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Strong Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy Best Practices

I want to make a wee heavy to give out when #2 arrives around the beginning of March. :cheers:

I have never made a wee heavy and know little about the techniques and specifics needed to brew one of these bad boys. For example, what specialty grains should I consider using? What mash temp? Are there any common rookie mistakes with this style?

I also like to tweak beers a bit by adding something unexpected. For example, hopping an American Wheat beer with chamomile. Any thoughts on what I can do with a wee heavy?

Thanks!

Dan

My best Wee Heavies had very simple grainbills, just the 2row of your choice (incl Maris or any other variety) and a good amount of Munich to introduce a non-sweet malt intensity. No crystal or roasted malts necessary… And very specifically, NO PEATED OR OTHERWISE SMOKED MALT.
The other must (for me) is a reasonably long period of cold aging. Most beers benefit from that, but a Wee benefits from it spectacularly.

I am the opposite of “style nazi” so as far as adding other ingredients, go ahead…it’s your beer…but honestly, a great Wee just doesn’t need any decoration.
That would be, as the old saying goes, “gilding a lily”.

Besides, just because segments of the micro industry have embraced gimmickry rather than just making good beer, doesn’t mean you need to do it.

Buy a bottle of Traquair House Ale and see how it’s really done. After years of being a confirmed hophead, these simple Scottish gems have become a favorite.

I think simple is best here. I just bottled a 10 gallon batch that I split into 2. The grain bill was simple 28 #s 2 row an 1 # roasted barley. That’s pretty traditional because hops were expensive in and didn’t grow in Scotland they were scarcely used so a small bittering addition and that’s it for hops.No more than 25-30 IBU’s. I pitched 2 different yeasts,1 got belgian abby ale and the other got California ale yeast. They both came out awsome :blah:

Look at Skotrat’s Traquair House Clone. That is the first wee heavy I made and is the only recipe I use now because I like it so much. I always use Golden Promise and some roast for color and ferment at 58. I cold condition it in secondary for a good month too. That’s a great beer.

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html

[quote=“PPDude72”]Look at Skotrat’s Traquair House Clone. That is the first wee heavy I made and is the only recipe I use now because I like it so much. I always use Golden Promise and some roast for color and ferment at 58. I cold condition it in secondary for a good month too. That’s a great beer.

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/recipes/ ... es/10.html[/quote]

+1, that beer turned out awesome. 99% MO, 1% roast barley. Also made a 70/- version by reducing the amount of grain, not quite as malty intense but still excellent. The syrup you make from the first gallon or two goes great on ice cream or pancakes!

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