What do you all recommend with Irish Red?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by soccerdad, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    One of the first beers I ever made was an Irish Red. It kinda sucked. It was an E Kit that came with the equipment set that my kids got me many Christmases ago. I have steered away from the style since then which is silly because I like a good IR. So anyway, I want to make one and I have 2 questions that y'all might want to give input. 1. Roasted grain. I'm reading that it's just for color and too much of it yields an uncharacteristic roasty flavor. Some folks say 1 to 2%, but then they go all over with which grain. Some say roasted barley, some pale chocolate, and one writer swears by chocolate rye. Any thoughts? 2. Second question - what about yeast experiences? The writers say to be neutral with few esters. For dry it seems like 04 or Notty might work and then both White and Wyeast have specific Irish strains. Any wisdom?
     
  2. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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  3. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    A small amount of Roasted Barley is traditionally used to impart the reddish tint. The SRM is determined more by the color of crystal malt(s) and/or other specialty malts.
     
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  4. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    Josh - you had roasted barley at 2.5%. Was that just right? No over toasty flavors? I assume that you were happy with Notty as the yeast.
     
  5. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    It was not roasty, I thought it was perfect. You could taste it was there but not roasty if that makes sense. I was real happy with Nottingham. I hadn't used before but will more often now. I am using the slurry for an Irish Stout in 3 weeks. I fermented 5 days at 60-62 then let it get to upper 60s for 5 days and kegged.
     
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  6. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    If your worried about roasty flavors, dehusked carafa is another way to add color. It has a more mild flavor but just as dark.
     
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  7. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    THANKS
     
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  8. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    It really turned out well I thought. Even if my beers suck it didn’t suck as much as the others haha. I plan to brew it the exact same way soon.
     
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  9. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Maybe add some Melanoidan malt for color and maltiness.
     
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  10. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Like Josh, I'm working on a Smithwicks style Irish Red as well and our recipes are similar. However, one of our differences is the hops. I use Fuggles as the bittering hop. I changed to this recently after finding an old You Tube video about Smithwicks and in one scene that had a pallet of Fuggles in the background. Still working on the recipe but, so far I like it. I'd put the taste of mine somewhere between a Smithwicks and and a George Killians Irish Red.

    With an Irish Red, restraint with the roasted malts is a must. I'm usually happy to just be in the ballpark with color, but when a color is in the name of the beer...it's important. Josh's beer above, looks just about perfect!
     
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  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If your beers suck, you just need to brew more for practice. That means drinking more, for quality control, which translates to the beers tasting better. In theory, it may not sound convincing, but in reality, it works :D:D:D
     
  12. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    After drinking a lot of Smithwick's draught, all over the South & West of Ireland, I can tell you that I've never gotten a hint of roast. Just enough Roasted Barley for a hint of red, and medium to dark Crystal for the depth of color appear to be the secret. Despite the prevalence of Guinness signage, Smithwick's was more popular once you got out of Dublin, and a close second there.
     
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  13. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    hahaha, Challenge accepted
     
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  14. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Now you're cookin' with gas!
     
  15. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that input. The folks who write about Irish Red say to use British hops and mention fuggles, east Kent goldings and perle. I thought perle was German?? By the way - these writers don't know any better than y'all- they just know how to spell and punctuate .
    I'm going with east Kent since I have some to use up.
     
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  16. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    EKG worked good in mine. Like @BarbarianBrewer said fuggles are used a lot. I didn’t have any or I would tried them and may next time.
     

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