Scootin’ Scottie Ale
Have you ever seen a Scottie dog scoot? Pretty funny… or gross, depending on if you’re the owner of the carpet. Anyway, while looking around at options for my next batch of beer, I had originally intended to do a sweeter style brown ale, as I’d had a few really good exemplars of the style over the holidays. I got distracted by a slightly different style though after reading around a bit. I’m not a HUGE fan of lagers (I find ales more flavorful, generally) and I already have one lager “lagering,” but I also would like to still try and take advantage of the ambient temps I can find in my Minnesota home in the dead of winter. Solution? A Scottish 80/- Export (the 80/- means 80 shillings, which is how much a beer of this style and alcoholic strength was taxed when it was popular a few hundred years ago — 80 shillings). This strength of Scottish Ale was often the strength sold to other countries, hence “export” in the name.
The yeast used by this style of ale is a perfect match to the ambient temps in my house right now. Primary needs 60-65*, which I can easily find in my basement, and secondary needs 35-45* which I can easily find in the closet next to my garage.
I knew I liked this type of beer because I bought a six pack of Odell’s 90 Shilling last summer and the taste has stuck in my mind ever since. Big fan of how smooth and flavorful it was. A nice alternative to IPA’s in my opinion. Completely different… but so completely different that it’s as interesting (even for a fan of IPAs) to try.
Base malt: 11 lbs domestic 2-row
Specialty: 4 oz Biscuit, 8 oz Caramel 40L, 8 oz Chocolate Malt, 2 oz Special B, 1 oz Peat malt (pre-mixed)
Hops: 1/2 oz Challenger, 1 oz. Fuggles (U.S.)
Yeast: White Labs Edinburgh Ale Yeast WLP028
- Edinburgh Ale Yeast WLP028 – yeast starter of 1c dark DME and 4.5c water boiled for over 15 min.
- Yeast pitched at 10:00pm
- Starter airlock bubbling once every three seconds
- I was surprised the day after pitch was the most active day. Thought it would take a day to warm up. The previous two starters have…
- Starter airlock bubbling once every 5 or 6 seconds
- I’m going to move brew day up from 1/17 to tomorrow, 1/16 because the activity of the starter is beginning to decrease today
1/16/11 – Brew Day Notes
- 8:00, rise and shine. Reached strike water temps at about 8:30am.
- 70 min. mash at 152* to start, though ended at 140* (not happy with my cooler – it has lost 10 degrees over the course of an hour during every mash, and this time I even mashed in my house instead of the garage and wrapped the cooler in snuggies, yes snuggies).
- Loooooong and slow sparge from about 10:00am-1:00pm.
- 90 min. boil, 1/2 oz Challenger in at 90″ and 1 oz. Fuggles in at 30″
- chilled down to 60* and roused starter (had been bubbling every 8 sec. but after rousing it accelerated to every 4 sec.)
- final volume was a bit low (I estimate I started with 6.5-7 gal.) and my brix reading was a bit high at 15.8 so I had no problem adding about 1/3+ gal. of spring water to get the volume up and bring down the brix reading down. OG = 14 brix = 1.057 which is a bit higher than the target range of 1.048-1.054 but that’s fine. I have a healthy yeast starter so I’m not worried about later having unfinished fermentation, and I’m not far off target anyway.
- 3:45pm pitch
- Just ran the calculations – if I ferment down to 1.012 this beer will be nearly 6.1% ABV once done, one of the stronger beers I’ll have made. Target is 1.012-1.014 for this recipe
- Airlock wasn’t really bubbling 6 hrs. after pitch but it was bubbling every three or four seconds 16 hours after pitch (at 8:00am the day after brew day)
- 24 hrs. after pitch, activity is high and airlock is bubbling every two seconds, couldn’t be going much faster
These next few shots illustrate how I use my wort chiller in the winter. I hook up a garden hose to the chiller from the basement set-tub, run the water upstairs and through the chiller, then out into the upstairs sink.