Apr 12, 2012

Brewday: Irish Red Ale

I finally managed to brew (almost) unassisted. I'm on the way back from this sickness! It was a spur of the moment thing so instead of brewing one of the 10 or so beers that are on my list of beers to brew, I brewed an Irish Red Ale since I had the ingredients for it. I'm still brewing on the stovetop until I can get a wort chiller sorted out so it was just a 11.5l batch.

Beyond brewing beers that I enjoy, one of my aims in brewing is to produce beers that Bron likes to drink. Irish Red Ale was probably the first craft beer that Bron really loved. We had the Redoak version back in 2007 and it remains the gold standard for us. If I can produce something that doesn't embarrass itself next to that I'll be stoked.

Not my photo but that's the colour I'm going for
For the recipe I used 2.1kg of maris otter as the base malt and 100g of crystal 120ebc to contribute some colour and a bit of cara flavour. 30g of roasted barley gave the brew that black-red colour I was after. At the last moment I decided to go with 150g flaked barley as well for a bit of extra creaminess and body. I chucked in some EKG and fuggles hops (just using up leftovers) to ~20 IBUs. I used S-04 yeast.

The brew went well although the stove struggled to get the wort to the boil. It was so much fun to get back into it after over 4 months of just reading about brewing. The aim was for an OG of 1.047 at 75% efficiency into the fermenter, I hit 1.048.

So now it's fermenting away and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

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