Irish Red Ale & Lager

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Oleson M.D.

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Recently brewed an Irish Red. It was a split batch, 5 gallons each. One Ale (S-04), one lager (Diamond).
This honestly turned out far beyond our expectations. Might be one of our best brews, if not the best.
We had a round table sampling of mine vs several commercial Irish Reds. We were all in agreement that our Irish Red beat the commercial brews hands down.

In fact, we were able to find flaws in each of the commercial beers.

I actually prefer the Diamond version. Lagers are my favorite. But the Ale is very, very good. So good that I'm brewing this up again on Saturday.

Here is the recipe, for those who might be interested.

11 Gallons

12# Ireks Pale Malt
4# Ireks Munich 8*
1# Ireks 40*
1# Pils
1/2# Briess Roasted Barley 300*

17 Gallons tap water, filtered.

SRM: 13
IBU: 18

Mash: 150* for 1 hour
Hops: 3 oz Goldings 3.4% AA, FWH
75 minute boil

OG: 1.049
Brix: 12.1

FG: 1.007 (Diamond) 5.6% ABV
FG: 1.014 (S-04) 4.6% ABV

The Diamond was a harvested slurry.
The S-04 London Ale was first generation pitch.

On another forum, they commented that 4 oz per 5.5 gallons of roast barley was way too much, over the top. WRONG!!!
 

D.B.Moody

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On another forum, they commented that 4 oz per 5.5 gallons of roast barley was way too much, over the top. WRONG!!!
I totally agree with this. My recipe for my Irish red is 4 oz. for a 5 gal. batch. This is an extract brew I've done seven times from first doing it in 2011.
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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I totally agree with this. My recipe for my Irish red is 4 oz. for a 5 gal. batch. This is a extract brew I've done seven times from first doing it in 2011.

The commercial brews we were up against were:

McGuire's Irish Red
Smithwicks Iris Red
Oddside Paddy's Irish Red
Killian's Irish Red

We were able to detect very minor flaws in each of these. It may have been a matter of freshness too, but not one of these were over 5 months old.
 

D.B.Moody

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Of the four, I've only had Killian's. I am not a fan, but I prefer ales to lagers, and I don't expect Coors to produce something I'd seek out. I don't think I'd be qualified to find flaws, but I have no trouble deciding what I like or don't care for.

For what it's worth, my Irish red is not only just 5 gallons, but it has only 4 1/2 lbs. of DME, 1/4lb. 40L crystal malt, and 1/4 lb. roasted barley.
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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Brewing this again, with a modified recipe. The roast barley will be cut in half, and Weyermann’s Carared will be used, perhaps 2 lbs.

Very pleased so far. These are two totally different beers. Amazing what a difference a yeast can make.
 

bwible

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On another forum, they commented that 4 oz per 5.5 gallons of roast barley was way too much, over the top. WRONG!!!
I’ve struggled with roasted barley in Irish reds, but I’m making smaller batches than you. I know 3 ounces in a 3 gallon batch was too much for me. Even in that small amount, it lends a flavor that I more associate with Newcastle brown ale. In fact, I compared that Irish Red I made side by side with a bottle of Newcastle and the 2 were very very similar. I can only attribute this to the roasted barley.

People tell us the higher the color number the more the grain tends toward red color. The lower number crystals tend more toward orange color. Thats why people tend toward Roasted barley.

I used Carafa III in the last one I made and liked the result better than roasted barley.

There’s a thread out there, search for Little Irish Red

 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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My recipe was taken from BYO, and modified. The Ale has a hint of raisin aroma, not present in the Lager.
The color is spot on, having a reddish hue that many Irish Reds are missing.

The online recipes found call for roasted barley, mainly for color.
 

bwible

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I also picked up a small bottle of Sinemar (spelling?) from one of the online shops. I never used it before but I thought that might have been useful for adjusting color in a red ale if I was off by a little bit.
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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I also picked up a small bottle of Sinemar (spelling?) from one of the online shops. I never used it before but I thought that might have been useful for adjusting color in a red ale if I was off by a little bit.

I know there are one or two major breweries in Germany that use it for coloring.
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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Just got some feedback on the IRA, from a real BJCP at a local brewing meeting.

Turns out the level of “buttered toast” is excessive. In other words, Diacetyl. But it is acceptable in the BJCP profile.

The lager version is clean, with no off flavors. Both came from the same batch, fermented at the same temp (62-64), side by side.

The ale came in at 4.6% ABV, the lager at 5.4%. Did I rack the beer too early?

Fire away if you have any thoughts on this.
 

dmtaylor

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Something odd or slow seems to be going on with your S-04 batch. When I use this yeast it is finished in about 4-5 days and attenuates close to 80%. I see you did not get this high attenuation, and now you're saying there is diacetyl. It is either feeling sluggish for some unknown reason, or is contaminated. The diacetyl should age out in another few days. If it only gets worse, it makes me wonder if you've got some kind of contamination because this is unusual for this yeast. My current batch had a very very slight diacetyl early on but I know it will age out. Also keep in mind, certain individuals are extremely sensitive to diacetyl while many others don't notice it at all. I am able to detect it but it doesn't bother me like it does some people. So there could be an individual judge thing going on here as well.
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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Something odd or slow seems to be going on with your S-04 batch. When I use this yeast it is finished in about 4-5 days and attenuates close to 80%. I see you did not get this high attenuation, and now you're saying there is diacetyl. It is either feeling sluggish for some unknown reason, or is contaminated. The diacetyl should age out in another few days. If it only gets worse, it makes me wonder if you've got some kind of contamination because this is unusual for this yeast. My current batch had a very very slight diacetyl early on but it should age out.

This yeast (S-04) was a first pitch, first generation. It was sluggish to start, with a 48 hour lag time. Once it got working, it chugged along for about a week.

And the off flavor seems to be more prominent now, as the beer has been in the keg sitting at 32 degrees.

Plan to brew this again in a day or two. With the harvested yeast from the previous batch. Or...maybe use S-05?
 

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For St. Paddy’s day this year i fermented my IR with lager yeast instead of ale yeast. Going forward, my IR will be lager fermented. It really lets the malt flavors express themselves.

My standard lager fermentation is 34/70, diamond, or cellar science German lager at 60-62 degrees F. They’re clean and “lagerly”
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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For St. Paddy’s day this year i fermented my IR with lager yeast instead of ale yeast. Going forward, my IR will be lager fermented. It really lets the malt flavors express themselves.

My standard lager fermentation is 34/70, diamond, or cellar science German lager at 60-62 degrees F. They’re clean and “lagerly”

Our lager version turned out very, very good. Clean, lager-like, even at 64 degrees. Nice with a good malt profile.

The BJCP judge who attended the meeting yesterday rated my IRA a 35. Which is not that bad, but the comment was too much "buttered toast" (diacetyl). They said not to confuse caramel with diacetyl.

So...back to the drawing board on this one. My suspicion is the beer was racked way too soon. Yes, I was in a hurry.
 
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Oleson M.D.

Oleson M.D.

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Do you taste diacetyl?

Have you done a forced diacetyl test?

How much of your process was the judge aware of? I’m sometimes skeptical of judged off flavors.

When my brewing friend (experienced judge) came over for a serious sampling, the first thing he said was "butter". But it was very subtle, and fit in the BJCP style guidelines. I did not taste it at all. As the sample warmed up a bit, Dave did say it was more evident.

Now, I do taste it. Yes, it could be because someone else told me, and through the power of suggestion I perceive diacetyl.

I was not at the brewing club meeting...too busy smoking a pork shoulder! But my friend did go, and took a growler of my IRA.

Never heard of a forced diacetyl test. What does that involve, because I would like to try it. I'm sure a search will give me the procedure.
 

Kickass

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Never heard of a forced diacetyl test. What does that involve


Essentially it’s a hot water bath in an air right container, like a mason jar. Here are a couple sources.


 
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