Monday, October 28, 2002

Scotch Ale

10/28/02 - We're bottling our Scotch Ale today and I'm real pleased not only with how it turned out, but with brewing a beer associated with a country that developed a Wee Heavy. I honestly don't have a lot of experience with this style of beer, but I've always wanted to brew a smoked beer and figured this was my chance. When I worked at the Twenty Tank Brewery in San Francisco, we brewed a smoked porter that tasted like a barbecue gone horribly wrong, so I shied away from using peat smoked malt in favor of a German hardwood rauch malt. At 1% of the malt bill this added a real subtle smoky / whiskey character, especially in the nose, which nicely accentuates the 7% alcohol.

The flavor is malty and sweet with a hint of root beer which then tails into a lingering smokiness. The color is deep amber, almost brown, which I lightened up in the second batch, now fermenting. The only other difference between the two batches is the addition of the chocolate malt into the lauter tub during the sparge instead of in the mash. The goal of this was to add the color of this malt without the astringency.

Overall the brewing of this beer was pretty straight forward. We mashed in at 154°F to keep some residual sweetness in the beer (without having to resort to creative means like, say, adding Nutra Sweet®) The hopping was done in a single addition of Willamette hops at the beginning of the boil. We fermented at 65°F to keep the ester and alcohol character low. I'm proud to offer it to ya'll and hope you find it pleasurable. (back to top of page)

2 Row Pilsner
10° L Munich
35° L Carastan
Chocolate Malt
Smoked Malt

OG 18° P
TG 3.9° P

Willamette Bittering
Tettnanger Aroma