Continuing my quest to try new forms of session ales, earlier this summer I turned my sights to a Scottish Heavy, or Scottish 70/-. The style is relatively low alcohol, packs a fair bit of malt character, and can be completed relatively quickly. I found a recipe in the September 2019 issue of BYO, from a style profile article by Gordon Strong. I adapted it with minimal modification, other than some slight adjustments to account for differences in efficiency.
Scottish 70/- Heavy
- 6.75 lb. Golden Promise Finest Pale Ale malt (Simpsons)
- 7 oz. flaked barley
- 4 oz. Caramunich II (Weyermann)
- 2 oz. pale chocolate malt (Crisp)
- 2 oz. roasted barley (Bairds)
- 0.75 oz. Fuggles hop pellets (4.6% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. American Ale yeast (US-05)
- 1.034 s.g., 1.010 f.g., 3.1% abv, 14 IBU, 13 SRM
- Full-volume mash, no sparge, at 158°
- Claremont tap water, treated with Campden tablet
- I heated 7 gallons of water to 163°, and added the grains to hit a mash temperature of 158°. I added ~5 mL of 88% lactic acid, to adjust pH. I held the mash at 158° with recirculation for 60 minutes, before raising the temperature to 168° for a 10 minute mash-out.
- After the mash, I collected 6.25 gallons of runnings at a gravity of 1.033, for 74% mash efficiency.
- Next, I brought the runnings to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe. I boiled for 60 minutes, before turning off the heat and chilling down to ~70°.
- I transferred the wort to the fermenter, and measured a starting gravity of 1.037. I brewed the beer on 7 May 2022.
- To achieve a slight fruity character for the yeast, I fermented at ambient, around 68°. My hope is that it shouldn’t be too over the top, but will have a touch of interesting character.
- I kegged the beer on 21 May 2022, measuring a surprisingly high final gravity of 1.020. I’m guessing this is due to the high mash temperature, but even so I hadn’t expected such low attenuation (45%). Ah well! That means I have a wonderfully low abv of 2.2%. I force carbonated to about 2.0 volumes.
- Crystal clear, amber beer, that pours with a persistent, fine ivory head. It is very pretty in the glass!
- A moderate level of malty and caramel aroma at the front. Not much else.
- Moderate level of maltiness, with a bit of caramel. Moderately low bitterness.
- Fairly thin bodied, with low carbonation. Rounded finish, not quite dry.
- Would I Brew This Again?
- This is a fairly good beer, and certainly drinkable, but the tepid body detracts a bit from enjoyment. I don’t actively dislike this beer, but I can’t say I’m going to be brewing it again anytime soon. It’s just too thin. The beer is definitely one to let warm up a bit in the glass, although even then the malt character doesn’t come out as much as I’d like.
- As a side note, I made a beer vinegar from this one. It was okay, but not quite as acidic as I would like–this is a good learning experience to ensure I focus on slightly higher abv beers for future vinegar projects.