Day of the Red Brew Day

IMG_5217Originally, this was going to be called Dawn of the Red, like the Imperial Amber Ale I made last year, but I decided that the recipe is different enough to warrant this being a sequel. Day of the Red is a Red IPA. I am taking a different approach from what I would normally do with an IPA, going further into the “Red” part.

The grain bill of this beer is basically the same as an Irish Red Ale, just a little souped up to take it into IPA level gravity. The mash temperature, at 154º, is higher than I would normally do for an IPA, again more like an Irish Red Ale.
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After the mash, though, comes a first wort hop with an ounce of Chinook. Then there are a few Cascade additions through out the boil and more Cascades along with Palisades at flameout. This is, of course where the IPA comes in.

I wanted to keep the hop profile more in line with the classics, after experimenting with newer hop varieties a lot over the Summer. I will rarely make an IPA without using Chinook for bittering. It is, in my experience one of the only hops that will manage to give some of its characteristic piny flavor to a beer even when boiled for long periods. Cascade is one of my favorite hop varieties and is certainly a classic for IPAs, but I rarely use it in these beers, basically because it is so common in commercial IPAs. I thought it was time to try my hand at a mostly Cascade IPA, though and I also thought the famous citrus/pine balance of this hop would work well with this maltier than normal IPA.
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Palisade is a hop that I have no previous experience with. It is said to be mostly floral but with earthy tones reminiscent of British hop varieties. I couldn’t resist trying a new (to me) hop in an IPA, but I didn’t want the super fruity hops I’ve been experimenting with lately. This is supposed to be a fairly mellow hop and the British influence seemed appropriate for an Irish Red Ale inspired IPA.

Probably the strangest part of this recipe will come after primary fermentation. Along with a dry hop charge of an ounce each of Cascade and Palisade, I will also add a plank of American Oak the fermenter. I got this idea after reading about Russian River’s Blind Pig IPA, which I can’t find where I live but which also adds oak with its dry hops. One beer I was able to try recently which finally cemented the idea was a special cask of Bube’s Brewery’s wet hopped pale ale with oak added to the cask. It was delicious, I preferred it by a large margin to the regular version of the beer, which was also quite good.
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Old Strong 2012 is the only previous experience I’ve had with oak. In that beer, I added chips to secondary. The oak chips were soaked in whiskey and the beer was aged with them for several months. This time, I got an oak spiral which I plan to sanitize with a quick stint in the oven before adding it along with the dry hops to be in contact with the beer for only about a week before packaging.

I am once again using White Labs’ 007 – Dry English Ale yeast for this batch. I have been very happy since starting to use this yeast. It gives a fairly neutral flavor in my experience, closer to a lot of American ale strains than the very estery English strains I like for bitters and milds. I am interested to see how dry this beer will be because, as the name suggests, this yeast can ferment pretty low. I usually do all I can to encourage this in my IPAs, but I want to maintain a bit more maltiness, thus the grain bill and higher mash temperature. If the yeast goes crazy though, I won’t be upset. Anyway, my recipe is below.
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Day of the Red
Style: Red IPA
Brew Date: December 3, 2014
Serve Date: January, 2014
OG: 1.061
Expected FG: 1.014
Approximate ABV: 6%
IBUs: 75

Fermentables:
87% British Pale Malt
12% British Crystal 60L Malt
1% British Roasted Barley

Hops:
1 oz. Chinook @ First Wort Hop
1 oz. Cascade @ 45 min
1 oz. Cascade @ 10 min
2 oz. Cascade @ Flameout (15 min hop stand)
1 oz. Palisade @ Flameout (15 min hop stand)
1 oz. Cascade @ Dry Hop (about 5 days)
1 oz. Palisade @ Dry Hop (about 5 days)

Other:
1 Medium Roast American Oak Spiral added with dry hop

Yeast:
WLP007 – Dry English Ale Yeast

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