Tuesday, March 12, 2013

“Fat Mac" Scotch Ale

Brew date: Mar. 5, 2013
#16 - 4 gal BIAB

With spring right hopefully around the corner (my office closed early due to a snow storm that day), I wanted to brew a sweeter, maltier beer for the season. And because I still don't have the setup to lager a big bock -- I'd love to brew a maibock -- a rich scotch ale seemed like a good alternative. This batch takes inspiration from the AHA's blog posts, "Brown-eyed Women" and "McZainasheff's Wee," with some great historical and style pointers from Ray Daniels's chapter on Scotch ales in Designing Great Beers.

Calling this one "Fat Mac" Scotch Ale. Because I love "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." And Mac is, like, Scottish-sounding. That is all.

A few key insights from the brew day:
  • Measure out the mash water the day before brewing whenever possible. Saves time adding the water to the kettle and it takes less time to heat up since it begins at room temperature. I also hear that any chlorine in the water dissipates if left out for a few hours.
  • Reduce any water-to-grist estimates by 0.5 gal. I'm simply not seeing THAT much absorption from the grist. Also, my evaporation during the boil is nowhere near 0.25-0.5 gal per hour. Because I have to keep the brew kettle lid mostly on to get a rolling boil, I'm not losing much volume overall.
  • 6.5 lb Golden Promise Pale malt
  • 0.25 lb Munich 10L
  • 0.25 lb Caramel 20L
  • 0.25 lb Caramel 40L
  • 0.25 lb Caramel 120L
  • 0.25 lb Roasted Barley
  • 0.25 lb Wheat malt
  • 0.75 oz East Kent Goldings (6.6%) (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz East Kent Goldings (6.6%) (20 min)
  • 0.25 oz East Kent Goldings (6.6%) (10 min)
  • 1 t Irish moss (20 min)
  • Gypsum
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale [Starter made 3/4/13.]

  • 6.5 gal water (~3 qt/lb)
  • Dough in @ 110 'F
  • Heat to 122 'F (protein rest) (30 min)
  • Heat to 154 'F (mash) (60 min)
  • Heat to 168 'F (mash-out) (10 min)
  • Boil 90 min
  • Chill to 64 'F and pitch decanted yeast
  • Ferment at 64-68 'F

Category: Scottish Export 80
Pre-boil gravity: 1.042
OG: 1.055
Efficiency: 82%

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