In my Summer mission for a low gravity session beer, I opted to try out a Scottish 60/-. I’ve been loving heavy Scottish ales lately, and wanted to see what this super light version would be like. It’s described as a cousin of the English ordinary bitter, and should be clean with a malty flavor and aroma. This was the second of 2 kits I’d ordered from Northern Brewer, and at only 6 pounds of grain, it was certainly cheap enough to be worth a try.
Ingredients: Scottish 60/-
- 5 lbs Maris Otter
- 1 lb Caramel 80
- 2 Tbsp 5.2 pH Balancer
- .5 Northern Brewer (9.4%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
- Fermentis Safbrew S-33 – reused from Tongue Splitter APA
Additional Details / Notes
- SG 1.036 / FG 1.011 / Second FG 1.008 – slight fermentation in secondary
- 3.46% ABV
- Brewed 05/22/11, Secondary 06/04/2011, Bottled 06/19/11
- Fermentation temps: ~60° ambient Primary, ~73° Secondary
Brewing the 60 Shilling Ale
Pretty standard brew day. I warmed my usual 3/2 mixture of jug/tap water, and used 2 gallons of it for strike water. Strike temp was 166°, which was a little warm. Cooled with ice to 154° and let sit for one hour. Recycled the first 3/4 gallon back over the grain bed, and sparged with almost 5 gallons of water (added 1.5 jug / 1 tap).
Due to weather, I did a stove top boil for this batch. Things move a little slower, but I can still get the project done pretty well indoors. I let the pot boil 30 minutes before making my 60 minute (and only) hop addition. Dropped in Whirlfloc and the Wort Chiller with 10 minutes to go.
Cooled in the sink with the Wort Chiller down to 80°, then strained in to the fermentation bucket from the Tongue Splitter APA, reusing the yeast cake (S-33). I wasn’t happy with the fermentation from my Tongue Splitter, but the plan was to reuse the yeast, and I went through with the plan. Once strained, I gave it a good stir and added about 40 seconds of oxygen. Capped and placed in my 60° fermentation fridge. As usual, I racked to the secondary 2 weeks later, and bottled 2 weeks after that. I did get a slight gravity change from Secondary to Bottle time, again, as I did with the TS APA. Not sure if that’s just the yeast, or if I had something wacky going on.
Drinking the Scottish 60/-
Hard to know what to expect from a batch that only uses 6 pounds of grain, and employs a yeast you’re not familiar with. In the end, I have no idea if things turned out to plan or not. The beer is about what you’d expect. It’s thin, really thin. The bit of extra fermentation certainly didn’t help with that. The color is about right, and there is some malt flavor, but not much. I think the yeast plays a part in the flavor more than anything. I hadn’t been a fan of either beer brewed with this yeast to this point, and the same held true for my Scraps IPA that followed this one. Not a yeast I will be using again.
I can’t say whether this beer turned out as it was supposed to be or not, but I can say it’s not one I would brew again. There’s nothing off about this batch, but it’s just thin and flavorless… not worth trying a second time. There are better session ales out there.
Notes on Scottish Ale
The Scottish style of ales break down into Light, Heavy and Export. In the 19th century Scotland, a nomenclature, based on the now obsolete shilling currency, was devised in order to distinguish each. 60/- (light), 70/- (heavy), 80/- (export), 90/- to 160/- for Scotch Ales. From BeerAdvocate