Author Topic: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help  (Read 385 times)

Offline goschman

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Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« on: March 04, 2014, 04:29:20 PM »
Not sure what this would really be called but I am planning to do a small batch high gravity amber ale. This is basically a test batch for an eventual holiday ale. I am going for something with a good malt character that is balanced but has a noticeable hop character. I considered doing 100% munich but thought that might be too much for a higher gravity beer. I am considering a light spice (cinammon, ginger) and orange zest addition but am worried that it may conflict with the hops.

Right now this is close to what I have:
3.75 gallon batch
45% two row
45% munich
8% crystal
2% specialty malt (brown, pale chocolate, special b?)

Magnum/Columbus 60 min
Centennial 30 min
Cascade 20 min
Centennial/Cascade 5 min

OG 1.077
IBUs 51.1
15 SRM
ABV - 8.2%

I have many questions since I don't do many higher gravity beers:

Should I mash long and low or perhaps add some simple sugar to ensure I get good attenuation? I assume the gravity isn't high enough to worry about it...

0.663 seems like a pretty healthy IBU:OG...does this seem appropriate for being balanced with noticeable hop character?

Looking to use some specialty malt to make color adjustments and add a bit of character. Chocolate malt was the original plan but it might make it darker than I would like. Any advice on getting a deep copper color? Should I be closer to 18 SRM?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 04:40:07 PM by goschman »
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 04:39:12 PM »
I think it looks pretty solid. The hops won't overpower by any means, especially with 45% Munich. I wouldn't add any sugar (don't need it), and would mash ~ 150F for 60 -75 minutes. Use plenty of healthy yeast and it'll attenuate fine. I'd split the crystal between half C60 and half C80. I think 1 or 2% pale chocolate sounds good. I like it !  Let us know how it turns out !
Jon H.

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Re: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 04:50:47 PM »
I think it looks pretty solid. The hops won't overpower by any means, especially with 45% Munich. I wouldn't add any sugar (don't need it), and would mash ~ 150F for 60 -75 minutes. Use plenty of healthy yeast and it'll attenuate fine. I'd split the crystal between half C60 and half C80. I think 1 or 2% pale chocolate sounds good. I like it !  Let us know how it turns out !
+ 1.077
Dan Chisholm

Offline goschman

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Re: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 04:53:10 PM »
Thanks guys. I will hopefully brew this next week. Planning to bottle to save keg space and allow time for a bit of aging. Should I forget the spice addition since it could clash with the hops?
On Tap:                       
American Wheat / Blonde / Walter Wit / GoschaLagerBier / American Strong Ale
              
Fermenting: nothing :(
Up Next: XPA #2:Azacca-El Dorado, Baltic Porter, Saison

Offline majorvices

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Re: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 05:18:47 AM »
I dunno, I could see subbing some sugar for the base malt to get the beer a bit drier, especially considering the 8% crystal malt. Depends what you are going for. Drier beers = more drinkable beers in my estimation.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 05:40:30 AM »
Thanks guys. I will hopefully brew this next week. Planning to bottle to save keg space and allow time for a bit of aging. Should I forget the spice addition since it could clash with the hops?

Yeah, it almost looks like you have two different beers crossed together. I'd either skip the spices, focus on the hops, and go the American Amber direction. In which case I'd go the low and long route for your mash. Or, if you want to go the spice route, then I'd drop everything but your bittering addition. If you go the American Amber route, then stick with a clean, attenuative yeast like 001/1056/US05. If you go the spice route you could use any clean yeast, but you could also go with an English Ale yeast for a bit more character.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Higher Gravity Amber Ale Help
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 09:25:20 AM »
Points taken. Yes I try too often to put styles and ideas together...one of my weaknesses. I think it is because I don't brew as often as I would like. I should probably just forget about the spice addition and leave it as is. I thought that would make it more "Christmassy" but figured it would be a bad fit with my hop schedule.

I have considered dry hopping as well but want to brew something that will appeal to more people than just hop lovers. I am also tossing around the idea of making a very light spruce extract to add at bottling. I am aware of the precautions surrounding that... Since it is basically a test batch I can decide what to do with it later. I was planning on using US-05 regardless of direction.

I may reduce the amount of crystal a bit. Any advice on what SRM to shoot for? I am going for something deep copper but am trying to avoid brown. Right now I was thinking 15-17 SRM.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 09:56:44 AM by goschman »
On Tap:                       
American Wheat / Blonde / Walter Wit / GoschaLagerBier / American Strong Ale
              
Fermenting: nothing :(
Up Next: XPA #2:Azacca-El Dorado, Baltic Porter, Saison