Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homebrewed Scottish Ale

I couldn't stand it any longer - just had to pop the top on my Scottish Ale. It's been carbonating for 11 days, and I'm sure it's been long enough. It poured a deep amber with a very healthy tan-colored head. It's plenty malty, slightly sweet, and has some alcohol in the finish. The hops don't really come through much, but Scottish ales are not heavily hopped anyway. Unfortunately, the smoked malt isn't coming through either, so I guess I didn't use enough. All in all, I'm very pleased with the results.

For those interested, here's the recipe I used for 2.5 gallons:

3.3 lbs Briess Golden Light LME
3 oz Peat Smoke Malt (should have used more)
4 oz 120L Crystal Malt
4 Oz Vienna Malt
2 Oz Lyle's Golden Syrup (all that I had at the time)
8 Oz Munton's Extra Light DME
1/2 Oz Fuggles Hops for bittering (60 Minutes)
1/2 Oz Fuggles hops for finishing (5 minutes)
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast

I used my usual procedure of putting the crushed grain in a gallon of water and then heating to 165 degrees. After removing the grain bag, I brought the wort to a boil and then added the first batch of Fuggles. At the 45 minute mark, I added the malt extracts and golden syrup. At 55 minutes, I threw in the 2nd batch of Fuggles. Then, into an ice bath to cool it down. Once it reached 80 degrees, I poured the wort into the fermenter which already contained a gallon of cold water. I then topped it off to the 2.5 gallon mark and pitched the yeast. Two weeks in the fermenter - 11 days in the bottle, carbonating with corn sugar - and 5 hours in the fridge before my taste test - that's the timeline. The finished product has more alcohol than a Scottish Ale should have, but I'm happy with it. The best part of homebrewing is drinking a successful experiment, as I did tonight. I know it will improve if I have enough patience. The last bottle of the batch is always the best one!

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