What makes the red ale red?

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CptnRedbeard

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My knowledge malts in recipe creation is pretty basic. I want to make an imperial red ale or IRA but I want to be RED. Sometimes ambers lean brown but I've had some beautiful ruby red beers before and that's what I want to make. I want to clink my glasses together and say "There's no place like home." Are there certain specialty grains that give that color better or some I should avoid?
 

giraffe

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red-x, 1% roast barley, dark crystal, long boils, good clarity, aim for a 5.4 mash ph.

Though an american red ale as a style is just a slightly more intense amber. Or is the same.
 

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Carared also gives a great red color to beer.

I've never used red-x, but I've used a bit of roasted barley and some carared and had a beautiful red color.

This grainbill turned out pretty red also (ten gallon batch):
18 lbs Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM) Grain 8 79.1 %
2 lbs Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 9 8.8 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel Malt - 40L (Briess) (40.0 SRM) Grain 10 6.6 %
12.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 11 3.3 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 12 2.2 %

It was the base for my IRA (India red ale) about a year ago.
 

giraffe

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No I meant 1% of roast barley in addition to regular grain bill, will give a reddish hue to the beer without not too much inappropriate roast flavor (there will be a hint). Thats an option.

Red-X tastes like munich malt, and has a munich-ish flavor, and its a base malt, you need alot of it to get a red color.

Carared is a light crystal, and also will add sweetness and body. I never got a ton of red out of it, without using a significant amount (~15%).

Dark crystal gives a reddish color, but will add dark fruit flavors, body, and a little sweetness, and can make the beer too dark if you use too much.

Long boils to a pale-ish wort will lend a orange/red color. But it will add a carmelization flavor, You can boil the first gallon of runnings down, for a quicker version of the effect.

There are many ways to get red color, but they all have a flavor contributions as well, it depends on what you want, and how red you want it.
 

brent1395

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I've used pretty large amounts of carared in a 3 batches, and despite the fact that it has "red" in its name, it won't make your beer red. It will make it amber. I actually get more red from regular caramel malts. It also is more malty and less sweet than other caramel malts.

The best red color I have gotten is from adding some special B and a bit of roasted barley. 3 or 4 ounces of special B and 1 or 2 ounces of roasted barley with a some medium caramel will give you a red beer. Clarity is important too.
 

Roundhouse

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For me it's just 2 row, some Special B and a small amount of roasted barley for color which closely mimics what brent just said with his.
 

hannibalmdq

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If you really, really want to avoid a flavor contribution and don't mind adjunct/additives....you could just try food coloring maybe?

Work's with green on St. Patty's Day, no? :)
 
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CptnRedbeard

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Bordering on blasphemy right there. :D

Ha, yeah. I couldn't live with myself as a Pacific NW architect if I got there with dye. We're really big on that whole "honesty of design and materials" thing. A green St. Patty's day beer knows what it is and that's fine, but I want to know the "real" way to do it.

I went to the brew shop with your suggestions yesterday then tweaked some stuff based on what they had in stock. This is what I ended up with:

Amalickiah

Recipe specifics:

Style: Imperial IRA
Batch size: 5.0 gal
Boil volume: 4.5 gal
OG: 1.090
FG: 1.022
Bitterness (IBU): 63.6
Color (SRM): 19.9
ABV: 8.8%

Grain/Sugars:

10.00 lb Two-row (US), 63.7%
4.00 lb Light LME, 25.5%
1.00 lb Crystal 60L, 6.4%
0.50 lb Cara-red, 3.2%
0.20 lb Midnight Wheat, 1.3%

Hops:

2.00 oz Magnum (AA 12.0%, Whole) 60 min, 42.8 IBU
1.00 oz Perle (AA 8.3%, Whole) 20 min, 9.0 IBU
2.00 oz Saaz (AA 3.5%, Whole) 10 min, 4.5 IBU
1.00 oz Perle (AA 8.3%, Whole) 1 min, 0.6 IBU

-----

I know I have some more hops in my freezer and I may throw in another once or so in at the 60 just to get the IBU up to IIRA standards. I don't know. I fully expect to make some more changes to the recipe and try it again. (plus maybe I'll get a bigger cooler so I can fit my whole grain bill)
 

hannibalmdq

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Ha, yeah. I couldn't live with myself as a Pacific NW architect if I got there with dye. We're really big on that whole "honesty of design and materials" thing. A green St. Patty's day beer knows what it is and that's fine, but I want to know the "real" way to do it.

Red dye # 4 is basically just crushed beetles (yes, oversimplification). Not vegan, but fairly "natural". :)

Joking aside, your recipe looks pretty tasty. I hope you get the color your after. I haven't been at the brewing game long, but chasing both a flavor and color profile must take a very skilled and experienced hand.
 
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CptnRedbeard

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...chasing both a flavor and color profile must take a very skilled and experienced hand.

Which I don't have! :D I spent so much time researching different malts to make this recipe, then I showed up at the brew shop, she took one look and said "Well we don't have those, and this won't give you what you want, anyway." I left with almost every ingredient either adjusted or swapped out. Thank god for LMBH people who (seem to) know what they're doing. I'm pretty hopeful for this new version and I'll let you know how it turns out.
 
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CptnRedbeard

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Update:
It's finally done! It fermented longer than anything else I've brewed and I have it a little extra time to condition but finally opened a bottle this week.

It's rich and very heavy on the caramel flavors. You can taste the barleywine tones of a 9% beer, but it's surprisingly smooth.

The color looks pretty close to what I was going for. Our it would be if it were clearer. I forgot to wirfloc during the boil and I didn't have time to cold crash on burning day so it's pretty cloudy. It's a little lighter overall than I expected and I'm not sure if that's the haze, the recipe, or that my midnight wheat malt wasn't ground finely enough. Who knows?

View attachment 1419491518085.jpg

View attachment 1419491557187.jpg
 

onthekeg

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I get this on a standard beer with 5% special B since I like the flavor addition and about 100g roasted barley added on top of the mash at sparge.
IMG00120.jpg
 

BridgewaterBrewer

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I've used roasted barley to get the red color, like most people. But Love2brew recently started selling RedX so I might try that soon.


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