beer basics scottish ales february 2008
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Beer Basics Scottish Ales February 2008

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Beer Basics Scottish Ales February 2008. Today’s Topics. Introduction Types of Scottish Ales Scottish Ale Strong Scotch Ale Brewing Scottish Ales Ingredients Water Malt Hops Yeast Brewing Techniques. Introduction.

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today s topics
Today’s Topics
  • Introduction
  • Types of Scottish Ales
    • Scottish Ale
    • Strong Scotch Ale
  • Brewing Scottish Ales
    • Ingredients
      • Water
      • Malt
      • Hops
      • Yeast
    • Brewing Techniques
  • Scholars believe the Scots began brewing beer before the Roman Empire invaded Britain in 43 A.D.
  • The beer styles from Scotland evolved from geographical and economic concerns. As an example, hops were expensive and hard to obtain, so Scottish ales developed a malty profile.
types of scottish ales
Types of Scottish Ales

Scottish Ales

  • Scottish Ales are distinguished by gravity and alcoholic strength.
  • Deep Amber to dark copper colored ale(SRM: 9 -17).
  • The flavor profile leans slightly towards the malt. Hops play a supporting role through bittering. Hop aroma and flavor additions, if present, should be in small amounts (.25 to .50 ounces for a 5 gallon batch).
  • Small amounts of roasted barley provide color and flavor. The finish is dry and slightly roasty.
types of scottish ales5
Types of Scottish Ales

Scottish Ales

  • The three sub styles are:
    • Scottish Light 60/-
      • OG: 1.030-1.035; FG: 1.010-1.013; IBUs: 10-20
    • Scottish Heavy 70/-
      • OG: 1.035-1.040; FG: 1.010-1.015; IBUs: 10-25
    • Scottish Export 80/-
      • OG: 1.040-1.054; FG: 1.010-1.016; IBUs: 15-30

where the /- stands for shilling, an obsolete unit of currency. The shilling numbers above represent the 19th century price charged for a barrel of each sub style.

types of scottish ales6
Types of Scottish Ales

Strong Scotch Ale

  • Alcohol content can range from 6.5% up to 10.0% by volume.
  • Rich and malty with complex secondary malt flavors. The body is medium-full to full bodied.
  • Typically sweet with malt dominating; however, the finish can be sweet or medium-dry, depending on the roasted barley addition. Roasted barley up to 3% of the grist is allowed.
types of scottish ales7
Types of Scottish Ales

Strong Scotch Ale

  • Light copper to dark brown colored ale(SRM: 14 -25).
  • Hop presence is minimal. Typically, English varieties are used is small amounts.
  • Vital Statistics:
        • OG: 1.070-1.130; FG: 1.018-1.030+; IBUs: 17-35
  • Also known as a “wee heavy”. The strong Scotch ales are designated with higher shilling values, with values between 90/- and 160/-.
brewing scottish ales
Brewing Scottish Ales


  • Brewing water should contain sufficient amounts of calcium, sodium, carbonate, and chloride; however, sulfate levels should be low.
  • Geology of Edinburgh yields various water profiles. The profiles range from low to high levels of sulfate. The low levels are best for brewing Scottish or Strong Scotch ales.
  • According to Greg Noonan, the water profile in Edinburgh contained the following ion concentrations (in ppm):

Calcium 80-120

Magnesium 10-25

Sodium 10-30

Sulfate 70-140

Chloride 30-60

Carbonates 120-200

brewing scottish ales9
Brewing Scottish Ales


  • The agricultural revolution during the 1700s lead to better cultivation of barley. By 1805, Scottish barley was preferred by most brewers and distillers over their English counterparts.
  • Excellent Scottish ales can be made with a basic grain bill consisting of pale base malt, dextrin malt, and a small amount of roasted barley.
  • For Scottish ales, a low to moderate peaty character is optional; however, the faint smoky character is from yeast and local Scottish malt and water, not from smoked malts.
  • Scotch ales may contain a small portion of smoked malt to add a peaty character.
brewing scottish ales10
Brewing Scottish Ales


  • Historically, hops have not grown well in Scotland. As a consequence, hops were expensive and had to be imported from England. This lead to a beer style that tilted toward malt instead of hop bitterness.
  • Use bittering hops to achieve low to moderate bitterness. Use aroma and flavor hops in small quantities. English varieties are very common, like East Kent Goldings and Fuggles.
brewing scottish ales11
Brewing Scottish Ales


  • Use an ale yeast that:
    • ferments at lower temperatures (55°F to 60 °F )
    • Has low attenuation, typically between 65-70%
    • Clean neutral character
    • For Strong Scotch ales, higher alcohol tolerance
  • Wyeast Strains appropriate for Scottish Ales include;
    • 1084 Irish Ale Yeast
    • 1098 British Ale Yeast
    • 1318 London Ale III Yeast
    • 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast
  • For Strong Scotch ales, Wyeast recommends one of the following yeast strains;
    • 1056 American Ale Yeast
    • 1084 Irish Ale Yeast
    • 1762 Belgian Abby Ale II Yeast
    • 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast
brewing scottish ales12
Brewing Scottish Ales

Brewing Techniques

  • Use a single infusion mash at 154°F to 158 °F for 90 minutes. At this temperature, the wort will be more dextrinous.
  • Caramel character is from kettle caramelization, not from caramel malts.
  • Ferment with an ale yeast at a temperature between 55°F to 60 °F for up to three weeks in the primary fermenter.
  • Cold condition, that is , lager the beer for at least 3 weeks at 35°F to 45 °F.