Epic Brewing Company Imperial Red Ale: Replicator

Dear Replicator,
Thanks for showing me and Dave around Portland, oregon last spring on your tour. You had said that if we ever came across a beer that we want to try to duplicate to let you know. After Portland we went south to do some rock climbing in Utah. We tried the beers from Epic brewing company while we were there, and by far our favorite was their Imperial Red Ale. Can you help us with a recipe?
Thomas Brighton
Dallas, Texas

Epic Brewing Company founders David Cole and Peter Erickson moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1992 to open an aquaculture business selling brine shrimp eggs. Soon they were longing for the great styles and strength of the beers that they had enjoyed back in California, so David took up homebrewing. In 2008 when Utah passed a law allowing the production of beers stronger than 4% ABV, the pair decided to develop a business plan to open their own brewery.

David and Peter brewed their first batch of Epic in March 2010 and it was an immediate hit. Since then business has grown at a phenomenal rate. In 2011 they produced 4,200 barrels and this quickly doubled to 8,500 barrels for 2012. They are planning for double-digit growth in 2013.

Epic Head Brewer Kevin Crompton agreed to help David and Peter get their new brewery off the ground and has been with them ever since. Kevin began homebrewing in 1991 and started at Uinta Brewery in 1994. By 1997 he had worked his way up to head brewer and stayed with them until 2002. Since then he spent two years brewing in Kona, Hawaii and six years brewing for two other Utah breweries.

Epic’s Imperial Red Ale has a white, creamy head that tops a darker-than-expected beer displaying bright ruby highlights. Slightly balanced toward the malt side, the hops come through more in the nose than the flavor. Thomas, you won’t have to rock climb to get your favorite imperial red ale because now you can “Brew Your Own.” For further information about Epic Brewing Company and their other fine beers visit the website


(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.072 FG = 1.015
IBU = 52 SRM = 27 ABV = 7.5%

6.6 lbs. (3 kg) Muntons Maris Otter light unhopped liquid malt extract
1.0 lb. 6.0 oz. (0.62 kg) light, dried malt extract
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) Briess 2-row pale malt
17 oz. (0.48 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
17 oz. (0.48 kg) Weyermann Caramunich® malt (140 °L)
7.0 oz. (0.19 kg) Weyermann Caraaroma® malt (130 °L)
2.0 oz. (56 g) roast barley (450 °L)
12 AAU Columbus hop pellets (60 min.) (0.85 oz./24 g at 14.2 % alpha acids)
3.25 AAU Mt. Hood hop pellets (40 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 6.5 % alpha acids)
1.44 AAU Cascade hop pellets (10 min.) (0.25 oz./7 g at 5.75% alpha acids)
5.25 AAU Centennial hop pellets (0 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10.5% alpha acids)
1.0 oz. (28 g) Centennial hop pellets (dry hop)
½ tsp. Irish moss (last 30 min.)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (last 15 min.)
White Labs WLP001 (American Ale), Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Safale 05 (American Ale) yeast
0.75 cup (150 g) of corn sugar for priming (if bottling)

Step by Step
Steep the crushed grain in 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water at 152 ºF (66 ºC) for 30 minutes. Remove grains from the wort and rinse with 2 quarts (1.8 L) of hot water. Add the liquid and dried malt extracts and boil for 60 minutes. While boiling, add the hops, Irish moss and yeast nutrient as per the schedule. Now add the wort to 2 gallons (7.6 L) of cold water in the sanitized fermenter and top off with cold water up to 5 gallons (19 L).

Cool the wort to 75 ºF (24 ºC). Pitch your yeast and aerate the wort heavily. Allow the beer to cool to 68 ºF (20 ºC). Hold at that temperature until fermentation is complete. Transfer to a carboy, avoiding any splashing to prevent aerating the beer. Add the dry hops and allow the beer to condition for one week and then bottle or keg. Allow the beer to carbonate and age for three weeks and enjoy your Epic Imperial Red Ale clone.

All-grain option:
This is a single step infusion mash using 9.0 lbs. (4.1 kg) Maris Otter 2-row pale malt and an additional 3 lbs. 2 oz. (1.4 kg) Briess 2-row pale malt to replace the liquid and dried malt extracts. Mix all of the crushed grains with 6 gallons (23 L) of 173 °F (78 °C) water to stabilize at 152 ºF (67 ºC) for 60 minutes. Sparge slowly with 175 ºF (79 ºC) water. Collect approximately 6 gallons (23 L) of wort runoff to boil for 60 minutes. Reduce the 60-minute Columbus hop addition to 0.75 oz. (21.3 g) (10.65 AAU) to allow for the higher utilization factor of a full wort boil. The remainder of this recipe and procedures are the same as the extract with grains recipe.

Issue: January-February 2013