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Wednesday Food: Drinking in the Irish

After a brief hiatus I am back to homebrewing.  Only a few bottles remain of my beginner batches and a recent craving for homebrew over craft inspired me to break out the kettle again.

After the American strong ale (mimicking Stone’s Arrogant Bastard), I brewed a smoked Scottish Ale using Crystal 60L, smoked, and chocolate malts.  The result was a nice malty ale with gentle smoke, not as dense or creamy as a porter or stout, but satisfying in the same way.  Not long after I brewed a Blonde/ Golden ale which ended up very average, but clean and drinkable.

This week I pulled out Charlie Papazian’s Complete Joy of Homebrewing and went with  a dry Irish Red ale.  Though this classic guide has been revised and updated over the years the recipes remain simple yet somewhat vague.  For example, the Irish Red calls for 1 pound Crystal malt.  Homebrewing has come a long way since the original edition in 1983, as today’s brewer has access to an enormous spectrum of degrees Lovibond in choosing something like Crystal malt.  This puts more creative and interpretive control into the hands of the homebrewer, but leaves neophytes like me a bit stumped.

In the end I went on impulse with Crystal malt 40L, which is in the medium-low range of roastedness and color, along with Northern Brewer hops for bittering and Tettnanger for aroma.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the results are more akin to Brian Boru from Founders or Red Rocket from Bear Republic than Killian’s (which is actually a lager with caramel coloring– think Coor’s, but dyed), bottom’s up ’til then.

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June 2, 2010 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

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