Red Alert

Irish Red Ale

  • ABV: 5.8%   
  • IBU: 20   
  • SRM: 13

  • Traditional seasonal red harvest pale ale with a
  • roasted barley accent rather than traditional rye. A dark amber ale with a sweet beginning and a dry finish. A smooth, low ABV sessionable, lager-like ale.

Recipe Goals:  To create a red ale for the St Patricks’ Day season, but amenable all year-round. Since most red ales that have any flavorings use a rye accent, we wanted to try a different direction with the use of some roasted barley to impart a sort-of earthy, woodsy effect as opposed to bready.  Fermentables chosen to produce persistent head and relatively clear appearance. Low hop presence. Standard yeast used.

Background:   The traditional beers of Ireland are amber to dark in color and of moderate to slightly strong strength. Irish styles are relatively low in hops, are grainy with a slight roast dryness in the finish and neutral in general. Modern export Irish examples are more caramelly and sweet and might have more esters. American craft versions are often more alcoholic versions of the Irish export examples. An emerging Irish craft beer scene is exploring more bitter versions of traditional examples. There are a lot of International Amber Lagers that try to look Irish with sweetish palates and little bitterness. Our version is much like them.

Tasting Notes:   An easy-drinking pint, with subtle flavors. Slightly malty with an initial soft toffee/caramel sweetness, a slightly grainy-biscuity palate, and a touch of roasted dryness in the finish. Low malt aroma, with neutral-grainy or lightly caramelly-toasty-toffee character. Hop aroma is low earthy/floral. Quite clean. Medium reddish-copper color. Clear. Low off-white colored head, average persistence. The palate is fairly neutral and grainy or can take on a lightly toasty or biscuity note as it finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish. Medium-low hop bitterness. Medium-dry to dry finish. Little esters. Mouthfeel: Medium-light. Moderate carbonation. Clear and smooth. Moderately attenuated.

History:  Ireland has a long ale brewing heritage the modern Irish Red Ale style is essentially an adaptation of the popular English Bitter style with less hopping and a bit of roast to add color and dryness. Rediscovered as a craft beer style in Ireland, today it is an essential part of most brewery lineups, along with a pale ale and a stout. It generally has a bit of roasted barley or black malt to provide reddish color and dry roasted finish along with a Pale base malt. Caramel malts were historically imported and more expensive, so not all brewers would use them. A less-bitter and less-hoppy Irish equivalent to an English Bitter, with a dryish finish due to roasted barley. More attenuated with less caramel flavor and body than equivalent-strength Scottish ales.

Ingredients: Pale US malt with Vienna and Roasted Barley. Melanoiden and Carapils for head characteristics. Centennial hops up front for the bittering and East Kent Goldings in the end for finishing along with standard dry Belgian brewing yeast (S-33). No adjuncts, dry hops or flavorings.

Food Pair:  This

Vital Statistics:           BJCP 2015 Irish Ales (15) – Irish Red Ale (15A)

For Style                      ABV: 3.8 – 5.0%           IBUs: 18 – 28               SRM: 9 – 14

Kemosabe                   ABV: 5.8%                    IBU: 20                         SRM: 13

ABV is Alcohol by Volume. Listed as a percentage volume. Average commercial beer ABV = 4.2%

IBU is International Bitterness Units. Measures bittering chemicals ranges from 0-120, but most beers are from 15-80.

SRM is Standard Reference Method. Measure of color. Scale of 0-40. From yellow, to amber/gold, to brown, to black.

Commercial Examples:    Killian’s Red Ale, Caffrey’s Irish Ale, Franciscan Well, Rebel Red, Kilkenny Irish Beer, O’Hara’s Irish Red Ale, Porterhouse Red Ale, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Smithwick’s

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