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Old 02-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default How much roasted barley for red color, not squid ink?

Roasted barley was suggested for a reddish tinge to a pale brew. I forgot to add the roasted grain to the mash, so I figured a grain tea would work for color. So after the mash I scooped out 2 cups of the pale wort (150 F), steeped 2 oz of roasted barley in it for 15 minutes, then added the dark tea back into the wort.

The whole batch is black as squid ink.

OK, so I could use less. Any other ideas for getting that Irish Red Ale coloring? Has roasted barley worked for you? Maybe I steeped it too long?

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Old 02-25-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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I've used about two ounces before for red coloring. Does it all look black together or in a small sample? It will always be darker when it is in the kettle or carboy, how does it look in the hydrometer tube though? Or even a thin glass?

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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I've used about two ounces before for red coloring. Does it all look black together or in a small sample? It will always be darker when it is in the kettle or carboy, how does it look in the hydrometer tube though? Or even a thin glass?
I agree with this. 2 ounces should not make it black. I use 4 ounces of a lighter roasted barley (300 L) and it is a copper red. But all my beers look much darker in the fermenter.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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I typically use 2-4oz (just like the other posters) which in my standard red recipe is about 2% of the grains. That combined with some crystal give me a deep red.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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The newest way to get a nice red color is about a 1/2-1 lb of CaraRed malt per 10 lbs grain (5-10% of grain bill).

The traditional way is about a 1/2 lb of crystal 20 along with a 1/2 lb of crystal 60.

Both also impart a light sweetness that is expected in an amber or Irish red that you just wouldn't get from roasted barley.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Check out melanoidin for deep red color

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #7
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I've also gone for about 2 ounces for some red color to my light colored brews. I think you'll be fine and it just looks dark because it's in a "full batch" container instead of a beer glass.

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
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Ah-ha. Like always I should just be patient and see what it looks like in the glass. Got it.

It does look awfully dark, not black, in the hydrometer tube. I will try the other methods on half batches. Thank you.

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Old 02-25-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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The newest way to get a nice red color is about a 1/2-1 lb of CaraRed malt per 10 lbs grain (5-10% of grain bill).

The traditional way is about a 1/2 lb of crystal 20 along with a 1/2 lb of crystal 60.

Both also impart a light sweetness that is expected in an amber or Irish red that you just wouldn't get from roasted barley.
While I agree that a red ale should have some caramel malt in it, the "traditional" way to add red color is with the roasted barley. From the BJCP's description of the Irish Red style: "Generally has a bit of roasted barley to provide reddish color and dry roasted finish."
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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I have made a pale red ale with 1 oz of roasted barely, it was a pretty deep red color

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