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Old 01-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Irish Red Ale - Style Questions and Yeast?

I'm going to brew an Irish Red Ale on Saturday (or maybe Sunday) and I'm looking to do this to style and include it in some beers I'm entering in a local competition in March. The style category is 9D.

The last Red I brewed, I used Edinburgh yeast (WLP028) but I wasn't brewing that one to style, really. One advantage to me of of using Edinburgh is I use it a lot and know it well, am comfortable with how to manage it. I was also considering using a tried-and-true Nottingham, fermented very low to get as clean a yeast profile as possible, so that the malts, especially the Munich and caramel, can shine through.

I've never used the Irish ale yeast (WLP004), but wonder if I should, because, well, I'm brewing an Irish Red. The description on the White Labs site says it comes from a stout brewery, though, which doesn't seem to really apply to brewing a Red.

Thoughts, suggestions, musings?

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Old 01-13-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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FWIW- I just did an Irish Ale a month or two ago and used the Wyeast Irish ale yeast and I don't really like it. Seems to be alot of esters in there. I think it is to style but for my personal taste buds I wish I went with a clean fermenting yeast, maybe even a dry yeast. Something like a Nottingham at the lower end of their temp range to keep it really clean and let the malt shine through.

Edit: I controlled the fermentation temp to 67 degrees the whole time so it is not from a warm fermentation.

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Old 01-13-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
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I wonder if judges would take off points for not having the fruity esters?

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:02 PM   #4
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I wonder if judges would take off points for not having the fruity esters?
Certainly not! Here are the flavor guidelines:
Flavor: Moderate caramel malt flavor and sweetness, occasionally with a buttered toast or toffee-like quality. Finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish. Generally no flavor hops, although some examples may have a light English hop flavor. Medium-low hop bitterness, although light use of roasted grains may increase the perception of bitterness to the medium range. Medium-dry to dry finish. Clean and smooth (lager versions can be very smooth). No esters.

It can have diacetyl, which is allowed, and sometimes it's nice with a buttery toffee taste, but even though I know it's "allowed", it's still no my preference!
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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I doing one myself this weekend using WY1338.

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Old 01-14-2012, 12:50 AM   #6
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I actually dislike the WLP004 Irish Ale yeast. I have really constant fermentation temps, but it still turned out with too many esters. I've retreated and like to cool ferment English Ale yeast instead, which i was more familiar with, and let the malt character show.

I like to think of a good Irish Red as a colorful, very modestly hopped, malty version of an amber ale, with a slight roastiness to it.

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Old 01-14-2012, 12:56 AM   #7
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I did an Irish Red just a couple weeks ago and used Wyeast 1084. It's still in the fermenter though, so I can't really give you a critique.

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Old 01-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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I know everyone is dying of suspense -which yeast did Pappers use in his Irish Red????



I decided to use the Edinburgh, basically because I've used it before and like it.

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Old 01-16-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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I know everyone is dying of suspense -which yeast did Pappers use in his Irish Red????



I decided to use the Edinburgh, basically because I've used it before and like it.
Don't you use that strain for lots of different styles, as a house strain?
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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I love Wyeast 1084 - Irish Ale. I've made several batches of Irish Red in the past few years using 1084 and I have enjoyed every batch (competition judges have enjoyed them as well). I always ferment it in the mid-low 60s, targeting 64F. I get very few esters from 1084 compared to some of the English strains I use for other beers.


I also use 1084 for my American IPAs and Black IPAs. I find that it works fast, attenuates well, and doesn't leave too many odd flavors behind. Something about the yeast seems to complement citrusy hop flavors and aromas.

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