Ragi Red

Whenever I come across a new grain / fruit / spice or herb, I have this mysterious smile on my face. Most of my friends know what I am thinking. Can I make a beer out of this ?

This is another beer inspired by local ingredients. This time its a millet called Ragi or Nachani
Most of these millets which have slowly disappeared from our urban diet are making a comeback as health foods. 

Recipe Development

I had this feeling that Ragi would give a little spicy flavor to the beer. Also the grain looks red. So the beer should look like an Irish Red and taste like an English Bitter. 
I want the Ragi to shine, so simple recipe with Pale malt, Crystal malt to give some color and sweetness, and of-course unmalted Ragi.


Scaled down recipe for 19 liters -

19L, all-grain OG = 1.046  FG = 1.010 IBU = 19

3.2 Kg Pale Malt
0.3 Kg Crystal 60 Malt

0.9 Kg Ragi

11g Magnum ( 60 mins )
10g East Kent Goldings ( 5 mins ) This is optional

Safale US05 9 gms

How to brew 

Follow the brewing process for a cereal mash highlighted in the Sorghum Blonde post.

Ferment the beer at 17C for first 5 days. Gradually raise the temperature to 20C over next 3 days. Ferment for a total of 12 days or until gravity is stable.

Bottle condition for another 2 weeks before drinking.

Tasting Notes

The beer looked close to what I wanted. Although it could have been more RED. The ragi doesn't really contribute to any color. 

A week after bottling there was this mild spicy bitter after taste from the Ragi. Honestly there was astringency on the back palate which I think was from the Ragi.
The beer took some time to mature. Three week after bottling, the astringency was gone and beer tasted good.

Overall I still think that Sorghum ( Jowar ) and buckwheat are more exciting to work with.

Check recipes here - Soghum Blonde  Buckwheat Ale

Anyone else has any experience with Ragi ? Would love to get some ideas.


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