Session Red Ale Recipe Critique

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stdoherty

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I would love anyone's critique or recommendations on how to improve the recipe below, being brewed to raise funds for a local charity. It will be paired with an Irish meal and distributed widely. This is my 2nd collaborative brew with a professional craft brewer, so its a large 6.5HL batch (I've been homebrewing for 5 years using a Grainfather). This recipe is a tweaking of a previous Session Pale Ale I designed that was widely popular, but I want to turn it red and launch for St. Patrick's day. I don't have enough time to test batch it at home. Its meant to be a low alcohol crowd pleasing balanced "session" beer that still has some punch, and is not a sell-out mainstream flavour.

Session Red Ale
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Batch size: 6.5 HL
Expected ABV 4.1%
SRM 18.5
IBU 40

Canadian 2-Row - 185 (67%)
Cara Foam. - 25 (9%)
Cara Munich 2 - 25 (9%)
Red Rye - 25 (9%)
Crystal Dark - 18 (6%)
TOTAL - 284 lbs

Triple Pearle 25oz @ 30 min
Triple Pearle 15oz @ 15 min
Rakau 15oz @ 5 min
Rakau 25oz Dry Hop (day 12)

350g US05 Yeast
 

marc1

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What's your known good recipe? That might help evaluate the changes to your expectations.
 
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stdoherty

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What's your known good recipe? That might help evaluate the changes to your expectations.
Below is the original, but for a 4.5HL batch, versus planned 6.5HL batch. My analysis of changes (did my best on the math to scale it) is as follows:

- Dropped Munich Type 1
- Added Red Rye (Simpsons Red Rye Crystal Malt 89-117 °L)
- Added Crystal Dark (Simpsons Crystal Dark 94-108 °L)
- 4% increase in total grain bill weight
- 25% increase in hops at 30 mins
- -25% decrease in hops at 15 and 5 mins
- No change to dry hops
- SRM increase from 7 to 18.5
- IBUs from 33 to 40 (21% higher)


Session Pale Ale
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Original, 4.25HL batch, Nov 2021
Expected ABV 4%
Actual ABV: 4.5%. (OG1.041; FG 1.006)
SRM - 7
IBU - 33

2 Row - 120lbs
Cara Foam - 20lbs
Munich Type 1 - 20lbs
Cara Munich 2 - 15lbs
TOTAL 175 lbs

(All hops from Tavistock Hop Co.)
Triple Pearl (8-11% Alpha) 13oz @ 30min
Triple Pearl (8-11% Alpha) 13oz @ 15min
AlphAroma (Rakau) 7-10% Alpha 13oz @ 5min
AlphAroma (Rakau) 7-10% Alpha 16oz Dry Hop @ 12 days

Whirlpool at end of boil.
200g US05 Yeast
Mash 60 min at 155F
Ferment at 77F
 
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Could you go back to the original recipe, then add debittered black malt to get to SRM 15-ish?

Some personal opinions:
  • I don't like "harsh zone" crystal malt in Amber Ales;
  • although, for Irish Red Ales, BJCP competition guidelines suggest that some roasty flavors are appropriate
  • SRM 18, unless it's clear, may end up brown in the glass
  • 30% crystal is too much for my tastes.
 

marc1

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You added a lot more crystal malt. Unless the original had that much and you reduced the %, it's going to be very different.
If you just want it redder, keep the munich, drop the new added crystal, and use something to darken. I like Midnight Wheat. It darkens the beer with a nice smooth flavor, no acridness. If I were making this, I'd keep the original grain bill and add enough of it to get the color I wanted.
If you want some darker crystal, I've had good luck with Simpson's Double Roasted Crystal. I keep it around 2% or so, though.

I haven't tried those hops, so can't really comment on that part - if you think it would be better with less flavor hops then go with it!

For IBUs, I would love this beer at 40IBU, but that's pretty high for a 4.1% beer. Especially since the previous one had 33IBU and had a bit higher alcohol. Comparatively, I think this one would turn out noticeably more bitter.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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I'd do Golden Promise or Maris as base, maybe like a quarter of the grist some british munich or vienna, alternatively ~5% medium crystal, a little amber and 1-2% black malt/roasted barley. 1.045 and 20-30 IBU.
 
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