Batch #9-09: Red Ale

Style Red Ale
Ingredients Edme Red Ale Pre-Hopped Malt Extract Kit
Brewing Date: Monday: August 31, 09
Primary Fermentation: Monday: August 31, 09
Original Gravity: 1.030
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Bottling Date: Saturday, September 5, 09
Final Gravity: 1.010
Release Date: Columbus Day Weekend: Friday, October 9, 09
Alcohol by volume: 3.1%
Final Release Name: Maid Mariam Red Ale

This is the final kit brew I plan on making for the year.  Edme’s strange labels obviously strike again: this one even being somewhat scary.  The kits have been pretty good so far, so I’ll just enjoy the marketing department’s eccentric style.  I’ll admit this: that is probably one of the biggest things attracting me to these products.

I’ve also noticed that my main supplier may have discontinued the Edme extract kit product line.  Their (Heart’s) web site no longer lists any of these products in stock.  So it looks like I can treat this batch as somewhat of an antique.  I just hope there are economic or other business reasons for the discontinuance, and not some major health-related recall I overlooked.  🙁

31 Aug 09 :: 8:00PM –Brewed the batch with 20oz of corn sugar.  I intentionally lowered the sugar quantity to make a thinner batch of beer.  Cooking time was 20 minutes, heating the water and corn sugar to a boil, and adding the malt extract as the boil began.  The remainder was the usual cooling the pot in an ice bath, and pouring into two gallons of cold water in the bucket, then topping off to 6 gallons.  Yeast was pitched at 83 degrees.

I am again using the swamp technique on the bucket for fermentation.

01 Sep 09 :: 06:30AM — The bubble cycle is at a consistent 2-3 second interval.  A good start.

04 Sep 09 :: 06:30AM — The bubble cycle is a little under a minute, so I think a hydrometer reading tonight may be required.

04 Sep 09 :: 6:30PM — Hydrometer reading.

05 Sep 09 :: 9:00PM — Hydrometer reading duplicated.  Bottled the beer in 61 12oz bottles, and one 28oz bottle (the Ikea special).  The beer has a reddish color, with brown tint.  Something really impressed me about this beer.  When I siphoned it to the bottling bucket, the residual foam building in the bottling bucket from the transfer was very thick–almost like the head from a Guinness on tap.  I really hope this quality is retained after conditioning.  One of my favorite things about Guinness on tap is the smooth, thick head on the beer.

I used 1/4 tsp of corn sugar in each individual bottle for priming sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon in the 28oz snap-top bottle.

12 Sep 09 :: 7:00PM — Cracked open a bottle.  Good carbonation, and good taste.

19 Sep 09 :: 8:00PM — Cracked open another bottle. This one had the head reminiscent of Guinness on tap.  The flavor is very smooth, and had just a hint of a lambic bite.  This batch is looking quite good.

15 Oct 09 — Received good feedback on this batch.  I also opened the Ikea 32oz bottle, and it produced a wonderful head when poured into the glass.  My other crown cap bottles are only producing about 0.5 to 1 inch of head.  I think my capper may have an issue: one to put on the maintenance list.