American Red

Posted: August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

American Red is a beer in our specialty beer line up that we brew maybe 3-5 times a year.  It is also a beer that we take some liberties with the recipe and make changes to it regularly. I use the American Red “label” as a “beer canvas” for some experimentation  with different malts, hops varieties, hop levels, gravity and other recipe details.   This is possible as the beer is not in our regular line up and is only sold in our restaurants so I don’t have to concern myself with the consistency of it. The only parameters we keep on this beer is that it be red in color, fall in the “hoppy” style of beers and use american grown hops and malt. I also believe this makes the beer more interesting each time it rolls out as everyone can try the “new’ version.

Our newest batch of American Red should go on tap in the next few weeks in Fort Wayne depending on when the next specialty beer runs out. Our emphasis on this batch was creating an interesting and complex malt base for the Amarillo hops. The normal version of this beer would use american 2 row barley base malt and some version of american caramel malt. This time we went deep into the specialty malt catalog and blended several malts from Briess malting company,  creating, what turned out to be, a really beautiful and delicious malt base for our amber ale.

Here are the malts we used and their description from the Briess catalog

2 Row Brewers Malt

2-Row Brewers Malt Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
1.8 Clean, sweet, mild malty DP 140. Base malt for all beer styles.
Contributes light straw color.
Slightly higher yield than 6-Row Malt.
Slightly lower protein than 6-Row Malt.
Malted in small batches, making it an excellent fit for small batch craft brewing.


Munich Malt

Munich Malt 10L Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
10 Smooth and malty sweet, warming DP 30
Golden leaning toward orange hues

Aromatic malt

Aromatic® (Munich) Malt Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
20 Very smooth with an intesne maltiness DP 40
Deep golden with orange hues

Special Roast

Special Roast Malt Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications
50 Toasty
Sour Dough
Whoa! This is one complex malt. With its characteristic and bold sourdough flavor, it will contribute an exciting layer of flavor to Nut Brown Ales, Porters and other dark beer styles.


2 Row Caramel 40

2-Row Caramel Malt 40L Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor
40 Sweet







2 Row Caramel 80

2-Row Caramel Malt 80L Adobe PDF download PDF
Lovibond Flavor
80 Pronounced Caramel, Slight Burnt Sugar, Raisiny









Another thing we did to emphasize the malt “nose” of the beer was to leave out the normal amount of  dry hop which sometimes can overpower all other aromas in the beer. We did however leave a pretty good dosing of  hops throughout the boil of the beer, equivalent to what our IPA receives, so hop-heads won’t turn up their nose!

This recipe is really a departure for an MABC beer as we usually keep our Malt bills very simple in the interest of not “muddying” flavors. It really turned out nice though and could start a trend for us in building more complex grain bills. This is one you should definitely stop in for a pint of. Look to Facebook or Twitter for release dates of this beer.



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