Hoppy Red Ale (For Beginning Homebrewers) Recipe


This recipe is designed for beginning homebrewers. It's a very hoppy red ale with a strong citrus aroma, a hint of sweet malt and a crisp finish.

The specialty grains you will need for this recipe are CaraRed malt, Crystal 60L and tiny bit of Black Roasted Barley. The hops used are Centennial and the assertive Amarillo varities.

The yeast should be an American Ale strain, and you'll need a 1 Liter starter of either White Labs WLP001 or Wyeast 1056. You can substitute one 11.5 gram package of Safale US-05 for the starter of liquid yeast.

To bring out the intense orange-citrus aroma of this homebrew, dry hop with 1 ounce of Amarillo hops for 1 week. It will add a brightness to the beer that will make your friends and family say "Wow!" even before they take a sip. The strong hop bitterness of this recipe is balanced by a touch of sweetness, similar to an assertive IPA. If bitter beers are not your thing, cut both of the Centennial hop additions from 1 ounce to 1/2 ounce. That way, you'll keep the aromas and flavors of the Amarillo, but bring the bitterness levels into pale ale territory.

As your beer cools, always keep proper sanitation as priority number one. Mix up at least three gallons of sanitizing solution in your sanitizing bucket (either Iodophor or Star San), and sanitize every utensil that comes in contact with the wort after the boil is complete. Before you transfer your wort to the fermentation vessel, pour the sanitizer into the vessel and swirl the sanitizer around so it touches every surface, then pour it back into the sanitizing bucket. There is no need to rinse the sanitizer or foam off of anything you use—there will be no residual flavor and the residue will actually help to keep everything clean.

Recipe Facts

Active: 4 hrs
Total: 0 mins

Rate & Comment


  • 6 gallons of tap water, split
  • 6 pounds Light liquid malt extract
  • 1 pound CaraRed malt, crushed
  • 1/2 pound Crystal 60L malt, crushed
  • 2 ounces Black Roasted Barley malt, crushed
  • 1 ounce Centennial Hops—60 minutes
  • 1 ounce Centennial Hops—15 minutes
  • 1 ounce Amarillo Hops—5 minutes
  • 1 Liter starter of American Ale yeast (White Labs WLP001 or Wyeast 1056)
  • 1 ounce Amarillo Hops—for dry hopping in secondary
  • priming sugar for bottling


  1. If possible, place 3 gallons water in the refrigerator to cool in a sanitized container.

  2. Tie the CaraRed, Crystal 60L and Black Roasted Barley malt in a large mesh grain bag or hop bag. Place the bag in 3 gallons of water in a 5 gallon pot and immerse the grain.

  3. Begin to heat, making sure mesh bag isn’t sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. Remove the grain bag when the temperature reaches 170°.

  4. Bring wort to a vigorous boil. As water is heating, slowly add 6 pounds of light liquid malt extract, stirring constantly until completely dissolved. When the boil begins, add 1 ounce Centennial hops in a mesh bag.

  5. After 45 minutes of boiling has passed, add 1 ounce Centennial hops in a mesh bag.

  6. After a total of 55 minutes has passed, add 1 ounce Amarillo hops in a mesh bag.

  7. After total of 60 minutes of boil, remove from heat. Warning: After wort cools below 180°F everything that touches it should be sanitary, and exposure to open air should be limited as much as possible.

  8. Cool wort by placing pot in ice bath until it is below 85°F. Transfer to sanitized fermentor (either a carboy or a fermentation bucket). Top off to make 5 gallons using refrigerated water.

  9. Use a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane to remove enough wort to take a gravity reading with your hydrometer. Make a note of this number, since you will be using it to calculate the actual alcohol content when it's done fermenting. The reading should be around 1.050.

  10. Carefully pour yeast into cooled wort (it should be below 70°F), and agitate vigorously. Cover fermentor with a sanitized stopper and airlock. Ferment in dark place, keeping ambient temperature consistent, preferably between 65 and 68°F.

  11. After 2 to 3 weeks when primary fermentation is complete (take at least two consistent gravity readings), transfer to a secondary carboy for conditioning, add 1 ounce Amarillo hops for dry hopping and store as cool as possible.

  12. Bottle after another one to two weeks using enough priming sugar for a medium level of carbonation according to these instructions.

Special equipment

5 gallon glass carboy in addition to basic homebrewing equipment setup

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