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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.

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