View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Scottish fermentation temperatures

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06-08-2010, 07:29
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I don't want to start an argument. Really. I really don't. Just present a few facts and leave the rest to you? Don't complain if the information presented isn't what you think it should be. I'm just the messenger here.

Our today theme: were Scottish beers fermented colder than English ones?

To start, a random set of quotes. They were dead easy to find. An indication of how often this claim is made.

"Scotch ales are fermented at much lower temperatures (50-60F) than traditional ales, and the fermentation can take several weeks to complete as a result."

"Scottish ales were usually fermented slow and cold (like 50-55 degrees for weeks) compared to their English counter parts (65-70 degrees for days). The result was less attenuation and cleaner flavor."

"Historical research informs us that classic Scotch and Scottish ales require cool fermentation and low attenuation."

"The natural selection for the yeast in Scotland favors yeast which will ferment well in the cold temperatures there."

"The Scots brewing tradition is one of cool fermentations (’cause, uh, it’s cold in Scotland), and the yeasts used tend to like a long, slow ferment, at near lager temperatures."

"Long, cool fermentation leads to clean malt character (which may include some faint peat or smoke character)."
Now for some historical research.

This is part of a 1913 brewing record from William Younger, of Edinburgh. It records the fermentation of several brews:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFrscUdvi-I/AAAAAAAAHTY/NugUXTOgE6g/s640/Younger_1913_fermentation_record.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFrscUdvi-I/AAAAAAAAHTY/NugUXTOgE6g/s1600/Younger_1913_fermentation_record.jpg)

Here's a Fuller's one from 1914:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFrstmcjjzI/AAAAAAAAHTg/GmZLQRp4tWg/s640/Fullers_1914_fermentation_record.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFrstmcjjzI/AAAAAAAAHTg/GmZLQRp4tWg/s1600/Fullers_1914_fermentation_record.jpg)

You're probably as lazy as me, so I'll extract the relevant information for you.

The Younger's beers were pitched at:

59.5, 59.5, 59.5, 60, 60, 61.5º F

None of the fermentations took more than 4 days. The maximum temperatures the fermenting worts reched were:

69, 68.5, 67.5, 70, 69º F

Fuller's pitching temperatures:

60, 59.5º F

The fermentations took six days. The maximum temperatures were:

67, 67º Fhttps://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5445569787371915337-6803244201119801340?l=barclayperkins.blogspot.com

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