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Home » Tech and Tips » Brewers Series » The Sal's Wee Heavy
The Sal's Wee Heavy
by Sal Scirotino, Sr.
Welcome to the Brewer's Style Series, where brewers tackle their favorite styles and give you all their information. If you have a style you're fond of, experimented with, etc and would like to help us out, contact the Grand Hydro at grandhydrometer@maltosefalcons.com.

Our beer favorites include Wee Heavy, 60, 70, and 80 shilling Scottish Ales so we try to make 2 beers when we make the Wee Heavy. The OG'S range from 1.096 down to 1.050 added depending on how much wort dilution added. Filtered, boiled and chilled San Fernando Valley water is used for dilution. Here is our recipe and procedure highlights for one of our recent Wee Heavy brews:

Recipe for 12 gallons wort:

5 gallons Wee Heavy & 7 gallons Scottish Export Ale 80 shilling:

  • 43 lbs. Maris Otter
  • 11 oz Scottish Chocolate Malt
  • Wyeast 1056 (make 1/2 gallon starter )
  • Hallertau Hops bittering @ 60 minutes - 50 IBU (High for style)
OG: 1.090 FG: 1.025

Procedure Highlights:

  1. We add grain to 164 F water in mash tun. Mash grain at 154F for one hour using 40 quarts of water in a 70 quart Igloo Batch Mash Tun.
  2. After mashing, take out a decoction slurry with about half of mash to boil for mashing out at above 170F. Add decoction back into Mash tun. Sal the Younger made a copper tubing bank with hack saw cuts to filter out the grain inside the mash tun.
  3. Vourlaf with pump for 20 minutes to establish grain bed & clear wort.
  4. First runnings -- with no sparge -- to get Wee Heavy wort of about 6 gallons minimum.
  5. Take half of first running wort and boil it down to carmelize for deep malt nose and to get intense kettle-carmelization then add back into wort. We use boiling beads to allow vigorous boiling without boil over and to avoid scorching in wort.
  6. Sparge mash at 172 F to get about 14 gallons of wort and boil down to 12 gallons. Sparging can be somewhat concurrent with boiling carmelization in step 5.
  7. Use Irish Moss to help clear wort.
  8. In last 3 minutes of boil sanitize cooling coil by placing it directly in boiling wort.
  9. Shut down boiling and stir/whirpool to separate hop particles before chilling. Allow 20 minutes to build a hop pile in the center of wort boiler.
  10. Use rapid cooling with cooling coil in wort boiler (15 gallon size), then through a counterflow chiller and finally an ice bath before filling 5 gallons in a 6 gallon fermenter with OG 1.090 Wee Heavy. Temperature should be about 65 F at the end of the chilling process.
  11. Pump remaining wort, 3 1/2 gallons each, in two separate fermenters having 1 1/2 gallons each of chilled sterilized (boiled) water to cut to 1.050 + OG for 80 shilling Scottish Ale (Export).
  12. Pitch 1/4 gallon Wyeast 1056 starter to Wee Heavy and 1/8 gallon starter to each 80 shilling Scottish Ale fermenter.
  13. Oxygenate after pitching.
  14. Room temperature ferment until Krausen drops -- about 10 days to 3 weeks .
  15. Transfer to secondary to separate yeast/hop residue from beer.
  16. Transfer to kegs, cool and carbonate moderately.

Note that Wee Heavy bottles get better after 1 year storage in a house closet.

Drink Scottish Ale Export 3 to 6 months after kegging.


Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.