Groudskeeper Willie’s Wee Heavy

Groundskeeper Willie’s Wee Heavy

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.100 FG = 1.030
IBU = 22  SRM = 10 ABV = 9.3%

14.5 lbs. (6.6 kg) Maris Otter liquid malt extract
3.0 oz. (85 g) crystal malt (60 °L)
0.75 oz. (21 g) roasted barley (300 °L)
6 AAU First Gold hops (60 min) (0.8 oz./23 g of 7.5% alpha acids)
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 mins)
1/4 tsp yeast nutrient (15 mins)
Wyeast 1728 (Scottish Ale) or White Labs WLP028 (Edinburgh Ale) yeast (4 qt./~4 L yeast starter)
0.75 cups corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
Steep crushed grains for 45 minutes at 158 °F (70 °C) in 1.2 gallons (4.6 L) of water. Add water to “grain tea” to make 3 gallons (11 L) of wort. Add about 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) of malt extract to wort and bring to a boil. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at beginning of the boil. Add Irish moss and yeast nutrients with 15 minutes left in boil. Add remainder of liquid malt extract at end of boil and let steep 15 minutes before cooling. Top off fermenter to 5.25 gallons (20 L), aerate wort well chill to 65 °F (18 °C), and pitch yeast. Ferment at 62 °F (17 °C).

All-grain option
Replace malt extract and base grains with 20 lbs. (9.1 kg) Simpson’s Golden Promise malt. Mash at 158 °F (70 °C). Collect about 10 gallons of wort and boil to reduce to 5.25 gallons (20 L), as long as 5 hours.

Issue: December 2005

Wee heavies are malty/sweet big ales, but don’t smell fruity as most big ales do. You need to use a yeast strain that won’t overattenuate the beer, pitch a large yeast starter and hold the fermentation temperature lower than with most ales. A Golden Promise malt for your base malt is a good choice.