WLP028 - Edinburgh

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WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby jeffjm » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:28 am

What temperatures does everyone ferment 028 at? White Labs says it doesn't ferment well below 62F, but I have heard that Scottish ales should be fermented in the mid-high 50s. Wyeast says 1728 (which is supposed to be the same strain) can go down to 55F.

I've also heard that this strain starts producing smoky phenols at cooler temps - has anyone found this to be true?
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby seymour » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:48 pm

I've fermented it cool too. Like most living beings, metabolism slows down in the cold, but it keeps churning away slowly but surely.

Yes, it does produce a subtle smoky (or I perceive as a sorta black peppery phenol) essence which pairs beautifully with true-to-style earthy hops.

This McEwans Scottish strain is one of the best, most adaptable, most attenuative, most nuanced ale yeasts in the world. I highly recommend it. You may already know the legendary Duvel Belgian yeast was originally isolated from a bottle of McEwans Scotch ale too, which supports your descriptions and mine.

Cheers!
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby JoeHPhil » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:09 am

I'm fermenting right now at 62 and getting a slow chugging (brewed on Sunday). I am interested on when those smoky phenols appear temperature-wise. New to me that it presents at a colder temperature. I actually targetted 65, but the local temperature took a quick swing and made the adjustment for me.

Anyone know? Also perhaps what phase of the fermentation produces them - I want a moderate amount, only as a layer versus a perception of peat.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby seymour » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:33 pm

With regards to it's subtly smoky/peppery nature, I'd never actually heard that's emphasized at cool temperatures only. I just think that's it's basic nature. The warmer it ferments, the more fruity esters appear as well, but I bet the smoky/peppery nuance is still buried underneath then too.

I think you're going to get exactly what you're hoping for.

Again, think of Duvel. It's just a little peppery no matter what, right?
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby jeffjm » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:57 am

I pitched an 80-shilling yesterday afternoon, a little cooler than I'd intended, at 52F. This morning there was a low head of krausen completely covering the beer. It's at 57 now. So far it doesn't seem to mind the cold too much. I'm planning on leaving it at 58 for the bulk of fermentation and raising into the mid-60s towards the end.

I'm also starting to wonder if the whole 'smoky' thing came from people who scorched their wort a bit doing kettle caramelization of the first runnings. I got a whiff of smoke from someplace as I was reducing the early runoff and stopped the flame immediately. The wort tasted great - like the inside of a Heath bar - but I bet if I'd gone much further I would have burnt it.

EDIT: I should have mentioned I pitched a huge amount of yeast. Because I knew I was going to keep it very cool, I calculated my pitch rate as a hybrid instead of an ale. Then just to be safe, I increased the size of the recommended starter about 20%. Possibly the larger pitch will actually suppress phenol production.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:07 pm

Last time I used that yeast was on a Wee Heavy. I was going to ferment in the mid 50s, but was advised against it.

I ended up doing it at 60º. I entered it at both HHHC and Microfest. Both times, the judges (one of whom recommended a ferm temp around 64º) told me I should have fermented at a lower temp. I'm guessing that even though I pitched the "correct" amount of yeast, it wasn't actually enough because of the lower temperature and so it became too boozy as a result of the yeast being strained. Next time I do this, I'll definitely increase the cell count considerably.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby seymour » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:40 am

turkeyjerky214 wrote:Last time I used that yeast was on a Wee Heavy. I was going to ferment in the mid 50s, but was advised against it.

I ended up doing it at 60º. I entered it at both HHHC and Microfest. Both times, the judges (one of whom recommended a ferm temp around 64º) told me I should have fermented at a lower temp. I'm guessing that even though I pitched the "correct" amount of yeast, it wasn't actually enough because of the lower temperature and so it became too boozy as a result of the yeast being strained. Next time I do this, I'll definitely increase the cell count considerably.

That's interesting, thanks for sharing. Increasing the health and size of yeast population are always good ideas for solving fermentation problems, but I gotta say this temperature control obsession is misplaced when it comes to Scotch ales (and virtually all UK styles, in my opinion.) If someone always prefers a clean, neutral fermentation, that's perfectly fine, but that doesn't make such beers more "true-to-style." This is another good example of modern competition guidelines taking on a life of their own.

The Scotch ale yeast everyone uses--Wyeast 1728 and White Labs WLP028--are both derived from the McEwans brewery production strain. McEwans ferments in the 68-72°F range, and by all accounts always has. McEwans ales are estery, they are boozy, and they are delicious. If you've never tasted any, their flagship export version (8% abv, Ratebeer 93!) is in affordable 4-packs at Wine & Cheese Place, getcha some!

I'm not trying to step on any toes. Any homebrewers with the means for meticulous temperature control, who enjoy doing that and enjoy the resulting beers...just keep doing what you're doing, obviously. It's fun to investigate the different outcomes at various temperatures too, I get it. I just have to roll my eyes sometimes at the arrogant/incorrect things beer judges write. I feel like writing back "if you only enjoy bland, homogenized, lack-of-personality beer styles, why don't you switch to judging those instead? Give up your seat to another judge who understands and enjoys this style! If you don't have any judges who know what they're talking about, maybe you don't need to be taking people's beer and money to run a competition!" But I digress...


Just to stir the pot a little more: according to UK beer scholars Ron Pattinson, Martyn Cornell, Garrett Oliver, etc, actual Scottish brewers never used peat smoked malt nor did they ever kettle caramelize their separate first running to increase the toffee notes. Both of those imaginary style guidelines are ahistorical Americanizations (I know some of these issues have been revised, but plenty of judges still insist on these errors.) There is also recent evidence Scottish brewers loved hops and used lots of 'em. For a time Edinburgh breweries were leading producers of IPA, and their home-sold brews contained even more hops than the export version! Brew your favourite malty double IPA recipe and pitch this McEwans yeast, you'll see why it was so popular, I guarantee.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby seymour » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:56 am

jeffjm wrote:I pitched an 80-shilling yesterday afternoon...

By the way, would you mind sharing any recipe details?

At Schlafly's Hop In The City a couple weekends ago, their Imperial Stouts and Double IPAs were even tastier than usual, but in my opinion the best beer of the day was the unassuming, malt-forward Eighty Shilling. Complex but approachable, a perfect session beer. There was a cask-conditioned version too, and no lines for either one!

I hope yours turns out great too. Cheers!
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby jeffjm » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:40 am

For five gallons:

South County water with a couple grams of calcium chloride added
8 1/4 lbs Fawcett Maris Otter (one of these days I should try using Golden Promise instead, but I've always got Maris Otter on hand)
1 lb Fawcett Light Crystal I
8 oz Weyermann Munich II
4 oz Fawcett Dark Crystal I
4 oz Crisp pale chocolate
42.00 g Fuggles (4.2% AA, estimated 20.5 IBUs via Tinseth)
WLP028
OG 1054
FG - we'll find out

Mash at 158 for an hour. Boil the #$(* out of the first gallon of runoff. Then run off the remainder and boil 60 minutes. I kept it at 58 through the weekend, raised to 60 on Monday, and 62 today.

Was the 80-shilling at Hop in the City the Scotch Ale they release at Burns Night? I've always really enjoyed that beer.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby seymour » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:53 am

jeffjm wrote:For five gallons:

South County water with a couple grams of calcium chloride added
8 1/4 lbs Fawcett Maris Otter (one of these days I should try using Golden Promise instead, but I've always got Maris Otter on hand)
1 lb Fawcett Light Crystal I
8 oz Weyermann Munich II
4 oz Fawcett Dark Crystal I
4 oz Crisp pale chocolate
42.00 g Fuggles (4.2% AA, estimated 20.5 IBUs via Tinseth)
WLP028
OG 1054
FG - we'll find out

Mash at 158 for an hour. Boil the #$(* out of the first gallon of runoff. Then run off the remainder and boil 60 minutes. I kept it at 58 through the weekend, raised to 60 on Monday, and 62 today...

Looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

jeffjm wrote:...Was the 80-shilling at Hop in the City the Scotch Ale they release at Burns Night? I've always really enjoyed that beer.

I don't think it's the same.

They make their "Scotch Ale" (ABV: 6.2%, IBU: 27) fairly often. They don't use Scottish yeast, for what it's worth.
http://schlafly.com/beers/styles/scotch-ale/
http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/schlafly-scotch-ale/7103/

Their "Eighty Shilling" aka "80 Shilling" aka "80/-" (ABV: 4.0%, IBU: 21) is much rarer, but is currently on cask at the Tap Room. I don't know anything about the recipe, but it's really, really good.
http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/schlafly-8 ... hty/10469/

Interestingly, your stats should land in between those two Schlafly brews.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby siwelwerd » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:13 pm

seymour wrote:The Scotch ale yeast everyone uses--Wyeast 1728 and White Labs WLP028--are both derived from the McEwans brewery production strain. McEwans ferments in the 68-72°F range, and by all accounts always has. McEwans ales are estery, they are boozy, and they are delicious


It's usually difficult to replicate the results of professional brewers at the exact same temperature. In addition to the fact that they tend to oxygenate more than most homebrewers, the pressure from the tall fermenters supresses ester production. I hear this a lot with Belgians: "But XXX brewery ferments at this temperature, so why did my beer turn out a hot fusely mess?"
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby rsc3da » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:34 am

The last strong scotch ale I made I fermented at ambient basement temps, it was December 2012. I brought the beer to the scotch ale night earlier this year. It can get down to about 60F in my basement in the dead of winter so it was probably close to that or a little higher. Keep in mind that the fermentation puts off heat too so it was probably close to the mid 60's during the primary fermentation. Yes that strain is known to produce a little bit of smoky phenolic and I often get it in scotch ales I taste when judging because this strain seems to be used almost exclusively to make these types of beers. I used WY1728 though which is supposed to be the same but I am sure there are subtle differences. You want to pitch enough yeast as if it were a hybrid ale, and if your gravity is high enough then I'd consider aerating the wort more than once. Also lager or give the beer at least a period of cold conditioning, you want the beer to be very lager like. I just put mine in the garage in January after transfering to secondary, and let is sit there all month. At that point you can consider filtering the beer with gelatin which I have tried before with good results, but it's not really necessary if you have good brewhouse techniques. Make sure you get good cold and hot breaks, whirlpool your wort after chilling, and have a good amt of calcium in the wort too.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby jeffjm » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:22 pm

I'm happy with the way my beer turned out. rsc3da was right - it's been in the keg three weeks or more now and it keeps getting smoother as it ages. I'll have a growler of it at the picnic.
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Re: WLP028 - Edinburgh

Postby seymour » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:48 am

Bump.

For anyone who wants to taste an excellent commercial example of this, the upcoming The Civil Life 70 Shilling used the Wyeast version of the McEwans Scottish ale yeast.

I don't know what temperature(s) they fermented at, but I assume it was pretty low, because this beer has that faint black pepper note and super-smooth mouthfeel jeffjm has been describing. Very tasty table beer, getcha some.
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