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Organic Hops Makes Beer Even More Organic

Organic Hops Makes Beer Even More Organic

The larger supply of organic hops crops is changing organic beer certification requirements

Organic hops crops are becoming more and more available to brewers.

Your organic beer may not be as organic as you think — but in time, they will be.

Due to the rareness in organic hops crops, the U.S. With a bit more time, this exemption will be completely discontinued, and organic beers will truly be 100 percent organic.

The January decision has led to a boom in organic hops crop growth. Only one pound of hops is needed per 32-pound barrel of organic beer, but the ingredient is key to give it a bitter, tart flavor. This growth is crucial for the craft beer industry, which relies heavily on hops for its beers.

Beer’s use of hops comes from its cones (or flowers). The plants are susceptible to extreme weather, diseases, and pests. The perennial plant’s tendrils grow up tall trellises at a rate of 10 feet a day, meaning they need to fed and tended to often. According to an article from, organic hops can gross as much as $10,000 an acre, a great way small and mid-sized organic farms with a history of orchard crops can increase their revenues.

Brewing Hoppy Beer without the Hops - Genetically Engineered Yeast

Long story short, scientists have engineered a yeast strain (starting with WLP001) that expresses monoterpenes (eg hop oils, linalool and geraniol).

This strain “out produced” the same style of beer even when dry hopping was incorporated with the parent strain (see fig 5D), by several points (I think it’s a 9 point scale).

Pretty cool! I would absolutely buy this and probably still dry hop lol!


British - apparently some US company stole my name

Heh - it had to happen, some seriously sophisticated stuff they're doing there. Interesting to see Heineken California (aka Lagunitas) getting involved if only on the sensory side. I'm sure the hop growers are getting nervous!


Well-Known Member

I know people get bent out of shape about “GMOs”, but these strains were at least created without selective markers, so you shouldn’t have to worry about contaminating natural brewers yeasts (as if such a thing existed).

The supplementary data is pretty robust. Apparently the happiest strain (JBEI-16652) lost 10-12% attenuation versus parent WLP001 (1.014 v 1.009 FG). This could be a plus for NE IPAs though


Supporting Member


Supporting Member


British - apparently some US company stole my name

Doesn't work like that though. Potentially this makes the same mistakes that Monsanto made - they're asking consumers to accept something they don't want (transgenics) to get a benefit that accrues to the producer not the consumer. The cost of hops is a significant one for brewers, but it's <5% of the cost of a pint on the bar (in general). So there's not much in it for the consumer - and some consumers aren't just a bit bent out of shape over transgenics, they genuinely believe it is the end of the world.

By concentrating on Roundup Ready, Monsanto killed things for a lot of the "good Frankensteins", like one project I was involved with that was moving a resistance gene into a staple crop, to replace the use of a highly poisonous pesticide. There are people out there who, when given a choice between highly poisonous chemical, transgenics, and lots of (poor) people dying, would opt for the people dying every time.

With that kind of background (admittedly, this was in Europe, I know other continents are more relaxed), I can't see consumers being able to accept transgenics just to get a few pennies off a me-too "Cascadey" beer.


Well-Known Member

Doesn't work like that though. Potentially this makes the same mistakes that Monsanto made - they're asking consumers to accept something they don't want (transgenics) to get a benefit that accrues to the producer not the consumer. The cost of hops is a significant one for brewers, but it's <5% of the cost of a pint on the bar (in general). So there's not much in it for the consumer - and some consumers aren't just a bit bent out of shape over transgenics, they genuinely believe it is the end of the world.

By concentrating on Roundup Ready, Monsanto killed things for a lot of the "good Frankensteins", like one project I was involved with that was moving a resistance gene into a staple crop, to replace the use of a highly poisonous pesticide. There are people out there who, when given a choice between highly poisonous chemical, transgenics, and lots of (poor) people dying, would opt for the people dying every time.

With that kind of background (admittedly, this was in Europe, I know other continents are more relaxed), I can't see consumers being able to accept transgenics just to get a few pennies off a me-too "Cascadey" beer.

I’m not going to get into a discussion of the merits/detractions of Monsanto.

Are you sure about the cost ratio of hops to product cost? Obviously this strain wouldn’t be used in a mild. Huge hoppy beers would seemingly pay more for hops versus grains. Maybe that’s not the major cost for a brewery though?

A major point of emphasis from this paper is the procedural proof of concept. Different strains and metabolic genes can be tested, producing a variety of end outcomes.

Given the emphasis a small set of the population places on organic/non-GMO, why isn’t there a bigger market share for that type of beer? I suspect most craft buyers don’t care tbh.

Peak organic brewery portland, maine

Peak is a craft brewing company dedicated to making delicious beer using local, artisan and organic ingredients. With roots in home brewing back in the 90’s, brewer Jon Cadoux set about combining his love for beer with an ethic for sustainability. Whenever possible, he would seek out ingredients from local organic farmers for his homebrews. It was a defining day when Jon discovered that he didn’t need to sacrifice flavor for sustainability, but that better ingredients actually made his beer even more delicious!

Jon found it was never hard to find good people to experiment and enjoy the fruits of his labor on brew days. From longtime friends to college buddies and relatives, a kinship was forged, sharing in this quest to make delicious organic beer, sharing many “peak moments” along the way. Many of those people are still a part of the company today, each one a part of the craft beer renaissance. Peak contributes to this movement with contemporary takes on traditional beer styles, and innovative flavors never brewed before.

Your favorite Beer of the Month Club salutes Peak Brewery for helping Maine farmers cultivate commercial hops in 2009, the first such harvest since 1880. They rightfully brag about using organic hops!

Organic IPA features their favorite hops – Simcoe, Amarillo and Nugget – promoting an assertive, hop-forward nose and front palate. They don’t use traditional bittering hops in their IPA, providing nothing but stimulating citrus and floral characteristics.

Dark malting provides the subtle toasty notes to their winter seasonal Organic Winter Sessional Ale. Then they single-hop and dry-hop the beer with Citra hops (from a friend’s farm!), adding pineapple notes that contrast with the toasty notes in the body.

Organic IPA & Organic Winter Session Ale

ORGANIC INDIA PALE ALE — Peak Brewery’s Organic IPA: Made bitter and strong to survive the long boat trip, IPAs were originally brewed for British soldiers in India. Enjoy this refreshing, top-fermented, totally *organic brew with spicy foods, pesto, smoked meats, mild cheddar, mild bleu cheese or gorgonzola. (*No fertilizers, insecticides or pesticides)

WHEAT SESSIONAL ALE — Peak Brewery’s Organic Winter Sessional Ale: Another top fermented ale, wheat beer is on its way back, with variations of recipes that are centuries years old. This tasty seasonal Winter Sessional goes down easy, with the assistance of good friends, good times, and your favorite salty snacks. Ingredients are 100% organic!

Beer For Breakfast

This beer has intrigued me for some time. I continually see it available at every LCBO that I go to, and to be honest I don’t really know what made me pass up the opportunity to try it. I had heard mixed reviews about it, and frankly even if this were a decent beer it would still be a discovery worth justifying. Better to know a beer, even if it is terrible, than to live with the unknown, never even giving something a try.

So, last week when I stepped into the LCBO in Lindsay, Ontario (which is always packed by the way, seeing it is the only LCBO for probably a one-hundred kilometre radius) to check if the selection had changed over my reading week, I noticed that the Boris Organic was on sale for $1.95. I thought that if I was not going to take this opportunity to try it, then I never was. So, I picked up two. I am currently drinking my first one as I write this.

Anyways, onto the review. Boris Organic is a solid beer. It is extremely similar to the Mill Street Organic. It is not particularly flavourful, but it makes up for that with a great deal of subtleties. The head on the beer (this one ought to be poured quickly) is not particularly prominent, but remains for a while and forms a nice lace around the edge of the glass. There is great deal of carbonation, too. The aroma is pretty skunky, but sweet and fresh. The flavour is loaded with characteristic hops and malt, but with remnants of corn and wheat with a light, soft aftertaste.

Overall, a satisfying experience. A regular beer, nothing sophisticated, but with its own unique flavours. I would be content to drink this beer over and over. It isn’t really full of flavour, but IS a flavour that I wouldn’t get bored with. Plus it’s organic, which gets points considering it can take close to twice as long for an organic beer to be produced than a regular one made with the exact same ingredients. Even under these more strenuous conditions, for both the plants and farmers involved, the final product certainly requires some admiration.

Great anytime drink. Somehow, when I am drinking it I feel like I should be at an Apple Orchard.

Port Jeff Brewer Makes First Beer With Locally Grown Hops

Every beer within 's portfolio, though brewed using a different recipe, possesses hops, a necessary ingredient providing bitterness to balance malt profiles, desirable aromas, and quality preservation. Only one beer, however, was brewed with wet, Long Island-grown hops from Condzella's Farm's first harvest in early-August: Fresh Hop Ale.

Port Jeff Brewing Company brewed two batches of Fresh Hop Ale, a sweet and earthy pale ale containing the Wading River-based farm's initial hops crop, on August 10 and 13. Each 950-gallon batch possesses 40 pounds of wet Cascade hops, which differ from pelletized, or dried whole-flower hops, and must be used almost immediately (the latter is year-round usable). Port Jeff Brewing Company's bundle were hand-plucked two hours before brewing.

"This is huge for Long Island because until now, local ingredients used by our breweries were basically water and passion," said Michael Philbrick, owner and brewmaster of Port Jeff Brewing Company. "Using hops from Long Island brings local to a new level. People are not only supporting beer, but local agriculture, as well."

Philbrick, who obtains organic wildflower honey from Condzella's Farm (the honey, produced by Manorville's South Paws Farm, is used to brew Port Jeff Porter), maintained contact with John Condzella about his one-acre crop since planting in March 2011. As hop harvest approached – traditionally between mid-August and early-September – Condzella selected a date and informed Philbrick, who created a "basic recipe with crystal and pilsner malts, to put all the attention on the hop."

On August 10, prior to 10 a.m., the hops were plucked by Condzella, secured by Philbrick, and used to brew Fresh Hop Ale.

"You have to use fresh hops right away, when the flower's natural oils and flavors are highest," said Philbrick. "We were ready to brew on the morning they we picked."

Though Philbrick is satisfied with Fresh Hop Ale's approachable profile ("It's a great showcase of a young hop and just really easy to drink," he said), he anticipates evolved flavor characteristics for forthcoming harvests, and subsequently, forthcoming batches.

"It's going to be real interesting to see how the beer tastes next year, as the field is older and more mature," said Philbrick, who plans to use the same recipe for 2013, for comparison. "I'm still really happy for the opportunity to be the first brewer to use Condzella's Farm's hops. It's an honor."

Port Jeff Brewing Company Fresh Hop Ale debuts at the brewery's five-course beer dinner at The Lark Pub & Grub in Northport on August 28.

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Lambics: Beers Gone Wild

MANY wine lovers tend to think of beer as something monolithic, just as modern art or rap music seem all the same to those who choose not to embrace those subjects. Connoisseurs can rhapsodize for hours over the minute differences between neighboring vineyards in Morey-St.-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny, but beer? Just as long as it's cold.

To be frank, that's a position of blindness and should not inspire pride. Would you only eat meat and never try fish? We all know people like that, and we laugh at them. But people who drink only wine and won't touch beer? They're considered sophisticated. Excuse me while I chuckle.

Now, I'm not attacking preferences here, only the refusal to consider alternatives. If you have explored beer and decided it's not for you, well, I toast your open mind. But if you have exiled beers to parts unknown, I have a radical proposal: Take the time to seek out and try a few lambic beers from Belgium and tell me if these are not as complex and distinctive as many fine wines.

What makes this radical? Even many beer drinkers know little about lambic beer. It's perhaps the most unusual beer around, truly made in the old-fashioned way. It is not at all easy to find. You will most likely have to seek out a shop specializing in great beers of the world, but I assure you it is worth the effort.

Modern breweries today are generally antiseptic environments in which brewers seek absolute control over the chemistry of fermentation. You can imagine them in their lab coats, selecting the proper strains of scientifically prepared yeasts to create the precise flavors and aromas they desire. But lambic beers are made as they were centuries before Pasteur, when the process of fermentation seemed to be a miracle rather than a controlled reaction. Instead of managing fermentation, the lambic brewer leaves it to nature. Wild yeasts, along with just about anything else in the air, shepherd the brew on its path to beerhood, converting barley and wheat sugars into alcohol, producing fascinating and, dare I say, wine-like beers.

The Dining section's tasting panel recently embarked on a lambic journey. Florence Fabricant and I were joined by two guests, Tony Forder, co-publisher and editor of Ale Street News, a consumer publication, and Jason Bezmen, sommelier and manager of Cafe dɺlsace, an Alsatian restaurant on the Upper East Side that offers an extensive beer list. We tried 25 beers that call themselves lambic, and if that sounds as if I am hedging a little about these beers, it's because I am.

Traditionally, lambic is a style of wheat beer, made with a combination of malted barley and unmalted wheat. Hops are added not for the sake of bitterness, as they are in many beers, but to act as a preservative. The brew ferments in barrels, like certain examples of that other fermented beverage, and evolves into a dry, almost sour beer with a fresh, lively acidity and an appealing funkiness. As the brew ages, it mellows and takes on a rich, fruity complexity.

You rarely see straight lambics. Generally, young and aged lambics are blended, and the result is called gueuze (pronounced GURZ-uh). Blends in which the young lambic dominates tend to be almost sparkling in their pure, tart, almost smoky dry flavors and are wonderfully refreshing, not unlike a young blanc de blancs Champagne combined with some sauvignon blanc. An older gueuze develops a mild, almost transparent dry fruitiness like what you might find in a fine blanc de noirs Champagne. The mixture of older and younger lambics causes a second fermentation in the bottle, just as in Champagne, which creates its crisp carbonation.

Our No. 2 gueuze, the Lindemans Cuvée René, seemed to be very much in the aged gueuze school, with wonderful raspberry aromas that combined with a sort of earthiness. Our No. 1 gueuze, the Cantillon organic, had more of a refreshing, younger lambic element to it, detectable in its citrus edge.

An old tradition in the Senne Valley of Belgium, the center of lambic production, is to steep fruit in the beers, most often cherries to produce kriek, or raspberries to make framboise. The fruit renews the fermentation as the yeast in the brew devours the sugar in the fruit. The result is a beer of stark, penetrating dryness in which the essence of the fruit rings out in a kaleidoscope of bitter, mineral, earthy flavors.

The Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, an unusual vintage lambic, was fascinating. Like a good red Burgundy, it seemed to change continually in the glass. The Hanssens Oude Kriek was smooth, with perhaps a little sweetness, yet it too had a welcome complexity, as did the Drie Fonteinen, which had the distinct aroma of sour cherries and minerally, tart nuances. The Boon Framboise was well balanced between funk and fruitiness.

These traditional lambics are made with many other fruits as well. Cantillon even makes one provocatively called Vigneronne, with muscat grapes, which has a wonderful dry, tart fruitiness.

Now here's the sticky part, and the reason I hedged before in terming all these beers lambic. As in any community of passionate devotees, serious debate rages over what constitutes authentic lambic beer. This debate focuses on the most popular style, which has penetrated the beer market right down to the deli level. I'm speaking of the sweet fruit lambic beers, which often depart from the traditional methods by adding fruit juice or syrup to the brew, resulting in a sweet, sometimes cloying beer.

In making these sweet beers, some brewers are said to use prepared yeasts rather than practicing spontaneous fermentation — the benchmark of a lambic beer. Other questions arise, over which breweries pasteurize and filter their beers, also no-no's, and which actually blend only a small percentage of lambic into conventionally produced beer, rather than only using lambic beer. The vagueness of the Belgian beer regulations allows brewers to take these shortcuts, says Tim Webb, author of "Good Beer Guide to Belgium" (Gardners Books, 2005).

To raise a glass, say, of the De Troch Apricot Chapeau, a sweet but delicious beer, is to enter a hornets' nest of tenaciously opinionated beer lovers who question whether these beers qualify as lambic. De Troch, for example, uses fruit juice to flavor its brew. Although Mr. Forder questioned the level of its sweetness, we found it tremendously appealing, with a spicy, nutty fruit flavor.

As much as we liked the apricot beer, both the Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Framboise and De Troch's Kriek Chapeau had more of a lambic character to them, with a tart core offering a counterpoint to the sweetness of the fruit. And the Cassis from Lindemans, makers of a popular framboise and kriek, which you can sometimes find in corner delis, had a balance to it that we did not find in its other sweet fruit beers.

Is there a place for these sweet brews? Of course. They can be delicious.

Should they be called lambics? I will say only that the sweet brews don't approach the complexity or character of the dry lambics, although they can certainly be enjoyed for what they are. If you think that sounds like somebody trying to avoid an internecine beer dispute, well, with such powers of perception you are clearly worthy of appreciating the nuances of a fine gueuze.

One final point: It is a lot easier and far more affordable to taste the best beers in the world than the best wines. Beers like the Cantillon Organic Gueuze are the finest examples of their style. Though $12 may sound like a lot for a bottle of beer, even a big one, not when you gauge it against the quality of most $12 bottles of wine. Tradition, terroir (if I may say that about a beer), a historical connection to brewers of the 16th century and a transcendent bottle. Who knew what $12 could buy.

Tasting Report: Fruity and Complex, Whether Tart or Sweet

Cantillon Organic Gueuze
$12, 25.4 oz., ***
Smoky, funky and refreshing with lemon flavors that get more complex and fruity in the glass. (Shelton Brothers, Belchertown, Mass.)

Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René
$9, 25.4 oz., ***
Intense aroma of wild raspberries and citrus tart, funky and complex. (Merchant du Vin, Tukwila, Wash.)

Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze
$13, 25.4 oz., **
Smoky, lemony and tart very refreshing with lingering flavors. (Shelton Brothers, Belchertown, Mass.)

Boon Mariage Parfait Oude Geuze
$12, 12.7 oz., **
Tart, sour and funky, yet refreshing, distinctive and lingering. (Vanberg & DeWulf, Cooperstown, N.Y.)


Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2003
$22, 25.4 oz., ***½
Bright red with aromas of tart cherries, citrus and wax fascinating complexity with subtle, dry and persistent flavors. (Shelton Brothers, Belchertown, Mass.)

Hanssens Oude Kriek
$13, 25.4 oz., ***½
Ruddy, with stony, tart cherry and fruit flavors great acidity, yet goes down smoothly. (B. United International, Chappaqua, N.Y.)

Boon Framboise
$7.50, 12 oz., ***
Dry, balanced and complex, with plenty of fruit and funkiness. (Vanberg & DeWulf, Cooperstown, N.Y.)

Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek
$16, 25.4 oz., ***
Dark red with aroma of sour cherries tart and minerally, with great depth of flavor. (Shelton Brothers, Belchertown, Mass.)


De Troch Apricot Chapeau
$6, 12 oz., ***½
Golden, with complex fruit and nut flavor almost like Turkish delight very sweet yet not cloying. (Noble Union Trading, Houston)

Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Framboise
$6, 12.7 oz., ***
Aromas of raspberry and black cherry sweet yet balanced with a tart, funky core of flavor. (Wetten Importers, Lorton, Va.)

De Troch Kriek Chapeau
$6, 12 oz., ***
Intense cherry and floral aromas very sweet but with a tart edge that stops it short of cloying. (Noble Union Trading, Houston)

Lindemans Cassis
$10.30, 25.4 oz., **½
Dark red with bright, very sweet fruit flavors like dessert. (Merchant du Vin, Tukwila, Wash.)

Why Beer Is Healthier for Your Liver Than Other Types of Alcohol

But researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany found that all alcoholic beverages are not created equal when it comes to liver health.

They divided mice into three groups. One got regular beer. A second group drank a beer specially brewed with no hops. The third got plain alcohol.

All the mice ingested what researchers called a “binge drinking model.” This is the equivalent of downing four drinks in rapid succession.

Twelve hours later scientists tested the animals’ livers. The livers of the mice who drank regular beer had significantly less buildup of damaging fat than the mice given beer without hops or plain alcohol. Both of the latter two groups had about the same unhealthy level of fat accumulation. 3

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The researchers recently published their findings in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism. They concluded that hops in beer are responsible “for the less damaging effects of beer on the liver” versus drinking other alcoholic beverages.

The researchers also found evidence that hops inhibit the formation of compounds called “reactive oxygen species.” These are particularly damaging to liver cells. 4

Hops are the flowers of an herb that are added to beer for flavor. They also act as a natural preservative. One kind of beer is particularly high in hops. It’s called India pale ale, or IPA. It has a pronounced bitter flavor that many people find refreshing.

6 More Health Benefits of Beer

The new study is only the latest to show health benefits from moderate beer drinking: 5

  • Lower heart disease risk. Italian researchers found that moderate beer drinkers had a 42% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Metabolic improvement. An Oregon State University study found that hops contain the natural flavonoid xanthohumol. It controls blood sugar and reduces weight gain .
  • Stroke prevention. Researchers in Boston found people who have up to 14 drinks a week have fewer strokes than nondrinkers. They believe alcohol thins the blood, preventing clot formation.
  • Fewer kidney stones. Researchers in Finland found that regular beer drinking lowers the risk of kidney stones by 40%.
  • Faster workout recovery. A cold beer after exercise helps athletes recover quicker, according to a Spanish study.
  • Cataract prevention. Canadian researchers found that a daily beer—especially a lager or stout—increases antioxidant activity that can stop cataracts.

If you’re going to enjoy a cold brew this weekend, try to find an organic variety. Conventional beers can be full of nasty artificial ingredients.

Organic beers are generally made by small brewers. They contain all-natural ingredients…no pesticides, additives, or other chemicals. We can all drink to that.

In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Executive Director, INH Health Watch

Beer always changes flavor within a day of kegging

Dudes. I'm at my wit's end. This is my umpteenth homebrew that has acquired an off-flavor within 24 hours of kegging. Naturally, I thought my keg must be contaminated. Nope. I filled my keg at a local microbrewery a couple weeks ago. It tasted fine for weeks. It can't be the keg or the serving line.

My beers, prior to kegging, taste like a hop-haven of happiness with great aroma. I literally get so excited, becasuse I think, "This is going to be the time that I make the best beer I have ever tasted." Within a single day of kegging, they always taste like a band aid with zero aroma whatsoever. EVERY_SINGLE_TIME. For years! I can't believe I haven't given up home brewing.

I was convinced I was aerating my beer during transfer, so I bought carboy caps, and used CO2 to purge the top of the carboy, allowing the siphon to pour CO2 into my corny keg. The siphon and hose were of course sanitized with StarSan. After waiting long enough for the carboy and hose lines to be full of CO2, and there to be a bed of CO2 in the keg, I pressed the siphon into the beer in the carboy. The line had a couple bubbles in it for a few seconds, and despite being positive it was just CO2 in the line, I lifted the hose into the air until all the gas had escaped, and dropped the liquid-filled line back into the keg. The line stayed full of liquid until the transfer was complete.

After transferring, I added 30psi of CO2 to the keg to get a good seal, waited a minute or so, then purged the keg a few times until the PSI dropped to about 15, allowing all the oxygen (if any) to get out.

I totally realize I am asking for guesses and speculation, but I am SICK of wasting five gallons of beer every mother effing time I keg. This is so frustrating! Does anyone have any idea what is going on? Have any of you ever experienced this and gotten past it?

Ready for St. Patty’s Day: All Saint’s Irish Red Ale

Hello, and welcome again to Brew Along with Us! This month, we’ll be taking a look at a simple style that is perfect for this time of year: Irish Red Ale! A malt-forward style that is neither too complex nor over-the-top, but is rather an easy-to drink beer that goes down smoothly. Irish red ales are enjoyed year-round, however, with St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, now’s the perfect time to brew one in preparation for this fun holiday.

Sample any number of commercially-available examples of the style (such as Murphy’s, Beamish, Kilkenny, or the ubiquitous Killian’s) and you will find a beer that has a malty, light to medium body delicately hopped with just enough English hops to make the beer well-balanced. Going overboard on either the malt character or hops can lead to a beer that veers into other styles, such as an amber ale or English bitter. Thus, while an easy beer to drink, it can prove somewhat difficult to brew at times.

A conundrum that crops up from time to time regarding Irish Red Ales is that they are not always ales. In fact, Killian’s Irish Red, one of the most easily recognized examples of the style, is actually brewed as a lager, using lager yeast and fermentation temperatures. This is actually noted in the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) guidelines for the style. When brewed as a lager, it should be cleaner than the ale version, with no noticeable diacetyl. Even brewed as an ale, however, it should be a fairly clean beer, not given to the intense esters that some ales can exhibit. For this recipe (and for simplicity) we will use a good Irish ale yeast.

This style is most often brewed with English malts. For this recipe, we will use Maris Otter as the base malt. Not only is Maris Otter a bit darker than domestic U.S. 2-row, it also has more of a toasted malt character, which can play well into the over maltiness of the beer. In addition, we will use some Simpson’s medium crystal malt for color, residual sweetness, body and head retention. Perhaps most important of all, we will use some roasted barley to give it not only a garnett-ruby color, but also to add a slight dry roastiness in the finish, which is characteristic of the style. You can use any roasted malt to accomplish this, but roasted barley seems to be the traditional way to go.

As far as hops go, it’s English hops all the way! As in most of the U.K., England is the predominant hop-producing country from which most of the other countries traditionally import their hops. We will do a 60 minute addition and a 10 minute addition of Fuggle and Challenger, respectively.

Check the recipe out, and brew along with us! Feel free to make changes as you see fit (I might add an ounce or two more roasted barley, for one) and let us know what you do. Cheers!

All Saint’s Irish Red Ale Recipe! (for final volume of 5.5 gallons)

Estimated O.G. = 1.052
Estimated F.G. = 1.012
Estimated ABV = 5.25%
Estimated bitterness = 25 IBUs

1 oz. Fuggle hops (4.3% AA), added at the beginning of the 60 minute boil
1 oz. Challenger hops, added with 10 minutes left in the boil

1 to 2 packs (or make an appropriate starter) Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale, or 1 to 1.5 packs Safale S-04 dry yeast.

Brewing Process

  • Mash at 152F for 60 minutes. Proceed with boil as normal.
  • Chill to 65F, pitch yeast and ferment at 65-66F for two weeks.
  • A secondary fermentation for one week to improve clarity is optional.

Extract Version: Replace the Maris Otter malt with 6 lbs of light dry malt extract. Steep the specialty grains (Simpson’s medium crystal and roasted barley) at 150-155F for 30 minutes using a muslin grain bag. Remove the bag, allowing the grains to drain into the boil kettle. Turn off the flame and dissolve the extract in the kettle. Turn the flame back on, bring to a boil and proceed as normal.

5 responses to “Ready for St. Patty’s Day: All Saint’s Irish Red Ale”

Brewed the all grain version of this beer. Went to the store and no one had heard of this recipe. Waited while it got all bagged up. Fermented with Irish Ale from wyeast. Should be done this weekend. I will update with how it turned out.

Robert but to ask how was your 2nd attempt… Or did you nail the recipe

Back with an update. The beer is very close to a light brown instead of a red. Hop bitterness is more than you would have expected. All in all I give the recipe a 3/5 for the all grain version. In the end the beer was good, hit most of the flavor profiles. Problem came to the bitterness overpowering the malt.

Thanks for the feedback! It is really hard to get that characteristic red color in an Irish Red, and sometimes they end up a little more brown than red. It might have been a bit much to add that second ounce of Challenger, but everything lined up in Beersmith pretty well. That being said, a lot of Irish reds will only have bittering additions and no flavor/aroma hops. I hope you enjoy the rest of the beer, even if it is bitter. Cheers!

Enjoyed every drop. The keg just ran out last night in fact. It was pretty popular.

Apparent Real
Original Extract: 12.41 P 12.41 P
Terminal Extract: 2.36 P 4.25 P
Attenuation: 81% 65.7%
% by Volume % by Weight
Alcohol: 5.4% 4.2%
Weight Calories
Alcohol: 15.1 g 104.2
Carbs: 14.9 g 56.5
Protein: 1.0 g 4.2
Total Calories

American 2-row

Yields a slightly higher extract than Six Rox brewers Malt. Tends to give a smoother, less grainy flavored beer. Some brewers claim they can detect a significant difference in flavor. Lower protein and will yield a lower color than Six-Row Brewers Malt

Belgian Biscuit

Warm baked biscuit flavor and aroma. Increases body. Use in Belgian beers.

White Wheat Malt

Weizens. Improves head retention in all beers. Contributes spicy flavor. Protein rest required.

Belgian Aromatic

Imparts a big malt aroma. Use in brown ales, Belgian dubbels and tripels.

Honey Malt

Nutty honey flavor. For brown ales, Belgian wheats, bocks and many other styles.

White Table Sugar (Sucrose)

Common household table/baking sugar. Lightens flavor and body of beer. Can contribute a cider-like flavor to the beer if not cold-fermented or used in large quantities.


Used mainly for its minty bittering and good green hop aromas in all non-pilsener lagersand wheats. Aroma is pleasant and slightly spicy


Good for lagers, american ales, Floral. citrus, sharp and piney.


Good for lagers, american ales, Floral. citrus, sharp and piney.


Mild. 'Noble'. Used mainly for its aroma which is mild and pleasant.

Why brewing small beer batches?

You don’t want this, do you?

Gallon kits are tailored for urban enthusiasts who live in apartments that could hardly host a full-sized kit

You don’t want to lift a 50lb (25 kg) container loaded with beer and have to store it the rest of the time along with 50 bottles

Typical 5-gallon kits are complicated and ugly, most of the time based on malt extract (at least for the first batch), they dumb down the fun steps too much and focus on unnecessary ones that have limited consequences on the taste of your beer, disappoint brewers by often ending up with 5 gallons of undrinkable beer and don’t incite a cooking-like improvisation-based approach of brewing

For all these reasons, gallon brewing is a genuine revolution that opens craft beer making to many people, including a more urban population, by making it more fun, less heavy, better looking and more manageable

What is so cool about all-grain beer brewing?

As opposed to traditional starter kits, which mostly consist in diluting malt extract in boiling water, gallon brewing kits allow to jump straight to all-grain brewing, which is the utmost brewing method, the same used in professional breweries, and takes brewers through all the steps of extracting sugars from actual barley grain themselves

After a first batch, following a recipe to the letter, you will have figured out the basic principles of all-grain beer brewing and want to start improvising your own recipes. More about this here Create small batch beer recipes
Thanks to small batches, beer brewing resembles more to cooking, with all the improvisation and personal touch that cooking allows

What’s wrong with malt extract kits?

If you ever tried a traditional brewing kit based on malt extract (which comes in cans and looks like caramel), you very likely ended up with a kind of soft drink with a remote taste of beer and huge Coke-like bubbles

This is because malt extract kits come with poor instructions, old yeasts (if not dead) and bottling instructions that cause oxygenation

Most of all, malt extract kits start very late in the brewing process, all you have to do is basically to dilute malt extract and bottle the beer, you don’t go through the most interesting and creative steps of extracting sugars from actual grain yourself

On top of taking huge space and being hard to handle, 5-gallon kits often leave the brewer with 50 bottles of undrinkable beer and a very bulky tank you don’t know where to store

Finally, you can’t try new recipes so often

Why a glass fermenter?

Glass fermenters have all possible advantages:

They don’t release any chemicals into your beer

They don’t host bacterias in microcracks

They are transparent, so you can observe (and learn) everything that’s going on in your beer during fermentation

Can you make good beer?

You can make beer that both tastes better and has more body than many commercial beers as you have total control on the ingredients you put in your beer and can use some that are too expensive for commercial production, typically honey and maple syrup

You control the quality of everything you put in your beer and can make it fully organic for example. More info on How to brew organic beer

There’s no limit to creativity as all-grain brewing starts from the very first steps of brewing and allows to include any ingredient to your batch such as lime peel or non-fermentable sugars

All-grain brewing allows to create beer with a foam head that holds for long (head retention) thanks to the better control on all stages of the brewing process

Is it difficult?

Not at all
The beauty of this new approach, based on small all-grain batches, is that it basically gets rid of all the unnecessary/complicated steps like adjusting water pH, mash steps, rehydrating yeast and so on, while focusing on the most fun ones that give more control on the final taste of your beer by starting a few steps earlier in the brewing process
Beer brewing has never been so easy and interesting and it’s now all-grain!

How much does it cost?

A kit costs $40 and that’s all you will need
It comes with all the ingredients for your first brew: malt, hops, yeast, sanitizer

For further batches, you will either keep relying on ready mixes (not fun) or compose your own recipes (super easy) and gather the ingredients yourself (fun, about 10 bucks)
We have detailed information on How to create beer recipes

Beer brewing is basically a poor man’s hobby and expenses never go through the roof, except if you start getting some semi-pro equipment for larger batches
Most of all, it’s such a consuming passion that any cost factor will quickly disappear from your mind and all you will care about will be to get the best possible stuff

Why should you read this website?

It provides solutions to many details still unclear in instructions coming with 1 gallon brew kits such as the Brooklyn Brew Kit, as well as additional hints learnt by a total newbie through experience and reads

It’s the only resource solely dedicated to small batch beer brewing

It also provides information to Europeans who want to get into gallon/small batch brewing without access to all-inclusive kits
We have infos on How to build the kit yourself

Watch the video: Προζύμι από Λυκίσκο (January 2022).