Archive for May, 2013

Today was one for the wife. She is a big fan of Scottish-style ales, so I created this recipe more for her than me. Brewing hint: Keep the wife happy! I’m hoping to enter this one in a competition or two, and I’ll probably sample a few, but most of them will go to her.

This recipe is a direct ripoff of Jamil’s NHC winning recipe, and is technically a Scottish Export 80 or Scottish Heavy. No jokes there, please.

The name comes from one of the most popular Scottish folk songs, and is my first “song specific” name. I took the “love song” interpretation, where Bonnie is his love (not the exiled prince).

Opus 18: My Bonnie’s Scottish Heavy
Recipe Opus 18: My Bonnie’s Scottish Heavy Style Scottish Export 80/-
Brewer Bandmaster’s Brewing Batch 3.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.054 OG Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 20 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.2%
Recipe Color 18° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.1%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.10 lb Chocolate Malt (British) – [Chocolate, Coffee, Nutty, Toasted] Grain Mashed
0.20 lb Crystal 120L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Crystal 40L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
4.50 lb Golden Promise Malt (British) – [Mellow, Sweet, Clean] Scottish and English ales Grain Mashed
0.25 lb Honey Malt (Canadian) Grain Mashed
0.25 lb Munich (German) – [Malty, Sweet – Redish Color] Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) – Aroma and dry hop intensely resiny, candy-like, sweet, slightly floral and spicy Pellet 60 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast American: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS

Recipe Notes

BiaB Mash at 158 for 90 minutes, ferment at 65. Irish moss added at 10 minutes.

Batch Notes

I mashed in 5.25 gallons of water, dough in at 160, for 90 minutes. I wanted to start a bit high, since I have had issues maintaining temps. Preboil gravity 1.035. OG 1.044, a bit low, but still in style. Yeast pitched at 70.


Just a quick note to say I bottled up Opus 17. Used about 3 oz (by eyeball measurement) of the strawberry extract and 2.9 oz of corn sugar. I got exactly 36 bottles, including the 4 trub bottles. Since I let it go so long, it was very clear. The FG ended up at 1.010, almost spot on. The sample was also very tasty! This one will be a great, easy drinker!

Contest: RiverRoots Brewoff

Posted: May 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, I entered my first competition, the RiverRoots Brew-off in Madison, IN. I discovered this contest on their website, after I bought my tickets to the event. The contest limited styles to only American ales, category 10, taking only Pale ales, Amber ales, and brown ales. I happened to have both in my fridge, so with no entry fee, I drove them up there to enter.

Results were announced yesterday. My brown ale, the Earle Brown Ale, I knew was very young. It was still conditioning when I entered it, and was not brewed to compete. I put it together based on this NHC award winning recipe, combined with Jamil’s brown. I also wanted something my wife would enjoy, so I kept the hop bill in check.

This brown finished in third, scoring 29.7. Judges thought it was very drinkable, but not to style. It needed a bigger, more complex malt aroma, flavor, and finish. One judge stated these were reversed for the style. I’m not sure, but I believe they will come through with time and conditioning. I’m tempted to enter it again in a few months to see how it develops.

My other entry, the WC Handy Pale Ale, has had lots of time to condition. It was a bit over hopped, but I figured the time let the hops mellow a bit. It must have worked because this beer won the category and was named Best in Show, scoring a 40! Judges liked the aggressive hops, huge aroma, and malt balance. One noted it was almost an IPA, which it probably was, but it scored very well with flavor. Mostly flawless technique was noted too.

The funny thing with this beer is that it was brewed before I had fermentation control. It fermented on a nice cool week in a closet in my old house. Just happen to be perfect conditions that week. Moreover, I intended to use a different hop bill, as seen in Movement 2, but the LBHS was out of warrior. I made a last minute substitution, and this is better than that version!

Overall, I’m obviously excited by the results. Even had things not gone well, I think the experience of competing would have been positive. I didn’t get much help to take to my brewing, except to continue doing what I am doing, and to keep learning as I try new flavors. But, I can now claim “Award Winning Brewer” as one of my accomplishments in this hobby. Very cool, indeed!

It’s brew day! This batch is an all-grain version of my first extract batch, Opus 5: il Prete Rosso. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to do a bigger batch, and try it all grain. Most everything else is the same.

Strawberry Blonde AG
Recipe Strawberry Blonde AG Style Blonde Ale
Brewer Bandmaster’s Brewing Batch 4.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.043 OG Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 28 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.0%
Recipe Color 4° SRM Alcohol by Weight 3.9%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.50 lb Crystal 10L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
7.00 lb Two-row (US) Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
1.00 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) Pellet 5 minutes
1.00 oz Willamette Pellet 45 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Strawberry Extract Flavor 4 oz.
1.00 unit Nottingham Dry Yeast Yeast

Batch Notes

Mashed for 60 minutes at 154, using 6.5 G of water. SG 1.038 Pre-boil. OG is 1.042. Chilled to 68*, pitched rehydrated yeast.


I’m surprised I haven’t posted a tasting update on this beer, perhaps because I was too busy drinking this one! It’s quick, easy, and very, very tasty! It has a fantastic grapefruit flavor up front, and sharp bitter bite that lasts. It has a decent body, too, and is one of my best beers to date. I find myself really wanting more after I have one!