Tag Archives: red ale

Red Ale? Bottling

The first day of fermentation, there was so much activity it bubbled over.  This was cleaned up and the airlock was replaced.  In the future we will allow for blowoff during the first couple days.  We did not do as well of a job rinsing out the bottles after use, so we had to spend time cleaning the bottles but it was helped by the pressurized bottle washer that was purchased off of Northern Brewer. Sterilization went much quicker this time once we got the flow down. We rinsed out any mold, did a bleach soak and rinse then an Idophor wash.  We used ⅔ cup sugar with a pint of water this time for priming.  The strong initial smell from the bottling bucket was fruity.  Specific Gravity measured to be 1.024 which translates to 6 deg plato and 3.2% ABV, all temperature compensated at 69 degrees. This comes to an estimation of a 7.3% ABV beer which is decently strong.
Observation Notes from tasting glasses: Orange/Red color, Clear, some particulates.  Tasting Notes: Fruity, Citrus, a bit of sweetness, taste a bit of the alcohol, stronger than before. (Not a red ale).  Tasting plan:  taste at specific time intervals.  We waited a bit after syphoning into the bottling container to hopefully let some of the particulate matter settle, we’ll see if it works.  Bottling went smoothly, we filled a number of larger bottles since tastings have been occurring in groups and opening less bottles would be nice.  One note from the process, when filling the hose and bottling wand with beer, the air bubbled out through the 5 gallon container, aerating the beer.  We should probably try to avoid this in the future, even if it wastes some beer.

Second Brew, a Red Ale.

For our second brew we decided to try an Irish Red.  Even though the decision was independent of the upcoming holiday, I think we subconsciously did it in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  (Although, it would have been smart to have started several weeks earlier so we would be cracking the first bottle on the proper holiday).  Since we were a bit last minute in planning we decided to stick with Home Brew Mart for ingredients, so we used their recipe too. (Side note: using the pound(#) sign to indicate pounds is ingenious, much better than lbs.)

Recipe from Home Brew Mart: Red Ale
6# pale malt extract
2#amber malt extract
1# 80L Crystal
1/2 # 120L crystal
1 1/2 oz Cenntenial (9.8%) 60 min
1 oz Cascade (6.2%) 1 min
Ferment with W.L. English Ale Yeast

After talking with the guys down there we ended up going with a slightly modified recipe.  They suggested using primarily the malt syrup with less of the Amber extract.  They were also out of Cascade hops so they suggested using Amarillo instead.  Finally, I suck at weighing proper amounts of grain so instead of re-measuring correctly, we just added it all, we shall see what the effects will be.  We are also using the normal dry ale yeast, not the White Labs yeast, I think it may have been that I only realised that W.L. meant White Labs as I am writing this…

Modified Red Ale Recipe:
8# Briess Liquid Malt Syrup
1# Muntons Amber Dried Malt Extract
420 grams Crystal Malt 80L
310 grams Crystal Malt 120L
1.5 oz Cenntenial 9.0% AAU
1 oz Amarillo 9.1%  AAU
Dry Ale Yest – Safale S-04

We followed the Home Brew Mart malt extract and steeping grain guides for our process.

We put the 730g of grains in a steeping bag and steeped in 3 gallons of water until it came up to 170 F.  We then added the liquid malt extract, then the dried malt extract, and finally the Centennial Hops.  Upon completing this step, we realized that we were suppose to have added these ingredients after the wort had come to a boil.  While we don’t believe that it will ruin anything, we shall see.  We are going to keep our timer at 60 minutes, we are noting that the wort started to boil at 26 minutes.  We’re not quite sure what the effect of the decreased time at boiling will be, but our thoughts are that it will probably only affect the bitterness of the beer.  Since it took so long to get up t a full boil, we are adding 10 minutes to the boil, so 70 minutes total.  We put the Amarillo hops in for 1 minute then turned off the burner.  We then transferred the pot to the sink where we ran water for a couple minutes the added 3 trays of ice cubes to the sink.  After several minutes we plugged the sink and filled it with enough water for the pot to be buoyant.  While we should probably use a Hop bag in the future, but we are planning on straining it when pouring it into the Carboy.  I should add that we are enjoying a Stone Smoked Porter from a growler fill while brewing. As well as our own west coast pale ale homebrew. Tasking the hop sediment, a Hop bag is sooo happening next time.  After pouring the wort into the carboy, we pulled out some to take measurements.  After letting it cool to 70F we measured a (temperature compensated of course) 1.080 Initial Gravity which equates to 20 plato and 10.5% on the ABV scale (pre-fermentation)

We tasted the wort that we pulled out to measure.  It tasted sweet with pronounced hop flavor.  We expect that the yeast will bring the sweetness level down and hopefully round out the flavor, but only time will tell.  Now we wait…and drink a homebrew 🙂