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BIAB American Amber Ale

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Hez

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Hi,

For my next beer I want to make an American style Amber Ale.
I've been reading and studying as usual...

American Amber: Style Profile: https://byo.com/color/item/126-american-amber-style-profile

American Amber Ale Recipes and Beer Style: http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/07/23/american-
amber-ale-recipes-and-beer-style/

American Amber: Tips from the Pros: https://byo.com/bock/item/127-american-amber-tips-from-the-pros

and from there and some other forums/articles, I've taken these notes...

AMBER ALE STYLE NOTES:

Stronger caramel flavor, more body and darker than pale ales.
Balanced proportion: alcohol, caramel/malty flavour, hops
Moderate to high carbonation. Good head retention.

Color is amber to copper brown: SRM 10-17

60-85% American two row pale malt (base)
10-20% Mid-color crystal (color, caramel)
<15% Munich Malt (malty flavour, color, sweetness)
<5% Darker crystal (plum, raisin, and burnt caramel, less sweet)
0.5-1% chocolate/roasted malt (enhance red color)
5-8% Cara-Pils/Dextrine (head/foam retention, body)
5-8% CaraRed (head/foam retention, body, red color)

OG 1.045-1.060 -> FG 1.010-1.015 -> 4.5-6.5% ABV

0.5 - 0.7 IBU/GU (balanced)
0.7 - 1.0 IBU/GU (bold red)

So this is my proposed recipe...

I've decided to make something balanced in between the range of everything (maltiness, sweetness, color, bitterness, aroma) and as I have to buy new hops, I think Citra will be good to have. I can use them for bittering and aroma for pale ales, IPA's and amber ales.

What do you think? What's wrong? What would you change? Thanks in advance.

AMBER ALE RECIPE:
(BIAB, 10L batch, 68% efficiency)

GRAIN:


- Option 1 (dark amber):
2100g ~ 70% Pale Ale
290g ~ 10% Munich (7.3L)
290g ~ 10% Crystal (54L)
150g ~ 5% Dark crystal (94L)
150g ~ 5% CaraRed
2980g TOTAL
SRM 16.59
OG 1055

- Option 2 (amber):
2300g ~ 77% Pale Ale
290g ~ 9.7% Munich (7.3L)
150g ~ 5% Crystal (54L)
100g ~ 3.3% Dark Crystal (94L)
150g ~ 5% CaraRed
2990g TOTAL
SRM 13.29
OG 1055

MASH:
67°C Single step infusion mash 60'-90'
mash out or not?
sparge at 75.5ºC

BOIL:
60' - 6g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 19.97 IBU
15' - 8g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 13.21 IBU
15' - 1/2 tablet - Deltafloc
5' - 8g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 5.31 IBU
0' - 8g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 0 IBU
TOTAL 38.5 IBU

DRY HOP, 1.5g/L * 10L = 15g (Citra Pellets)

FERMENT:
Aerate thoroughly
Safale US-05 @19ºC

CONDITION:
2.8 Volumes of CO2
 

homebrewnewb

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Citra's good, are you set on staying on one type?
Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra is a bit of a holy trinity in my book for American beers on the modest/sessionable side, not counting the big C's.

I find its the same for kettle editions and dry hopping.
 

Hez

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Citra's good, are you set on staying on one type?
Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra is a bit of a holy trinity in my book for American beers on the modest/sessionable side, not counting the big C's.

I find its the same for kettle editions and dry hopping.
Apparently "Centennial is not available" and I've just finished a container of cascade and almost done with other of chinook in my last beer.
I wanted to change but my fridge is small and my girlfriend is not going to be very happy when she opens it and finds half of it are beer bottles and the other half are hops containers... :S
I read that "the mighty" zombie dust has 100% citra hops.
Which one would you choose if you had to choose only one?
And the grain? Option 1, 2 or a different 3? Something odd?

BTW I been looking into buying a second hand wine fridge for fermenting (I've seen a couple of them for less than 100$) but the problem is I don't know when my company is going to send me back home to Spain... :S
 

Meddo

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Nail Red Ale is 100% Citra hops I believe and it's a cracking beer. I'm kegging my first American Amber this weekend, I used Centennial and Chinook which is the same combo as KAIJU! Hopped Out Red, another ripper beer - if mine turns out half (three-quarters maybe) as good I'll be very happy. The malt bill is the same as an earlier version I brewed with @murpho and it was great, similar to your option 2 but using melanoidin rather than carared (the carafa is just for colour adjustment).

Grain Weight (kg) Weight %
NZ Glad Ale 5 76.6%
Ger Wey Munich Dark 0.75 11.5%
NZ Glad Crystal Medium 0.25 3.8%
NZ Glad Crystal Dark 0.25 3.8%
Ger Wey Melanoidin 0.25 3.8%
Ger Wey Carafa Spec I 0.025 0.4%

Nail Red Ale label:
Nail Red Ale.jpg

Edit: This is the beer from the above malt bill (on the right) next to the KAIJU! Hopped Out Red. Pretty bloody close I reckon:
Collab v1 Amber.jpg
 
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Droopy Brew

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Id get rid of the Munich all together- replace with Rye.
For the dark crystal, use Caraaroma. Consider dropping the carared- looks to be a touch heavy on the crystal for mine- no more than 10% total Crystal I reckon.
 

Hez

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Nail Red Ale is 100% Citra hops I believe and it's a cracking beer. I'm kegging my first American Amber this weekend, I used Centennial and Chinook which is the same combo as KAIJU! Hopped Out Red, another ripper beer - if mine turns out half (three-quarters maybe) as good I'll be very happy. The malt bill is the same as an earlier version I brewed with @murpho and it was great, similar to your option 2 but using melanoidin rather than carared (the carafa is just for colour adjustment).

Grain Weight (kg) Weight %
NZ Glad Ale 5 76.6%
Ger Wey Munich Dark 0.75 11.5%
NZ Glad Crystal Medium 0.25 3.8%
NZ Glad Crystal Dark 0.25 3.8%
Ger Wey Melanoidin 0.25 3.8%
Ger Wey Carafa Spec I 0.025 0.4%

Nail Red Ale label:
View attachment 108473

Edit: This is the beer from the above malt bill (on the right) next to the KAIJU! Hopped Out Red. Pretty bloody close I reckon:
View attachment 108474
Oh! jejeje It looks I "nailed" the Nail Red Ale without even knowing it existed! jejeje
Your dark-amber / brown ale looks very appealing to me, but I think I will do a not-so-dark one this time because my girlfriend asked me, so I think I will stick to the second option but I will definitely try it next season!

About the CaraRed / Melanoiden, I chose the carared because if I understood right it's a variation of the carapils / dextrin malt which enhances the red hue. So it has three purposes: more red , more body, more head retention.

I'm glad to see my recipe matches! Thanks!
 

BKBrews

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At a minimum, I would double your dry hop for an American style. My first and last attempt at an American Amber Ale was atrocious - it has come out as this extremely malty roasty thing.
 

Meddo

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Oh! jejeje It looks I "nailed" the Nail Red Ale without even knowing it existed! jejeje
Your dark-amber / brown ale looks very appealing to me, but I think I will do a not-so-dark one this time because my girlfriend asked me, so I think I will stick to the second option but I will definitely try it next season!

About the CaraRed / Melanoiden, I chose the carared because if I understood right it's a variation of the carapils / dextrin malt which enhances the red hue. So it has three purposes: more red , more body, more head retention.

I'm glad to see my recipe matches! Thanks!
Good stuff. I've got some CaraRed but haven't used it yet. I just knocked up that malt bill based on this post which purports to be info from KAIJU!, although the ratios are my own:

https://aussiehomebrewer.com/thread...ash-kaiju-hopped-out-red_.83750/#post-1300891
 

Hez

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Id get rid of the Munich all together- replace with Rye.
For the dark crystal, use Caraaroma. Consider dropping the carared- looks to be a touch heavy on the crystal for mine- no more than 10% total Crystal I reckon.
cara-aroma instead of dark crystal
rye instead of munich
no carared
With your changes it would be lighter in color and flavour, wouldn't it? maybe too close to a pale ale?

I've seen some american amber ales with rye, but I'm not sure what will it be like... I have to study more and maybe go to grab some beers ;)

At a minimum, I would double your dry hop for an American style. My first and last attempt at an American Amber Ale was atrocious - it has come out as this extremely malty roasty thing.
I just dry hopped my IPA this wednesday with 3g per L of chinhook/cascade (50-50%), I've read the hop aroma shouldn't be dominant in Amber Ales, but yes, you're probably right... let's see how it turns out the IPA and I will go from there. There are too many variables in dry hopping, apparently it doesn't work the same for anyone, it depents of the kind of hops you're using, if you use pellets or fresh ones, the shape of the fermenter, the way you add them (free or in a sock), if you have foam or not, if your fermentation is totally over or at 75%, the temperature... I think it's a matter of experience and see what it works for your setup and way of doing it.
Thank you, I will take it into consideration!
 

BKBrews

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cara-aroma instead of dark crystal
rye instead of munich
no carared
With your changes it would be lighter in color and flavour, wouldn't it? maybe too close to a pale ale?

I've seen some american amber ales with rye, but I'm not sure what will it be like... I have to study more and maybe go to grab some beers ;)



I just dry hopped my IPA this wednesday with 3g per L of chinhook/cascade (50-50%), I've read the hop aroma shouldn't be dominant in Amber Ales, but yes, you're probably right... let's see how it turns out the IPA and I will go from there. There are too many variables in dry hopping, apparently it doesn't work the same for anyone, it depents of the kind of hops you're using, if you use pellets or fresh ones, the shape of the fermenter, the way you add them (free or in a sock), if you have foam or not, if your fermentation is totally over or at 75%, the temperature... I think it's a matter of experience and see what it works for your setup and way of doing it.
Thank you, I will take it into consideration!
I'm with you there, I just found that the maltyness of the grain bill completely took over the American style I was going for. To be fair, I was trying to be restrained (for once) and I just missed the mark. I think I used about 50g of Amarillo and Chinook in a 27L batch and you would think I didn't dry hop at all.
 

Hez

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I'm with you there, I just found that the maltyness of the grain bill completely took over the American style I was going for. To be fair, I was trying to be restrained (for once) and I just missed the mark. I think I used about 50g of Amarillo and Chinook in a 27L batch and you would think I didn't dry hop at all.
50g/27L = 1.85g/L so, yep, maybe I should go higher or remove some maltiness like @Droopy Brew said... I want to know what happens with my first IPA! but I have to wait two weeks!.

When did you do the dry hopping ? WAS the fermentation totally over? How long between dry hopping and bottle/keg ?

For my last one I did it 4 days after brewday, when the fermentation had already finished... I couldn't see more bubbles in the airlock not even staring at it for 5'. And I plan on bottling 4 days after the dry hopping (this sunday). I used a full Safale US-5 sachet (intended for 19L) for my small 10L+1L turb batch. I've read it's not a good idea to dry hop before the fermentation reaches 75% at least or the aroma would scape with the co2 through the airlock and also that 2 days of dry hop is probably enough but it wont hurt to have it longer (4 days).
 
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BKBrews

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I don't go by the airlock mate, I generally take hydro samples and dry hop when fermentation reaches about 1.020, normally coinciding with my temperature bump for diacetyl rest and full attenuation. I'm pretty sure with this batch though I dry hopped after crashing (eg after full attenuation), which was about 4 days total and then straight to the keg. I have just made an IPL and I dry hopped at 1 degree for 7 days. Smells amazing, but that was more like 6g per L.
 

Hez

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I don't go by the airlock mate, I generally take hydro samples and dry hop when fermentation reaches about 1.020, normally coinciding with my temperature bump for diacetyl rest and full attenuation. I'm pretty sure with this batch though I dry hopped after crashing (eg after full attenuation), which was about 4 days total and then straight to the keg. I have just made an IPL and I dry hopped at 1 degree for 7 days. Smells amazing, but that was more like 6g per L.
This time it was so obvious I didn't even bother to use the hydrometer

6g/L ! :O that's a expensive beer! jejeje
Thank you for sharing, I'm learning a lot. I generally take this numbers from articles and things I read in yankie forums. Maybe it doesn't follow a direct proportion. I mean, 3 or 6 or whatever grams per liter might be fine for big batch size but it might be different for a way smaller batch size...
I'm a fan of numbers and calculations, but in the end, what counts is experience.
 

Droopy Brew

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cara-aroma instead of dark crystal
rye instead of munich
no carared
With your changes it would be lighter in color and flavour, wouldn't it? maybe too close to a pale ale?

I've seen some american amber ales with rye, but I'm not sure what will it be like... I have to study more and maybe go to grab some beers ;)
Nope comes out pretty good.
Amber ale.jpg

You are looking for a good balance between malt and hops. niether should dominate.
I use First wort hopping and a heavy hand at whirlpool but very little if any dry hopping.
By the book, the hop aroma should be low to moderate but I bump it to the moderate to high region because thats what I like. Plenty of nice caramel and toffee flavours in there to play with the hops, just a matter of balancing it.
Caraaroma is actually darker than dark crystal- up around 400EBC
 
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Vini2ton

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In Australia, we maybe aren't exposed to US beers as they should present. To me, examples of their styles seem over top hoppy sweet and lacking balance. I've probably brewed that shit without even trying. English browns I've been attemping for a while have been very good, with moderation in hopping and speciality malts. I went out on a limb and had a go at an am' amber (they call them reds now don't they?). Columbus/Amarillo 80gms, WYEAST 1056, Briess pale, a bit of brown malt, some pale crystal and a tad dark chocolate malt. OG 1.044. It's a broad definition but aren't they all. Don't those yanks just know how to overstate stuff.
 
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Thefatdoghead

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Drop the carared and use less dark crystal.
Sub in Brown malt. It will be more toasty malt and less sweet malt than your recipe
 
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Thefatdoghead

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I would do this

90% marris otter
5% carabohemian (beautiful malt in my opinion)
5% Brown malt

Don't over do the hops and get your PH down to 5.1, 5.2 and that will be a nice roasty amber ale.
 

Hez

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My immersion chiller, tubes and pond pump just arrived today! So I'd like to brew it this weekend, but... I haven't decided yet what to do with this one!!

From my first post option 2 you've told me:
- use marris otter instead of pale as base malt <- Marris otter is english and I aim to achieve an American Style Amber Ale :S to be honest I'm unsure about the more-earthy flavour of it, but thank you for your advice @Thefatdoghead
- use cara-aroma instead of dark crystal <- sounds good!
- use rye instead of munich <- sounds good! I've seen lots of recipes which include rye
- ditch the cara red <- use carapils instead for head retention and body?
- use cara-bohemian instead of crystal <- cara amber in my home brew supply, it's darker so less quantity needed, but I'm not sure what would be the difference in flavour...
- use brown malt instead of dark crystal <- same effect (malty/dark) but less sweet what would be the difference between brown and cara-aroma?
And I think I will reduce a little the amount of malt to achieve OG 1050 (instead of 1055) but I'm going to account for 1L more of trub, that's what I had last time with the IPA.

What do you think about:
2200g 75.8% Pale
250g 8.6% Rye (malt)
200g 6.9% Cara Amber (~CaraBohemian)
100g 3.4% Cara Aroma
150g 5.1% CaraPils / Dextrine
TOTAL grain bill 2900g (10L batch + 2L trub)
OG 1050
SRM 13.8 (EBC 27.19)

About the hops, I didn't get any hop aroma whatsoever in my last IPA experiment (total failure) so I think I would increment a little from my original proposition and still get a medium hop aroma:

60' - 6g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 18.7 IBU
15' - 8g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 12.37 IBU
15' - 1/2 tablet - Deltafloc
5' - 10g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 6.21 IBU
0' - 16g - 12.8%AA - Citra Pellets -> 0 IBU
TOTAL 38.5 IBU

DRY HOP, 3g/L * 10L = 30g (Citra Pellets)

Do we have consensus?
 

Thefatdoghead

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Not my recipe but marris otter is great in ipas by the way.

Massive difference with brown and CaraAroma.

CaraAroma will get your colour there. Brown is more roasted than christal/caramel.
Real nutty cracker roasty type flavour. Maybe even roasted oats.

If it's your first American amber maybe keep the rye out for now.

I would go

Marris if have 90%
CaraAroma or bohemian 5%
Brown 5%

Small bitter addition

Large steep addition at whirlpool.

Just my 2c mate. Go for your life. I just found the simpler they were the better they got.

Let us know how you get on.
Edit.
Also Cara amber isnt like carabohemian to me.
 

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