Monday, April 23, 2012

Kilt-Lifter Scottish Wee Heavy

I've brewed this wee heavy before and I thought it was good so I deiced to try my hand at this recipe again and keg it.  The term "Wee Heavy" is just another name for a Scottish Strong Ale.  This wee heavy has some peat smoked malt that imparts a subtle smokiness to the beer and stylistically has lower carbonation closer to English style beers.  Scotland, as one might imagine, has a rich brewing history. Ancient Greek explorers even commented on the fact that the inhabitants of Caledonia (Ancient Scotland) were skilled in the art of brewing a potent beverage.  The Scots had a unique way of distinguishing beer style by price.  Scottish beers were separated and named by price (shilling).  It was largely understood that:

(60/-) was under 3.5% abv
(70/-) was between 3.5% and 4.0% abv
(80/-) was between 4.0% and 5.5% abv
Wee heavy
(90/-) was over 6.0% abv
(/- is read as "shilling" or "bob" as in "a pint of eighty-bob, please")

Mash in was 170*F (Strike) to hit 154*F and kept it for 60 mins (1 qt/lb).  Mash went smooth and mostly uneventful except that the addition of 6 gals of sparge water (1.47 qt/lb) caused my 10 gal mash-tun to overflow a bit.  Evidently I need to fix that in my program (beer tools pro).  The program has seemed to stop calculating water level in containing vessel.  There was a lot of grain on this one (16.3 lbs) so that's why the sparge water was a bit over the mash-tun.  

My eff. was fairly good for such a big batch  (69%).  Was shooting for 65%.  Started at 7.9-8 gals pre-boil vol.  Boiled for about 80 mins down to around 5.25 gals.  I did end-up adding a late addition of 1.5 lbs of light DME to the boil.  That puts me at 1.091 starting gravity.  The final gravity on this beer should be higher (Maybe around 1.023).  So I figure it will weigh in around 8.7-9% ABV.

New Plate Counter Flow Chiller
My new counter-flow plate chiller worked like a charm.  Went from boiling to around 60*F with-in 20 mins.  Transferred the wort to my 6.5 gal carboy added O2 and pitched my 1.5 quart starter from my stir plate.  Ferment around 63-65*F for about 7 days.  Then I'll raise to 70*F for another 7 days and keg.