3 percent to 5 percent alcohol by volume, bitterness of 9 to 20 IBUs, and a color of 8 to 17 SRM.
The heavy should have an original gravity of 1.036 to 1.040 (9° to 10° Plato), 3.5 percent to 4 percent alcohol by volume, bitterness of 12 to 20 IBUs, and a color of 10 to 19 SRM.
Scottish-style export should have an original gravity of 1.040 to 1.050 (10° to 12.5° Plato), alcohol by volume of 4 percent to 4.5 percent, bitterness of 15 to 25 IBUs, and a color of 10 to 19 SRM.
The biggest, strong or Scotch ale, should have an original gravity of 1.072 to 1.084 (18° to 21° Plato), 6.2 percent to 8 percent alcohol by volume, bitterness of 25 to 35 IBUs, and a color of 10 to 25 SRM.
Yeast Strains and Fermentation
The numbers for the various styles can seem a bit confusing. Even though they ascend in gravity, the alcohol content does not increase significantly for the first three styles. This is because Scottish ales are fairly sweet in the finish. With the exception of the first style, the light, they are all very high in residual sugar and purposely fermented that way. The terminal gravities are as follows: light is 1.006 to 1.012 (1.5° to 3° Plato; can be dry), heavy is 1.010 to 1.014 (2.5° to 3.5° Plato; moderately sweet), export is 1.010 to 1.018 (2.5° to 4.5° Plato; more sweet), and strong is 1.016 to 1.028 (4° to 7° Plato; even sweeter, but with lots more alcohol and other flavors as well).
There are several specific yeast strains for fermenting Scottish-style ales. The main difference between them and most others is that they have a very low attenuation percentage, which means that they do not ferment as much of the available sugar, leaving the beer with the desired residual sweetness. Depending on the type of Scottish or Scotch strong ale you wish to brew, you may consider one of these strains of yeast. The one in the recipe is Wyeast 1728 (Scottish ale), If you would like something that attenuates a bit more, look for one of the London strains or an Irish or British ale.
For the most part Goldings and Fuggle are the norm for hopping Scottish-style ales, although other British hops such as Brambling, Northdown, Challenger, Progress, and Target also can be used. An emphasis on the malt flavors and sweetness should dominate the palate and the nose, however, so the hopping should be very low and the bitterness and aroma only there for balance. Remember, this is one style that is often intentionally created to be out of balance, particularly the bigger styles in the category.
There are many imported ales from Scotland to use as comparison for your brewing. Some of the more famous are Traquair House Ale, brewed since 1491, and its companion ale, Traquair Jacobite, a version spiced with coriander and named for the Jacobite revolution. They are both examples of the Scotch or strong style, with an original gravity of 1.080 (20° Plato).
Another strong ale is MacAndrew’s. This brew is famous as an authentic Scotch ale. It has an original gravity of 1.080 (20° Plato), with lots of sweet malt flavors and alcohol.
Broughton Ales has a trio of Scottish ales that have recently won much acclaim. The lightest, Merlins ale, is golden colored and fairly dry with an alcohol by volume of
4.2 percent. Next in line is the Black Douglas, a darker, redder ale with much more malt but not tremendously sweet, with an alcohol by volume of 5.2 percent. The last is the most potent. Old Jock is darker yet and more complex. The alcohol by volume is 6.7 percent, and it shows. The malt is much richer than the other two, with nicely balanced sugar in the finish.
If you want something a bit interesting, try the Fraoch Heather Ale from Scotland. It is a light Scottish ale with heather in it, which gives the beer a very earthy quality.
From the United States there are the founding Grant’s Scottish ale, a very pale, light Scottish-style ale; Mactarnahan’s from Portland Brewing (although now called an amber ale for marketing purposes); Pike Kilt Lifter; Samuel Adams Scotch Ale; and Moylan’s Kilt Tilter, among myriad other medal winners.
(5 gallons, all-grain)
• 8 lbs. Chariot pilsner malt
• 2.5 lbs. Munich pale malt
• 1 lb. carapils or dextrin-type malt
• 3.5 lbs. crystal malt, 40° Lovibond
• 1 lb. brown malt
• 0.5 oz. German Northern Brewer hops (8.5% alpha acid, 4.25 AAUs) for 90 min.
• 1 oz. Hallertauer hops (3.7% alpha acid, 3.7 AAUs): 0.5 oz. (1.85 AAUs) for 30 min., 0.5 oz. (1.85 AAUs) at end of boil
• 2 pt. yeast starter of Wyeast 2124 (Bohemian lager)
• 2/3 cup corn sugar for priming
Step by Step:
Mash grain in 5 gal. 150° F water for 60 min. Sparge with 168° F water to yield 5.75 gal. wort.
Total boil time is 90 min. At beginning of boil, add Northern Brewer hops and continue for 60 min. more. Add 0.5 oz. Hallertauer hops and boil 30 min. more. At end of boil, add 0.5 oz. Hallertauer. Whirlpool and cool to 45° F to pitch starter.
Ferment at 45° F for three days, raise to 50° over four more days, then rack to secondary fermenter. Continue fermentation for seven more days until gravity is about 1.020 (5° Plato). At this point cool to 40° F or below and let settle for seven more days. Prime and bottle. Age at least three to four more weeks before drinking.
Extract with Grains Option:
Substitute 8.5 lbs. light Munich malt syrup for the pilsner and Munich malts. Increase the Northern Brewer hops to 0.75 oz. Start with 5 gal. water in boil kettle. Steep crushed grains at 150° F for 30 min. Remove bag and rinse with enough 168° F water to make
5.5 gal. Add extract. Total boil time is 60 min. At beginning of boil add Northern Brewer hops and continue for 30 min. Add 0.5 oz. Hallertauer pellets and boil for 30 min. more. At end of boil add remaining 0.5 oz. Hallertauer. Whirlpool and cool to 45° F to pitch starter.
OG = 1.088 (22° Plato)
FG = 1.016 (4° Plato)
Bitterness = 20 IBUs
Color = 46 SRM
9% ABV Scottish Ale
(5 gallons, all-grain)
• 6.5 lbs. Maris Otter malt
• 1 lb. carapils or dextrin-type malt
• 0.5 lb. crystal malt, 20° Lovibond
• 0.5 lb. crystal malt, 40° Lovibond
• 0.125 lb. chocolate malt
• 1.5 oz. Fuggle hops (4.2% alpha acid, 6.3 AAUs): 1 oz. (4.2 AAUs) for 90 min., 0.5 oz. (2.1 AAUs) for 30 min.
• 1 oz. Kent Goldings hops (5.5% alpha acid, 5.5 AAUs) at end of boil
• 1 pt. starter of Wyeast 1728 (Scottish ale)
• 2/3 cup corn sugar for priming
Step by Step:
Mash grain in 3 gal. 150° F water for 60 min. Sparge with 168° to 170° F water to collect 5.75 gal. of wort.
Total boil time is 90 min. At start of boil, add 1 oz. Fuggle hops and boil 60 min. Add 0.5 oz. Fuggles and boil remaining 30 min. At end of boil, add the Kent Goldings. Whirlpool and cool to 69° F to pitch starter. Oxygenate/aerate well.
Ferment at 69° F for seven days, then rack to secondary. Continue fermentation for seven more days until gravity is about 1.112 (3° Plato) or fermentation is done Let settle, rack, prime, and bottle. Age seven more days before drinking.
Extract with Grains Option:
Substitute 6.5 lbs. English pale malt extract syrup for the Maris Otter malt and increase the first Fuggle addition to 1.25 oz. Start with 5 gal. 150° F water. Steep crushed grain for 30 min. Sparge grains with enough 170° F water to make 5.5 gal. Heat to boiling and add extract syrup. Total boil is 60 min. At beginning of boil, add 1.25 oz. Fuggles and boil 30 min. Add 0.5 oz. Fuggles, boil 30 min. more, and add the Kent Goldings to finish.
OG = 1.048 (12° Plato)
FG = 1.012 (3° Plato)
Bitterness = 23 IBUs
Color = 18 SRM
Brewing Schedule Notes
Oct. 1, Friday
Prep day for doppelbock
Assemble all ingredients for doppelbock, sanitize equipment and start yeast culture for
brewing on Sunday.
Oct. 2, Saturday
Last month’s hefeweizen is ready for drinking today.
Oct. 3, Sunday — Brew day
Brew doppelbock, record original gravity and begin fermentation at 45° F for three days. Allow to raise to 50° F from day three to day seven.
Oct. 7, Thursday — Prep day
Assemble all ingredients for Scottish, sanitize equipment, and start yeast culture for brewing on Saturday.
Oct. 9, Saturday — Brew day
Brew Scottish, record original gravity, and begin fermentation at 69° F.
Oct. 10, Sunday — Transfer
Rack the doppelbock to a secondary fermenter and record the gravity. Continue for seven more days at 50° F.
Oct. 16, Saturday — Transfer
Transfer the Scottish to secondary and continue fermenting for seven days. The Oktoberfest from last month is three weeks old today and ready to try.
Oct. 23, Saturday — Bottle Scottish
The Scottish should be done fermenting and ready to bottle today. Age at least seven more days before drinking (Oct. 30).
Oct. 24, Sunday
The doppelbock should be done today and ready for bottling. It will age for three to four more weeks (Nov. 14-21).
November brews: Porter and Frambozenbier.