Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Red Ale Refill

Yeah, I found my stash of recipes.  Keep in mind I didn't write or come up with any of these recipes so all I can vouch for is that I made them.  I will also recommend if you are just getting into brewing or thinking about getting into brewing give How to Brew a read.  I have several books, but this website has just about everything I've read elsewhere online for free.  The guy does sell it as a book too, but it is a handy no commitment way to look about.

Malt Extract: 5lb Pale Malt Extract
Specialty Grains: 1/2lb Crystal 40L Malt
Boiling Hops: 1 1/2oz Cascade Hops
Finishing Hops: 1/2oz Cascade Hops
Yeast: Munton's Dry Ale Yeast

That's it, the specialty grains give it all of the color, it is supposed to make a 5 gallon batch but following this recipe gives you a beer that is about 4.2%ABV.  Brewing directions are really simple.  You make a "tea" with the specialty grains, add the malt and boil for an hour adding hops at specific times.

Place crushed specialty grains in a muslin bag, pour 2 1/2 gallons into your kettle add the specialty grains and bring the water almost to a boil (less than 212°F degrees) remove from heat and let sit for 10minutes.

Remove the grain bag and in a strainer over the kettle rinse with one quart of hot water and dispose of the spent grains.

Add the malt extract to the kettle and stir until it is completely dissolved, then place the kettle back on the burner and bring to a boil.

Once a vigorous boil is achieved, add the boiling hops (and watch the hell out, if you are going to have a boil over it will be right at this stage!!!!)  Time the boil from this point.

After 55 minutes of boiling, add the finishing hops

Let the boil continue for 5 minutes and then remove from heat.  (they say cover, but I think that is to keep the bugs out if you are outdoors) and let cool for 20 minutes before cooling.  This is different from most recipes and I ended up following these directions because it was my first time.  From what I've read since then you want to let it rest to get down to 180°F naturally and then you want to go from 180°F down to yeast pitching temps (~80°F) as quickly as you can.  Adding cold and even ice to achieve it.

If you used leaf hops carefully remove the hop bags from the kettle and place them in a strainer over the fermentor, rinse with 2 1/2 gallons (if you used pellets you are still going to add 2 1/2 gallons) of very cold water into the fermentor and then add the contents of the kettle to the fermentor and top up to just over 5 Gallons.

As a side note here, they somehow think this will add up to 5 gallons of water in the fermentor, for me it was not even close and this has to do with your brewing kettle and boil off.  In my 7 1/2 gallon stainless steel pot I boil about 1 gallon every half hour of boil.  If I had followed their directions at the start I would have ended my boil with about 1/2 gallon of finished wort. In a different vessel I have brewed in that was smaller in diameter and taller I had a much lower boil off.  It wasn't my pot so I didn't bench mark it, but I think I only lost about 1/2 - 3/4 of a gallon in the hour boil.  Height to diameter ratio is an important metric for picking a kettle, taller is better as it gives you more room to deal with the crazy roiling boil you might get when you make your first hop addition.  How to brew has a section on the "Hot Break" that is very useful knowledge.

Prepare yeast to directions on the pack, pitch once the fermentor reaches 80°F

From here on it's standard fermentation process, and bottling or kegging as desired.


  1. Interesting Stuff

  2. I'm too lazy to do this, but I can always wish it'd be tasty. :(

  3. If I ever learn how to cook, I'll try and make this.