Sunday, June 21, 2009

Firecrotch Red Ale

I mentioned it in a previous review that I had brewed a red ale when bottling the special ale Jimbo and I made, but I never got to write a full review of it. I kept putting it off, but now it's ready, so I might as well combine the brewing and tasting posts into one.

I wanted to make a red ale that had some bite to it, so I took the "Mr. Beer" recipe and put my own twist to it. The original calls for just using the Bewitched Red Ale HME and Mellow Amber UME, but I wanted to boost the alcohol content from 4.6% to 6%, so I used the last packet of Booster I had left. Also, I added an ounce of Cascade hop pellets, which I boiled for ten minutes, which according to some calculations should put the IBUs around 50. This brew sat in the fermenter for 15 days and sat in the bottle for 2-3 weeks. Let's see how it turned out.

Appearance: A dark amber red that is pretty clear, extremely bubbly and alive, with a ton of head, I might have to start cutting down on the amount of sugar I put in during carbonation, even though I'm putting in the recommended amount.

Smell: Hops, hops, and more hops, this brew has a strong floral hop smell, along with hints of sweet malts in the background, and a tinge of caramel.

Taste: Wow, that's good stuff right there, great hop bitterness and flavor, not overpowering the usual red ale malt flavor, but enough bite to really satisfy most hopheads (except for maybe Jimmy, but I have to remind him its not a super duper ultra DIPA aged in Cascade hop barrels).

Mouthfeel: Light but not watery, a little tickle from the carbonation, relatively smooth, a tiny bit of alcohol aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is the brew I had wanted to make since I started a couple months ago, and it couldn't have come out any better. It is easy to drink, even at around 6% abv the alcoholic taste isn't strong, and the balance of hops make this an easy winner in the red ale category. There are a few tweaks I would make to it, maybe use a different secondary unhopped malt to add some more sweetness, add some finishing hops to create a more complex scent, and use less sugar during carbonation. Overall, I give it a 7.5/10.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Sam Adams glass


Jimmy said...

Without a doubt, this was your finest homemade brew to date. I found it surprising how well it tasted for a simple Mr. Beer kit, but it was definitely the engineers unique twist that made it stand above the crowd. Job well done Brewmaster Mike

If my memory serves me well, it was well balanced taste wise in terms of the sweet caramel malts and the hops. Overly carbonated yes and the smell was 60% hoppy 40% caramel apple sweet. Was the aftertaste any good? I hope you have another to share por favor

Jimmy said...

Oh yea, Alex should have patent rights on the name or else he might sue us dammit! Or we could just give him royalty fees for every beer that is sold to our bellies