Feedback on my first recipe: 1 gal red ipa [extract]

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cxrodgers

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I'm new to these forums and to homebrewing. I got into this because I love red IPAs (Green Flash Hop Head Red IPA is my favorite beer), but I have trouble finding them when I buy beer, so I figured I should try to make some myself.

My first two batches have come back okay, but not great, and I wanted to get some feedback from everybody on what I can do better. But please keep in mind that I live in an NYC apartment with very little space, so I'd like to keep it simple (1 gallon brews, malt extract rather than all grain) for now.

The recipe so far:
All quantities below are for a 1 gallon batch!

Equipment

1 gallon fermentor
No secondary fermentation
Bottled, not kegged
No temperature control, so fermentation was at 76F or so, unfortunately. Thinking about a swamp cooler for the next batch.

Specialty grains

0.2lb CaraRed
0.1lb Crystal 80L
0.4oz Black Roasted Barley

Hops
0.2oz Centennial 60min (the full boil)
0.2oz Centennial 30min
0.2oz Amarillo 5min
0.4oz Amarillo dry hop

Malt: 1.0lb Briess golden light dry malt extract

Yeast: Safale US-05 dry (the whole pack)

I came up with this recipe by remixing the suggestions from the following links. The goal was to make a Hop Head Red clone, basically.
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/...ginning-homebrewers-hoppy-red-ale-recipe.html
http://www.craftedpours.com/homebrew-recipe/green-flash-hop-head-red-clone-homebrew-recipe
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=97290

Results
The beer tastes okay, no obvious off flavors, but the taste is a bit "thin". It smells sweetish (rather than the citrusy hoppy aroma I was expecting from the dry hop). It doesn't taste that sweet, instead it is fairly bitter with a long bitter aftertaste. I like very hoppy and bitter beers, but I feel like a good bitter IPA should have a quick, sparkly, bracing bitterness; whereas this is a long shallow bitterness, if that makes sense.

Hops aside, I was hoping for more of a grainy "red" flavor, but the taste and color are closer to a normal light-colored IPA than to the red IPA I was hoping for. I suppose the color is just aesthetic, but it's a caramel color rather than particularly red. It doesn't have the full, chewy body that I was hoping for.

Thoughts/Questions
One thing that I've learned from googling this is that there are two very different kinds of red ales: an Irish-style (maltier) and a West Coast style (hoppier). I definitely want to emulate the second style, but I wonder if some of my problems arose from combining the two styles.

This mainly relates to the specialty grains. Some people swear by Carared + Black Roasted Barley (Irish style?) whereas other suggest Crystal 80L or higher. I'm wondering if the "thin taste" of my recipe has to do with this. I guess I'm confused because some people recommend very high Crystal (120 or so) whereas Carared itself is very low (20L), so I don't know whether or how to combine the two.

I was also thinking of switching from "Golden Light" to "Sparkling Amber" dry malt extract, for basically the same purpose of adding a thicker flavor. Not sure how that should be meshed with the choice of specialty grains.

As for the hops, in order to move from a long bitter aftertaste to a shorter, more aromatic hoppiness, should I put fewer hops in the boil and keep the dry hop the same? I'm suggesting this because everyone seems to say that the dry hop and the late additions will contribute more aroma than taste.

Thanks for any tips!!
 

Gnomebrewer

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Your first problem was not using enough DME - 1lb in 1gal gives a gravity of about 1.045, finishing with a beer under 5% ABV (the steeped grains don't contribute much gravity). If you use about 1.5lb DME in a 1gal batch, you'll notice a lot more body/sweetness in the finished beer. And, yes, moving hops to later in the boil/dry hop with give more aroma and less bitterness. Have a look in the recipe section here - there are loads of good extract IPA recipes that can easily be adjusted for 1gal batches.
 
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cxrodgers

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Your first problem was not using enough DME - 1lb in 1gal gives a gravity of about 1.045, finishing with a beer under 5% ABV (the steeped grains don't contribute much gravity). If you use about 1.5lb DME in a 1gal batch, you'll notice a lot more body/sweetness in the finished beer. And, yes, moving hops to later in the boil/dry hop with give more aroma and less bitterness. Have a look in the recipe section here - there are loads of good extract IPA recipes that can easily be adjusted for 1gal batches.

Thanks! I'll definitely up to 1.5lbs in the next batch. I wonder if the change to Sparkling Amber will noticeably alter the taste.
 

Gnomebrewer

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Sparkling amber would already contain some crystal malt. I'd personally stay with the light malt and add steeped crystal or other specialty grain.
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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I brewed something like this back in September. What I came up with was a double red IPA. It was very good. You should be able to cut the values I have here down to a third to get a 1 gallon batch.

4.25 gallon boil size.
3 gallon fermenter

60 minute boil time.

4 # Pale Malt DME
1 # Amber Malt DME

Steeping
1 # Crystal 70L/80L
1 OZ. Carafa III

Hops
1 OZ. Magnum 60 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Citra 15 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Cascade 15 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Cascade 5 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Citra 30 Min. Whirlpool
1 OZ. Cascade 30 Min Whirlpool

Yeast
San Diego Super Yeast WLP090

Extras
1/2 TSP Irish Moss/Whirlflock 15 Min. Boil
1 TSP Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) Start of Boil

7 Day ferment

 
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cxrodgers

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Looks good! I'll try the Crystal + Carafa combination, maybe that will help with the color. I enjoyed the video, seems like you had to do a lot of troubleshooting on the fly.

I brewed something like this back in September. What I came up with was a double red IPA. It was very good. You should be able to cut the values I have here down to a third to get a 1 gallon batch.

4.25 gallon boil size.
3 gallon fermenter

60 minute boil time.

4 # Pale Malt DME
1 # Amber Malt DME

Steeping
1 # Crystal 70L/80L
1 OZ. Carafa III

Hops
1 OZ. Magnum 60 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Citra 15 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Cascade 15 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Cascade 5 Min. Boil
.5 OZ. Citra 30 Min. Whirlpool
1 OZ. Cascade 30 Min Whirlpool

Yeast
San Diego Super Yeast WLP090

Extras
1/2 TSP Irish Moss/Whirlflock 15 Min. Boil
1 TSP Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) Start of Boil

7 Day ferment

 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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Looks good! I'll try the Crystal + Carafa combination, maybe that will help with the color. I enjoyed the video, seems like you had to do a lot of troubleshooting on the fly.
That was the first time I used DME. Not realizing that it should be going in to the boil not the other a around. There is so much conflicting information out there. It's hard knowing what the right way is with out trial and error.
 
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