Author Topic: First American Amber Ale help  (Read 1017 times)

Offline RhavenPhil

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First American Amber Ale help
« on: November 12, 2014, 07:38:29 PM »
I'm basing this recipe on one that I got from the BYO web site - https://byo.com/stories/item/124-amber-ale-and-american-pale-ale-style-of-the-month - the American Amber II recipe.

I've modified the recipe somewhat based on what I have on hand:
  • 8lb (3.67kg) Palt Malt
  • 1lb (0.45kg) Cara-Pils
  • 0.5lb (0.23kg) Crystal 40L
  • 3.5oz (0.1kg) Caraaroma
  • 3.5oz (0.1kg) Chocolate Malt
  • 0.5oz (14g) Centennial (10.9%) - 90 min
  • 1oz (28g) Willamette (4.2%) - 15min
  • 1oz (28g) Willamette (4.2%) - 0min
  • Safale US-05 yeast

5gallon batch; Est OG = 1.052; IBU = 31.4; Color=16.5SRM; ABV = 5.1%

This is my first time brewing an amber and would appreciate any advice on the proposed recipe above. I intend on brewing it this weekend.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 07:49:52 PM »
What do you think you will get from each ingredient?

The first thing that jumps out at me is the carapils. I'm not sure that I would want that in my beer when I could use a more flavorful crystal malt to add the color I want and a bit more flavor impact.

I'm not saying you should change anything I would just think about it. If an ingredient doesn't accomplish a clear goal than it doesn't belong in the recipe.
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Offline RhavenPhil

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2014, 05:00:21 AM »
Would you recommend taking the carapils out and rather increasing the crystal 40 to 1 lb?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2014, 05:55:33 AM »
I would. You should have plenty of body and foam producing stuff in that beer without the c-pils. In my pales and ambers I am not afraid of 10% crystal. What color depends on what flavors I want. 40 would be nice in an amber, or 1/2 40 1/2 80 even. All up to you.

Do you want any roasty flavors in your amber? If not you might consider dropping the chocolate too. If you think the color ends up too low, consider an ounce or two of carafa 2 special. Its roast but its dehusked which limits the roastiness. I use it often between 1-3 ounces without getting and burnt or roast flavors.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 05:58:44 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2014, 04:09:20 PM »
I would too. I haven't found the need to use carapils yet. not to say I wouldn't, just haven't.

I'd go for a blend of crystals like Jim suggests. it'll up the flavor complexity a bit.
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Offline denny

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2014, 04:52:29 PM »
Take a look at this recipe for comparison.  I wasn't an amber ale fan til I came up with this.  It's popular enough that Northern brewer sells it as a kit.  http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/WaldoLakeAmberAle
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Offline blatz

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2014, 09:42:34 PM »
i use carapils a lot, so I'm not a naysayer from that angle, but i just wouldn't use it here.

along the lines of what Jim said, for me, amber is a nice blend of rich malty and caramel notes, perhaps some hints of toast or nuts and a balanced hops across the board - bitterness, flavor and aroma.

i personally just use 12% english medium crystal in mine - I would drop the carapils and definitely bump the crystal malt - may even reduce or eliminate the chocolate - I use 0.5% midnight wheat just to dial in the color I want, 3.5oz of chocolate there is going to come through rather noticeably - which may tilt this beer more toward a brown...
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2014, 07:08:42 AM »
Im not anti C pils. But I used to think it had to be in everything, I mean who doesnt want head, right. Until you figure out that you only need so much foam producers and youre there. I would use C pils in a situation where I was expecting low foam production AND I did not want the foam producer to add much flavor or color. So, perhaps a light lager that might be 60% pils 40% corn. A half pound of C pils might make that head pop up without contributing too much flavor.

Ask me how much I brew low flavor beers...

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 09:45:11 AM »
Funny but I was just looking at the Janet's Brown recipe on AHA. I know that it medaled but 10% carapils and mash hopping? In my opinion it medaled in spite of that not because of it. Anyway, its a good example of what im trying to say. A big beer with that much wheat and that much hops should have no problem making head or having body without any C pils.

Offline blatz

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2014, 02:53:23 PM »
if you think of carapils/carafoam as a very light crystal malt and not simply as a 'head retention' aid, it'd probably not be as controversial.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2014, 11:56:20 PM »
Agreed, but I guess to me 10% of Crystal 3 seems odd in an imperial brown ale. It must have worked though.

Well, I agree that carapils isn't the boogeyman. But I don't know that it's just like crystal only lighter. Maybe it is and I just don't know.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 10:22:47 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: First American Amber Ale help
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2014, 02:37:13 AM »
I would say cut the cara pils in half and bump up the IBUs to 35 ish or higher. i question the chocolate unless its pale chocolate  200L.. i also like the darker crystals in this style 80L
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 02:40:16 AM by quattlebaum »