Aspiration Ale

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!

Aspiration Ale

  • 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)

Target Parameters

  • 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.

Procedure

  • 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!

Tasting

  • Appearance
    • Medium amber beer with a moderately persistent ivory head and slight haze.
  • Aroma
    • Malty, caramel aroma.
  • Flavor
    • 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!
  • Mouthfeel
    • 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!
  • Overall
    • 9/10
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