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Strong Scotch Ale

August 13, 2011

The kegs are empty, there aren’t many bottles left, and no one will be visiting for 4 more days or so, so it’s high time to get some brewing going.  With a revitalized appreciation for Scottish – and the added benefit of an empty keezer to control temperature – I’m going to brew a slightly modified version of the last Wee Heavy’s I’ve brewed.  While generally good, they haven’t quite hit the mark for me, so I visited a few recipes (many related to cloning 3 Floyds’ Robert the Bruce) and bumped up the Honey Malt ever so slightly and replaced CaraPils with Melanoidin Malt.

Recipe

BeerSmith Recipe / Brewsheet

Brew Day (8/21/2011)

  • MLT manifold broke apart when I was stirring.  Ended up transferring most of mash to 5-gallon cooler and back a couple times, so I’m a little concerned with hot-side aeration.
  • Gravities much lower than anticipated.  Sure would be nice to find out what the deal is with this.
  • Ran off quite a bit.  Probably pushing it a little.
  • Chilled to ~68 F from hose water.  Put in 55 F keezer overnight and pitched at ~56 F the next morning.
  • Adjusted temp up to 58 F immediately after pitching and up to 60 about 8 hours later.

Fermentation

Despite trying to shake the heck out of the Better Bottle after re-pitching the yeast to break up the clumps of yeast, after 2 days it still wasn’t showing much sign of life.  I picked up another packet at the brew shop, made up a quick 1.4 L starter and pitched it after ~8 hours on the stir plate (propagated at 60 F).  The next morning, things were chugging along well, despite the 60 F temperature.

The initially high fill combined with the 1.4 L of starter wort put the volume very high (beyond the top strap-like protrusion) so I put together a quick blow-off tube, just to handle the inevitable overflow.  It was quickly proven necessary.  I just hope I don’t lose too much good stuff.

After 1 week:  Hydrometer broke (I have no idea how, it was in the wine thief as always), so I measured with Refractometer and got 8 Brix.  This is supposedly equivalent to 1.016 SG (plugging in 1.057 as OG).

Impressions

I drank a couple pints of this during my Hefeweizen brew day.  I drank 2 instead of 1 because it just seemed to hit the spot.  I don’t think it has the same type of flavor profile as Robert the Bruce or Sticky McDoogle, though.  More work will have to be done to make it a good scotch ale (as opposed to just a good ale).  It would have been more than 2, but I was feeling it a little by then and didn’t think it wise to drink more when messing with fire.

I’d been keeping it at 45 F in the keezer until the Hefeweizen brew day and it was tasting pretty good, though I think I would have liked it a bit cooler (sacrilege as it may be).  After that brew day, I had the keezer keeping the hefe temp steady in the 65 range, so the scotch came up to keezer temp at 62.  It was still good, though.  Being in the English vein, it serves well warm.

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From → Ale, All-Grain, Brews

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