My most successful brew to date has been Northern Brewer's Scottish 80/- extract kit. It was a dead ringer for Belhaven, but lacked Belhaven's body and mouthfeel, maybe due to the fermentability of the extracts in use.

I'd like to do a mini-mash next time with the focus on adding body to the beer. The extract will provide much of the fermentables, so I don't care if this mini-mash is skewed very strongly toward dextrins. How do I adjust the mash temperature to lend body?

  • 1
    I brewed the Belhaven Scottish clone recipe from the CloneBrews book. It also came out quite delicious. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison with a real bottle of Belhaven because I screwed up when brewing and used way too little LME, resulting in an OG of around 1.050 instead of 1.075. Aside from it coming out smaller than it should have, the taste is fantastic. If you like brewing clones, grab a copy of this book and give it a try! I'll be making it again, hopefully correctly this time.
    – JackSmith
    Apr 21, 2010 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


There are easy two things you can do in the mash to manipulate the flavor profile (this also applies to steeping specialty grains).

Thick Mash

Use a water to grist ratio that is less than 1.25 quart per pound (2.6 L/kg).

[It] is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. (How to Brew)

Mash Warm

Alpha amylase is responsible for unfermentable sugars. Hit a temperature above 150°F (65.5°C), like 164°F (73°C). Get there quickly to denature beta amylase.

Mash temperatures

How To Brew

  • But maltier and sweeter are flavor components and not always mouthfeel attributes. You can big body without big malt sweetness, and you can have a lot of malt without much body.
    – brewchez
    Apr 21, 2010 at 13:27

I'd suggest using a combo of base malt and carapils or dextrin malt. I'd mash in really high say, 158°F(70°C)-160°F(71°C). Make it 20% of your total 'extract' and see how that improves body in the final beer. Essentially, I am suggesting making a 20% slug of something that has really high body and residual dextrins.

I think you can even try steeping some carapils/dextrin malt in your extract recipe with no mini mash at all. Post the recipe and you'll be able to get even more specific help.

Something I have found with brewing scottish ales (especially 60/-) is they need time to mature. For some weird reason, they really don't start to take on good mouthfeel characteristics until a month after fermentation. So I'd maybe hold off on any big recipe or process changes until this beer has time to mature a bit.

Good luck

  • 1
    Crud. This beer was so good it never knew what hit it. It was a speed record for brew-to-drink, and also for drink-to-extinct. Now but a distant memory. I'll see about keeping my hands off the next batch for a bit longer. Apr 21, 2010 at 13:35

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