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Thinking of a Red Recipe

I’m looking to branch out from just buying kits. SMaSH has a good bit of buzz lately, which I see as the old-school engineering KISS principle adapted to brewing.
With that in mind, here’s what I’m thinking for a 5 gal Irish Red:

2 lbs. English Dark Crystal. pre-boil steep
6 lbs. Maris Otter Syrup - 60 min
1 oz. UK Kent Goldings - 60 min
3.15 lbs Maris Otter Syrup - 15 min
1 oz. UK Kent Goldings - 15 min

For yeast, I’m undecided between 1098 English Ale, and 1945 Neo Brittania, but other suggestions are welcome.

So, TOO simple? bad choices?
BeerSmith is telling me it’s 1.068 OG which blows the style guide for 9D, but I’m OK with that if I’m brewing for me. the 18.2 SRM is just slightly high too. I could get it in range by only using 4.5 lbs syrup to start, but I’m also considering using easily purchasable quantities without wasting.
Edit: I had that last hop time wrong.

That’s way too high gravity-wise for an Irish Red. Not to mention too much crystal malt for one. Irish Reds are session beers that are malty, but finish on the dry side.

I’d stick to just the 6lbs of Maris Otter LME (get rid of the additional 3.15lbs). Add half of the 6lb jug at the beginning of the boil, then add the remaining at flameout. I’d also cut down on the crystal malt. No more than a pound, if not less than that. Maybe 10 ounces of it. Then add an ounce or two of roasted barley to get your color in that 14-16 SRM range.

Your hops aren’t bad. Depending on the alpha acid units on them, you might want to change the 15 minute addition to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever gets you in that 20-25 IBU range.

I plugged this into my recipe app, and it fit an Irish Red to a Tee. A nice, simple session beer.

Fermentables
6lbs Maris Otter LME (3lbs @ 60min, 3lbs @ flameout)
10 oz Dark Crystal
1 oz Roasted Barley

Hops
1 oz East Kent Golding (4.75 AAU) @ 60min
1 oz East Kent Golding (4.75 AAU) @ 5min

Yeast
Wyeast 1084 irish Ale

OG: 1.044
SRM: 14
IBU: 22

Thanks for the input; in terms of style guide I was actually looking to push the boundary between a 9D Irish Red, and and a 9E Strong Scotch Ale. I’m not great at verbalizing the things I like and dislike, but per-style Irish reds, often come off as “not enough” to me while a solid wee heavy often comes off as “too much” When I reassess the recipe against 5E the numbers line up much better, but still not perfect. So rather than pushing the boundary, It looks like I actually busted through and mostly landed in the other camp…

Now, if I take the advice, and drop gravity and color to be more 9D, it’ll knock about $15 of my cost, so there’s some appeal in that. But again, I’m not brewing this for a Certified Beer Judge, it’s just for me. Definitely sounds like I should back down on the Crystal Malt in either case.

And the 1084 suggestion is giving me 3 strains to consider, although I’m close to dropping 1098. 1084 seems most appropriate; I’m just a bit curious to do something with NB’s strain. Maybe I should buy enough for 2 batches head-to-head.

That’s funny, because Irish Reds are one of my favorite styles precisely because they are balanced, and easy-drinking.

That said, what you are looking to accomplish is fine. The beauty of homebrewing is you don’t have to adhere to BJCP guidelines if you don’t want to. That said, I’d still use less Crystal malt. 2 lbs is a bit much for a 5 gallon batch, especially considering you were looking to brew a higher gravity beer with one of the English strains, which tend to finish a little higher. Your beer could end up being cloyingly sweet.

Good luck either way.

Since your original post, I’ve been doing some additional reading and I agree, that is very sound advice. I’m going to do as you suggested, and cut back on the Crystal, and add some roasted barley.

I wanted to stick to the one-malt, one-hop, one specialty grain philosophy. In the original post I cited the engineering KISS principle, but the corollary to that has to be: don’t over do application of the KISS principle.

So with your 10oz selection was that a 120L Dark Crystal?

The only problem I have with many easy-drinking beers, is that I can drink too many. I have a raspberry wheat that just recently finished conditioning; I pour one of them, then blink and the glass is empty. I find, for me something a little heavier promotes a slower savoring, that’s more satisfying. I can be happy with one 7% beer, but still want more after two 5% beers.

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