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|
|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