Brewing an Irish Red Ale – Brew day

The ingredients from my ingredient shopping arrived really quickly РI placed the order on Thursday at 17:30 and they arrived on Saturday. Impressive work from The Homebrew Company!

I put together the workflow below and printed it out so I’d have something to follow along with on brew day. It really helped pinpoint things to focus on and times when I’d be able to prepare the next step while waiting for target temperatures.

I had a setback in preparing for brew day, however, as I managed to drop my hydrometer and sample tube – the only two glass pieces of brewing paraphenalia! Needless to say, both of them shattered. Thankfully, I was able to borrow a hydrometer off my friend Diarmaid. I used a tall pint glass as a sample tube, but ended up having a lot of wasted liquid while doing so, I’ll have to be conservative about checking my specific gravity until I source a new one.

I tweaked the recipe slightly according to the style guidance from Brewer’s Friend, which should hopefully compensate for my extra dark barley.

A bad thing happened

A bad thing happened

Other than that, the brew went off without a hitch! Looking forward to the taste test already!

Brew Workflow:

Day before brew
Test hose and chiller attachment
Clean with standard detergent:
kettle element
kettle tap
stirring paddle
fermenter tap
Borrow hydrometer to replace broken one!

Brew Day
Steeping Specialty Grains
Bring 2L of water to 67 degrees Celsius
Weigh and put specialty grains in straining bag while waiting
Steep specialty grains for 30 mins in 67 degree water
10 minutes from end of steeping, bring another 2L of water to 80 degrees
Add water from steeped grains to kettle
Put straining bag in colander
Pour 80 degree water through colander to add grain washings to kettle

Weigh ingredients
Caramel Crystal Malt 82 EBC – 160g
Caramel Crystal Malt 240 EBC – 160g
Roasted Barley 800 EBC – 100g
Hops East Kent Goldings – 35g

Seal unused grain and hops in plastic food bags & store hops in freezer

Adding to the kettle
Add 10L of bottled water to kettle
Add malt extract to kettle slowly while stirring
Bring volume in kettle to 25L with water
Attach thermometer to kettle

Switch on kettle
Weigh hops while waiting for boil
Bring to a boil
Watch out for boilover in the first 10 mins
Once a rolling vigorous boil is reached, add hops loose
Continue boil for 60 mins (sanitise equipment and set up chiller now)
Add whirlfloc tablet 15 mins from end of boil

Connect hose to tap
Connect hose to each end of chiller with hose repair attachment
Run short hose length from output to drain
Immerse chiller in wort five mins from end of boil
When boil complete, turn on tap
Swirl chiller every few mins to ensure wort is circulating well
Chill until wort reaches 20 degrees
Remove thermometer (so we can use for O.G. temp recording)

Transfer to fermenter & pitch yeast

During boil, sanitise using VWP:
Fermenter & lid
Fermenter tap
Transfer wort to fermenter through tap
Take sample for Original Gravity reading and allow to settle
Pitch yeast
Seal fermenter
Move fermenter to final position
Fill airlock and add to fermenter

O.G. Reading: 1.044 @ 20 degrees C [this thankfully matches the anticipated value!]

Clean kettle and equipment

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