Recipe: Kopfspalter Strong Scotch Ale

From his Make Your Best style series, try this recipe for Josh Weikert's "Headsplitter"—a richly malted strong Scotch ale, a.k.a. wee heavy (hold the peat).

Josh Weikert Mar 23, 2020 - 2 min read

Recipe: Kopfspalter Strong Scotch Ale Primary Image

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Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
OG: 1.097
FG: 1.024
IBUs: 30
SRM: 23
ABV: 10.5%

15 lb (6.8 kg) Maris Otter
1 lb (454 g) Briess Special Roast
8 oz (227 g) Briess Extra Special Roast
8 oz (227 g) aromatic malt
8 oz (227 g) melanoidin malt
8 oz (227 g) pale chocolate malt or chocolate rye malt

0.5 oz (14 g) Columbus [16% AA] at 60 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) Fuggles at flame-out

Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale) Yeast

Mill the grains and mix with 5.6 gallons (21.3 liters) of 160°F (71°C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 149°F (65°C). Hold the temperature for 75 minutes. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then run off into kettle. Sparge the grains with 1.6 gallons (6.1 liters), topping up as necessary to get 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule. Chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 60°F (16°C). Aerate the wort with pure oxygen or filtered air and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 60°F (16°C) for 1 week, then increase by 1°F (about 0.5°C) per day until you reach 68°F (20°C) and hold. Upon completion of fermentation, crash the beer to 35°F (2°C), then bottle or keg and carbonate to about 2 volumes.

Don’t rush. If anything, adjust the temperature here a bit lower and hold at final temperature longer, and give yourself a few extra days once you think you’re actually finished with fermentation. If under-attenuated, this beer goes from “a little sweet” to a cloying mess.