The Irish Red Ale

January 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

What’s crackin’ all,

Apologies, I just got home from Keystone Homebrew’s first meeting of the new year; a bit tipsy…  Tons of people showed up, 40 plus!  I tried so many different styles it’s almost hard to remember.  The ones that stuck out were the Dark IPA’s (cascadians), a sour, the uber coffee stout, the goatscrotum porter (it’s the name that really got me XD), and the looney lady’s pepper mead; seriously, that bitch was nuts.  The event was a real blast to my palate!

Yesterday I decided to go ahead and brew up my first batch of all grain beer.  It was quite the adventure.  The brew is an Irish Red Ale.

Recipe Overview:

7 lbs Pale Malt

1/4 lb Roasted Barley

1 lb 20° L Crystal Malt

1/2 lb Munich Malt

2 oz Nothern Brewer (AAU = 9.0)

1 oz Sterling (AAU = 8.1)

Irish Moss

Wyeast – Irish Ale 1084 (Irish Ale)  <— I will most likely reuse this yeast via harvest for the stout I am planning.


I brought 8.5 liters of water to 142° (all temperatures are in degrees Farenheit) and dumped this into my mash tun.  I let this sit for about 15 mins until the core temperature was around 135° at this point I added my 8.75 lbs of milled grains.  I let them protein rest for 20 minutes.  I then added another 4.5 liters of 200° water bringing my grain temperature to an even 150.1°.  I let the grains set for 60 minutes.  I then began the run off.  I collected about 1 liter of vorlauf, until my wort ran clean, I then added this back into my tun.  I let this run off very slowly as John poured about 14 liters of 170° sparge water carefully over the grain bed.  The grain collected approximately 3.4 liters. leaving my with about 6 – 61/2 gallons of wort.

60 Minute Boil:

I brought my wort to a boil on the propane stove.  Once I reached my “gentle rolling boil” I added 2 oz of Northern Brewer hops in a meslin bag.  I had a mild boil over, easy to take care of.  At that point almost everyone left me for class.  Props to Lisa, John, Joe, Jalene, and Paige for coming out; shame on you for not eating any of the damn Burger King.  It was Whopper Wednesday for goodness sake!  After 45 minutes I dropped 1 oz of Sterling hops in a meslin bag in.  I added these just a bit early so there was a blend of bitterness to kick my final IBU up a pinch.  I staralized my wort chiller in my boiling wort and decided to go with the all natural chiller.  Thanks Pennsylvania weather for the free ice, us homebrewers appreciate it.  I ran my wort chiller through the spiket on the side of my house and packed snow around the outside careful to keep the lid on.  The temperature dropped really quick with just a little bit of agitation.  I hit about 75° and funneled in my new glass carboy, and took a hydrometer reading; it was about at an SG: 1.043.  I aerated that bad boy with an aeration pump and pitch my wyeast 1084.  I plugged it up with an airlock and kept it aside.

All in all, I think the process went smoothly.  I made no mistakes that were completely off the charts horrible.  My mash schedule, however, could be better planned.  I also want to build a sparge tool, similar to my mash tun grid, so I can pull a higher specific gravity next time I mash.

This morning when I checked it was going a bit crazy.  I should have thrown a blow off tube on instead of an airlock, the airlock is completely full of brew, but life will go on.  This is what the airlock’s activity looks like after about 16 hours.

Sorry that it’s sideways.

Tomorrow I will post up my recipe for the “Ultimate Stout” and will be looking forward to the unveiling of the American Amber Ale.  I have secured a Fondue set, or as Joe suggested “FUNdoo” set, to enrich our experience Saturday night.





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