Saturday, 19 March 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday (Saturday edition) – 1851 William Younger 140/-

Finally, a beer of the type that made Scottish brewing famous: Scotch ale. And one that's really that, not some modern geek's guess at what it should be.

A characteristic of Scotch Ale (or Edinburgh Ale) that is often mentioned is it's lovely pale color. Not what people expect of a strong Scotch Ale nowadays, which would invariably be dark. But the dark colour is a much more recent development, achieved by the simple means of caramel. I don't think I've ever seen any dark malts in a real Scotch Ale, i.e. one actually brewed in Scotland.

It took me a long while to work out what Scotch Ale was. The strength distracted me. But its now clear: most is a sort of Mild Ale. A very strong Mild Ale, but one nonetheless. Why am I so confident of that? Because of its secondary conditioning. Strong Shilling Ales were filled into hogsheads and half hogsheads and immediately delivered to customers, who after a short period bottled it and it was ready for consumption. An Ale that was sold young? That's Mild Ale in my book*.

It's not the world's most complicated recipe: pale malt and Goldings. But that's the recipe of some of my favourite recreations, like 1832 Truman XXXX. You might be surprised at the IBU level. I am, too. I'd have expected it to be higher. "Didn't Scottish brewers use very few hops?" I hear you ask. No, they didn't. The often used several imperial shitloads. And whatever you do, don't put any fucking smoked malt in this. Not unless you want me coming around your house and putting all the windows in.

That's all I have to say. Here's the recipe. And remember what I said about smoked malt . . . . .

1851 William Younger 140/-
pale malt 30.00 lb 100.00%
Goldings 70 min 5.00 oz
Goldings 50 min 3.00 oz
Goldings 20 min 3.00 oz
OG 1129
FG 1054
ABV 9.92
Apparent attenuation 58.14%
IBU 84
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 184º F
Boil time 70 minutes
pitching temp 55º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

* The Home Brewers Guide to Vintage Beer


Anonymous said...

Yesss! I've been waiting for this, I'm going to make a gallon or two of it I think. Getting the right attenuation is going to be hard.

Any idea of a decent recipe for the second runnings? Maybe add something else to the mash?


Tandleman said...

Pale malt and Goldings eh? Sounds like J W Lees.

Ron Pattinson said...


it was brewed as a single-gyle beer. And they certainly wouldn't have added anything to the mash after running off the first wort. That's 18th-century style brewing.

Brandon said...

It's not as hard as you think, just requires a little adjustment. Try mashing @ 158 and/or changing the yeast strain to wlp002. I would imagine just changing the yeast and nothing else will end up with PLENTY of residual sugar that a few points would hardly be noticeable...

Jon Toomey said...

I would assume with this being originally brewed in 1850 it would have brett in it. How much lower would the Brett have taken this down too? And would the bottled versions been known to be bottle bombs?

Anonymous said...

I was just going to mash at about ~73C, braukaiser did some small test batches on attenuation a few years ago charting attenuation vs mash temp (60% on his charts is around 75C+). S04 conks out at around 10% ABV so hopefully if I can get it to 9.5% I might be able to get a small amount of carbonation from it when bottling (I don't keg).

Ron, any idea when the sparging was popularised?

Lady Luck Brewing said...

Holy shnikes!
The highest OG for Let's Brew Wednesday!

Mash at 155 sparge 184.
30# golden promise!
Ferment at 55 for WLP029 that likes 60?
FG of 1.54?

Someone needs to make this and post up some tasting notes.

Where's Kristen?

Lady Luck Brewing said...

Typo in my post: It should be wlp028 not wlp029.