Mental Brewing

Mental Brew - Gravity Problem

This Wee Heavy is my first brew of the 2019-2020 season (I generally don’t brew in the summer) and the second iteration of a beer that I brewed last fall.

My brother Ian is a big fan of Wee Heavies (aka Scotch Ales), so for his birthday last year, I offered to split a batch with him. My one condition was that he assist me on the brew day. He was a great sport - he helped out with the heavy lifting and listened attentively to my commentary on the brewing process. We ended up enjoying the final product so much that we decided to brew the beer again for his birthday this year.

This time around, I got to try out some new equipment, including my shiny, new stainless counterflow chiller (which you can read about in my last post). The brew went very smoothly and the OG was well within the normal range for this beer style. Assuming that the beer turns out as good as last time, I’ll be entering it in at least a couple competitions.

Update: This beer won a bronze medal in the Strong British Beer category of the Redcoat Challenge 2019 homebrew competition.


Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Time: 90 min


Amount / AA (%) Weight Name Type
82.5 20.00 lb Maris Otter Malt Grain
3.1 12.00 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt 75L Grain
3.1 12.00 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt 35L Grain
2.1 8.00 oz Munich II Grain
2.1 8.00 oz Honey Malt Grain
1.0 4.00 oz Roasted Barley Grain
1.0 4.00 oz Pale Chocolate (200 SRM) Grain
1.0 4.00 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt 150L Grain
4.1 1.00 lb Rice Hulls Adjunct
9.2 1.00 oz First Gold (UK) Hop (60 min)
4.8 1.00 oz East Kent Goldings (UK) Hop (60 min)
4.8 0.75 oz East Kent Goldings (UK) Hop (10 min)

Yeast: Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728)


  • Ferment at 55.0 °F for 3 days
  • Raise temp to 58.0 °F for 2-3 weeks.
  • Raise temp to 65 - 68 °F for a brief diacetyl rest (1-2 days)
  • Crash the beer


Expected 10.00% 1.112 1.038
Actual 8.90% 1.101 1.035

“Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?” - Doc Brown

Gunnar Johnson

Written by Gunnar Johnson, a professional brewer turned programmer who enjoys brainy banter, groovy guitars, and clean code.

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