Irish Red Rye

Brewed April 27, 2013

I’ve been meaning to do a another Irish Red. That last one (Irish Red Ale 2010) was a good one. It’s a simple beer, essentially a low hopped pale ale with a sprinkle of roasted for color. This will be another good beer to bring to Kyle’s Cajun Boil as it won’t be a overpowering, and since Kyle has now advertised that I’m supplying the brew, I need to show up with a better game than 5 gallons of overripe pale.

When I was contemplating this beer last year, I decided to add some rye to this recipe. Rye is all the rage at the moment, perhaps the new “hops,” and throwing in a little rye will give me marketing trendiness with the urban hipster critics.

I considered adding more hops, again for trendiness, but doing so takes it out of Irish Red parameters. I’ll keep it simple with an ounce of strong Kent Goldings.

Grain Bill-

  • 7 lbs pale malt, 2.2L, English
  • 1 lb Maris Otter, 3.0L
  • 8 oz rye malt
  • 8 oz crystal malt, 60L
  • 2 oz roasted barley, 300L

Hops- 1 oz UK East Kent Goldings, 6.3% alpha, 60 minutes

Yeast- Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale, started two days prior


  • 11.25+ quarts of water (1.25 qts/lb, typical for infusion mashing)
  • Noon, Strike temp = 158 F
  • Mash temp = 148 F- 152 F, hold 90 minutes
  • Mash out 168 F, 10 minutes


  • 1 gallon foundation water, treated with phosphoric acid
  • 4 gallons treated for sparge
  • 10 minute recirculation
  • 30 minutes (a little too quickly, but typical as I can’t find the right speed with the equipment I use)


  • 3:00 PM put almost 7 gallons of wort on fire
  • 3:30 hard boil
  • 4:00 add hops
  • 5:00 shut off heat

Usual cold break, about 30 minutes. Pitched yeast from starter and shook fermenter vigorously. Color is again more nutty brown than red. The commercial brewers must use dyes.

Starting Gravity= 1.052, a good number.

Secondary Ferment-

Sample was awesome! Still not a true red color but a unique sweetness to this beer, perhaps from the rye(?). It has a nice sugary taste without the heavy syrup associated with improperly balanced homebrews.

Final Gravity = 1.013

Alcohol by volume is about 5.1%

I kegged this beer May 19 and put it under the same 25 psi that I put the Pale Ale under.


IMG_2386Charlie, Christine and I took this beer and the Pale Ale over to Kyle’s last night to give it a chance to settle before the party. We tapped it and it was quite good. It was a little cloudy, I’m guessing from the bumpy trip to the city. It would be nice if it settled and cleared before people start drinking it today, but even if it doesn’t, the beer is good. It’s got a good color though not still not perfectly red. The sweet flavor is still there. Charlie commented that he wasn’t sure which beer he liked better, this Red or the Pale we’re serving next to it. Both are really nice and I’m quite pleased with the results. I was ready to proclaim this the best beer of the year, but to be honest the Pale is so good, I’m not sure that I can call this Red better.

The day after-

Both this beer and the Pale were drained by 9 pm the day of the party. Lots of compliments, a big success. I overheard Cyr telling someone that they really needed to try the Red Rye; he liked it a lot. I also overheard a couple of comments that they didn’t realize there were two different beers, so though the styles were different, they were very similar with a difference of about a pound of grain (rye and roasted). Both were colder than I would normally serve this beer and the cold kind of deadened the flavor differences. ¬†Overall, the beer was excellent and I’m feeling pretty good this morning about the brewing skills.

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