Author Topic: Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation  (Read 1991 times)

Offline richardt

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Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation
« on: August 21, 2012, 01:16:54 PM »
Open to ideas regarding the ideal water profile for brewing an Irish Red Ale.
We're building it with RO water and brew salt additions.
We're leaning towards using the "Amber Malty" or "Amber Balanced" profiles on Bru'nwater.
The "mild ale" profile doesn't look much different, either.

We're steering away from the "historical" water profiles, so I'm not using Dublin or Edinburg, or London.

Grist is 85.4% MO, 4.9% Dark Munich, 2.4% C60, 2.4% C120, 2.4% CaraHell, and 2.4% Roast Barley (300L)
We may be brewing this a little more West-Coast-style with restrained flavor and aroma hop additions (e.g., Cascade). We're considering 0.5 oz Galena hops FWH, 1 oz Cascade at 15, and 1 oz Cascade steeping (once below 180F) x 30 min.

Yeast:  US-05

Any suggestions would be welcome.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 01:50:00 PM by richardt »

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 02:19:57 PM »
Ideal? I don't think there is one.  But you should be able to narrow into a profile that worked well with the style.  Considering that you can always add sulfate to check the effect in the finished beer, I would aim for the malty profile and possibly spike a glass or two with a bit of gypsum to evaluate if you would have preferred the flavor of a more balanced profile.

Remember that the bicarbonate content in any profile is just a starting point.  You will have to adjust that level up or down to suit your grist.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 06:02:02 PM »
Good to know.  Thanks, Martin.  BTW, I enjoyed your comments, and those of the other members of the "water" panel, at the NHC.  I found them all quite insightful.

The "adding gypsum to the finished beer in a glass" idea seems like a great way to efficiently make a batch and experiment with the effect of increasing sulfate levels on the overall taste profile of the beer.

I just have this aversion to sulfate.  In Jacksonville, we irrigate our lawns and rinse sand off our bodies with the "non-potable" water.  Phew!  Talk about sulfur snatch!  Even if it is "acceptable" in low levels, I just can't get past that smell when tasting certain lagers and bitters.   

Offline The Professor

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Re: Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 06:43:12 PM »
Ideal? I don't think there is one.  But you should be able to narrow into a profile that worked well with the style.  Considering that you can always add sulfate to check the effect in the finished beer, I would aim for the malty profile and possibly spike a glass or two with a bit of gypsum to evaluate if you would have preferred the flavor of a more balanced profile.

Remember that the bicarbonate content in any profile is just a starting point.  You will have to adjust that level up or down to suit your grist.

Martin is right.  I suppose Lett's (known of course these days as 'Killians") would have served as a standard for this type of beer ...but since there hasn't been an Irish brewed version since the mid-1950s,  it nothing but guesswork.  I doubt that the French version introduced in the 1960s  was totally faithful to the original recipe, and the American version certainly isn't especially since the recipe has been reformulated by Coors more than once (except for the very beginning when Coors labeled it as an "ale", it has for most of it's US existence been marketed as a "lager").

Perhaps some research into the character of the water in Enniscorthy where Lett's/Killian's originated (as a true ale) would be a good starting point.
The grist would be anyone's guess...I think if you start with a good, bog standard  'ordinary bitter'  and use a small measure of appropriate roasted specialty malts to get the color, you'll wind up with a good beer you can safely call "Irish Red".
Since there is no 'standard', and certainly not very many people around who will be able to compare it to the original, it seems to me that you really can't go too far wrong. Any attempt to define the"style" with a standard definition is, in my opinion, futile (and like other older "styles", usually based on arbitrary speculation).

I'd be curious as to what Kristen and  Pattinson could offer ...'patto',are you listening?  In your diligent and peerless research, have you ever encountered any inside info about  G.H. Lett's brewery?
AL
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