I could use some advice from those who have gone before me. For this Christmas I want to do a beer that is big bodied, caramelly sweet, highly hopped, and RED. Im calling it an Imperial Red, though I think a lot of the time that suggests something in the vein of a large Irish Red, which is not what Im aiming for. I want to do something that is both sweet and hoppy, that approaches the threshold of cloying/obnoxious, but doesnt cross it. It should be drinkable enough to want to go back for a second 12-ouncer, just maybe not a third. And all of this in a bright, garnet-red package.
The trick isnt the sweet/hop balance so much as nailing the REDNESS while maintaining the sweet presence, I think. Typically, a simple grain base with a touch of roasted or black is the easiest way to redness, but in this case I am deliberately wanting to bring the crystal hurt as well.
This is my first draft recipe for a 6.0 gallon batch at the end of boil. With it Im afraid Im crossing too far into brownish territory and am thinking of scratching the crystal 120 and boosting the caramel sweetness with a touch more of the lower level crystals. If anyone has tried such a brew and succeeded, (or tried it and failed for that matter), Id love some feedback. Thanks!
12.5 # - American 2-row (~ 76%)
2.0 # - Munich 10L (~ 12%)
12 oz Carared 20L (all specialty grains ~ 12%)
12 oz Crystal 80L
4 oz Crystal 120L
2 oz Roasted Barley 300L
0.5 oz Simcoe (first wort)
1.0 oz Centennial @ 30 min
0.5 oz Simcoe @ 10 min
1.0 oz Summit @ 10 min
1.0 oz Centennial @ 0 min
1.0 oz Summit @ 0 min
Wyeast 1728 - Scottish Ale (~70% attenuation)
Mash @ 150 F. (I figure I should be getting enough substance with the size of the grain bill, the specialty malts and a low-attenuating yeast).