Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Wee Heavy

Question for the experts:
I want to brew a Wee Heavy that’s at least a 1080 OG (approaching 8% ABV when done), but I do not want the final product to taste like a near-porter or barleywine. I have not yet tried the NB kit, but have sampled a commercial Wee Heavy that tastes a bit on the dark-roasted side for me. Has anyone made this kit yet, or even better, experimented with your own? And, if so, what did you do that worked well?
Any suggestions? Advice greatly appreciated. Thank you!

What I consider to be the finest homebrew wee heavy recipe ever is here…

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html

It uses pale malt and only 1 oz. of roasted barley for color. Use Golden Promise malt and ferment at about 55F and you’ll be in heaven!

This sounds fantastic!
Thanks, Denny!

The recipe Denny posted illustrates the important things for a wee heavy-fairly high mash temps and a cool fermentation. If you don’t like the roasty flavors, you could use small amounts of dark crystal and/or caramelization of part of the wort and very small amounts of chocolate malt or roast barley for color. I have a wee heavy that I really like that I used golden promise as the base malt, 8oz dark crystal and 4oz each brown and chocolate malt. I brewed it last fall, and it was good last winter, but I saved a case to age over the summer, and I just tried one a week ago and it is really developing some nice dried fruit flavors and more complexity than it had last winter. My OG was 1.072 and it finished at 1.021 for about 7% abv. I used one bittering hop addition for 60 min. and some EKG at 10 min for about 24IBU. The main things though are a high mash temp to get some residual sugars, low fermentation temp with the Scottish yeast, and then some aging time.
Good luck-I think you’ll like your end product.

[quote=“DVMKurmes”]The recipe Denny posted illustrates the important things for a wee heavy-fairly high mash temps and a cool fermentation. If you don’t like the roasty flavors, you could use small amounts of dark crystal and/or caramelization of part of the wort and very small amounts of chocolate malt or roast barley for color. I have a wee heavy that I really like that I used golden promise as the base malt, 8oz dark crystal and 4oz each brown and chocolate malt. I brewed it last fall, and it was good last winter, but I saved a case to age over the summer, and I just tried one a week ago and it is really developing some nice dried fruit flavors and more complexity than it had last winter. My OG was 1.072 and it finished at 1.021 for about 7% abv. I used one bittering hop addition for 60 min. and some EKG at 10 min for about 24IBU. The main things though are a high mash temp to get some residual sugars, low fermentation temp with the Scottish yeast, and then some aging time.
Good luck-I think you’ll like your end product.[/quote]

In the recipe I posted, the boil down is critical. That’s what really develops the flavor and color. You get absolutely no roast character at all from the small amount of roast barley in it. It’s scary the first time you do…boiling a gal. down to a pint or less get really syrupy. Fermented cool and cold aged for about 2 months, it’s fantastic. It was the base beer for the Wee Shroomy I served at NHC.

[quote]

In the recipe I posted, the boil down is critical. That’s what really develops the flavor and color. You get absolutely no roast character at all from the small amount of roast barley in it. It’s scary the first time you do…boiling a gal. down to a pint or less get really syrupy. Fermented cool and cold aged for about 2 months, it’s fantastic. It was the base beer for the Wee Shroomy I served at NHC.[/quote]

Certainly looks like a neat recipe. I may try it or something very similar this fall. I think it illustrates how there are many ways to achieve similar results-rather than a perhaps too complicated malt bill, the caramelization and complex malt flavor is developed in the boil down of the gallon. It’s an interesting way to develop complexity out of a simple malt bill.

“Wee Shroomy???”
Do tell!

[quote=“The Mad Zymurgist”]“Wee Shroomy???”
Do tell![/quote]

The above recipe with 2 lb. of chanterelle mushrooms added to secondary. Got the idea from Randy Mosher. I served it at club might at NHC and it must have been OK becasue after Randy tasted it he brought Mitch Steele and Mike McDole by to try it. Full recipe and instructions at http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WeeShroomy

Denny, I look at that picture, and I can almost taste it. I think gourmet mushrooms go great with beer. In fact, I would serve a Wee Heavy with a mushroom-drenched steak any day, and call it a success. Looks like a wonderful use of a secondary.
Maybe you could help me brainstorm…I’m trying to formulate a bacon-flavored beer. I have a bead on bacon syrup which could be added post-fermentation so as not to lose it’s character, but what beer would be best? Kolsch? Pilsner? I think a light bodied, crisp character, so as not to overpower the bacon flavor. Or am I just dreaming, and this is an addle-brained pursuit?
What do you think?

[quote=“The Mad Zymurgist”]Denny, I look at that picture, and I can almost taste it. I think gourmet mushrooms go great with beer. In fact, I would serve a Wee Heavy with a mushroom-drenched steak any day, and call it a success. Looks like a wonderful use of a secondary.
Maybe you could help me brainstorm…I’m trying to formulate a bacon-flavored beer. I have a bead on bacon syrup which could be added post-fermentation so as not to lose it’s character, but what beer would be best? Kolsch? Pilsner? I think a light bodied, crisp character, so as not to overpower the bacon flavor. Or am I just dreaming, and this is an addle-brained pursuit?
What do you think?[/quote]

I think I’d go the other direction. The smoke will add a certain harshness to the beer, so I think you’d be better off with a maltier style. The world’s most popular smoked beer, Schlenkerla, is a smoked maerzen. Maybe some like a Northern brown. I think you want medium body, a reasonably malty flbor and low hopping to not conflict.

[quote=“The Mad Zymurgist”]
Maybe you could help me brainstorm…I’m trying to formulate a bacon-flavored beer. I have a bead on bacon syrup which could be added post-fermentation so as not to lose it’s character, but what beer would be best? Kolsch? Pilsner? I think a light bodied, crisp character, so as not to overpower the bacon flavor. Or am I just dreaming, and this is an addle-brained pursuit?
What do you think?[/quote]

I think I’d go the other direction. The smoke will add a certain harshness to the beer, so I think you’d be better off with a maltier style. The world’s most popular smoked beer, Schlenkerla, is a smoked maerzen. Maybe some like a Northern brown. I think you want medium body, a reasonably malty flbor and low hopping to not conflict.[/quote]

Northern brown ? You betcha. :smiley:
There was a bacon brown at the NAOBF that was pretty popular.

I made a Gratzer this summer that turned out quite well. Gratzer is made with 100% smoked wheat malt (oak smoke works best, apparently) and has a fairly high hopping rate with European hops. It does not sound like it would work, but somehow it does. The oak smoke flavor reminds me of some types of sausage, but the beer is more like a pils than you would expect, and a lot more drinkable than it sounds. Weyerman is producing an oak smoked wheat malt now, or it is pretty easy to smoke 10-20 lbs if you have access to a smoker that will allow cold smoking. Worth a try if you like smoked beers.

[quote=“Denny”]What I consider to be the finest homebrew wee heavy recipe ever is here…

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html

It uses pale malt and only 1 oz. of roasted barley for color. Use Golden Promise malt and ferment at about 55F and you’ll be in heaven![/quote]

With a half-gallon starter @ 55F (1.080 OG), how long – rough estimate – will the primary/secondary take?

[quote=“larsenj”][quote=“Denny”]What I consider to be the finest homebrew wee heavy recipe ever is here…

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html

It uses pale malt and only 1 oz. of roasted barley for color. Use Golden Promise malt and ferment at about 55F and you’ll be in heaven![/quote]

With a half-gallon starter @ 55F (1.080 OG), how long – rough estimate – will the primary/secondary take?[/quote]

The one I made last fall was about finished fermenting after 2 weeks in primary, but I left it for another week, plus a month cold aging in secondary. No problems bottle conditioning, and the bottles I still have are really good now.

[quote=“DVMKurmes”][quote=“larsenj”][quote=“Denny”]What I consider to be the finest homebrew wee heavy recipe ever is here…

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html

It uses pale malt and only 1 oz. of roasted barley for color. Use Golden Promise malt and ferment at about 55F and you’ll be in heaven![/quote]

With a half-gallon starter @ 55F (1.080 OG), how long – rough estimate – will the primary/secondary take?[/quote]

The one I made last fall was about finished fermenting after 2 weeks in primary, but I left it for another week, plus a month cold aging in secondary. No problems bottle conditioning, and the bottles I still have are really good now.[/quote]
I’ve gone 3 weeks primary and 2-3 months in secondary with this recipe.

This thread is making me thirsty, I need to brew this again. So simple, but sooo good.

Sounds like German Beer heaven, DVMKurmes

The medium brown was my first inclination, but I let a coworker talk me into a lighter body (in theory only, still haven’t brewed it). I’ll give this a shot eventually, and keep you guys updated.
Thanks for all the help!

[quote=“larsenj”][quote=“Denny”]What I consider to be the finest homebrew wee heavy recipe ever is here…

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html

It uses pale malt and only 1 oz. of roasted barley for color. Use Golden Promise malt and ferment at about 55F and you’ll be in heaven![/quote]

With a half-gallon starter @ 55F (1.080 OG), how long – rough estimate – will the primary/secondary take?[/quote]

Without checking my notes, I’d say 3ish weeks for primary, maybe a couple weeks for cold secondary (assuming you need to do a secondary at all. The only reason I did one is so that I could add the mushrooms). The beer really benefits from at least a couple months of cold conditioning.

How much should I boil down for a three gallon batch? I’m thinking two quarts and most of a pint.

How much should I boil down for a three gallon batch? I’m thinking two quarts and most of a pint.[/quote]

Just use the same boildown ratio as for a 5 gal. batch.

[quote=“Rookie L A”]

How much should I boil down for a three gallon batch? I’m thinking two quarts and most of a pint.[/quote]

Just use the same boildown ratio as for a 5 gal. batch.[/quote]

If the math off the top of my head is right that would be about 77 ounces.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com