Author Topic: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)  (Read 1366 times)

Offline DockDogsBeer

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English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« on: May 23, 2017, 02:10:00 PM »
On a recent trip to Toronto I picked up a bunch of cans of various beers as souvenirs, and the one that really stood out was Crimzen, by Lost Craft. They describe it as "...English-style red ale inspired by traditional beer from the United Kingdom. Smooth malt forward English style red ale with apple, caramel, and toffee tasting notes." I enjoyed it a lot - nice malt flavor of caramel/toffee, and I thought the hops came across as strawberry-like, rather than apple. It was definitely a very sessionable, approachable beer, which is what I like to brew and we like to drink in my house. i don't think it really fit perfectly into any of the traditional BJCP categories, it seemed like a cross between an American Amber and a Best Bitter. I'm not necessarily trying to clone that beer, just trying to create something in the same spirit. 

So here is what I have put together for a recipe, let me know what you think!

JoCo Red
Target OG: 1.045
Finished OG: 1.008
Calculated IBUs: 24
SRM: 11

Malts:
7.5# - Maris Otter (86.3%)
1# - CaraMunich (11.5%)
3 oz - Acidulated Malt (2.2%)

Hops:
0.25 oz - Belma FWH
1.75 oz - Belma (Whirlpool at 185F for 15 min)

Yeast:
S-04

Water:
Ca - 47 ppm
Mg - 8 ppm
Na - 53 ppm
Cl - 62 ppm
SO4 - 119 pm

Target mash pH 5.3 (per Bru'N Water)
Target mash temp: 154F

"Pour yourself a drink or three and maybe we'll think clearly for awhile"
-The Fratellis

Offline Todd H.

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 04:30:08 PM »
When I tried that beer it didn't have much caramel or toffee flavour in it at all.  Maybe mine was not terribly fresh?
I agree with your style synopsis... not really a red or amber, not really a bitter.  Easy to drink though.

What about 5% C-40 2% C-120 instead of 12% caramunich (unless you really love caramunich)?

Offline DockDogsBeer

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 07:28:34 PM »
When I tried that beer it didn't have much caramel or toffee flavour in it at all.  Maybe mine was not terribly fresh?
I agree with your style synopsis... not really a red or amber, not really a bitter.  Easy to drink though.

What about 5% C-40 2% C-120 instead of 12% caramunich (unless you really love caramunich)?

Thanks for the feedback! I do love me some CaraMunich, that's why I went that route rather than Crystal malts - although I think the only reason I pushed it that high was to get the color right. I suppose I could back off a bit and then maybe add a bit of pale chocolate malt or Midnight Wheat to get the color right.
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-The Fratellis

Offline Jkrehbielp

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 08:05:37 PM »
If you're going for English style, it's worth using English crystal malts. Sounds like Simpsons Crystal 80 would do nicely. Don't go too heavy. They are potent in flavor.

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Offline Phil_M

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 08:18:24 PM »
I find I prefer using darker crystal malts. You get more of the flavor, and less of the cloying mouth feel. They'd especially be my recommendation if OP is looking for toffee flavors.

Something else to consider is invert. Did the beer you tried have a sort of light caramel/rock candy thing going on? Think like a sweeter Werther's Original. That's invert, a hallmark of British beer. Really nice for balancing out any caramel malt/Maris Otter chewiness.

If it were my beer, I'd use 5% dark crystal and 5% invert in place of the caramunich. But I've never tasted the beer you're trying to replicate, so keep that in mind.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline DockDogsBeer

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 02:15:46 PM »
I find I prefer using darker crystal malts. You get more of the flavor, and less of the cloying mouth feel. They'd especially be my recommendation if OP is looking for toffee flavors.

Something else to consider is invert. Did the beer you tried have a sort of light caramel/rock candy thing going on? Think like a sweeter Werther's Original. That's invert, a hallmark of British beer. Really nice for balancing out any caramel malt/Maris Otter chewiness.

If it were my beer, I'd use 5% dark crystal and 5% invert in place of the caramunich. But I've never tasted the beer you're trying to replicate, so keep that in mind.

So it seems like everyone is a fan of the Simpsons Dark Crystal over the CaraMunich. I'm not sure about doing the invert sugar though, I'm don't want to go too sweet - the hop flavor/aroma I'm looking for is more American than British, so I don't want to clash with that.

So right now for grains I'm thinking I will go with:
7.75# - Maris Otter (89.2%)
8 oz - Simpsons Dark Crystal (5.8%)
4 oz - Carafa III (2.9%)
3 oz - Acidulated Malt (2.2%)

That will get me the color, pH, and OG that I am shooting for.
"Pour yourself a drink or three and maybe we'll think clearly for awhile"
-The Fratellis

jrdatta

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 02:36:11 PM »
+1 on the invert and the extra dark crystal. Another really cool malt to play around with is simpsons DRC, gives a ton of toffee and dark fruit, a tiny amount of roast and really non of the bitterness that can show from a really dark crystal.

That said, your recipe also looks delightful as is.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 02:54:08 PM »

So it seems like everyone is a fan of the Simpsons Dark Crystal over the CaraMunich. I'm not sure about doing the invert sugar though, I'm don't want to go too sweet - the hop flavor/aroma I'm looking for is more American than British, so I don't want to clash with that.


The invert won't add sweetness, it serves to lower the FG and dry out the final beer.

As for caramunich vs. dark crystal, well the dark crystal just the more "authentic" choice. That doesn't mean caramunich will be bad mind, and again, I don't know the beer you're trying to replicate. I'm just pulling from what I do know about British beers. (Which seems to go against the common craft beer idea of British beer.)
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline goschman

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 03:24:15 PM »
From your description, another option for hops would be El Dorado.
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jrdatta

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 03:26:11 PM »
From your description, another option for hops would be El Dorado.

Maybe but El Dorado can be a really divisive hop, and to my pallet tastes more like watermelon jolly ranchers than strawberry but YMMV.

Offline goschman

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 03:48:15 PM »
From your description, another option for hops would be El Dorado.

Maybe but El Dorado can be a really divisive hop, and to my pallet tastes more like watermelon jolly ranchers than strawberry but YMMV.

Very true. I didn't like El Dorado the one time I used but thought it might work here if used with restraint.
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Offline DockDogsBeer

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 04:12:33 PM »
From your description, another option for hops would be El Dorado.

Maybe but El Dorado can be a really divisive hop, and to my pallet tastes more like watermelon jolly ranchers than strawberry but YMMV.

Very true. I didn't like El Dorado the one time I used but thought it might work here if used with restraint.

I'm just going with Belma here since I have a bunch of it on hand. I bought a pound to use in my Strawberry Blonde since it is supposed to come across as strawberry/citrus/melon flavor; I have never used it in a non-fruit beer, so I am excited to see how it works here. The beer that was the inspiration for this recipe came across as kind of fruity, almost strawberry-like (at least to me anyways), so I thought Belma would be a good fit.
"Pour yourself a drink or three and maybe we'll think clearly for awhile"
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Offline goschman

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 04:47:05 PM »
From your description, another option for hops would be El Dorado.

Maybe but El Dorado can be a really divisive hop, and to my pallet tastes more like watermelon jolly ranchers than strawberry but YMMV.

Very true. I didn't like El Dorado the one time I used but thought it might work here if used with restraint.

I'm just going with Belma here since I have a bunch of it on hand. I bought a pound to use in my Strawberry Blonde since it is supposed to come across as strawberry/citrus/melon flavor; I have never used it in a non-fruit beer, so I am excited to see how it works here. The beer that was the inspiration for this recipe came across as kind of fruity, almost strawberry-like (at least to me anyways), so I thought Belma would be a good fit.

Probably a good plan. Sorry for any unnecessary input.   

I am another that has never heard of this beer but I like what you are going for.
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Up Next: IPA, Kolsch, Kottbusser

Offline DockDogsBeer

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2017, 01:55:41 PM »
Thanks everyone for the input! I brewed this last night, so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. It did seem like it was a little bit darker than I wanted, so next time I would probably lose an ounce or so of the Carafa III. If it turns out really good, I might have to bring a few bottles to NHC.

JoCo Red
OG: 1.045
Target FG: 1.008
Calculated IBUs: 24
SRM: 18

Malts:
7.75# - Maris Otter (89.2%)
0.5# - Crisp 120L Dark Crystal (5.8%) (LHBS didn't have Simpsons Dark Crystal...)
0.25# - Carafa III (2.9%)
3 oz - Acidulated Malt (2.2%)

Hops:
0.25 oz - Belma FWH
1.75 oz - Belma (Whirlpool at 185F for 15 min)

Yeast:
S-04

Water:
Ca - 47 ppm
Mg - 8 ppm
Na - 53 ppm
Cl - 62 ppm
SO4 - 119 pm

Target mash pH 5.3 (per Bru'N Water)
Mash temp: 154F

"Pour yourself a drink or three and maybe we'll think clearly for awhile"
-The Fratellis

Offline DockDogsBeer

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Re: English Style Amber Ale (w/ Belma hops)
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 01:46:57 PM »
I kegged this last night, it tastes like it is going to be a great Irish Red! Only problem is that's not what I set out to make...I think if I try it again, I will lower the Carafa down to 1-2 ounces and maybe double the finishing hops.

 
"Pour yourself a drink or three and maybe we'll think clearly for awhile"
-The Fratellis