Brew Day: English Mild & Irish Red Ale (Beers #49 & 50)

January 12, 2013 by Jack

Last weekend I brewed a couple of simple beers to serve as the first batches in a run of beers feremented with the same pitch of yeast: Dark English Mild fermented with Wyeast 1028 and Irish Red Ale fermented with Wyeast 1056. As per usual, the recipes came from BCS.

The Mild had an expected OG of 1.038 (I actually hit 1.040), so I didn’t make a starter for it. Starter wort is ~1.040, so this beer is a starter. I wanted to brew a 1.040 beer for the 1056 yeast as well, but there aren’t many American styles with such a low OG and I wanted to commemorate my 50th batch by brewing the same style as I did for batch #1. With an expected OG of 1.054, I had to make a starter.

I wanted to brew batch #50 on the 10th anniversary of batch #1, but my schedule took a hit when Northern Brewer forgot to ship an order to me, pushing batches 47 and 48 back a couple weeks. I ended up brewing it ten years and five days after my first batch.

Irish blood-red ale

Due to a good amount of crystal malts & roasted barley, the Irish Red Ale is very red, blood red even. I overshot the OG (aimed for 1.054, hit 1.060) and it finished up at 1.014 (6.1% abv). The hydrometer sample had a dry, slightly roasty finish which is correct for the style. It’s not an exciting beer, but so far it seems like it should be pretty good.

The Mild went from 1.040 to 1.012 (3.7% abv). It tastes nutty, chocolatey, and with slight fruity esters. The body seems to be ok. It’s a little thin, but it’s not watery. It’s tough to get body into a 1.040 beer.

These sumbitches is fixin’ homedrink in the bathtub!

These were the fist batches of beer I fermented outside of the Franken-freezer since I built the thing. It was busy with the Belgian strong ales I brewed the week before. However, the spare bathtub was holding steady at 63-65°F, so I figured that was a good spot to ferment some run-of-the-mill ales. They both rose to about 68°F (measured on the outside of the carboy with an IR thermometer) and held that temperature throughout fermentation. I wanted to ferment the Irish Red a little cooler to make sure it comes out clean, but choosing to use 1056 provided some insurance. The gravity sample tasted very clean, free of esters & phenols.

These Mild is crash-cooling now. The Red will start its crash after another day or two. They’ll both be kegged, carbed, and ready to drink within a couple of weeks.

Leave a Reply