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McShepardSons Irish Ale

Brewed: 02/25/2024   Kegged: 03/09/2024

Mid-march of 2022, I had a tragedy occur in my beer fridge. I had apparently not properly attached the picnic tap to the ball lock of the keg, which caused a leak.
My keg emptied itself. 

I had already been low on my beer inventory. I had only one keg of homebrew with about a gallon left in it.

So ...  I decided to do a double batch to catch up.
It was close to St Patrick's Day, and that helped me decide to do an Irish Red. But, since it was to be a double batch, I decided to go ahead and split it with a Voss Kveik yeast ferment as well.

I put the OG and projected ABV pretty low in the Irish Red range in hopes that fermentation would finish more quickly.

The resulting beers were great sessionable beers. For a comparison between the two, see Sheppy's Blog: McShepardSons Comparison

Batch 2 was a standard 5 gallon batch with Irish Ale Yeast.

The name "McShepardSons" comes from a series of geocaches that I hid years ago. Most of them have been Muggled and no longer exist, but I thought it was a good name for an Irish Ale.

For more about the beer (and the Geocaches) see Sheppy's Blog: McShepardSons

McShepardSons Irish Ale --- Batch 2 (352)

Style Irish Red Ale Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.54 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   68.00   Boil Time   50 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.041 SG Estimated FG 1.011 SG
Recipe Bitterness 27.3 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 3.9 %
BU : GU   0.674        
Recipe Color 13.4 SRM
Measured OG:   1.041    Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   70    Measured ABV:   3.8 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.69 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
5.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
2.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
1.00 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
1.00 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 5 - -
8 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 91.4 % 0.63 gal
6.0 oz Proximity Brown Malt (160.0 SRM) Grain 7 4.3 % 0.03 gal
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 8 2.9 % 0.02 gal
2.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 9 1.4 % 0.01 gal
0.500 oz Magnum [12.60 %] - Boil 40.0 min Hop 10 19.7 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 11 - -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 12 - -
2.000 oz East Kent Goldings (EKG) [5.60 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 7.7 IBUs -
1.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) Yeast 14 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 30.73 qt of water at 157.5 F 152.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 158.0 F over 10 min 158.0 F 15 min
Mash Out Heat to 170.0 F over 7 min 170.0 F 10 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

Recipe Notes
Prepare mash and sparge water together.
Brewing salts in the mash and sparge water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to "Balanced Amber"
Acid addition to bring calculated pH around 5.3
Mash and boil as directed above.
Cool to around 65 degrees.
Ferment for a couple weeks. (a little less for Voss yeast)
Force carbonate to 2.5 volumes. Condition to taste.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.037 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.54 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
02/23/2024 esheppy
Ordering ingredients. Not sure when I'll brew.
02/24/2024 esheppy
Picked up the ingredients. Looks like I'm brewing tomorrow.
02/25/2024 esheppy
Brewed today. Longer mash and let heat up to 195F while I was away at church. Pitched at about 57. Fermenting in the Chubby. Going to connect to a keg to let the CO2 push liquid out. OG was right on plan at 1.041.
02/26/2024 esheppy
Signs of fermentation today, although Tilt says 1.043. Let the pressure build up overnight and connected the keg this morning. Quite a lot of water pushed out of the keg right away, but still a bunch in there. 62 degrees.
02/27/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.024 at 66 degrees. The liquid is finally trickling out of the keg. I'm not sure if the rate is high enough to finish before this beer is at finishing gravity. I guess we'll see.
02/28/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.018 at 66 degrees. Fermentation is still going but slowing down quite a bit. The keg is about half full still and isn't currently draining at all. I wonder if it isn't fully sealed. Anyway, I expect fermentation will be basically done in the next couple of days.
02/29/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.015 at 64 degrees. Krausen just about gone. Beer starting to clear up some, but still has quite a ways to go. Since the rest of the keg liquid obviously isn't going to get pushed out, I decided to put on the spunding valve to see if the keg accumulated any more pressure.
03/04/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.014 at 64 degrees. Nice and clear. No krausen. Can probably keg at any time. The fermenter has built up about 5psi.
03/05/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.015 at 63. Yesterday, I released the pressure to push more liquid out of the keg. Glad I didn't wait to do that later in the week because the release of pressure bought trub up into solution and now the beer isn't as clear. Still have a few days before kegging, so hopefully it will clear up again before kegging.
03/06/2024 esheppy
Tilt says 1.014 at 63 degrees. The beer has settled quite a bit, and is close to the clarity as it was before I released the pressure. Might not be quite there, or it might just be my imagination.
03/09/2024 esheppy
Kegged today. Pressure transfer took FOREVER! About 40 minutes. Eventually I figured out that the liquid out disconnect wasn't fully engaged. If I pushed it down, it would flow better. It seems to be the disconnect, because I tried another and it worked much better. The beer FG was 1.012, which makes this a 3.8% ABV beer. Nice Irish Red flavor. Chilling now. Will be ready to drink by St. Paddy's Day.
03/13/2024 esheppy
Poured a pint. Great red color. Rich malty flavor with maybe a touch of caramel roast. Carbonation not near where it needs to be as a finished product, but it will get there. That's how it goes in the beer fridge.
03/21/2024 esheppy
Clarity much better than it was on St. Patrick's Day. Nice carbonation. Great red color. Wonderful malt flavor with a touch of caramelly roast. The English EKG hops provide a subtle floral, spicy note.
03/30/2024 esheppy
Happy Easter Eve. Clarity is awesome. Wonderful flavor. Yummy. 😋
04/04/2024 esheppy
Yummy yummy yummy. Day drinking on a beautiful front range Spring day. Luckily this is really low ABV. Such a gorgeous red with great clarity. Nice malty bread flavor with subtle floral hop finish. Wonderful beer.
04/19/2024 esheppy
Such a perfect looking beer. Crystal clear. Gorgeous red color. Wonderful flavor. I don't think this will last much longer.
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