Scottish Ale Fail

Anyone have any wild ideas what I did to screw up my Scottish Ale. It has s finished flavor is ashy and lacks any Carmel or bitter or hoppyness. It resembles watered down Guiness. I’m not ready to quit brewing yet but this was discouraging. Thanks.

What recipe did you use? Can you tell more about your process?

I bought a Brewers Best kit. Followed directions exactly. I primary fermented two weeks and transferred to secondary. At this point I noticed the beer smelled faintly like Soy Sauce. Having never made or consumed Scottish Sle I was puzzled. I allowed for two weeks in secondary and then bottled. I let it bottle condition three weeks at 68F average temp. Popped two in the fridge and tried them both. The taste is ashy and has no sweetness or hoppy notes. Very disappointed. Also, the carbonation is less than stellar. Any ideas what the Scottish Ale should have tasted like or what I messed up? THX

I would say it was an old and/or expired kit. Old malt extract can definitely start picking up flavors of soy sauce. Did this one have dry or liquid malt extract?

It came with both types. Dry and liquid

DME has a really good shelf life, but unfortunately liquid extract degrades really quickly. This is probably the issue. LME is best stored in the fridge, and even still, should be used up pretty quickly. Also the hops and yeast do not store well at room temperature.

I would guess you did everything just fine, but the problem was the quality of the ingredients themselves.

I think Porkchop nailed it.

By the way, Scottish Ale is a really nice beer when it comes out right. A bit on the thin side, but very malty, with caramel flavors and with some sweetness. I brew one for Autumn drinking most years.

I think you guys solved the problem. The kit sat in my garage for several months until I had my equipment put together. Thanks a million for the help. I’m going to order another kit and try again as soon as it arrives. Many have said Scottish Ale is very good and I was dying to try it since it’s never on tap at the pubs I go to. Again-THANKS

Worth pointing out- don’t expect anything bitter or hoppy about a Scottish ale. One of the least hop-forward styles out there. Not a bad thing, just don’t be surprised.

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Thanks for the HEADS UP on the Scottish Ale. Maybe I’ll look at another extract kit with some depth of charactor. THX

I’ve never before seen “hop-forward” and “Scottish ale” used together - for good reason. I would say it can be difficult to tell that hops are present at all in a well brewed Scottish ale. But that is not a bad thing at all. There is more to great beer than just hops; I personally prefer malty styles. There is plenty of character in Scottish ales.

I only brewed 1 scotch ale and it was an alright beer but didn’t really taste like the better scotch ales I’ve had. I think it is a trickery style to get just right. To much extra work with caramelizing some wort and what not for a style I really don’t drink much. Some day I will revisit it though.

WarnoutDad - What style of Scotch Ale did you try to make? Scotch Ale is a category and there about five styles under that. They range from 60 Shilling (60/) at about 2.5-3 ABV up to Strong Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy) that go to about 7-10 ABV. It might be a good idea to check out the BJCP Guidelines to learn about the various styles and then try to find some of the examples it mentions and see if any appeal to you. As for the ash flavor you describe, I don’t think that would come from the extract. It used to be that people would add peated or smoked malt to the recipe. But that flavor is really not part of the profile and they shouldn’t be doing that. I don’t know if the Brewers Best kit uses steeping grains, but if it does I’d wager that it included peated or smoked malt.