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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 23, 2012, 09:42:25 PM

Title: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 23, 2012, 09:42:25 PM
So I have never brewed an Amber Ale for some reason. I was given some homegrown pumpkins recently so I decide to do a pumpkin ale with a pretty simple Amber as the base. I am going for something reasonably light colored and sweet. I will only be using bittering hops due the "pumpkin/spices" aspect of the beer. I am going lighter on the spices than usual as well due to the lighter nature of this beer.

The basic recipe is:
77% two row
13% crystal
5% honey malt
5% flaked oats
bitter to ~27 IBUs with Nugget

Estimates
OG 1.054
IBUs 27
SRM 12.5

I know the oats probably aren't normal which is fine by me. I was going to decrease some of the crystal and add a small amount of pale chocoloate for mostly for color. I am trying to avoid any dark/roasted character in this beer. My other thought is possibly subbing some of the two row for munich. Any thoughts on the grain bill? I am trying to keep it relatively simple which is why am debating on whether or not to add the pale chocolate or munich.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: thebigbaker on October 23, 2012, 10:20:34 PM
I have some Munich (14%) and also some biscuit (Victory) in my pumpkin ale.  I do have some Crystal 60 in there at 14% of the bill, but no chocolate malt.  In my opinion, I like this much crystal in this beer to help give some sweetness to go along w/ the pumpkin spice.  I've tossed around the idea of lowering the crystal and adding some brown sugar or molasses.  I tend to make my pumpkin beers in the 1.067-69 range.

Are you planning on using some pumpkin in the mash?  I used canned pumpkin, roasted for about 30 min @ 325 and added to the mash water just before mixing in the grains.  The pumpkin will give the beer a great deep orange color to the beer.  If you use pumpkin in the mash, you may want to add some rice hulls to help prevent a stuck sparge. 

I use flaked wheat and oats to help give it a little more body as I tend to like my pumpkin beer with a little more "mouthfeel." 

Single bitter hop addition is all that you would need and I tend to keep my IBUs in the 20 range for this type of brew.


Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 23, 2012, 10:38:39 PM
Cool thanks for that. My crystal malt is 60L as well so I am glad to hear that feedback. I will forget about the pale chocolate and see how I am feeling abou the munich I suppose.

I will be baking 5-6# of fresh pumpkin at 350 for 90 minutes then adding to the mash. I shouldn't need rice hulls since the flesh will be cubed pretty coarsely. Along with that I will be adding cinammon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg with 5 minutes remaining in the boil. I think I might also add some orange zest or sweet orange peel just for the hell of it. I have a separate post going about that....

I am not going for a standard pumpkin ale per say but more of an Amber ale with the pumpkin and spices in the background.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: euge on October 23, 2012, 10:40:21 PM
You'll probably want to use dark munich instead of the light.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: erockrph on October 24, 2012, 01:10:55 AM
If you.re just going for a color adjustment and want to minimize any flavor contribution from the roasted grain, I'd use something like dehusked Carafa or Midnight Wheat instead of the chocolate malt.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 24, 2012, 04:19:34 AM
Yeah I am going for a bit lighter of a color so I think I will stay away from the dark malts. Color is calculated to be 12.5 SRM without any dark malts.

One more question. Will the combination of the honey malt and the crystal malt be too much?
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: a10t2 on October 24, 2012, 02:54:09 PM
I think 18% crystal malt is going to be a bit much. I'd cut the honey malt entirely, personally.

FWIW, my base amber recipe is 76% pale, 12% Munich, 8% medium crystal, 4% extra dark crystal. When I do it as a pumpkin beer I add about 5% biscuit malt.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 24, 2012, 03:06:40 PM
So is honey malt considered a crystal malt? That makes sense I just never thought of it that way. If that is the case, I will probably decrease the crystal malt for sure. I will still keep it relatively high because I am going for a reasonably sweet beer.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: a10t2 on October 24, 2012, 03:37:56 PM
I think it's a different malting process, but pound for pound it contributes much more sweetness than a crystal malt.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 24, 2012, 04:05:48 PM
Cool thanks for that. I will reduce the crystal down to 10% which I guess is still a little high. I have been making tweeks here and there so we'll see what I end up with. Brewing on Saturday so I still have some time.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on October 24, 2012, 04:16:28 PM
If you.re just going for a color adjustment and want to minimize any flavor contribution from the roasted grain, I'd use something like dehusked Carafa or Midnight Wheat instead of the chocolate malt.

You could also mash really thin and do a long, hard boil to contribute the color. This tweak simplifies the malt bill, makes it easier to lauter, and will probably accentuate the caramel flavors from the roasting of the pumpkin. You could also draw off a portion of the 1st runnings and boil it down, similar to a Scottish ale process. The resulting depth of flavor is deeper/richer than any combo of crystal malts.

Another unsolicited idea - When I'm going for a beer with caramel-type flavors that finishes with some body, I like to add additional table salt (tsp or so) to my water adjustments. No scientific/water chemistry reason; I'd like to think I'm playing off that salted-caramel, salty-sweet balance of flavors.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: denny on October 24, 2012, 04:27:02 PM
I didn't really care for amber ales until I came up with this recipe...

http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WaldoLakeAmberAle

It uses a heavy dose of carared.  It's become so popular that you can buy it as a kit from Northern Brewer.
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 24, 2012, 04:34:33 PM
Honestly, I would like to do an amber with more of a hop presence. Since this is going to be a hybrid amber/pumpkin/holiday ale, I couldn't really go that route. The only thing that will make it "holidayish" is some sweet orange peel. Maybe I will sub in some munich though....
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: bluesman on October 24, 2012, 04:47:42 PM
I didn't really care for amber ales until I came up with this recipe...

http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WaldoLakeAmberAle

It uses a heavy dose of carared.  It's become so popular that you can buy it as a kit from Northern Brewer.

Denny, have you ever tried an imperial version of this recipe?
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: denny on October 24, 2012, 05:16:38 PM
I didn't really care for amber ales until I came up with this recipe...

http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WaldoLakeAmberAle

It uses a heavy dose of carared.  It's become so popular that you can buy it as a kit from Northern Brewer.

Denny, have you ever tried an imperial version of this recipe?

It's almost imperial on it's own!  But no, I haven't.  Interesting idea now that you mention it!
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 24, 2012, 06:00:40 PM
Does this grain bill look more appropriate:

60% two row
20% munich
13% crystal
7% flaked oats

I dropped the honey malt and subbed in some Munich for two row. Again, I know the oats are probably out of place...
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: euge on October 25, 2012, 05:38:08 AM
The oats are fine, but is there a reason other than you just want them?
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on October 25, 2012, 03:11:41 PM
Nope...I just really like flaked oats in a lot of my beers. I think the added mouthfeel with the light flavor from the spices will be a good thing
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: euge on October 25, 2012, 04:18:49 PM
Nope...I just really like flaked oats in a lot of my beers. I think the added mouthfeel with the light flavor from the spices will be a good thing

No better reason then!
Title: Re: basic amber ale recipe help
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on November 16, 2012, 11:33:12 PM
I thought I would update this as I am making my first tasting notes. It has only been in the bottle a week so it will contine to develop. The basic malt bill is in a post above and keep in mind that this was actually an amber ale with pumpkin, spices, and orange zest. Sorry not very good at making tasting notes...

ONE WEEK IN BOTTLE (11/16)
Appearance: light golden amber. Considered "deep amber" by BJCP. Darker than I originally thought and color is about perfect. Poured aggressively at beginning to get a good head but it dissipated within a couple of minutes leaving thin white remnants. Carbonation seems to be decent for 1 week in bottle.

Aroma: Very subtle spice and interesting caramel notes. Aroma is much more subdued than I was hoping.

Taste: Wow this is an interesting one at this point! Initially very smooth with butterscotch like flavor that quickly transforms to a slight bitter tartness. I wonder if the combo of the orange and the spices somehow gives the perception of butterscotch because the orange seems to be missing although it was very present previously. After a few drinks, the palate adjusts and it's a very tasty yet interesting beer. Although the pumpkin and spices notes don't seem to be immediately perceptible, the impact is undoubtedly there. Starting to get some spiciness perhaps from the cloves/nutmeg. A spicy tingling lingers on the tongue when not tasting for a few minutes.

Mouthfeel: The oats give it a creamy smooth beginning that transforms to almost a biting sensation from the carbonation. I assume this will become tempered with time and not as noticeable.