Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - The Mash: Make Your Best -

This recipe has served me very well as a faith­ful Red IPA that avoids the pit­falls of the style while am­pli­fy­ing its virtues.

Style: Red IPA is one of the newer “de­fined” styles, but it’s cer­tainly noth­ing new to beer geeks. Pre­vi­ously, Red IPAS might have been re­ferred to as Cal­i­for­nia/west Coast Red ales, North­west IPAS, or sim­ply as IPAS, but the dis­tinc­tions of this style are use­ful to note to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from sim­i­lar styles (Amer­i­can Am­ber, in par­tic­u­lar). Like most IPAS, it’s char­ac­ter­ized by a rel­a­tively high BU:GU ra­tio, more malt char­ac­ter than a tra­di­tional Amer­i­can IPA, and high lev­els of hops aroma and fla­vor. Many clas­sic ex­am­ples are also high in al­co­hol, but the style doesn’t re­quire it, and this recipe doesn’t fea­ture it. Made well, Red IPA is a riot of hops in a drink­able beer that you can have more than one pint of with­out tip­ping off the stool. Recipe: I ap­proached this recipe by not­ing that what I was drink­ing was sim­i­lar to my Call­ing Bird In­dia Ale, a dark­ish English IPA but with a touch more al­co­hol and malt fla­vor and a lot more Amer­i­can hops. Maris Ot­ter and Mu­nich malts lay down a bready base. Then we add equal amounts of Crys­tal 40 and Crys­tal 120 (the Fawcett ver­sions, if you have ac­cess to them). It’s enough crys­tal malt char­ac­ter to add some tof­fee-and-toast fla­vors, but not so much that it seems “rich.” To that we add a some Carafa Spe­cial I, a de­husked dark malt, that will add a very smooth and light co­coa back­ground note but very lit­tle true “roast” char­ac­ter. We now have a deep-red wort, with an ABV po­ten­tial of just about 6 per­cent. As for hop­ping, I’ve used a mix of Sim­coe, Cen­ten­nial, and Cas­cade, but I didn’t care for the re­sult, and drop­ping out the Cas­cade im­proved it sig­nif­i­cantly (though ob­vi­ously if you’re a Cas­cade fan, feel free). The Sim­coe-cen­ten­nial com­bi­na­tion, though, adds a nicely com­ple­men­tary grape­fruit-and-flow­ers fla­vor. I do all my se­ri­ous bit­ter­ing with the Sim­coe, at 45 min­utes and at 20 min­utes, yield­ing about 60 IBUS. Sim­coe and Cen­ten­nial at five min­utes adds a big punch of hops to the fla­vor pro­file, and about 10 more IBUS. (Sim­coe is a rel­a­tively soft-bit­ter­ing low-co­hu­mu­lone hop, es­pe­cially for an Amer­i­can va­ri­ety). Fi­nally, for yeast, I use my go-to Wyeast 1007 (Ger­man Ale) for its clean fer­men­ta­tion and a bit of sup­port­ing berry es­ter. Process: There are no real process mys­ter­ies here. Mash, lauter, sparge, and then boil for the full 60 min­utes even though the hops aren’t go­ing in un­til 15 min­utes into the boil. Fer­ment at 65°F (18°C), and if you like you can raise that to 68°F (20°C) af­ter 5–6 days to al­low for a bit of a di­acetyl rest. At this point, many would dry hop this beer, but I hon­estly don’t care for the grassy, resinous fla­vor it im­parts. In this recipe, the dry hops seem like a patch or an af­ter­thought. Pack­age and car­bon­ate to 2.5 vol­umes of CO2, and you should be good to go.

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