Irish Red Ale

Irish Red Ale Recipe

Sometimes you just want an easy-drinking pint with a solid (yet restrained) hit of malt character, with a dash of caramel and toasted notes. If you need a break from hoppy beers, try this one out, and enjoy its beautiful colour.

Recipe Profile

  • Method: 1 gallon BIAB (Brew-in-a-bag), single stage
  • Target OG (Original Gravity): 1.063
  • Target FG (Final Gravity): 1.015
  • Bitterness (IBUs): 26
  • Estimated ABV: 6.3%
  • Boil: 60 minutes


  • 2.25 lbs Maris Otter Pale Malt
  • 3 oz Caramel Malt (10L)
  • 2 oz Caramel Malt (120L)
  • 1 oz Roasted Barley
  • 0.20 oz Willamette Hops at 60 minutes
  • 0.20 oz East Kent Goldings Hops at 10 minutes
  • Danstar Nottingham Yeast

The Mash

  1. Bring 9 litres of water to a temperature of 160°F. Add your grains and give everything a good stir until the whole thing looks a bit like oatmeal. Shut off the heat, cover with a lid, and let it steep at 152°F for 75 minutes.
  2. Then you need to “mash out.” You put the heat back on, and raise the temperature  to 168°F (75.6°C) and keep stirring for 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the grains and prepare for the boil. If you’re using a bag, just pull it out and let it drip near-dry above the pot. If you’re using a colander, strain to remove the grains, preserving the wort, which you’ll add back to the pot.
  4. Check that your gravity is on track and correct it, if needed. You need 82 gravity points for this recipe, and our target post-boil volume is 1.3 gallons.

The Boil

  1. Start the boil by bringing your wort up to a boil. Once boiling, start your timer. Add your bittering hops, as prescribed above.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your sanitizer solution.
  3. Just before the boil is complete, make an ice batch in your kitchen sink. Load it up with as much ice and cold water as you can. Once the boil is over, transfer your pot to the sink to cool your wort to pitching temperature, as prescribed on the yeast pack. Remember to sanitize your thermometer every time you check the temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, thoroughly clean and sanitize your carboy, screw cap, airlock, funnel, and strainer/colander. You want everything to be ready to go once the wort is at the right temperature.
  5. Once the wort is at pitching temperature, transfer it to the carboy by passing it through a strainer overtop the funnel. Do not fill the carboy higher than the one gallon mark.
  6. Aerate the wort.  Cover the fermenter with a screw cap and gently rock the carboy back and forth for a few minutes to mix in some air.
  7. Pitch the yeast! Use sanitized scissors to cut open the package and pour in only half of the yeast.
  8. Seal the carboy by filling the airlock with sanitizer. Fit it in the screw cap. Move the carboy to a dark spot, free of the home’s daily commotion for at least 14 days (but ideally not more than 21).

Bottling Day

  1. Move the carboy to a the countertop, if it wasn’t already there. If the wort got lots of movement during transfer, let it sit so that any stirred-up yeast has a chance to re-settle.
  2. Sanitize everything that will come in contact with the beer: bottling bucket, auto-siphon, tubing, filler, bottles, and bottle caps.
  3. Dissolve 0.59 oz (17g) corn sugar in enough boiling water to dissolve it. Add the dissolved sugar solution to your sanitized bottling bucket.
  4. Fill your auto-siphon and hose with sanitizer before submerging in the carboy. Transfer the solution to a spare container until the beer has completely replaced all the sanitizer in the tubes. Now you can place the end with the bottle filler in the bottling bucket, which should also be on the floor and gently transfer the beer from the carboy to the bucket.
  5. Transfer all the liquid up and the point where it reaches the sediment. Leave the sediment in the carboy.
  6. Now, move the bottling bucket to the counter and siphon the beer quietly into each bottle. When the liquid gets to the very top of the bottle, remove the bottle filler, which will leave the perfect amount of headspace at the top of the bottle.
  7. Cover each bottle with the sanitized caps and cap them into place, or secure your sanitized swing-top caps if using those.
  8. Store the bottles upright in a quiet, dark corner at 65F (18.5C) or so.
  9. Wait 30 days, if you can. If you’re way too curious (I can’t blame you!) try and hold out for 14 days. If you absolutely can’t wait, you can try after 7 days, but the beer really needs at least 14 days to condition.


16 responses to “Irish Red Ale”

  1. Alejandro Banda

    i am not sure about something. on the equipment DESCRIPTION you mention that a 2 gallons pot is enough for 1 gallon recipe.
    now you say bring 7.5 l (more than 2 gallons to boil), how do you supposed to add the grain if the kettle is full of water?
    don’t you think 2 gallons of water is too much for 1 gallon beer?
    please let me know your thoughts.


    1. Hi Alejandro,

      Thanks for reaching out. Thanks for catching that. Yes, you will need 7.5 litres to make a 1 gallon batch (assuming a 60 minute boil). I do write in the intro to brewing that your pot will need to handle 2 gallons, but I meant it will need to handle that much liquid. You’re right, you need a slightly larger pot to give you some head space to avoid a boil-over. I use a 12 litre pot when I brew 1 gallon batches and that gives me plenty of head space. I’m going to update the intro to brewing guide to make that clearer.

      As for why you need 2 gallons, you will lose some in the mash, and to the grains, but most of your water loss will come from the boil. A lot of water gets lost in that hour. After the mash, you should expect your water levels to drop to about 1.8 gallons, and then down to 1 gallon (sometimes less!) after 60 minutes of boil.

      I hope that helps!

      1. Alejandro Banda


        Thanks for replying.

        Then Can I use different pots so I can keep Boiled water on one and do the mash in 2-Gallon pot, I’d say filled with 1.5 Gallons? Then I can pour BOILED water into the main kettle until reaching the OG.

        Would that work out?

        Thanks again.

  2. Kurt w

    What harm, if any, would be done if the whole packet of yeas is pitch?

    1. Hi Kurt, the worst-case scenario is off-flavour. However, I have often been too lazy to measure out the exact amount, and have used whole packets. It works well for higher gravity beers, but I do notice an off quality to the taste when I toss in the whole thing on lighter beers.

  3. Ben

    hi Joseph, MAY i use the same recipe without the bag?

    1. Hi Ben, yes, you certainly can. You might even yield a higher efficiency, and potentially a stiffer beer, but we’re talking small margins here. The bag is certainly not necessary!

  4. Ben

    hi JOSEPH,
    thank you for the prompt reply – this batch is for St. Patrick day – hope it will be ready by then.
    thank you,

  5. Chris

    Hi, just curious about the initial volume of water. 9 Litres seems like a lot of water to start with if we are aiming for 1 gallon of beer? Also reading the comments here talking about 7.5 l ? Just a little confused.

    1. HI Chris,

      The original recipe made use of 7.5 litres, but I updated all my recipes about a year ago to yield 1.3 gallons of wort at the end of the boil. I did so to guarantee you would have at least one-gallon of beer when accounting for losses to trub, bottling, etc.

      Each Brewhouse is different, so you may discover you need less than 9 litres to end up with 1.3 gallons of wort at the end.

  6. T. Brewer

    Beer is proof that god loves use and wants us to be happy, sceince is proof that not all of us can make beer….. Jeez, you would think people would know that boiling water reduces the volume.

    1. Travis Owens

      WHy does this not need to be PASTEURIZED?

      1. Chuckschick

        because you’re boiling the entire wort for 60mins. If that doesn’t kill any bugs in your wort, you have a major problem! 🤦

      2. Joe

        It’s beyond pasteurized. Boiling it does more than pasteurized would.

  7. […] 11. Irish Red Ale Recipe – BeerCraftr’s 1 Gallon Beer Recipes […]

  8. jOSH


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.