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Old 01-10-2012, 02:33 AM   #1
Seeyakid
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Default thinking red ale

hey guys i've been thinking about making a red ale for my first brew but i had a couple quick questions about it, im hoping someone here has made one before.

1. how hard is it to make, im getting a kit from "true brew" btw
2. What does the average fermentation temp have to be?
3. does it need a second fermentation? and does this kind of beer have to age? for a long time? i'd rather not have to wait to age a eer for my first brew.
4. how long should it take to make
5.what will the ABV be around?

give me some thoughts please, thanks.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:01 AM   #2
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I've also just started brewing, and all together I find Brewer's Best kits the most user friendly. They spell out everything in the directions as far as temp, and they also tell you what ABV should be based gravity. Most people will tell you to skip the secondary, but the secondary helps clear it up a bit and Brewer's Best always advises using one for that reason alone. Brew day shouldn't take more than 4 hours, going slow. Primary fermentation about a week, then if you do secondary another 2. Good luck! And let us know how it goes.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:08 AM   #3
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Im actually brewing a Red right now. Its an easy ale honestly, is the true brew all extract or does it have steeping grains? Dont bother with secondary. Its not hard at all as long as you pay attn, total fermentation hard to say, its done when its done and the only way to know is by checking gravity, expect apprx 20-25 days (although Im at 14 days and its looking almost done), and 2-3 weeks in bottle. brew day is really dependent on YOU, but 4-6 hours. Your directions are only half useful, when it comes to Temp, Time etc, its WRONG. Usually (depending on your yeast) ferm temps should be around 62-65, so cool your wort accordingly. Heres a pic of my Red about a week ago

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Old 01-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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1. The kits are dead simple if you can follow directions.
2. Keep the temperature under 72. Preferably in the low to mid-60's especially in the first 3 days. Use a container of water (tub) to set your fermenter in and try to keep the water in the low 60's by adding ice. On day 4 or 5 you can take it out of the water and let it warm up to room temperature.
3. You don't have to use a secondary. Leave your beer in the fermenter for 2 weeks to let the yeast finish and settle a bit. Longer is better but I've cut that time by a bit and still got beer that was drinkable. Just don't try to cut it too short. If you leave it in the fermenter for 2 weeks and in the bottle for 2 more weeks you will have drinkable beer. Longer is better but it's hard to wait on your first beer (and second and third....).
4. I could do a beer kit in about 3 hours from setup to cleanup and put stuff away. YMMV
5. The kit will specify what the alcohol level will be. I'd hazard a guess of 4.5 to 5%.
6. What kind of beer do you have planned for your next brew session?

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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1. It is really pretty easy if you can follow the directions. Clean and sanitizing as well as good temp monitoring and control are key.
2. Mid 60's is best - this is the temp of the fermenter, not the room (rapid ferment can cause the temp of your wort to rise several degrees.
3. A secondary is not needed, you can leave your beer in primary for the amount of time they recommend a secondary. I'd say 3 weeks should give you a good clear product. You will then have 2-3 weeks bottle conditioning. For your first batch, you should try a bottle each week to see how the taste changes as it ages. For this type extended aging is not necessary but your beer will improve with a little time. Your kit instructions are set to give you beer faster, not necessarily better.
4. Figure between 3-5 hrs for your first time. As you nail down your process it goes faster and your product improves.
5. Probably mid 4% abv range. That depends on if you hit your target gravities prescribed in the kit.

I recently brewed a batch of Irish Red from NB. It took me and a friend about 3.5 hrs with steeping grains and clean-up. How quickly fermentation occures depends on yeast and temps. I used wyeast and had noticable activity in 8 hrs. This could take up to 72 depending on what and how you pitch your yeast. You could concievably be done fermenting in as little as 10 days, but your finally product will definately be inferior if you tried to push it to the bottle. Patients is key. Also remember that your airlock activity with not tell you if fermentation is complete or even occuring, especially if you are using a bucket with a poor seal. A hydrometer will tell you what you really need to know.

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Old 01-10-2012, 10:51 PM   #6
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thanks everyone i'lll keep everyone posted if i go with red ale (which i waant to) as well as how its going one more question.....the room temp is 63.7 i would imagine thats good ut just wanna make sure

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Old 01-11-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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yup that should be fine if its consistant

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Old 01-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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63.7 sounds pretty good for room temp. You might need to add a little supplemental cooling for days 1 and 2 to keep the internal temps around 62-64 (Ice packs, water, etc). The first days are what you really want to control to the low side of your yeasts working range. Try to cool your wort down to this temp BEFORE pitching the yeast.

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