The trip to Islay and Edinburgh inspired a Scottish Ale. It’s been a long time since I brewed one, perhaps back to the Boulder days. Charles brewed one last year that he found lacking. Irish Mike has brewed several, one while I was in NY, but that brew was too peated and the others I haven’t been involved with. I remember drinking a wee heavy while mashing in for the first time with Irish Mike. I remember it being strong, almost overwhelming. My palate was not very developed then. We’ll start with that recipe and start tweaking from there. However, I’m thinking this beer will be an 80/- rather than a wee heavy.
The Scottish Ales are all about the malt, and simple malt at that. We’ll use Maris Otter for the base malt because we have it. We’ll use a little roasted for color, a little crystal in the 120 L range, and a little peated to remind us of Islay. The plan is to use traditional hops, Fuggles, and just enough to balance the beer. I don’t often use White Labs yeast, but I found their Edinburgh strain and we’ll use it.
- Brewers- Kyle, Dickie, Charles, Tom
- Location- Farm
- Brew date- Oct 18, 2014
- Batch volume-15 gallons
- Liquor- 25 gallons of St. Louis County tap water
- 29 1/2# Maris Otter
- 1/2# Peated UK
- 1/2# 120L Crystal US
- 1/2# 500L Roasted Barely UK
Hop- 4 ounces 5.1% US Fuggles for 60′
Yeast- White Labs Edinburgh Scottish Ale WLP028
- Mash in 10g liquor at 155F hold for 90’
- Add 5g 170F+ hold for 15’
- Sparge 10g at 170F
- Collect 18g in boil kettle
- OG = 1.060
- FG = 1.016
- ABV = 5.7%
- IBU = 20
- Strike temp- 168F
- 10:21 AM Mash temp- 150F (lower than expected)
- 10:51 add 3 g liquor to bump temp, not much bump
- 11:00 add 2 g of 200F to bump temp, not much bump
- Noon- temp has stayed pretty steady at about 150F +/- a couple degrees
- 12:05- 15 minute recirc
- 12:20- runoff
- 12:35- sparge with 10 gallons
- 12:55- end sparge
- 1:30- end lauter
- Collect almost 20 g of wort, beautiful brown color
- Pre-boil gravity from Charles’ refractometer = 1.060
- 1 hour boil with 4 ounce 5.1 AAU US Fuggles
- Cooling coil with 15 minutes left
Starting Gravity = 1.056 with Dickie’s hydrometer and 1.066 on Charles’ refractometer. Sample was spot on, good color and aroma. Collected about 18 gallons into big primary. Pitched yeast about 5 PM. A pretty smooth brew day. Everything went according to plan with the exception of a low mash temp by about 5 degrees.
We had a strong bubble in the big fermenter before going to bed. Looks like it’s gonna make.
November 2- Racked beer. Gravity = 1.010, for an ABV of 6%, higher if we use the refractometer numbers. The sample was good, with residual sweetness and light in body. The color was an appropriate caramel brown. While the sample was good, it wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be. I guess I was looking for more body and a richer beer. It was a little too clean and simple, I think. We’ll see how it develops. I saved a portion of the yeast for possible future brews.
Probably favorite beer in 2014. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories of brewing and drinking with Irish Mike as well as the trip to Scotland last summer. It was perhaps a bit strange with the mix of malt and mid peat, but I loved it with a whisky in my other hand. While many liked it, this was a wonderfully personal beer.