Friday, January 29, 2010

Red Rooster Ale

A couple of months ago, I started putting together a spreadsheet of beers I wanted to make along with the ingredients and prices. I frequent the Northern Brewer website, and occasionally post on their forum. I saw a kit they had there called Dawson's Multigrain Red, and it sounded awfully good to me.

Of course, the kit is for a 5-gallon batch, and I try to get enough ingredients for a 6-gallon batch. I bought the Willamette hops over at Freshops for a mere $1 per ounce. I got the grains and yeast at Midwest Supplies for $16.40. That's right, $19.40 for 6 gallons (a little more than 2-cases) of good beer. Of course, add in the postage, too. I ordered the ingredients for a Black Lager as well. That's the subject of a whole 'nother post.

Before this, I had never used the Danstar Nottingham yeast. When I think of Nottingham, I think of Robin Hood, the Sherwood forest, and England in general, even though this yeast is made in Canada.

The difference between my version and Dawson's: His is a little lower in gravity. I upped the amounts of 2-row malt and the color malts (the chocolate rye and the CaraWheat) to bring the gravity up to 1.054 instead of 1.044. Also, since I had to order whole ounces of hops, I ended up using all 3 ounces by adding another quarter ounce to the bittering and flameout additions, and dry hopping the leftover half ounce. The recipe:

Red Rooster Ale
6-gallon batch
OG: 1.054
30 IBU
SRM: 12.7

11.0 lb 2-Row Pale Malt
0.5 lb Caramunich II
0.33 lb CaraWheat
0.33 lb Chocolate Rye

1.25 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) @ 60 min.
0.75 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) @ 30 min.
0.50 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) @ 0 min.
0.50 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) Dry Hop 5 days prior to bottling

Danstar-Lallemand Nottingham dry yeast, 11 grams

I really need to get a back light for photos. The glass here usually makes the beers look darker. In a standard pint, this one looks more lighter in color. It's not like one of those hoppy California red beers that have become so popular. There is nice lacing, you can sort of see it on this glass.

The hop profile is nice. It's sort of "woody". The nose is malts, yeast and just a tiny bit of the Willamette. I will probably buy another ounce and dry hop an ounce and a half next time. Maybe.

What I really like about this beer is the mouthfeel. It's sort of creamy, and I think it would be great if it were kegged and poured using nitrogen as opposed to CO2.

1.054 is big enough. My batch sparging technique was lacking, in that I didn't drain the mash tun all the way with the first bit of water, and then probably used too much water in the second sparge. I need to resolve the sparge water calculation and how to do that to improve the efficiency. As it was, the beer ended up at 1.049, which isn't too bad. It still tastes great.