Just in time for the holiday, posting on the 17th of March, we have an Irish Red Ale. Mike was going for something that he thoroughly enjoys – a malt forward beer with a little roast flavor that makes you want to have a pint or two. Hey, if you can’t go to your favorite pub again this year, brew it at home! Watch this video about our Saint Patrick’s Day Irish Red Ale.

That Elusive Red Color

First, let’s lay down the details of this beer:

3.7 lbs or 167 kg Briess Pale Ale Malt (3.5 °L)
0.33 lbs or 150 g Weyermann CaraRed (17 °L)
0.33 lbs or 150 g Briess Caramel malt (120 °L)
0.09 lbs or 40 g Chocolate Rye (175 °L)
2 oz or 57 grams of East Kent Goldings hops for a 60 minute boil (5% AA)

Fermented with LalBrew Windsor Ale Yeast (half packet)

Mash 152° F or 67° C for 60 minutes
Fermented for 2 weeks at 70° F or 21° C

Irish Red Ale Tasting Notes

We have brewed this style before so we’re experience with the style. This beer was tasty but the color was more brown than red. I think the malt notes were there with some caramel backgrounds. The beer finished a little higher than Mike’s target (1.015) but the ferment was clean and it left a soft impression in the aftertaste.

Overall, I think the beer was young. To me, the yeast was still in suspension and because of that, the color and flavor was affected. With some time in the keg, the yeast will drop out and the beer should become clearer. Then, that color should shape up to what Mike was going for.

I don’t think I have brewed an Irish Red Ale that has nailed the color. If I were to brew this style again, I would use a little caramel malt like Mike has in his recipe but replace the Chocolate Rye with 70 grams of Roasted Barley. Then, I would use some finings in the kettle and if the beer was still cloudy after fermentation and a 2 day cold crash, I would use gelatin at kegging.

The ruby highlights shine in a clear beer, I think. I will try that next time I brew this style.

What’s your take?

Let us know and brew on!