Old ales are a style of beer that is little known by today’s standards but have a fantastic historical lineage. During the 18th century, Old ales were known as stale or stock ales and were blended to the customer’s preference with Mild ale. The term stale or stock comes from the extended maturation that the beer undertook in huge wooden vats in the brewery usually picking up various interesting flavours from wild yeast, lactobacilli and tannins in the wood.
Old ales can vary in alcohol percentage from as little as 4.5% to a hefty 9% and vary in colour from a pale chocolate to the deepest mahogany almost black. What this style of beer does have in common though is a magnificent depth of flavour and aroma that fosters a deep contemplation while sipping it on a long summer’s night.
With this impressive lineage in mind we’ve created an interesting old ale marrying up wood aging with fruit infusion for even more complexity.
Here’s the recipe and process to do it yourself;
OG: 1.070 Approx ABV: 7.8% IBU’s: 40
INGREDIENTS (FOR 20L BATCH):
5.51kg Marris Otter Malt
0.27kg Caramunich II
HOPS AND OTHERS:
21g Herkules Bittering
50g Crystal Aroma and Flavour
900g Diced Morello Cherries
100g Sherry Barrel Chips
Mangrove Jacks British ale yeast or White Labs WLP002
Add 16.74L of water at 74.0C
Saccharification rest Rest at 64C for 60 minutes
Mash out at 75C for 10 minutes
Boil for 60 mins, hopping as directed below. Whirlpool and allow to settle for 15mins then
chill wort to 20C.
21g Herkules pellets (60 mins)
50g Crystal (flameout, 30 min hopstand)
FERMENTATION AND FINISHING:
Transfer to fermenter, aerate wort, pitch yeast and ferment at ale temperatures (15-23C).
Once fermentation is complete heat cherries to 80C, mash them and add to second fermenter.
Transfer beer on top of cherries, add oak chips.
After 1 week, bottle or keg.
Download recipe as PDF – Sour Cherry, sherry barrelled oat old ale