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Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal secrets while simplifying anywhere possible. Read below each recipe to get it all!
What makes you crave red ale? When rainy days abound as winter nears its end and the skies are full of rolling clouds while the snow on the ground disappears, I can’t help but feel the urge to drink something a little lighter yet still full bodied, a hearty feeling without being too heavy in the spirit of spring warmth thawing the frozen winter chill. There are a few beers that fit this profile, but the more I thought about what I wanted the idea formed of a red ale, with its perfectly fitting medium body and mid-range ABV to give a slight warmth, but it needed that extra something to give it a little more hearty feel. It didn’t take me long to figure out what could add that, I love almond butter and have always felt it is a hearty addition to many snacks, plus almond goes great with red ales, so almond butter became the cherry on top of this tribute to Spring. Kick the lingering chill of winter and welcome the light of spring at the same time with this smooth Red & Gold Ale.
REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE
Red & Gold Ale – Almond Butter Irish Red Ale
Ingredients for 5.5 gallons (21L) [Net: 5 gallons (19L) after boil]
- 11.25 lbs (5.1 kg) Maris Otter Malt (or other British Pale Malt)
- 6 oz (170 g) Roasted Barley
- 6 oz (170 g) Crystal Malt 120L
- 6 oz (170 g) Crystal Malt 40L
- 1 oz (28 g) Northern Brewer 8.5% AA 60 min.
- 8 Heaping (overflowing) Tablespoons natural almond butter, oil poured off 5 min.
- 2 packets Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale Yeast, or prepare yeast starter
- Original Gravity: 1.054
- Final Gravity: 1.010
- Extract Efficiency: 73%
- IBUs: 25
- ABV: 5.75%
Directions: Always grab yourself a beer to enjoy while brewing – it’s tradition! Then, mash 5.5 gal (21L) of water in grains at 153° F (67° C) for 60 minutes. Mash out 2.5 gal (9.5L) water at 168° F (75.5° C) for 20 minutes and sparge. Collect about 5.5 gallons (21L) of runoff, or increase volume as needed for your 60 minute boil, and bring to a boil. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. Add almond butter in the last 5 minutes of the boil and stir well. After boil, chill wort to 66° F (19° C) and transfer to fermenter. Pitch yeast and aerate well. Ferment at 66° F (19° C).
NOTE – when you brew any batch it is very important to adjust the volume of the runoff that will be in your boiling pot according to the amount of evaporation loss you usually see when brewing similar timed batches. For example, when I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer that calls for a 60 minute boil, I know that I will need about 6 gallons in my boiling pot before the boil begins because I usually lose about 1 gallon during that length of boil. You may lose 2 gallons while boiling for 60 minutes, so you would need to add more water to your mash in order to get 7 gallons of runoff and end up with about 5 gallons after boiling. If you don’t keep track of this, you might end up with less beer than anticipated, or you could end up with more beer that is watered down. Recipes give amounts that are recommended but in the end it all comes down to you and your specific circumstances on how it will turn out. If you don’t have as much experience to have a consistent brewing pattern that you can keep track of, just follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions, leave comments or submit a contact form, I am more than willing to help and there are so many people in the brewing community that will support you as well.
Tips to Brewing with Almond Butter
The addition of any nut butter can be a little tricky if you are using natural, fresh ground nut butter, but with these tips you can easily use it without mishap, To avoid the issue with lack of head retention because of oil from the nuts in this recipe, I like to use natural creamy almond butter with the oil skimmed off. You will still have a little bit of oil go into your beer with the almond butter but not enough to ruin the head when you carbonate your beer. For further details on skimming oil off your nut butter and adding the butter to your beer, refer to my Tips to Brewing With Peanut Butter. I have used this trick in a few batches, with forced carbonation and natural carbonation methods, and it has worked well each time.
Fermentation & Conditioning
As beer ferments with nut butter in the wort, I have found that those flavors can weaken, or ferment out. However, I have brewed this beer once before and found the almond butter was not completely fermented out, though it did leave a little to be desired once aging was finished. I added about 3 Tablespoons more almond butter to the recipe in creating this brew and this post to get some more of the smooth almond flavor. I thought about simply adding more to the ferment, which I still may try, but I thought it might help the balance of richness the almond adds to the beer if there was only a little more added to the boil and I skip adding the fresh almond flavor you get from it being in the ferment. I will be testing this during the fermentation process, as usual, to see how this develops and make decisions according to how I feel then. I will continue to add to this recipe so don’t forget to check back to see the updates as this beer develops!
Do you like red ales? Have you even made one? What did you like or dislike that you would like changed? Comment below and share your thoughts, ask questions & get answers!