India Red Ale

Yesterday I started brewing my first all-grain batch of beer. Inspired by my recent interest in hoppy red ales (Saint Rogue Red, Hop Head Red and Free Range Red to name a few favorites) I decided on a recipe from Randy Mosher’s Radical Brewing which he calls an “India Red Ale.” I tend to like the hoppy red ales because they have the aggressive hop character of an IPA but the bitterness is tempered by the sweetness of darker malts. The recipe is as follows for a 5.5 gallon batch:

Grain Bill

  • 6.5 lb pale ale malt (American 2 row)
  • 5 lb Munich malt (dark, 8 – 10 L)
  • 0.75 lb crystal 40
  • 0.5 lb crystal 80
  • 1 oz black patent

Hops

  • 2 oz Cascade (60 min)
  • 2 oz Cascade (30 min)
  • 2 oz Goldings (5 min)

Yeast

  • American Ale (Wyeast 1056)

I performed a single infusion mash for 60 minutes at 153 F at a water to grist ratio of 1.25 qt/lb. After a single batch sparge, I obtained a little over 6 gal of wort at a gravity of 1.044. This corresponds to a brewhouse efficiency of about 60%, which was a bit less than I hoped, but is about what I expected for my first all-grain batch. After the boil, I ended up with almost 5 gal of wort at an original gravity of 1.054.

A few hours after pitching the yeast, my fermentor airlock was happily bubbling away; so far so good. I’m hoping for a final gravity of 1.014, 5.3% ABV and about 70 IBU…

Update 1 In light of an imminent heat wave, I’ve had to take measures for keeping the fermenting wort cool (under 70 F). I placed the fermenter in a shallow bucket of water and draped towels over the whole thing. Hopefully some evaporative cooling will do the trick while the temperature in my apartment gets into the upper 70’s.

Update 2 After 18 days of fermenting in the primary at around 70 F, the beer was ready to bottle. I measured a final gravity of 1.010 for an ABV of about 6%. I primed the beer for bottling with 3.5 oz of corn sugar for moderate fizziness.

It’s been three weeks since the bottling, so I’ve tasted a few glasses of the beer. I have to say that I am very pleased with the results: a nice rich malty back with a healthy smack of hops. I’ll give full tasting notes in a future post.

Will Rosenbaum

Tel Aviv

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