In the winter months, it’s nice to have something malty and tasty but not overly heavy, as an “everyday” beer. Looking through Craft Beer for the Home Brewer recipe book, I ran across a clone recipe for 90 Shilling Ale from Odell Brewing Company. Although it has a Scottish name, the ingredients are anything but! I adjusted for the malts I had on-hand, and swapped in a pound of Vienna for a pound of 2-row, because I was finishing up my 2-row malt supply before opening a new bag. I called this batch “Aspiration Ale,” because it’s aspiring to be a 90 shilling ale, but sure as heck ain’t it!
- 7 lb. 6.5 oz. 2-row malt (Great Western)
- 1 lb. Munich light malt (Chateau)
- 1 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
- 9 oz. Carafoam malt (Weyermann)
- 8 oz. Crystal 75 malt (Bairds)
- 8 oz. Caravienne malt (Weyermann)
- 8 oz. white wheat malt (Briess)
- 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. Nottingham yeast (Danstar)
- 1.051 s.g., 1.012 f.g., 5.2% abv, 9 SRM, 24 IBU
- Infusion mash, 152°, full volume; 60 minute boil
- Claremont water, with Campden tablet to remove chloramines.
- I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 159°, to hit a target mash temperature of 152°. I added 3 mL of 88% lactic aid to a hit a pH of around 5.2 to 5.3. There was an amazing malt aroma to the mash; it smelled like malt and brown sugar and all sorts of goodness!
- After 60 minutes, I raised the mash temperature to 168° for 10 minutes, and then removed the grain basket. In total, I got 6.4 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.045, for 68% mash efficiency.
- I boiled the runnings for 60 minutes, adding hops and finings per the recipe. At the end of the boil, I chilled the wort down to 78°, transferred it to the fermenter, and let it sit at ambient temperature in the garage to let the temperature drop a bit more.
- I fermented at 62° (garage ambient), and moved it inside to 65° ambient temperature on 7 December 2020.
- I moved the beer outside to 60° ambient on 22 December 2020.
- I kegged the beer on 27 December 2020, with 2.4 oz. of corn sugar. Final gravity was 1.012, for 5.0% abv. I hit my predicted numbers nearly exactly for this batch!
- Medium amber beer with a moderately persistent ivory head and slight haze.
- Malty, caramel aroma.
- Toasty and malty, with a slight caramel character. This has a pretty clean yeast profile, with a touch of pear on the backend. Medium-low hop character; not much to report for this aspect!
- Medium-light body and moderate carbonation. This has a really nice “round” finish!
- Would I brew this again?
- This beer drinks so easily. The balance between malt and hop is perfect, and it’s great to have an amber beer that isn’t too filling! There’s no way this is a “Scottish Ale” of any sort though (at least as compared to past recipes I’ve done), but in any case it’s a great beer. My minor ding keeping me from a perfect 10 is the slight haze; otherwise the beer is fantastic!