Scotch Ale

Scotch ales are overwhelmingly malty and full bodied. Perception of hop bitterness is very low. Hop flavor and aroma are very low or non-existent. Color ranges from deep copper to brown. The clean alcohol flavor balances the rich and dominant sweet maltiness in flavor and aroma. A caramel character is often a part of the profile. Dark roasted malt flavors and aroma may be evident at low levels. Fruity esters are generally at medium aromatic and flavor levels. Low diacetyl levels are acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally-made strong Scotch ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many Scotch Ales with a low level of peat-smoke character. Thus a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels.


  • 1 pound 55 L British crystal malt

  • 4 ounces British peat-smoked malt

  • 2 ounces roasted barley

  • 2 ounces Belgian aromatic malt

  • 5-1/2 pounds light DME

  • 3-1/3 pounds light malt syrup

  • 1/2 pound malto-dextrin

  • 3 ounces East Kent Goldings hops

  • 1-1/2 ounces Fuggles hops

  • 1 teaspoon Irish moss

  • Wyeast 1728 Scottish ale yeast

  • 1-1/4 cup extra-light DME


  1. Place the crushed specialty grains in a nylon hop bag and steep them in 1 gallon of preheated 150 water for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain and discard the spent grains.

  3. Bring at least 3 gallons of liquor to a boil, remove the brew kettle from the heat source then stir in the extract, the malto-dextrin and 2 ounces of the East Kent Goldings hops.

  4. Return the brew kettle to the heat source and boil for 45 minutes, then add 1 ounce of the Fuggles hops and the Irish moss.

  5. Boil for an additional 13 minutes, then add the remaining EKG hops.

  6. Boil for a final 2 minutes, then remove the brew kettle from the heat source, cover it and drop the temperature of the wort as quickly as possible to 77 F.

  7. Once the wort has cooled to below 77 F, take an original gravity reading, pour the wort into a primary fermenter through a funnel with a strainer and add enough cool water to create 5 gallons.

  8. Once the wort has been transferred to the primary fermenter, pitch the yeast, stir the wort vigorously, seal the fermenter with an airlock and ferment at approximately 70-75 F for 1 week.

  9. Rack the beer to a secondary fermenter, dry-hop the remaining Fuggles hops and allow the beer to finish fermentation.

  10. Once fermentation is complete, rack the beer to a bottling bucket, prime with the extra-light DME and bottle and condition as usual.

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