Homemade Irish Red Ale

Stop spending money at the bar and start brewing your own beer at home.

by Brad Barrett
16 March 2018, 2:29pm

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 2 weeks

Original Gravity = 1.053
Final Gravity = 1.014
International Bitterness Unit = 25
Standard Reference Method = 18
ABV = 5.2%


for the grain bill:
9.9 pounds|4.5 kg Crisp British pale ale malt or similar British pale ale malt
6.0 ounces|170 grams Crystal malt (40 °L)
6.0 ounces|170 grams Crystal malt (120 °L)
5.0 ounces|142 grams roasted barley (300 °L)

for the hops:
1 .05 ounces Kent Golding pellet hops 5% alpha acid
1 ounce Amarillo 8% alpha acid
1 teaspoon Irish Moss
1 packet liquid yeast, preferably Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale) or dry yeast, preferably Fermentis Safale US-05

for bottling:
3/4 cup corn sugar


1. Heat up 13.88 quarts of water at 165.4°F (74°C ). When water is up to temperature, add it to the mash tun.

Add in the grains, targeting a mash of around 1.5 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain (a liquor-to-grist ratio of about 3:1 by weight) and a temperature of 153°F (67°C). Hold the mash at 153°F (67°C) until enzymatic conversion is complete. This will be about one hour.

2. While the grains are mashing, fill up 5.55 quarts of water in a pot and heat it to 211°F (99.5°C ). (Do this step with 30 minutes left in mashing.) Add the 5.55 quart of water to mash tun. Raise the temperature to mash out at 168°F (76°C). Let it sit for 10 minutes.

3. In another pot, heat 3.50 gallons of water to 170°F ( 76.6°C) (This is the sparge water). Slowly add the sparge water to the mash tun, collecting wort (the liquid extracted from the mashing process). Recirculate the wort through the grain bed until the liquid runs clear and until you have around 6.5 gallons (24.6 L) of wort.

4. Bring the wort to a boil. Once it starts to foam (this is called a hot break), let it boil for another 30 minutes. Add the Golding hops and boil for an additional 45 minutes, then add the Amarillo hops and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Add Irish moss and boil for 10 more minutes. The Irish moss will help to clarify the beer.

5. Chill the wort rapidly to 66°F (19°C). While the wort is chilling, sanitise your fermenter. We recommend Star San. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SANITISE SO THAT YOU DON’T GET GROSS THINGS IN YOUR BEER, LIKE BACTERIA AND OFF-FLAVOURS.

6. After the wort has chilled, let the break material settle, pour through a strainer into the fermenter. This helps to aerate the wort which will help the yeast. Add the yeast and ferment the wort at 66°F (19°C) for about 2 weeks or when you reach your final gravity.

7. When the fermentation is finished, sanitise 48 (12-ounce) bottles and caps (you can use old beer bottles that you’ve already pounded).

8. Boil the corn sugar and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over high for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Cool completely, then add to a sanitised bottling bucket. Transfer the beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket. Don’t just pour it right in (this will oxidise your beer); instead siphon your beer in slowly. Mix the solution gently yet thoroughly, then carefully siphon the beer into the bottles. Place a sanitised cap on each bottle, then use a bottle capper to crimp the cap. Store the bottles in a dark, cool environment for 2 weeks before refrigerating and drinking.

Irish ale
Irish red ale