American Amber

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Anyone out there made a really good American amber ale? I'm looking for something in the style of Ballast Point Calico Amber, which I tried at the Yard House in Irvine, CA, and loved. I also imagine LC Rogers' Beer is like a light American amber.

The style is darker than APA, and maltier with a slightly toasty character, less bitter but still plenty of that citrusy American hops character.

For hops - I have Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook and NZ Cascade available. I'm thinking possibly Simcoe for bittering then Amarillo or Amarillo/Chinook.

Malts - I have the usual suspects including Trad. Ale, JW Pilsner, Maris Otter, Halcyon, Weyermann Dark Munich & Vienna plus various specialty grains. I have no idea what malts American Amber normally gets is character from although I imagine crystal plays a large part.

Not really sure where to start formulating this one.

Also - thanks to all who commented on my proposed Amarillo pale ale a while back. That beer is almost ready to be kegged, and is showing every sign of being a great beer. :super:



Black Label Society
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Hi colinw,
I usually make them quite similar to APA but just use a bit of choc malt for extra colour simple as that, much similar to mountain goat hightail ale in a way.
They don't really need to be any more malty than a standard pale ale.
I could type out a list of suggestions but iam to busy downing beers, maybe tomorow i'll add something more in depth for now here my latest drop.

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

06-B American Pale Ales, American Amber Ale

Min OG: 1.045 Max OG: 1.056
Min IBU: 20 Max IBU: 40
Min Clr: 22 Max Clr: 35 Color in EBC

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (L): 25.00 Wort Size (L): 25.00
Total Grain (kg): 6.18
Anticipated OG: 1.056 Plato: 13.81
Anticipated EBC: 25.4
Anticipated IBU: 35.4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts

Evaporation Rate: 14.00 Percent Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 31.65 L
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.044 SG 11.01 Plato

Formulas Used

Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.
Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.
Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg
Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Coarse Grind As Is.

Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager

Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 %
Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 10 %


% Amount Name Origin Potential EBC
64.7 4.00 kg. JWM Traditional Ale Malt Australia 317.42 7
29.1 1.80 kg. IMC Munich Australia 317.42 12
4.9 0.30 kg. Weyermann Caramunich II Germany 292.36 125
0.4 0.02 kg. TF Chocolate Malt UK 275.65 940
0.9 0.05 kg. TF Pale Chocolate Malt UK 275.65 500

Potential represented as IOB- HWE ( L / kg ).


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
26.00 g. Hallertau Northern Brewer Pellet 9.50 32.6 70 min.
25.00 g. Cascade Pellet 5.20 2.8 5 min.
30.00 g. Cascade Pellet 5.20 0.0 0 min.


WYeast 1968 London Extra Special Bitter

Mash Schedule

68c and thick



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Nice choice of style Colin.
My personal preference for American Amber is closer to an English ESB with some classic American characteristics.
I'm still playing with recipe, so my grain/malt ingredients have been kept simple while I play with the hops.
I just go straight pale malt. I have used 5% standard crystal or 5% dark crystal but quite like 2.5% of each.
Simcoe is my perfect bittering hop. My first couple had some Northern Brewer but I'm happy with just Simcoe now.
With Simcoe I prefer to keep the American hop flavour and aroma quite subtle, so generally Cascade for flavour and aroma but I like to balance it with Willamette most times in equal quantities.
Target OG is around 1045-1050, target IBU is 35-40.
Only used Wyeast 1056 so far.
My next one is going to be 50/50 dark/standard crystal, Simcoe to 35IBU, 12.5g each Cascade and Willamette at 15m, 12.5g each Cascade and Willamette at flame out.

Enjoy. Like I said, great style.


Black Label Society
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Bilph said:
My personal preference for American Amber is closer to an English ESB with some classic American characteristics.
Same here. You can do the same with american brown as the bottom end of the colour range is right at the top of the esb range ie 28ebc. Although the browns are fully american not only in the choice of hops but because they are overkill in everyway compared to ESB.
Overall the recipe structure for most beer styles i make are all the same similiar thing. The american ambers and browns and english strong pale ales is all pretty much standard stuff JWM trad for the most part and 5% 120-140 EBC crystal and 1-2% choc. I do like to mash reasonbly high but i do make browns up in the 1.065 range which only need to be mashed at 66c with the trad ale.
anyway I've gotta say this spectrum of beers is easily my fav.

Ramble on