If you are a fan of hoppy and bitter India Pale Ales and also malty tasting beers such as Irish Red ales then there is a good chance that you will really enjoy a Red IPA. This style of beer is known for its malty and hoppy profile, and deep red color, while also maintaining the typical bitterness and hop flavor IPAs are known for. In this article, we are going to give you a Red IPA recipe that you can brew up for yourself at home.
We are also going to review the main ingredients that go into this recipe, i.e. the grains, yeast, and hops in case you want to create your own recipe or modify this one. And lastly, we will touch on the appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and food pairing that make red IPA unique. So, whether you’re an experienced homebrewer or new to this great hobby, grab your brewing equipment, and let’s get ready to make some beer…
What is a Red IPA?
A Red IPA, also known as an American Red IPA, is a hybrid of an India Pale Ale and an American Amber, and an Irish Red Ale. This beer style is known for its hoppy and bitter flavor, balanced with a slight malty sweetness and a red color. The malty taste and red color come from the use of specialty malts like crystal and amber.
Its origins can be traced back to the early 2000s when American craft brewers started experimenting with different beer styles, they developed these recipes by combining the hoppy bitterness of an IPA with the red color and sweetness of an American Amber ales and Irish Red Ale; it quickly gained popularity and has now become a staple in the craft beer world
Red IPA Recipe
The following is a simple but delicious Red IPA recipe you can try…
7 lbs maris otter
4 lbs 2-row pale malt
0.5 lb crystal malt (40L)
1 lb crystal malt (80L)
4 oz Carafa Special Type 1
1 oz Centennial hops (60 min – bittering hops)
0.5 oz Cascade hops (30 min)
0.5 oz Columbus hops (30 min)
0.5 oz Simcoe hops (5 min)
0.5 oz Columbus hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz Centennial hops (dry hop)
1 package of White Labs (WLP001) or Wyeast 1056, or Fermentis US-05
Begin by milling your grains and heating your brewing water up to the correct mashing temperature.
Add the grains to your mash tun and mix them well. After adding the grains and stirring them well the mashing temperature should be around 152F; let the grains steep for about 60 minutes.
Once the mash is complete, move to the lautering process.
Bring the wort to a boil and add the bittering hops ( 1 oz Centennial). Boil for 60 minutes.
After 30 minutes also known as the 30-minute mark, add the flavor hops (0.5 oz Cascade and 0.5 oz Columbus).
After 25 minutes which would be the 5-minute mark, add the aroma hops (0.5 oz Simcoe).
After the boil, turn off the heat and cool the wort to room temperature. (under 70F)
Ferment the beer at 63F – 70F for 10 – 14 days.
Once fermentation is complete, carbonate your beer in a keg or bottles.
Note: This recipe is just an example, and you may need to adjust the recipe and process to suit your equipment and brewing experience. Also, keep in mind that sanitation is key in the brewing process, so make sure all of your equipment and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized as beer is very susceptible to bacteria and if infected you can lose your batch, which is never a good thing!
Tips to Create a Red IPA Recipe
If you want to create your own recipe or simply want to make some changes to the one we provided, the following tips will help you create a recipe that is true to the style…
When it comes to grains, the best options for a Red IPA recipe are 2-row pale malt, crystal malt, as well as amber malt. These grains will give your beer the perfect color and sweetness to balance out the hoppy bitterness. You can also add a small amount of Munich malt for a deeper malt flavor if you like.
The hops you choose will play a big role in the final flavor of the beer. The best options are American hops like Centennial, Cascade, and Simcoe as they will give your beer a strong citrus and pine aroma and flavor. Some people will also add a small amount of Columbus hops for a spicy, earthy flavor.
The yeast you choose also significantly affects the flavor of the beer. Some of our favorite options are American Ale Yeast, London Ale Yeast, or California Ale Yeast. These yeasts will give your beer a fruity and floral aroma and flavor. Recommended yeast brands to use are White Labs WLP001, Wyeast 1056, and Fermentis US-05.
Characteristics of a Red IPA Recipe
A Red IPA has a deep red color, with a medium to high clarity. The head should be off-white and creamy, with good retention.
The aroma is a combination of citrus and pine from the hops and a slight sweetness from the malt. The aroma should be strong and inviting.
The taste is a combination of hoppy bitterness and a slight sweetness from the malt. The hops should give a strong citrus and pine flavor, with a slight earthy and spicy flavor from the specialty malts.
The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a moderate carbonation. The finish should be dry and crisp, with a trace of lingering hop bitterness.
Red IPAs pair well with spicy and flavorful foods, such as grilled meats, spicy dishes, sharp cheeses, and rich chocolate desserts.
To wrap it up, brewing a Red IPA at home is not just fun and rewarding but also a great way to experiment with different ingredients and create a beer that truly represents the traits you prefer in your beer. The recipe provided in this article is a great starting point, but don’t be afraid to play around with the ingredients and make your own Red IPA recipe.
P.S. Be sure to pick up our gift to you of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub, details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone. Cheers!