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Irish Red Ale
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Irish Red Ale Reply with quote


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One of the world's most popular Irish Red Ales. Photo (c) http://eyeris.blogspot.ca/

Irish Red Ale is mild, moderately malty beer that is best known for its deep reddish copper colour. Closely related to English Bitters, it has an initial sweetness and a subtle roasted dryness in the finish. An easy-drinking pint. The colour comes from the small amount of highly kilned / roasted malt. Use of hops is retrained - just enough to balance out the malt.

Classic commercial examples include Kilkenny Irish Beer and Smithwick's Irish Ale.

Try and use the recommended White Labs WLP004 or Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale yeasts. While something like Fermentis Safale US-05 (American Ale / Chico) yeast can be substituted and works well, it's just not the same as it's a bit too clean fermenting and lacks some of the complexity.

This beer is best served on a stout faucet pushed by 30/70 CO2/Nitrogen blend (called 'beer gas') to get a nice creamy head and close to flat beer, exactly how Kilkenny (and Guinness) are served on tap. One cheap and inexpensive way to (sort of) mimic this is to use a syringe. Pour the beer as you would normally and then suck up a syringe full and force it back into the beer, hard. Repeat 2-3 times and you'll knock most of the C02 out of solution leaving a nearly flat beer with a creamy head. Not quite the same texture, but it gets you part ways there. I tried this for years before I finally added real CO2/Nitrogen serving setup.

If you choose to serve this beer with CO2 instead, do so with fairly low carbonation (the lower the better in my humble opinion, or even better, as a cask ale). If you have the means to serve it through a beer engine with no extra carbonation at all other than residuals left over from fermentation, that works well too. Over carbonation destroys a lot of the subtleties of this beer. So if you need to serve this on CO2 instead of a CO2/Nitrogen blend, make sure to not over carbonate!

I brewed it for the first time on September 25, 2012.

Brew up a batch and let me know how you like it!

Interested in seeing what we're brewing right now? Follow our Instagram feed for pictures and videos of our brewing activities as they happen.

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Irish Red Ale (batch #147)

Size: 12.0 US gal (post-boil)
Mash Efficiency: 95%
Attenuation: 74.0%
Calories: 169 kcal per 12.0 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.051 (style range: 1.044 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (style range: 1.010 - 1.014)
Color: 17.1 (style range: 9.0 - 18.0)
Alcohol: 4.9% (style range: 4.0% - 6.0%)
Bitterness: 22 (style range: 17.0 - 28.0)

Ingredients:
17.0 lb British Maris Otter Malt (91.9%)
0.5 lb Crystal Malt 40L (2.7%)
0.5 lb Crystal Malt 120L (2.7%)
0.5 lb Roasted Barley (500L) (2.7%)
3.0 oz UK East Kent Goldings Hops (4.7%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [22 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
4 packs Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale liquid yeast (or an appropriate starter*)
- OR -
4 vials White Labs WLP-004 Irish Ale liquid yeast (or an appropriate starter*)

Notes:
Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine/chloramine (as required).
Water treated with brewing salts to: Ca=50, Mg=10, Na=16, Cl=71, S04=69
(Keeping the Cl:S04 ratio even for a balance between malt and bitterness, hitting the minimums on Ca and Mg).
For complete details on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustments guide.
1.5 qt/lb mash thickness. Single infusion mash at 152F for 90 mins. Mashout to 168F.
60-90 min fly sparge with ~6 pH water. Collect 13.9 gallons in boil kettle.
Boil for 60 minutes. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
Cool wort to 66F and aerate well. Ferment at 66-68F until complete.
Rack to CO2 purged brite tank (secondary), crash chill to near freezing (if possible), add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and let clear for 2-3 days.
See above for recommendations on carbonation/packaging.

*For hints on how to make a starter see Chapter 6 of How to Brew and Appendix A of Brewing Classic Styles. Also see the stirplate/starter equipment I use.

For complete brewing instructions, see our Brew Day: Step by Step guide.

Brew yourself a batch today and let us know how you like it! Enjoy!

Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!

SEE OUR OTHER RECIPES »

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:14 pm; edited 20 times in total
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corb5309



Joined: 14 May 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Jeffersonville, IN


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:33 am    Post subject: just brewed your irish red Reply with quote

I used this Irish Red Ale recipe as my first test run on my electric brewery setup since it somewhat simple and I've done an Irish Red Ale before to compare it to. Everything on my first run with the electric setup went smoothly with the exception of one thing which I can't really complain about; I ended up with 96.5% mash efficiency which I wasn't quite expecting on my first run. This took me a little out of style with the ABV so I just made the 6 gallon batch a 6.5 gallon batch by topping it off after the boil.

Granted the last time I made an Irish Red it was a Norther Brewer AG kit, my first all grain run and I didn't have a fermentation temp control chamber yet but the results from this recipe already taste way better after a two week primary than that Northern Brewer kit ever did even after a couple months in the bottle. Now that I know a little more about recipe designs I can compare the two malt bills and the yeasts used and kind of see why that might be the case.

I could bottle this batch today and be really happy with it but I'll be a little more patient. Irish Red doesn't get as much attention as many of the more hoppy and fancy recipes out there. Thanks for posting this one!!
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you liked the recipe! Give it a month or so at near freezing after it's been properly carbonated and it'll get even smoother.

Cheers,

Kal

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Jerz



Joined: 17 Nov 2013
Posts: 191
Location: Suwanee, Georgia

Drinking: Centennial IPA, Oktoberfest, Dry Stout...

Working on: Kolsch, Rye IPA


PostLink    Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brewed this one on March 28th and tapped this week... Outstanding flavor! This is one of my favorites even without beergas.
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jengum



Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 43
Location: Portland, OR USA


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made this recipe three weeks ago...scaled to around 18 gallons. It fermented out in less than a week. I kegged it two weeks ago and started drinking this week. It's a delicious beer. Light body, approx. 4.3% abv., nice roasty finish...good balance all around. Head doesn't last, but it's sitting on around 12 PSI now, and a stout faucet might do it more justice. Perfect daily drinker for cooling weather.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you're enjoying it! I still have a keg of it on tap myself (nitro tap). It's a nice full flavoured beer without all the alcohol.

Kal

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MikeOH



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Ohio


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got this kegged this weekend. I am getting better with the EB system, but collected a bit too much wort on this one. Not by much, but the ABV ended up around 4%. Very smooth and subtle. A little less rich than the Fuller's ESB which I also have on tap, but both are kinda similar I think. Both seem good to me at the 1.5-1.75 vol CO2 level.
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MikeOH



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Ohio


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After 3-4 weeks conditioning I found this really smoothed out and head retention improved. Also, there seems to be a new, just slight smokiness to it. Anyone else found this?
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brewed this one a month or so ago. Half is in the keg (and on tap) and half I just bottled. Taste great, the SO likes it so that's good and good reviews by everyone else. The only issue is it is much darker than I thought it would be. Not as dark as the Irish Dry Stout (GREAT Beer), but I can't see any light through a glass of this beer. Anyone else have this issue? I have left myself a note to reduce the Roasted Barley next time.

David

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David

Kal Clone Controller
20 gallon Spike Brewing 3-Kettle System
SS Brewtech 14 gallon fermenter w/ gycol chiller
4 tap keezer with Nitro Tap
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope - when the light's right it looks pretty much like a pint of Kilkenny, maybe a shade darker.

Here's a video of mine: https://www.instagram.com/p/BAOMaX7IKoU/

Lighting is really bad and dark unfortunately, and colours faded.

Kal

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GrumpyWally



Joined: 06 Mar 2015
Posts: 51
Location: San Diego, CA

Drinking: Irish Red Ale, California Common, Student's Stout

Working on: Schwarzbier


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David_H wrote:
I can't see any light through a glass of this beer.


I too have observed this on a couple of batches. Since I'm not entering any competitions, none of my friends are nearly sophisticated enough to care (although one calls it a 'brown ale'), and (most importantly) I LIKE it, I'm not too bothered by the color.

If I take a glass outside and use sunlight I can detect the signature red color thanks to the barley.

W
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something you may want to try for the next batch is to cut the amount of Roasted Barley in half. It's only used for colour and if you add too much you'll get a browner (instead of red). I didn't think it was the case, but maybe mine is kilned a bit lighter than what others are getting?

It shouldn't affect the taste much in such small quantities.

Kal

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GrumpyWally



Joined: 06 Mar 2015
Posts: 51
Location: San Diego, CA

Drinking: Irish Red Ale, California Common, Student's Stout

Working on: Schwarzbier


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal for the suggestion - I actually did that on the next batch (#3).

Took some of batch #2 to the LHBS who sent it along to a certified beer judge - scored it a 34 out of 50 with this as the "overall" comment:

Lovely looking Irish Red Ale with an inviting aroma, ester levels of red apple stand out a bit high. Medicinal/chlorophenol flavor and husky astringency detracts from overall enjoyment. Don't oversparge with H2O > 170 degrees F or pH > 6. Roast flavor comes through in flavor a bit too high and may be cause of astringency along with the chlorophenols. Roast/dark malt character may be accentuated by low mash temp/higher attenuation. If so, try mashing 2-3 degrees F higher.

His comment wrt the sparge has got to be a "standard response" as I know for a fact that sparge water never exceeded 168 (thanks to your system design) and pH was for sure less than 6.0. OTH, I agree that the roast flavor is quite strong. I think for tomorrow's batch (#4) I'm going to make 2 changes (yes, I'm not a good scientist): 1) try 'cold steeping with a short boil' the Roasted Barley (per 'Brewing Better Beer' page 45), but will use the full 8 oz. from the recipe, and 2) bumping the mash temperature to 154 degrees F.

Will let you know in 6 weeks how it turns out.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let us know! Cheers!

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri

Drinking: Ozarks Vienna Lager, Ozarks Red Lager

Working on: Ozarks Amber Lager, Ozarks Stout


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok I just brewed this recipe and its not red at all, its in fact dark amber, am I missing something I did use Golden Promise but that shouldn't have made a difference, I mashed and boiled for 90 minutes and my beers are always darker that they should be, trying to figure this one out lol

I just read the above posts oops should have done that before I brewed, oh well
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d4nny74



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brewing this on Sunday but only work in EBC, is there a calc anywhere that I can use to convert from L ?

Cheers all


Danny
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this by Googling "Lovibond to EBC converter":

https://www.brewtoad.com/tools/color-converter

Welcome to the forum!

Kal

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d4nny74



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant cheers , Currently have your Hop Candy in the fermentor , smells amazing Smile

Last edited by d4nny74 on Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9511
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoy! I just ordered another 3 packs of WY1318 to make some more myself! Wink

Kal

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d4nny74



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, am using 1084, but have no clue over liquid yeasts as am just starting out in liquids and only ever use us05 lol
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