Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Lets' Brew Wednesday - 1992 Maclay Scotch Ale

It’s been a bit odd since I finished writing the book. I keep thinking that I should be doing something. It’s a bit like the vague unease that remains after exam season is over.

Especially weird has been not writing any recipes. I’d been throwing them together like crazy for a couple of weeks. Now it’s just back to one or two a week.

One thing I debated with myself was the cut-off date for the recipes. The book nominally covers 1840 to 1970, but I do have some Maclay recipes that are later than that. Should I include those? Eventually, the decision was made for me. I decided that the book gad to be published by last Saturday at the very latest. When that deadline fell, I hadn’t got to the later Maclay recipes.

Not being one to waste material, I’ve assembled this 1990’s Maclay recipe anyway. Partly because it’s a bit of an oddity: a beer called Scotch Ale. Let me explain, Scottish brewers didn’t usually have beers called Scotch Ale in their home market. What was sold as Scotch Ale in England and beyond was called Strong Ale in Scotland.

Now you might expect a beer with a name like this to have a long history. It doesn’t. Maclay only introduced it sometime between 1985 and 1992. In their later years Maclay went recipe crazy. In addition to their tried and trusted Pale Ale recipe, they started brewing beers single-gyle: TPA, an Old Ale, Oat Malt Stout and Scotch Ale. It must have been scary to any old hands in the brewery.

This is a pretty strange beer for a Scotch Ale. It’s a bit weak, though I guess Younger’s No. 3 was a similar strength. But that was a bit of an oddity. It has an extremely simple grist of just pale and crystal malt. My guess is that it was also darkened with caramel after primary fermentation.

With about 4.5 lbs of hops per quarter of malt, the hopping is at the same level as their Pale Ales, though, this being a bit stronger, it contained more hops in absolute terms. The varieties are a guess. I only know for certain that the hops were English.

1992 Maclay Scotch Ale
pale malt 11.00 lb 93.62%
crystal malt 60 L 0.75 lb 6.38%
Fuggles 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1050
FG 1016
ABV 4.50
Apparent attenuation 68.00%
IBU 28
Mash at 148/157º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 65º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


StuartP said...

A good lump of malt and a fair dose of hops.
It's beer - what's not to like?

Mike said...

What's with the mash temp: 147/158F ? Which is it, or is a step mash?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, sort of. It's an underlet mash. They raised the temperature (probably after about 30 minutes) by adding more hot water to the bottom of the mash. It was a dead common method in England, but quite rare in Scotland. I've only found two breweries that mashed this way: Maclay and Lorimer & Clark.

Barm said...

I remember drinking this. I suspect the name was complete marketing fantasy.