Conan's Irish Red
9# Maris Otter
.5# crystal 80*
.5# crystal 40*
.25# flaked barley
2oz English chocolate malt
2oz English roasted barley
Mash at 155* for 60min
14g Centennial pellets (8.7%) - 60 min
I used Centennial because I have a lot and didn't want to buy anything else. Obviously something English would be more appropriate, but I can't detect any of the Centennial in the final beer. Most importantly, aim for probably 19-27 IBU.
Color is a little dark. From across the room you might think someone was drinking a brown ale, but moving it around in the glass reveals the deep ruby highlight. Pours a nice little head thanks to the flaked barley, with some decent retention.
The aroma is very light and if too cold, difficult to detect. I definitely recommend a warmer serving temp on this beer. Still, there are some bready undertones and a light caramel-candy flavor. Some nuttiness.
Flavor is rich in maltiness (I love this yeast). Hop bitterness is so light, it allows the full grain flavors to come out. There's some sweetness up front that turns to caramel and bread flavors. The finish has a quick, crisp dryness to it, accentuated by the light hopping.
Mouthfeel is medium. Creaminess is accentuated by the flaked barley and the lower carbonation (~2.2 volumes).
I'm really happy with how this came out. It's a great all-around drinking beer. Mega-swill or non-beer drinkers could definitely get behind this. The only complaints I have are about its darkness. I could lower the crystal, but I like the caramel flavors it has. I suspect some people would find this a little sweet for the style, but I'll have to update when I enter into a competition.
Going to try this one, this weekend. Gonna add some Jameson whiskey soaked oak chips. Is this one still in a bottle or tried again recently? Would like to know how its aging.
I'm sorry to report that everybody sucked this thing down long ago. But how coincidental you're making this soon because I'm going to be doing the same within a week. I'll be leaving out the flaked barley this time, and because I have a bunch of American two row to use up instead of Maris Otter, I'll probably supplement with a little Aromatic or Victory to toast it up.
I think a little oak would be nice.
Thanks for the timely response! I pushed this one back to next weekend as well, glad I saw you change something in the recipe. Why might I ask are you taking out the flaked barley? Just to switch it out with toasted malts?
Also wondering if my plan to put the whiskey soaked chips in will just be too many flavors at once with your elaborate grain bill?
The main reason I'm taking out the flaked barley is because I was looking at the Irish Red style guidelines and it stated that it should have a medium-light to medium body. I figured that the amounts of crystal and other specialty grains are enough to get the body in this range. I'm probably using a little more crystal than is appropriate for style, but I've found that I like my beers just baaaaaarely sweeter than other people, so I'm keeping it.
If you don't care about brewing to style, and you like a little extra creaminess in your beer, then by all means leave the flaked barley in. It's a pretty small addition so you're not going to hurt the beer at all.
I don't think the whiskey oak chips will be too many flavors, but I think you'll have to be careful not to go overboard. This beer is fairly straightforward and it would be easy for the whiskey and oak to overwhelm the other flavors. I recommend doing frequent tastings to see how the flavor is changing, and when you think it's done you should quickly bottle/keg it.
I basically rebrewed this over the past weekend. I basically kept the recipes the same, except I had to use up some American two-row I had on hand. As I mentioned above, I added some Aromatic malt to try and get the two-row back to the toasty levels of Maris Otter. I also had to use Crystal 90 instead of 80 because of availability, so I used slightly less 90 and made it up with 40. And finally, I switched the flaked barley for rolled oats... couldn't resist.
Note that the volume is slightly larger, hence the higher amounts of grain, and also I targeted 1.055 but ended up with 1.058.
7# American two row
3.78# Maris Otter
.69# Crystal 40
.55# Crystal 90
.30# rolled oats
61g chocolate malt
68g roast barley
21g Fuggle pellets (4.2%) - 60 min
12g Amarillo/Centennial pellet blend (8.1%) - 60 min
Pitched with nice starter of 1968.
Fermentation's looking good so I should have an update in about a week.
Thanks for the update!
I also brewed this last weekend, and had some changes to be made due to availability too. My Crystal was 45 and 75?! Must be much disturbance in the Crystal Malt market. I stuck with the flaked barley only because it looked fun. My SG was significantly less than yours, coming in at 1.031. Don't know what would cause this large gap between yours and mine, unless its that my brew pot is smaller and boiling for longer cuts down on overall gravity. I also noticed you notched up the hop bill too. I was a little curious about the original hop amount when it came time to add them. I put in more Fuggle than 14g as it just seemed too little. But as I mentioned the oak will come later for the accented flavor so this is not a huge deal.
I look forward to your next update.
Oops, I meant to respond to this when you first posted... that's really surprising to get that low of a gravity. Are you sure you were making 5.25 gallons? Remember that my original recipe is for 5.25, but my second round is 6gal. That's why the hops are a little higher.
Just kegged mine today... had a whopping 74% attenuation with a FG of 1.015. I'm pretty pleased with the room temp, uncarbonated sample. Once it cools, I'll do some quick-carb shaking, so I should have a flavor report in a couple days.
There are a few issues I had that would make for an inconsistency to your results, one being boil size (too low), the other being that i did not see the 5 and a quarter gallon batch size. Nevertheless, i racked from the primary on saturday onto my whiskey oak chips (and threw the whiskey in too! primarily because i felt the gravity was too low for all the reasons i mentioned prior). My first sample after racking was "oh god ive ruined it" as all i could taste was whiskey and oak! However yesterday I sampled the batch and it had only a slight oak and whiskey flavor (could be that the alcohol is seperating somewhere out of range of my theif) and a very nice amber/red color and initial mouth feel. One of the few beers ive made that actually had a range of flavors from start to finish. So I took the young beer off the chips only after a day of aging and put it in another secondary.
My only concern is that the alcohol would have killed off the yeast in the secondary preventing any second fermentation in the bottle? I left it in the primary for two weeks for this very reason but still keeping my fingers crossed that it will survive a bottle condition.
I'm sure there's still enough yeast in there to bottle condition, don't worry about it.
Help me out with your complete timeline here because it sounds like it's ready to bottle. How long in primary? And on oak?
If you used an English ale yeast like it did, you can easily brew and bottle this thing within 2 weeks.
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