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Old 02-10-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
storunner13
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Default Crystal Malt, Roasted Barley, and Irish Red

This will be my third time brewing this Irish Red Ale recipe. The first one was an extract batch (my second batch ever!) and it was pretty delicious. I made it again last year for St. Patrick’s Day and it was good as well.

However, I’m trying to get that nice crimson hue to my pint (as is everyone else). Now, I know there are plenty of good ways to do this – a touch of roasted barley at the end, CaraRed (or some assortment of crystal, dark or light), etc. But I’m looking for some of these qualities:

Dry-ish (from low mash temps, high attenuating yeast)
(but also) a little sweet (from crystal malts)
(and most importantly) a bit roasty (from roasted barley)

I’m not talking Stout-like roast, but I do like that slight astringency and drying character of the roasted malt in an Irish Red. So I’d like to keep that.

My current recipe is:

9.0 lbs. Maris Otter
0.5 lbs. Crystal 10L
0.5 lbs. Crystal 80L
3.0 oz. Roasted Barley

With ~20 IBU (East Kent and Fuggles) and a healthy pitch of Irish Ale Yeast. at 75% efficiency it's 1.054ish (a little big for an IRA, but OK with me).

My extract batch had 4 oz. and was too dark. The 3 oz. was probably the right roast level, but it was still too dark.

Where should I tweak my recipe to lighten the color (and perhaps the body) without removing TOO much crystal?

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
frankstoneline
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You might try cutting the roasted barley a bit further and really grinding it up, like with a coffee grinder. Another option would be to change your crystal malts a bit. I've been really taken with a 60l/120l combination, something more like:
.5lbs 60l
.3lbs 120l
2oz roasted barley

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Old 02-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
SkiNuke
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I was going to brew the following tomorrow (if my appartment complex fixes my stove...):

10 lbs marris otter
.5 lbs crystal 40L
.25 lbs crystal 120L
.25 lbs roasted barley

1.5 EKG for 60 minutes

Brewing software is telling me it will be light brown to medium brown. But according to Jamil's radio show, this seems a bit lighter than his. My last attempt wasn't red at all, but I think it was because there were a lot of particulates in the beer that were catching the light and making it look brown.

But I am getting long winded. From what I have found, you want a healthy amount of crystal malt, but not too much. The most I have found in a decent looking recipe is 6 oz of 40L and 6 oz of 120L.

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