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.


  1. despite the fact that im a teetotaller im taking notes on behlaf of my friends who indulge in alcoholic beverages this is such an awesome homemade recipe good job


Please mention your email ID, if you have any queries, so I can contact you.