Author Topic: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque  (Read 2659 times)

Offline rbowers

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Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« on: July 23, 2012, 07:25:44 PM »
Trying to formulate a recipe for an amber/ESB.  My goal was for a medium-full bodied, malt-dominant, smooth drinking amber ale with supporting bitterness and more subtle hop aroma/flavor.  Not really sure where all this fits in stylistically speaking but here is what I came up with.

10 gal batch
Mash 154 x 60
OG 1.060
IBU ~30

MALT:
7lb Marris Otter
7lb American 2 row
3lb Munich
2lb Crystal 40
1lb Victory
1lb Carapils
0.5lb Aromatic Malt
0.25lb Chocolate Malt

HOPS:
1oz Magnum 14% AA at 60min
0.5oz Willamette 6% AA 15min
0.5oz Mt Hood 5% AA 15min
0.5oz Willamette 5min
0.5oz Mt Hood 5min

Yeast- I am still up in the air on this.  I was thinking an English strain- WLP002, 005, or maybe Burton Ale Strain.  I wanted to avoid WLP001 and the like to not put too much emphasis on hops.

I toyed with the idea of adding some flaked oats for more body/smoothness but feel like the malt bill is getting somewhat complex.  The victory malt I don't have a whole lot of experience with- looking for some toasted/biscuit flavor.

I'm all ears on suggestions.  Thanks

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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 08:11:41 PM »
I wouldn't add any flaked oats since you already have Carapils.  I personally would also try to simplify the recipe and take out the aromatic malt and Maris Otter.  Start simple and see how it turns out, then start adding/ changing malts to see how they affect the beer.

I've used WY1272 w/ an amber that had victory and it gave it a slight "nutty" taste to go w/ the biscuit flavor from victory.  Turned out well, and had some people say it was similar to Fat Tire.   I haven't used any British style yeasts w/ any of my brews yet.  I remember tasting an amber w/ WY1028 and it had more of a "fruity" taste to it.
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Offline kmccaf

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 09:45:44 AM »
Yeah, I understand your dilemma here. I was also formulating a recipe where I had trouble deciding if I wanted it to be an Amber or an ESB. I decided on an Amber. However, it seems like you would like to brew an ESB here. If that's the case, then I would take out the aromatic, and don't add the flaked oats. I usually use  .5 lbs of a dark crystal malt, and the rest is base malt. Some Victory malt will definitely add some nice toasty/biscuity notes, and I do enjoy .5lbs of it in my ESB as well. Otherwise, I would probably leave the chocolate malt out as well if this is an ESB.

Hop schedule looks good, and WLP002 is very nice in an ESB.

Oh, I just noticed that you are making a 10gallon batch. Therefore, the amounts I use would obviously be different for you.
So it goes.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 01:00:59 PM »
+1 on simplify, I like base munich with some (.5 lb maybe) british crystal malt. Mash really high ~162* to get as much body as you can. I can see a little victory being good to although I have not used that malt but from the description it sounds like it might be nice.

I like to add about 60-70% of my IBU FWH or 60 minutes and then get the rest in the last 15 minutes with lots of additions. This makes for a more hop forward brew though so you might want to spread it out more. Not to mention it's pretty system dependent in terms of how fast you are cooling etc.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 04:00:44 PM »
Here is one of those "Ask 10 homebrewers, get 12 answers" things.

I would drop the carapils, aromatic, and chocolate, cut the victory and crystal back to .5lb each, use english medium crystal rather than C40, and make up the rest of the fermentables with munich. I think Munich will add a nice toasty/graham cracker flavor, which will support the MO and the victory. I like the hopping schedule, but morticai's hop schedule would be pretty good too. For yeast, any of the british strains will work, but I am partial to 1968 for ESB, Fullers is the original ESB yeast :D
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 04:45:06 PM »
Thanks for some of the suggestions.  Stopped by LHBS today and got some tips on yeast- I'm gonna give WLP005 British Ale a try. 
With regards to the malt, I like the idea of using the MO as I like the richness it provides.  Does anyone think 1/2 Munich and 1/2 MO is going to be too?; maybe go with one or the other + some 2-row?  English crystal will do well I imagine so I'll probably drop the c40 and go with English med crystal.  Will lose the oats and aromatic as I assume all the base malts and victory will provide plenty of malty goodness. 

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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 05:59:58 AM »
Half MO and half Munich as a base is worth trying.  I often use half MO and half Vienna as a base for malty beers.  Basically, think about the flavor contributions of each.  If you don't want the big bready, biscuity character of MO, then cut it with something.  If you want something neutral, go 2-row or pils.  If you want to add malty/toasty, go Vienna.  If you want malty/rich, go Munich.  Just try to understand the flavors each provides and visualize them mixed.  If you make some single malt beers, you can blend them post-fermentation to get an idea of what kind of ratios you might like to use.
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 07:05:03 PM »
Alright some research and contemplation has led to the following revision for the malt bill:
10 gallon batch

13lb Marris Otter
5lb Vienna
2lb English Crystal (if I can find locally)- otherwise going to sub crystal 40 or 60
1lb Victory
6oz Chocolate (mostly for color)

Hops are staying the same
WLP 005 British Ale w/ good size starter

I have an ESB on tap now that I am quite pleased with that was MO base with 3/4lb each of crystal 40 and 80 and 1/2lb victory.  This will be my first foray into a beer with a fair amount of vienna malt so we will see how it goes. 

Going to mash at 154 for 60min. 

Any additional recs?  Thanks again.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 07:32:42 PM by rbowers »
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Secondary:
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Lagering:
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Conditioning:
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On Tap:
German Alt
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Saison Du Buff Clone
Witbier

Bottles
Flanders Red

Coming Up:
Belgian Stout

Offline gymrat

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 07:29:52 PM »
I thought ESB stands for English Session Bitter. I thought those are always low gravity which is what makes them "session" beers. Am I wrong about that?
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 08:54:47 PM »
I thought ESB stands for English Session Bitter. I thought those are always low gravity which is what makes them "session" beers. Am I wrong about that?

ESB stands for Extra Special (Strong) Bitter. They are usually in the 1.050's SG wise.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2012, 08:55:58 PM »
It stands for Extra Special Bitter. Its actually a bigger style compared to something like a Mild. Nothing session about it, typically.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2012, 07:00:18 AM »
Thankyou for clearing that up for me.
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