How To Brew Scottish Export Beer | Homebrew Challenge

by Steve Thanos | Last Updated: October 24, 2020


Scottish Export is a malt-focused beer like the other two Scottish ales in category 14 of the BJCP guidelines. It is a caramelly beer with some esters and sometimes contains a butterscotch aftertaste.

Hops are only present to support the malt and allow it to not become too cloyingly sweet.

Malt character is dry and grainy to rich, toasty, and caramelly. Scottish Exports never contain peat smoke or roasted malts.

Brewing Hot Spot

Scottish Export completes our look at Scotland’s three schilling ales. In the 19th and 20th century during the Industrial Period, advancements in transportation and technology caused an increase in brewing in Edinburgh, with its great water source and easy access to transportation. At one point in time the city of Edinburgh was the home to thirty-eight breweries.

Improvements in Brewing

By the late 19th century, the beer making process had been revolutionized, largely in part to the work of Louis Pasteur. It became necessary for each brewery to have a chemist on staff.

This was the reason for the partnership with brewer William Younger and William McCowan. Things were going well enough for breweries at this time that Edinburgh breweries began to export their beers to far away places such as India and Australia.

The Effects of War

Due in large part to World War II, the brewing scene in Scotland took a hit. The exportation of beer was diminished. Many breweries closed or merged as a result. One brewery that lasted and still thrives today is Belhaven. Today, Edinburgh has eleven microbreweries in the city and is still a thriving brewing community.

Style Profile for Scottish Export

Appearance

The color is usually a pale copper to very dark brown. The head on this beer should be creamy and off white with a suburb clarity.

Aroma

Low to medium maltiness on the nose. Often the flavors consist of breadcrumbs and biscuits. Low to medium caramel and low butterscotch notes are perceived. Low English hop aroma, which is often earthy, floral, orange-citrus, or, spicy. Peat smoke is inappropriate.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is usually medium-low to medium. Low to moderate carbonation. Can be rich and creamy to dry and grainy.

Taste

The flavor of this beer is all malt. Flavors range from bready malt with caramel overtones to rich-toasty malt with roasted accents, but not roasty. Fruit esters are not required, but add some depth as long as they are not too high. Hop bitterness to balance out the malt. Low hop flavor is also allowed. Finish is rich and malty to dry and grainy. A subtly butterscotch character is acceptable, but burnt sugar is not. Peat smoke is inappropriate.

Food Pairing

The characteristics of a Scottish Export, much like the Scottish Light and Heavy, fare well with gamey meats like pheasant and quail, as well as more traditional roast pork, smoked salmon, or lamb. Spicy Mexican dishes can work as well.

For cheese pairings, you’re probably best off with something smoked. Overall though, the Scottish Light is probably BEST to save for a rich dessert, given the heavy toffee, caramel-like nature of the beer… anything with dark chocolate, toffee, or caramel will work really well.

Tips for Brewing your own Scottish Export

Grain

Originally Scottish pale malt, grits, or flaked maize was used in the grist. Today an English pale malt, such as Maris Otter, would be used. Golden Promise would also be a good base grain. The rest of the grist is made up of 10% of Crystal, Chocolate, Black malt, roasted barley, and wheat.

Possibly a little Chocolate Rye can be used to add some interest and earthiness (or a perceived spiciness) to the gristThe combination of specialty malts is up to you to experiment with a little.Take good notes in order to replicate this beer again and again.

Hops

Since hops grow so poorly in Scotland, they needed to be imported. The closest area that has hops is England, so English hops make up the hop bill in most Scottish beers. Much like the Scottish light, hops such as Target, Progress, Sovereign, East Kent Goldings, Fuggle, and Challenger will be on the list to choose from for a Scottish Light.

Since hop characters are not really prevalent in this style, the hop itself is very seconrady. Look for hop additions to only consist of the bittering charge at 60 minutes for this style.

Yeast

A yeast that is clean and neutral with minimal flavor additions. Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale, or White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Scottish Ale are both good choices. Safale S-04 or Danstar Winsor are the dry yeast choices.

Fermentation

Usually a beer can ferment in about a week’s time if not less. Since Scottish ales ferment much cooler, it can take up to three weeks in primary to finish. Traditionally, cold conditioning in a secondary for up to six weeks to aid in clarity and accentuate the malty profile.

Scottish Export By the Numbers

  • Color Range: 13 – 22 SRM
  • Original Gravity: 1.040 – 1.060 OG
  • Final Gravity: 1.010 – 1.016 FG
  • IBU Range: 15 – 30
  • ABV Range: 3.9 – 6.0%

Martin Keen’s Scottish Export Recipe

Grain

  • 88% 10 lbs Golden Promise Malt
  • 11% 1 lb Crystal 40 Malt
  • 1% 4 oz Roasted Barley

Hops

East Kent Golding Hops 1 oz.
$7.95

Smooth and delicate with floral, lavender, spice, honey, earth, lemon and thyme overtones. Packaged in nitrogen flushed, oxygen barrier mylar-foil bag.

Detail Page Learn More
06/19/2021 12:32 pm GMT

Yeast

Scottish Ale Activator Wyeast 1728- 4.25 oz.
$9.99

Flocculation: high - Attenuation: 69-73% - Temperature Range: 55-75° F (13-24° C)

Detail Page Learn More
06/20/2021 05:38 am GMT

Directions

Mash at 152°F (66°C) for 60 mins

Boil for 60 mins

Transcript: Today on the Homebrew challenge, I am brewing up a bold and malty Scottish export, and I have a fun project to completely redo how gas is distributed in my Keezer using these guys.

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I’m Martin Keen, I’m taking The Homebrew Challenge to brew 99 beers in 99 weeks. And this week it’s Scottish Export.

Now this is the strongest of the Scottish beers that are brewed so far. It can go up to 6%. ABV.

Alright, let’s talk about ingredients. Now, I mentioned this beer can be up to 6%. ABV I’m going to brew this with an original gravity of 1.046, which will get us to a 4.5% beer. For me, a Scottish export isn’t all about packing in as much alcohol as you can. It’s really about more prominent, malty and toasty flavors.

And speaking of prominently, malty and toasty, the base malt I am using for this is golden promise that makes up 88% of the grist in this beer. Now I’m also adding in some Crystal 40, that will be 11% of the grist.

And then for the color I’m adding in roasted barley, one or 2% roasted barley, whatever it takes to get to an SRM of about 14 for the color. And I’ll be mashing the beer at 152 Fahrenheit or 67 Celsius.

Keezers

Now let’s talk about my current keezer are set up. What I’ve got here is I have got on the outside of the Keezer connections for two sets of gas, I have a nitrogen connection and the CO2 connection. So those come into the keezer here and a passed through. Now the nitrogen one just goes straight through to this tubing here, and I can connect it to a keg. I’m not doing anything with nitro today. It’s the CO2 that’s the thing that I want to address.

Now, what I have in here is a four way regulator. And the advantage of this is it allows me to set different pressures for each one of my kegs. So off of this four way, regulator, I have four quick gas disconnect posts, and each one of these can be set to different pressures. So I can set a one keg to 10 PSI, another one to 12 or 15, if I want it to be more carbonated.

And I typically have one of these always set at 30 PSI, which I use for force carbonating. Now the disadvantage of this setup, well, there’s a few things. One is that this four way regulator is huge. It takes up a massive part of my keezer, which actually I could use for kind of half sized kegs or something. If it wasn’t there.

The second thing is because it is just all the way over there on the far side of the keezer, it means these tables get really, really long so that they can potentially reach to this other side. And it is a mess.

As with all the Scottish beers I’ve done. It’s really only bittering hops that you’re going to use. I am using East Kent Golding and we wanted to get an IBU of about 19. For me, that means one ounce of EKG.

Beer has come in with a final gravity of 1.045 – time to add the yeast. It is the same WYeast. I’ve been adding a previous times that is 1728 Scottish ale yeast. That’s pitch that in and there we go, I’m going to ferment the beer at 68 Fahrenheit or 20 Celsius, and then just sort of bump it up near the end of fermentation.

All right, that’s the beer done. Let’s sort out this keezer. [How to build your own Keezer here.]

Boy. There’s a lot of condensation built up in there, right? Everything is cleaned a little bit better now. So time to take the old regulator out. All right. This big heavy beast is out.

Yeah. Tell him to put the new inline regulators in. So what am I using instead? Well, I have these inline integrated regulators, which I was supplied by kegland. Now these are really clever.

So they’re called doutight inline regulator with integrated gauge. That’s exactly what they are. So gas comes in through this side out the other side. And, uh, let me, let me show you this actually with my overhead cam, which I have set up here on my iPad. So now you can see the overhead cap here.

So yeah, the gas is coming in here, coming out there. We control the flow of gas with this knob. And then this little regulator here tells us how much gas is in, uh, is flowing through. And these are actually completely removable. So you can pull this out and put different ones. Kegland say that they do that because this one’s a 60 PSI gauge.

It’s pretty small. So if you’re just setting between zero and 10 PSI, it’s kind of hard to see that. So you could switch this out for say a, a 30 PSI gauge. Now I have got four of these and a bunch of other connectors. So I’ve got this connector here, which is going to slot in. If I go back to my overhead cam here, we can just slot this in. So that really just slots in like that. And now we’ve got a very solid connection here.

Now let me bring in what I have been building for this thing, which is this.

So here, I’ve got all of my regulators chained together and, uh, I just need to add one more, this one. So we’re going to slot this one in as well. And we go, so think of these now, as the gas is going to come in and flow through each one of these regulators, and then coming out of each regulator here, I’m going to connect this to it. Or we go, and on the other end of this, I have these other little connectors here.

So I’m going to push this one in and then I can add in my gas or liquid posts or whatever it is that I want to screw in to the bottom of these. I’ve got a liquid post here. That’s no good. I need a gas one, but you get the idea. So this should save me quite a lot of space. It means that I can mount it along my keezer across the top rather than having everything over on one side. And yeah, I’m interested to see how well this works.

So I’ve got everything mounted now. And then the gas is going to come in through here and just run all the way through to each one of these regulators. Then coming out of each one of these regulators, I have one of these gas posts. Now these gas posts are much shorter than the other ones, because the idea now is that this can sort of handle any keg that’s in this, this side of the chest freezer now, rather than making these super long and getting everything tangled up.

So I’ve done that for three of the regulators. And then the fourth regulator, I’ve put a longer hose on this one, cause I’m going to use this more for force combinations. So this one is long enough to reach the whole of the chest freezer.

Well, that looks a whole lot better. I’ve just disconnected these because right now I have the main regulator connected to the CO2 and then it’s sending stuff in. I just want to make sure that there are no leaks in the system. So I’m just going to check the main regulator, um, on my CO2 tank for the next few hours, if nothing drops, then I start connecting these up.

Now the only issue I still have is I still have these very messy liquid lines, but I’m going to address those next week.

So this is the third of the series of Scottish ales that we’ve done on Lauren. You are going to complete the series with us. Yes I am.

So this one is Scottish export and let’s see what we think about the appearance, the aroma, the mouth feel and so forth. I should say that the other two Scottish beers I was thinking originally we would like line them all up and compare them. There’s nothing left of that. We had a, we had a neighborhood party at the weekend and yeah, that cleared that out.

Okay. So from our memory, what do we think about the color of this beer? Um, this one got like a golden Ambery color to it. Yup. Yeah. Very similar to the others. Right? Most of the other ones, dark Brown. I don’t know. I don’t smell too much than not this one either. I know. I didn’t smell much on the last one.

Yeah. I think, um, the Scottish, like didn’t really have much aroma at all. This one’s got a mild, um, mild malty sort of sweet aroma, but it’s pretty, it is pretty mild light smelling. Yeah. Okay.

Let’s go in from the taste. I quite like it. Um, I think it’s got a bit of, bit of character to it. Um, the light was pretty inoffensive. This one has a bit more to it. I think there’s a little bit on the aftertaste as well, where you can really get some of that malty sweetness. I quite like it. I agree.

No, I like it. I agree that you say that it’s like a little bit of a sweetness to it. I can taste that. Yeah.

So that’s it for Scottish beers for now. We’re going to come back to the wee heavy a little bit, but it’s onto the Irish beers next.

Awesome. Um, but before we leave, I have something for you. Yeah. So I’ve decided that it is time for Martin to retire a SpongeBob because I’m sick of looking at it in the videos and I’m sure you guys are too, so we would like to welcome Scooby do.

Wow. Well, I appreciate that. Yeah. Sponge bob now got holds in him. He’s been with me from the beginning of the Homebrew challenge. So excuse me. Can take us the rest of the way.

Yeah. All right. Welcome to the team Scooby. I appreciate that. Cheers.

I am the former President of my homebrew club, Plainfield Ale and Lager Enthusiasts (PALE) in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL. I brew on my BIAB system with my incredibly patient and understanding wife, adorable 9 year old daughter, and 12 year old brew dog.