Monday, April 11, 2011

India Red Ale Recipe

Strong boil for the American Red.
I try to keep a hoppy beer on one of the two taps of my kegerator at all times.  I'm often disappointed when I buy hop forward beers at the store, not that craft brewers aren’t making some tremendous IPAs, but too often by the time I take them home they aren't as fresh as they should be.  I've given up buying any beers where freshness counts that aren't dated (or just released).  One of my least favorite characters in a beer is the stale odor of oxidized American hops, for some reason aged out European hops don't bother me nearly as much. 

There aren't many red/amber ales I love, too often they have an unbalanced caramel sweetness, sold more on appearance than flavor.  I brewed Jamil's Red Ale recipe a few years ago, but it wasn't hoppy enough for my tastes (his recipe in Brewing Classic Styles looks better).  Founder Red's Rye PA has been one of my favorite beers for years though, and there are certainly a few others that I've thoroughly enjoyed (like North Coast’s Red Seal Ale and Maine Beer Co.’s Zoe Ale).  My recipe is not intended to be a clone of Red's Rye (or anything else), but I borrowed the idea of hopping a red ale like an IPA rather than a Pale Ale. 

A starter of American Ale II.For the grist, in addition to pale malt I added a couple German cara-malts to add some sweetness and caramel flavor, and pale chocolate to increase the color without adding a roasted flavor (a smaller amount of Carafa Special would work as well).  The hopping strategy was the same as many of my hoppy beers, with additions at the start and end of the boil, as well as two additions in the keg (one at room temperature followed by another cold while serving).  I used a combination of Centennial and Amarillo, two of the fruitier American hops. 

I've read a lot of debate about how long it takes for dry hops to impart a "grassy" flavor.  Many people report just a couple weeks, but that doesn't match with my experiences (I've left whole hops in the keg for months without issue).  My assumption is that the green flavor brewers are getting is chlorophyll.  As a result pelletized hops (which have been ground up exposing the interior of their cells) would cause the problem faster than whole hops (for the same reason that mowing the lawn makes it smell grassier).  This batch used all pellet hops (leftovers from my recently kicked Pliny the Younger clone), so it will be interested to see if I notice any difference with how the flavor changes as it sits on tap.

India Red Ale

Recipe Specifics
----------------
Batch Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.50
Anticipated OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 13.7
Anticipated IBU: 66.9
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain
-------
85.7% - 9.00 lbs. American Pale "2-row"
6.0% - 0.63 lbs. CaraHell
6.0% - 0.63 lbs. CaraMunich
2.4% - 0.25 lbs. Pale Chocolate Malt

Hops
-------
2.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 8.50% AA) @ 60 min.
2.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet 6.70% AA) @ 0 min.
2.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 8.50% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet 6.70% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 8.50% AA) @ Dry Hop
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet 6.70% AA) @ Keg Hop
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 8.50% AA) @ Keg Hop

Extras
--------
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
0.50 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast
-------
WYeast 1272 American Ale II

Mash Schedule
-------------------
Sacch Rest - 40 min @ 149 F
Sacch Rest II - 15 min @ 155 F

Notes
-------
3/19/11 Made a 2 L starter with 6 oz of DME. Quick start, going strong after 6 hours. Shook several times.

Brewed 3/20/11 with Audrey

Collected 6.5 gallons of 1.050 runnings from a batch sparge.

Slight boil-over after switching propane tanks mid-boil

Added half of flame out hops, waited 10 minutes before chilling. Waited 1 minute after chilling started to add the second dose of hops. Forgot to add gypsum earlier, so tossed in 4 g midway through chilling.

Chilled to 67 F. Decanted 1 L of the starter, pitched, and shook for 3 minutes to aerate. Left at ~62 F ambient to start fermenting.

Good fast start to fermentation.

3/26/11 A bit of krausen left, but I needed the yeast cake so I racked to a keg left at ~62 F to finish fermenting if needed.

4/2/11 Added 1 oz each centennial and Amarillo pellets in a hop bag with some marbles to weigh them down.  Gravity was still 1.018, hoping it will drop a bit more now that the temperature is a few degrees higher (tasted great though).

4/9/11 Moved to the kegerator before switching out the hops and hooking up to the gas. 6 hours later switched the hops out for a fresh dose, and hooked up to 10 PSI.

5/11/11 What a great beer, nice citrus hop character, plenty of toasty malt to back it up, not too sweet.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you find yourself Portland, check out Double Mountain's IRA (India Red Ale). Unfortunately they aren't bottling yet.

Jeff said...

Now you're right in my wheelhouse. I like some of the additional color, body, and flavor from hoppier reds and even black IPAs.

I like to add some darker crystal malt for some sweet, caramel, and even a little raisin in a recipe like this. Just a little. I also think some crystal gives a reddish ale that real gem like quality. To offset that potential sweetness I've been using Wyeast 1764 Pacman. It finishes really clean and if you aren't careful too dry.

And I agree with your assumptions about pellet hops and dry hopping. They work fine, but I do think you can get a grassy flavor that doesn't happen with whole hops. And with a hoppy beer fresher is better anyway.

Thanks for the great blog and I can't wait to read your tasting notes on this beer!

Anonymous said...

Midnight Sun's Sockeye Red is a nice hoppy Red IPA... but I don't think you can find it outside the Western US states.

Suburban Brew said...

I just brewed something similar. GP, C-40, C-120, munich, special roast and pale choc. Hopped with summit to about 87 ibus. OG 1.082 Wy 1272.

Andrew said...

that grist is almost blow for blow JZ's Evil Twin, just with a less OG, therefore those spec grains are playing a big flavor role. And of course less hopping. I did a Evil Twin variant, but I thought the hops were not enough at all. I need to start dry hopping again!

On a side note, I will be living up by san fran for an internship right around the time Heretic Brewing is opening. Can't wait for some potentially excellent American sours to be on the market!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks for the commercial suggestions, I also failed to mention Green Flash Hop Head Red.

Sunday I brewed a bitter with 4 oz of C120, but I wanted to keep this one a bit cleaner to let the hops shine through.

I'm interested to see how Jamil's brewery does. After being such an advocate of brewing to style (and proclaiming that he isn't too interested in sour beers) it is surprising that he is start off with such interesting beers. Might be awhile before the sour red is released.

SChromik said...

Interesting mash schedule. What made you mash that way?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Sadly 3.5 years later I don't have a recollection. Odds are I undershot my intended single infusion temperature (149 F is on the low end for a beer like this) or I was trying to get it up for mash-out and didn't have enough room in the mash tun. Either way, you'd likely be fine targeting a temperature around 152F for the duration!

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