Ted Manahan, one of the Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® blind-tasting panel judges, enjoys the challenge and adventure of making gruit ales, with low or no hops. This recipe stays close to the historical interpretation: dark brown, sweet, smoky, with a noticeable herbal flavor—a tasty Scottish holiday beer.
Batch Size: 6 gallons (22.7 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 66%
11 lb (4.9 kg) pale malt (2-row)
2 lb (907 g) smoked malt (Bamberg)
1 lb (454 g) rye malt
4 oz (113 g) black patent malt
8 oz (227 g) aromatic malt
0.04 oz (1.1 g) sweet gale at 60 minutes
1 oz (28 g) mugwort at 60 minutes
¼ tsp wormwood at 30 minutes
½ tsp black pepper at 30 minutes
0.04 oz (1.1 g) cardamom seed at 10 minutes
0.05 oz (1.4 g) ginger root at 10 minutes
0.05 oz (1.4 g) licorice root at 10 minutes
0.05 oz (1.4 g) juniper berries in primary
Mash at 155°F (68°C) for 60 minutes. Boil for 75 minutes, following the hops/herbs/spices schedule. Before adding the juniper berries to your primary, sanitize them in vodka for a day. Ferment at 64°F (18°C).
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale
I mash high for greater residual sweetness. Sometimes I caramelize the first runnings as you would for a wee heavy. I ferment at 64°F (18°C) because that is the temperature of a Scottish castle (and my basement).