ingredients for Irish Red Ale at home

Making Irish Red Ale at home – Part I

10 June 2013

I was on holidays in Tasmania recently, and as a subscriber to the philosophy of “When in Rome…” I sought out local beers to enjoy. At the franchise bottle shop around the corner to where I was staying it was disappointing to find the majority of the beers stocked were the typical range from the large mainland brewers, or the obvious selections from Cascade or Boags. Wanting to avoid the later two, my choice of local independent brews was very limited. I ended up deciding upon an Irish Red Ale from a Launceston brewery, Morrison. I was not disappointed with the decision.

On returning home, and having enjoyed the Irish Red Ale so much, I decided to make my own. I primarily brew from liquid malt extract. The ingredients are cheaper, more readily available, and I find I get consistent results using the kits as a base. Google was unable to provide me with a recipe I was happy with, so I turned the Coopers forums as they normally have useful information. Fortunately the Coopers DIY recipe list, which is fast becoming my goto list, had an Irish Red Ale.

ingredients for Irish Red Ale at homeThe recipe is based on an Australian Pale Ale kit, Light dry malt, crystal malt grain, and roasted barley added to the wort.

crushed grainsThe recipe called for me to crack the grains, which I did via a ziplock bag and rolling pin, then add them to 2l of water that has just come off the boil. I let that steep for 60mins as instructed. I cooled, then strained the liquid and added it to the fermenter and made up the wort (to 21 litres) as per the instructions on the tin. I was initially struck by the darkness of the boil, though when watered down in the fermenter, it started to take on the reddish tinge I was expecting from this darker ale style. After pitching the yeast the brew was returned to the cupboard under the stairs which keeps a stable temperature of 16-18C at this time of year.


Fortunately 18C is the recommended brewing temperature, so I have high expectations in the results, I shall see in a couple of weeks time. While I’m waiting, I’ll do my best not to drink my last two Morrison Irish Red Ales, so I can do a head to head comparison after I have bottled up the batch.




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