Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Postby capm skeezix » Mon Jan 27, 2003 7:29 pm

I need a recipe for Heather Ale, anybody ever brew this one?
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Search the Database

Postby lathe » Mon Jan 27, 2003 7:54 pm

I did a search of the database here at BeerTools and came across a few...

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Heather Blossoms

Postby Azorean Brewer » Thu Jan 30, 2003 2:24 am

I read somewhere that Heather Ale uses 1 pound heather blossoms, what ever they are

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For what volume of beer?

Postby Gravity Thrills » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:37 am

That can't be right for a 5 gallon batch of HB, can it AZ?? I have seen homebrew recipes calling for a couple of cups of fresh heather, or a few ounces of dried. Where is Froach with the answers to all these questions? :-)

If I was trying to emulate an historic Scottish heather ale (The one like Robert Burns immortalized in the poem about the secret recipe that died with the King of the Picts), you would probably want to leave out hops entirely and use exclusively heather good quantity and with several additions. If I just wanted a touch of heather in the flavor and aroma I would probably try a late addition of just a couple ounces.

This style has been on my "to brew" list for a long time, and I need to try it.

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fraoch by Fraoch

Postby Fraoch » Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:10 am

I made a "fraoch" once and it was based on a recipe that called for a "couple of cups" of heather flowers if you can get them.I used 2 ounces for a 5 gal batch and steeped them post boil.No point in boiling as they have no bitterness value worth having just a floral mouth taste and boquet.I was quite happy with the results, if that is possible as im always tweeking the amount of hops etc in my recipes( rainbow chaser).If i did it again i would add some Goldings for a touch of bitterness( something with a very round taste) just to give some depth to the beer.In my opinion, if you wanted to make a really authentic "heather Ale" then i would be looking at making an oat stout or porter beer with the heather addition ( Scotland do not grow wheat but barley and oats, which is one of the reasons why the English thought them barbarians).Remember that clear beer is very new and that malting would have been done around the village and it is also reasonable to assume that they would malt for both " poteen or uisgebatha " and beer at the same time, in which case they would have used a bit of crystal malt.Of course, none of this is written and a lot of assumption prevails but humans being what they are, they will always look for short cuts and do 2 jobs at once if possible.Malting was also VERY time consuming and arduous for the maltster so they would have "bulked" with another fermentable,im guessing oats or unmalted barley as it really would have been in abundance, maybe some honey, but that would be like gold to the Picts.( Heather honey)
Bottom line is that there is no "true" recipe for "fraoch" as each brewhouse/village would have had their own recipe which is what eventually gave rise to the British breweries of today,best family brew etc.The recipe died with the last 2 remaining Picts rather than hand it over to a tyranical victor. But chances are that it would have been high gravity,smokey,cloudy,dark and floral due to the heather flowers.For an EVEN more authentic feel to the beer , you could get your wife to make it, after all, it was once just another household chore.

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Thanks Fraoch

Postby dartedplus » Fri Jan 31, 2003 7:30 am

Thanks Fraoch, I love history lessons...

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