Homebrew Recipe: Irish Red

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2013-01-20 18.23.58-1One of the first better-tasting beers that I ever tried was Killian’s Irish Red. A friend of mine bought a six-pack of them for St. Paddy’s day one year – mostly just because it has “Irish” in the name – and not only did we have the pleasing realization that beer could have more character than Natty Ice, we also came to the unfortunate conclusion that a six pack is never enough. Granted, I later realized that Killian’s is a lager, is manufactured by Coors, and is not nearly the best Irish Red out there, but there’s no way I could hold any of those things against it; unlike most of the beers I’d had up to that point, it didn’t taste like urine.

Though I usually prefer something pale with a lot of hops, I’m always on the lookout for a decent Irish Red. There’s something about the crimson hue, the heavy maltyness and the toasted flavor that makes my mouth water. So after becoming a homebrewer, it stood to reason that I would eventually brew up one of these pleasing beers. We’ve made at least one red before, but unfortunately it was from a kit, was one of our first beers, and through a number of what I’m sure were mistakes on our part, had the unpleasant aroma and flavor of bananas.

So it was about a month ago when I went back to my recent source of inspiration – Papazian’s book – and found the basis for an Irish Red recipe that is not only simple, but turned into a delicious and balanced brew.

Grains:

  • 1 lb Crystal 20
  • ½ lb. Toasted Malted Barley

Fermentables:

  • 5 lbs Amber LME

Hops:

  • 1 oz N. Brewer @ boil
  • 1 oz Tettnager @ burnout

Yeast:

  • WYEAST 1056 (American)

Brew it… it’s good

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