Scotch Ale

Maple moon

I’m in NY on my annual visit with Irish Mike. We have not brewed a beer on any of my previous visits but decided to give it a go. While in Syracuse we stopped at the brew store. They had peated malt, so we’re brewing a scotch ale.

Crushed grains

Crushed grains for the scotch ale

Grain bill

  • 10 pounds Marris Otter
  • 1/2 pound peated
  • 1/2 pound crystal 90
  • 3 ounces roasted


  • 2 ounces Fuggle 4.2% alpha, pellets


  • White Labs Edinburgh ale yeast, WLP028

Brew notes

Mike stirring the mash

Irish Mike stirring the mash at the cabin in NY.

Mike’s got a propane burner and brews outdoors. I need to do the same. He raised the temp of the mash water and overshot the temp quickly. I really like the speed the burner works, much faster than the stove at home.

Strike temp 130 F at 12:15 PM. Mash in at 12:20 PM, 124 F. Mash is a little loose. Mike considered adding a pound of 2 Row to thicken it, but it’s in good shape.

30 minute protein rest. Raise temp to 150 F, 1:10 PM. Hold for 2 hours.

Go drink beer at Nail Creek Pub in Utica. 2 hours turns to 3 hours.

Return from lunch and mash out at 170 F. Collected wort and went to hockey game.

sparging in the kitchen

sparging in the kitchen

Colgate wins with a big third period comeback. After game, start the boil, 9:00 PM. Cold outside and it took a long time to reach hard boil.

Midnight toss in the hops. Boil for an hour. Shut off heat and set kettle in the snow.

Pitched yeast at 3 AM or something stupid and had a good bubble by the time I left for STL.

3 thoughts on “Scotch Ale

  1. Last known gravity was around 1.070, but late hours and heavy drinking resulted in us not getting a gravity reading before pitching the yeast. That is the sign of a good brewing session…

  2. Racked this beer today. Gravity is right at 1.020. A pretty good drop though we dont know where it started… oops. The carboy was a mess. For some reason, yeasts go nuts in scotch ales. I dont know if it is the yeast strains used or something in the malt, but they are definitely not wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous yeasties. Sample tasted good. It seemed thin and lacking a bit of body, but to be fair, I had just tasted the Owl of the Birch stout, so I dont think I was objective on it. I think it will be a fine ale.

  3. Kegged today. Final gravity was just about 1.020. Too bad the drunken brewers dont know the starting gravity. Tastes pretty good. We certainly did not skimp on the peat. But ahhhhh, the peat…

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