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Red Ale postponed

The planned brewing of the red ale was postponed because of an equipment failure. The connector for the compressor on the glycol chiller burnt out the day before the planned brew. Without the chiller I would not be able to properly cool the wort.

Burnt connector

It was replaced within a couple of days. Because of tank scheduling with contract customers there has been no opportunity to brew this beer until now. I’ll be brewing it on Monday.

It is inevitable that things go wrong. I love it when they go wrong like this. It was the least inconvenient moment.

 

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Open day & red ale

The first open day went quite well. It was nice to see both new and old faces.

For me the really good part of the day was just how well the trial red ale was received. It’s a smokey red ale. I’ve used a reasonable amount of smoked malt in it, but nowhere near enough to make it a smoked beer. The resulting smokiness is gentle.

And the colour was pretty good. I plan to brew this beer in a week or so and will make a couple of small adjustments to enhance the colour. It should be available mid-October.

The next open day will be Sunday October first.

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Red ale trial brews

I am planning a Red Ale as the first of the special beers. It has a twist, which I will be coy about. I’ve done two trial brews. The first was a few weeks ago. I got the twist right but not the colour. Usually the colour is obtained by using a fair amount of crystal/caramel malt – 12 to 15% of the grain bill, and reddening it up with a small amount of roast barley or roast malt, say 1%.

This was the first attempt. It’s not particularly red. A lot of red ales are, well, not so red: orangey/amber with a chocolatey tinge. At home we had a bit of session on Red Ales.

The Red Trolley (nice beer) is on the left, and my amber beer, Titfer, is on the right of the photo. Not a huge difference. Of the beers we drank, Two Birds Sunset Ale was the reddest.

I brewed the second trial yesterday using the same malts as the first brew but in different proportions. This time it was a much better colour.

It still needs a tweak or two, but I will wait till it’s fermented. The colour will change over the course of fermentation. Both of these trial brews will be up for tasting on the open day on Sunday September 3rd.