Tag Archives: Iron Curtain

Imperial Red Ale – review

Back in January Chas decided to to do a big batch of the Iron Curtin Imperial Red Ale. It was in the middle of a bit of a heat wave in Melbourne and the brew could have ended up quite a mess. The beer had a bit of steeping grain for flavour, liquid malt kit, extra liquid malt, some dry malt and a bit of hops for extra kick. Although it was a kit a lot that went into it. Fast forward four weeks in the bottle, it was time to do a taste test.

Iron Curtain Imperial Red Ale

Three glasses of Iron Curtain Imperial Red Ale ready for drinking

The smell is about exactly what you would expect for a red ale. There’s that rusty malt and sweetness aroma. Quite a solid aroma, too.

Flavour comes on with a build up which works well. Amber malt flavours building with the slight spiced hops. It’s balanced really well and works a treat. The beer is big and there’s a feeling like your mouth is full of flavour. A hint of sweetness sits behind the main parts. At the end it gets a little less balanced with the bitterness finally overpowering the malt. Just at the very end there’s a bit of funky tart flavour, probably due to the yeast.

For food matching is pretty easy. If you come home after a long day, work or whatever, and you’re really hungry you have something that fills you up. Whatever that food is, this beer will match it. This is that beer for your wholesome meal. And it’s also a beer to slowly drink on a lazy night.

I’m pretty impressed with this beer. It was a kit, and I’m always a bit uncertain if they turn out they way you want. This one worked well. Quite well. I suspect these will dissapear pretty quickly.


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Another brew day – Imperial Red Ale

We’ve had a bit of a heat wave lately so I’m not sure why I decided to brew up a kit of Iron Curtain Imperial Red Ale from Brewcraft, but I figured by the time it’s done the weather should have cooled a bit.  It’s a 23 litre batch as well so it will last me into the autumn when it’s a little more appropriate.

Anyway, we started out bottling the Red Dog Pale Ale that we made a couple weeks ago.  For those who remember, we didn’t get the sugars out of the mash that we were hoping for, but things turned out OK.  A lot of fermentation happened and we got quite a low FSG, so the beer should be of a decent strength and quite sessionable.  It did taste a little thin and a little over hopped – simply not enough malt in there I suppose.  The previous batch tasted a little thin though so hopefully it will beef up with some conditioning.

So, back to the Imperial Red Ale brew…

This was a pretty good extract brew.  Not too simple but fairly cruisy which amounted to a good brew day over all.  The kit contained:

  • Mangrove Jack’s British Series IPA
  • Can of liquid malt extract
  • Light dry malt extract
  • Crystal grain
  • Fuggles hops
  • US 05 ale yeast – the Mangrove Jack’s kit came with yeast but I don’t usually use kit yeast

We kind of jumped right into it so I forgot to take measurements of everything… oops!  I guess I was excited about this brew.

As I mentioned, this one was pretty simple.  The crystal was steeped for 30 minutes then a quick boil was started.  With the boil going the hops were added for five minutes.  After the cold break we threw it in the fermenter, added the Mangrove Jack’s, the LME and DME, topped it up to 23 litres and we were done!

I like kits like this.  While a partial or a full mash is a little more in depth, these are easy enough to spend a couple hours on over the weekend, but a little bit more than just pouring a can of concentrated wort into a fermenter, adding water, and then being done.

The wort tasted great.  There were lots of hops in there and, with an OSG of 1.057, I think this is going to be a really robust beer.  Mikey thinks I should dry hop it but I haven’t decided yet…  I need to decide soon though!

We’ll report back in a few weeks to tell you how it is!


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