Saturday, November 22, 2014

Red Irish Ale (Home Brew)

Five weeks after brewing, I sat down this Saturday afternoon to imbibe the first bottle of my initial attempt at home brewing, a Red Irish Ale made from an ingredient kit prepared by Northern Brewer. I used the Deluxe Brewing Starter Kit. I bottled a little over a week ago. This beer will be at its best in a few more weeks, but I was eager to check on its progress. Having invested a couple hundred dollars, time and patients into my Red Irish Ale I'm likely a bit biased, but I am quite pleased with the results.

According to the Northern Brewer Website: "Irish ales are malty, smooth, medium-bodied, and most, like our kit, are a deep copper-red color that is created by a blend of specialty malts. Our malt blend also gives this recipe its signature toasty and sweet aroma and flavor. Another defining characteristic of Irish Red Ales are their immense drinkability - definitely a crowd-pleaser beer. Its great taste, drinkability, and low aging requirements make this our best-selling kit."

This recipe includes Belgian Cara 8, Briess Special Roast, Belgian Biscuit and English Chocolate Malts, along with 6lbs of Gold Malt Syrup, Willamette Hops and US Goldings Hops. I used Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast which I re-hydrated approximately 15 minutes before pitching. My Irish Ale began its life with two weeks of fermentation in a 6 gallon carboy before being moved to a 5 gallon carboy for another two weeks of secondary fermentation.

As you can see, this batch came out an amber red/brown. I refridgerated Upon pouring it was lacking in the foamy head department.

I refrigerated this bottle for about a half hour before opening. The bottle cap hissed, as it should, when I popped it, giving off a faint wisp of smoke/steam. Upon pouring it was lacking in the foamy head department, but some mild carbonation was visible in the form of bubbles. Overall its still a bit on the flat side. Hopefully it will improve with age, but if not I’ll have to rethink my priming strategy, which this time around included corn sugar.

The taste is mild, (relatively) sweet , and very, very drinkable, but with nice citrus and pine notes coming from the hops.

Some of you might get to the chance to try some, as I will be giving some six packs away as gifts this holiday season.

My next homebrew will be a Dry Irish Ale, though intend to modify/personalize the recipe to give it a little Kunkle-character.

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