Oak’d Wee Heavy Recipe

One of our early bar experiences was the Thursday and Friday happy hours at the Heidelburg. There was either a free taco bar or hot wings, but more glorious was the $2.50 bottles of Arcadia Ales. I like a lot of what Arcadia does, but their Scotch Ale will forever have a place in my liver after that summer.  We wanted to created a beer that had that great malt backbone, a decent sweetness and a good kick of alcohol.  To try something new, we also wanted to do some faux bourbon barrel aging. Tasting notes are below the recipe.

Mash

  • 8lbs Golden Promise
  • .5lb 40L Crystal
  • .25 Aromatic Malt
  • .25 Munich
  • .25 Biscuit Malt
  • .1lb Roasted Barley
  • .1lb Black Patent Malt

We did a 60 minute, single infusion mash at about 155ºF. We sparged with about 5 gallons of water to end up with about 6g of runnings.

Boil

  • 2lbs Light Malt Extract
  • 1lb Brown Sugar or Golden Syrup
  • 1.5oz EKG at 60 minutes
  • .25oz Fuggles and .5oz EKG at 15 minutes
  • .75oz Fuggles dry hopped

Fermentation

We used Wyeast 1728 without a starter. After about 10 days of primary fermentation, we moved it to secondary with French Roasted Oak chips that had been soaking in Jack Daniels for at least two hours*. We pulled a little out to taste it every so often, and when the flavor seemed balanced, we racked it into a keg and force carbed it.

*We pulled the wood chips out and strained the whiskey into a glass on the rocks. You get some very nice added smokiness and vanilla in the Jack Daniels from the chips.

Tasting Notes

This is one  of my favorite beers that we’ve ever made. This along with our Peanut Butter Porter are the only beers we have made twice. The first time we made this it was also our first successful kegging attempt, and the keg was empty in a little over a week. This time, we decided to try to savor it more; although, it still didn’t last very long.

The ale pours a dark, reddish brown with a generally thick, cream colored head. You instantly smell the bourbon but there is also very nice malt sweetness along with it. The beer has a rich, velvety mouthfeel that is very smooth. The flavor from the oak and bourbon is mainly caramels and vanillas that add a depth to the malt flavor of the basic scotch ale. If you enjoy malty beers, definitely give this one a go.

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