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Old 03-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default How can I get the reddest ale possible?

I'm planning on doing a red ale for my next batch and I'm curious what ingredients and techniques people would recommend in order to get as close to a true red color as possible. I've searched around the forum and elsewhere a bit and have seen some pretty interesting suggestions, but I'm wondering what might work best.

I want to use legit ingredients for the color, rather than "cheating" with food coloring or something like that. Using beets was one idea I came across, but I'm a bit concerned about how that might affect the flavor. I don't have the space for all-grain, so this is going to be an extract batch. I typically brew 5-gallon batches and usually do darker stuff, like stouts. I also only have 1 carboy for now, so I won't be able to do a secondary fermentation.

Basically I want to make a red ale that people look at and say "hey, that's red!" (not amber, etc). Any suggestions on what "magic ingredient" I can use to achieve this?

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Old 03-12-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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I haven't found that magic ingredient.. red ales are still amber in color, I haven't seen a beer that's seriously red and not just included some shade of red in the amber.

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Old 03-12-2011, 08:44 PM   #3
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Toast some pale malt at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring at 10 and 20 minutes. Let it sit in a paper bag for a week or so to "air out" and it will give your beer a wonderful red color.

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Old 03-12-2011, 08:46 PM   #4
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Melanoidin is a German malt that will give a reddish color to beer. It can make up to 20% of the total grain bill.

Sent from Spreadhead's iPhone.

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Old 03-12-2011, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort View Post
Toast some pale malt at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring at 10 and 20 minutes. Let it sit in a paper bag for a week or so to "air out" and it will give your beer a wonderful red color.
Thanks for the clue, Ed. Think I'll give it a try when the roasted barley runs out.....
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:10 AM   #6
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I've used Ken Lenard's advice of using a combo of Crystal 120 and Special B....awesome RED color and didn't have an over the top sweet or raisiny flavor you might expect for 8 oz of each in an 1.045 ale. SRM= 18 was right on!

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:34 AM   #7
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Crystal 80, with a longish boil - 90 minutes

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:36 AM   #8
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weyermann's CaraRed.

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:39 AM   #9
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I made a beet red ale and while the color is quite beautiful its still not red red and the beet flavor does show through (earthy) even with just one beet in a five gallon batch. Furthermore, it seemed that a lot of the red from the beet was actually a solid that wasn't fully soluble. So right after brewing and during fermentation it had an amazing ruby color, but as things settled, the color subsided.

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:43 AM   #10
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do a mini mash with some red wheat, small amount of crystal 60 or 80, a bit of rye malt, and use a pound of medium-heavy caramelized honey in the boil, that'll get a nice amber-ruby color

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