A few weeks ago I played around brewing a beer with some Melanoidin and CaraRed to produce something that would hopefully have a nice red colour. Here is how it turned out.
The recipe for this beer can be found here. This really is an experiment, as most of the beers I make are. I just wanted to see what I could do using a high quantity of reddish-coloured specialty malts. Other than the grain bill I stuck to what I was familiar with, using Brewer’s Gold as the main bittering hop and Fuggles for aroma. I just used English Ale yeast as that is what I use most often. I also added some extra Fuggles as a dry hop addition just because I had them spare.
When transferring the wort to the fermenter, I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the colour, thinking that it was alltogether rather brown. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with beer being brown, but I was hoping for something a bit more red. I’m glad to say that I was wrong though and the final product, while quite brown does have quite a nice reddish-tinge to it as well. Head retention isn’t fantastic but hey, it’s not that big a deal.
So how does it taste? Well it’s a bit of a mixed bag really. The expected caramel and malty flavours from the CaraRed and Melanoidin do certainly follow through into the beer alongside some nice, slightly nutty notes. Together, this give a sweet malty background that would not be out of place in something like a brown ale. However, this beer is not a brown ale, it has bitterness not dissimilar to that of a bitter or a pale ale with the savoury grassy aroma contributed to the Fuggles.
To be honest, while perfectly drinkable, the hop character and the maltyness do not really mesh well together. Flavourwise this is not a well balanced beer. That’s fine though, as I said before this was an experiment and it was still fun to make and I’m sure I’ll still end up getting through it all! If you’re looking for a recipe that is worth recreating, this one is probably not it. One I am extremely happy with and will be making again though is my Febrewary Best Bitter, so why not check that out?
So as is, I would not brew this again. I would probably do something similar though but with fewer hop additions and would probably change which hops I use as well. Also I would probably scale back the CaraRed a bit as I think the Melanoidin contributed much more character to the final result and maybe include some biscuit malt as well and maybe try to bring out more of a nutty flavour with a bit of chocolate malt for a proper Reddish Brown Ale.
Hope you enjoyed this post but if not that’s fine too. Comment away below if you want to but if you don’t then that is also fine. If you like beer, you might enjoy cider as well so check out this cider with rhubarb!