Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Machair Mor and Gael 80/-

In the next couple of weeks I plan to do a couple of brews and so went to the local home brew shop to pick up the necessary hops and special grains to complement the DME on its way from Northern Brewer. While at the home brew shop I also picked up a clear 3 gallon carboy, so that I can make smaller batches of beer and because it is transparent will actually be ale to see what is going on.

The first one to go into the new carbaby will be an imperial stout, which I am calling Machair Mor - for those not from the west coast of Scotland, machair is the fertile land between peat bogs and the beach, and mor is the Gaelic word for "big" or "great". Machair Mor is inspired in part by Wrasslers XXXX from the Porterhouse in Dublin, which I really enjoyed when I was over in Ireland last year. The recipe for my beer is as follows:
  • 1.75kg Light DME
  • 250g Chocolate malt
  • 100g Roasted barley
  • 100g Flaked oats
  • 30g Galena, boiled 60 minutes
  • 10g East Kent Goldings, boiled for 15 minutes
  • 5g East Kent Goldings, boiled for 5 minutes
  • Wyeast Irish Ale
According the Beertools recipe calculator, this should give me an OG of 1.089 - by far the biggest beer I will have made to date, with a projected ABV of 8.7%! In terms of IBUs, my hopping schedule will apparently yield 51 IBUs, just on the lower end of the scale according to their style guides.

The second beer is kind of my autumnal quaffer, an 80/- ale which I am calling Gael 80/-. The recipe for this one is:
  • 1kg Light DME
  • 55g Crystal 60 malt
  • 30g Chocolate malt
  • 12g Fuggles, boiled for 60 minutes
  • 5g East Kent Goldings, boiled for 15 minutes
  • 5g East Kent Goldings, boiled for 1 minute
  • Wyeast Scottish Ale
Again, according to Beertools, the OG for this should be in the region of 1.048, giving me an ABV of 4.5%. The IBUs rating for this recipe is 17, again on the lower end of the spectrum, but as Scottish ales are not particularly hoppy anyway, not a problem.

I decided to go back to using the yeast smackpacks from Wyeast as they always fermented when I used them in Prague, so it was a case of better the devil you know. I will also be using Irish Moss in the boil for the first time, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the clarity of the end products.


  1. Looking forward to hearing how the Mor turns out!

    I've been using dried yeast for the past two years (had started out using Wyeast all the time) and have been pleased with the results. US-05 and S-04 are my regular yeasts. Been thinking about returning to the occasional liquid yeast for "special" brews, but hate the prep work in making a starter :D

  2. I too am planning an Imperial Stout for my next brew. Good luck!

  3. A Charlottesville homebrewer that brews in metric. That's awesome.

  4. I hate to say it as a good Brit, but metric in some cases makes more sense! Admittedly I only use it for weights; 1.94m (or whatever it is) is nowhere near as good as 6'4"! And at least metric is a universal measuring system, where a litre is a litre regardless of where you are, unlike our gallon and the US mini-gallon interloper. Having said all that, a pint (a proper one, imperial that is) is and always will be a pint.


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