Thistle Hunter 90 Shilling Scotch Ale

photo-17

Brewed 7/26/2015 AD

O.g. 1.070

A true scotch ale, bittered with fresh thistle leaves rather than hops. I did this as an experiment last summer (have not yet posted recipe) and it turned out pretty nice, though I went real easy on the thistle. This time I am doubling the thistle. It gives almost a sweet bitterness with no aftertaste. 

I had intended to use leaves from a very large, noble thistle plant in front of my garage, but when I went to harvest the leaves, the underside of all of them was covered with what looked to be ant larvae, and there were ants crawling all over it. All the leaves were like this. I considered, of course, adding some protein to the brew, but decided that I would hunt out a cleaner plant. 

  • 11 lbs Marris Otter
  • 3 oz roasted barley
  • 1/2 pound 90 L crystal

Yeast:

White labs Edinburgh Ale. Starter made the previous day.

Bittering:

2 oz fresh thistle leaves

Mash Notes

Single infusion

  • Strike at about 162F
  • 2 hour sacrification at 158 F
  • at one hour, it had dropped to about 156F. I raised back to 160 for another hour

Sparge Notes

  • Sparged with 4 gallons. I was looking for gravity more than volume, so no point in getting the thin runnings that I would have to boil off all night.

Brew Notes

  • 2 hour boil
  • 2 oz fresh thistle leaves added for 1.5 hrs.
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