Author Topic: American Amber Ale advice  (Read 698 times)

Offline jtconrad74

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American Amber Ale advice
« on: June 13, 2011, 12:05:14 PM »
I'm participating in a local brewing event to which the brewery supplies all the ingredients from a short list of options.  I selected some pale 2 row, munich and vienna, and some caramel 60 and 120 to make an American Amber.  My question is, should I go strictly with munich along with the pale 2 row, or still use some vienna?

This is the info we were given to choose from.

 5 lbs of Cargill Pale 2-Row
 5 lbs of Rahr Premium Pilsner
Specialty Malts - CHOOSE 2 lbs of any 2 of the following:
 White Wheat Malt
 Rye Malt
 Maris Otter
 Vienna
 Munich
CHOOSE ½ lb of any 2 of the following:
 Weyerman Acidulated Malt
 Caramel 60
 Caramel 120
 Chocolate Wheat Malt
Hops – Your choice of 2 varieties of the following hops in 2oz bags
OR 4 oz of ONE of these six varieties
 Cascade 7.2% alpha (pellets)
 Tettnang 4.5% alpha (pellets)
 Perle 8.2% alpha (pellets)
 Chinook 12.3% alpha (pellets)
 East Kent Goldings 5% alpha (pellets)

Offline hokerer

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 12:20:34 PM »
The way I read those rules, you need to use 2 lbs of 2 of those.  If you drop the Vienna, you're only using 2 lbs of 1 of those so it looks like you keep the Vienna.
Joe

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 12:30:45 PM »
If it's an "American" amber, wouldn't Perle, Tettnang and EKG be out?  I only see 5, not 6 hops on your list.

I love my amber which is just 2 row, C45 and chocolate malt.  I certainly wouldn't use a 1/2 lb of chocolate malt or you'd be quite dark.  I use 100 grams and I'm bordering on brown ale as it is.  Do you need to use 2 lbs of 2 or can you use "up to" 2 lbs?  I guess with only 5 lbs of base malt (or can you use both the Pilsner and the 2-row?) you'd have to pick something.  Just seems a bit vague.  Not answering your question because I don't know enough about Munich and Vienna to pick which you'd be better off with but I make a pretty good amber without either.  Not sure why you'd be compelled to use them.  Good luck.

Offline hoser

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 12:40:48 PM »
If this local contest is in Lincoln, NE (which I think it is ;)), you are not confined to what is on the list.  You are free to use your own ingredients.  This is just what they would "like" you to use because it is already in stock.  Be creative, it is an experimental ale contest by the way!

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 04:47:50 PM »
If it's an "American" amber, wouldn't Perle, Tettnang and EKG be out?

Not necessarily. The BJCP guidelines (to the extent you care about them) say that "citrusy American hops" are common, but not required.

jt, my AAA grist is 76% pale ale malt, 12% Munich, 8% Med Crystal, and 4% Ex Dk Crystal, and it's done pretty well in competitions. In case that gives you any ideas.
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Offline skyler

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 09:04:04 AM »
I'd go with Munich and MO from that list, along with C60 and C120, then Perle and Cascade or Cascade and Chinook.

Offline jtconrad74

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 06:41:28 PM »
This is what I was going to try for this.  It's actually for a category 23 (experimental)  let me know what you think?  It's a pretty "big" beer so i think it might work well for it.

4# american 2 row
2# munich
1.5# vienna
1# victory
.5# caramel 60
.5# caramel 120
.25# special b
1# oat flakes
1# rye flakes
7-8oz of molasses
2oz cascade 7.5
1oz goldings
1oz goldings dry hop
white labs irish ale yeast (starter)
white labs california ale (from vial) thought I'd try to combine some yeast??

Offline hoser

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Re: American Amber Ale advice
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 07:04:19 PM »
It is too muddled.  Ditch the vienna, and special B or C-120L.  I would go with the rye over the oats.  You are better off using a high AA hop like Magnum than you would be Cascade for bittering.  All of the volitile flavor and aroma qualities of the cascade will be boiled away.  Maybe use the cascade late in the boil or for dry hopping to combine with the EKG? I certainly wouldn't discourage you from blending yeasts, but I don't think it will give you what you are looking for.  If you were really trying to be experimental maybe a Belgian yeast?  Sometimes simple is better.  Just because Empyrean gives you all of these things to choose from doesn't mean you have to use them all.  Go into it with the finished beer in mind and build it from there.  Don't just throw all of the ingredients they give you together and "hope" that it works.  Good luck!