The Auld Alliance

Scottish Pub - Paris

Brewing the Scottish Style

Historical research informs us that classic Scotch and Scottish ales require cool fermentation and low attenuation. Other practices that may be used to achieve the desired malt character in these ales include:

  • Extensive cellaring at cold temperatures
  • Low hopping rates to produce a malt balance
  • Use of roast barley for colour and flavour
  • Caramelization in the copper through use of a long boil
  • Little or no hop flavour or aroma additions.

Here are two recipes you can brew in the Scottish style. The first recipe is a very basic one that could be adjusted to make any of the three Scottish ales. It is set up to hit an original gravity of about 1.040. If you are high, it will be an Export, if you are low, it is a nice Heavy.

Scottish Export Ale

5 gallons, Target Gravity: 1.040
 lbs Pale Ale Malt
1.5 lbs Cara-Pils or Dextrine Malt
3.5 oz Roast barley

Mash these grains at 156 to 158 deg F for about one hour. Extract Alternative: Substitute 4 pounds of pale liquid malt extract or 3.3 pounds of pale-dry malt extract for 6 pounds of the pale malt and perform a mini-mash or grain-bag soak with the remaining grains.
Plan to boil this wort for two to three hours. You may need to add additional water during the boil in order to achieve the proper final volume.
For hops, add 3.5 alpha acid units (AAUs) of Fuggle, Goldings or Willamette hops one hour before the end of the boil. (i.e.: 1 oz of 3.5% alpha acid hops, or 0.5 oz of 7% alpha acid hops.) No other hop additions should be made.
Ferment this wort with the Wyeast Irish Ale (#1084) or Wyeast European Ale (#1338). If possible, maintain cooler ale fermentation temperatures, in the range of 62 to 65 deg F.
If possible, cool condition the beer for two weeks at 40 to 45 deg F (refrigerator temperature) after the fermentation is complete.
Bottle, condition and enjoy.

The second recipe is a kitchen sink beer -- throw in a little bit of everything to create a really deep malt complexity. If you can't find one of the malt ingredients, just substitute something similar. If possible, select specialty grains from several different maltsters or countries to maximize the flavour diversity. Also remember that this beer will take some time to come into its prime, so don't expect to drink it two weeks after it is done.

Wee Heavy

5 gallons, Target Gravity: 1.085-1.090
Mash Bill
10 lbs Pale Ale malt (Option: Reduce this to a mini-mash)
1.5 lbs Belgian Biscuit malt (alternatives: special roast, aromatic, victory)
1.25 lbs 80 L Crystal malt
1 lb Cara-pils or Dextrine malt
1 lb Cara-Munich or a 50-70 L crystal malt
4 oz Special B
1 oz Roast Barley

Mash this at 155 deg F for one hour. In the kettle, add:

3.3 lbs Northwestern Gold Liquid Malt Extract
1.25 lbs Laaglander Light Dry Malt Extract

Boil the wort for two to three hours total. Add water as needed to hit your final boil volume.
Hop Schedule:

6.5 to 7 AAUs Fuggle, Goldings or Willamette Boil 45 minutes
0.5 oz Fuggles, Goldings or Willamette Boil 15 minutes

Ferment this wort with the Wyeast Irish Ale (#1084) or Wyeast European Ale (#1338). If possible, maintain cooler ale fermentation temperatures, in the range of 62 to 65 deg F.
If possible, cool condition the beer for two weeks at 40 to 45 deg F (refrigerator temperature) after the fermentation is complete.
Bottle, condition and then be patient for a month, or two, or three. Then enjoy.

This extract is from an article by Ray Daniels and published by Brewers Publications