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Old 11-29-2008, 10:25 PM   #1
PlayMizuno
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Default American Amber Help

First of I want to thank everyone on this forum for the myriad of information. I have been lurking for a couple of months and I have sucsefully completed 3 batches. My first was a Brewers Best American Amber kit, my second was a Belgian White from AHS, and my third was a Stone IPA clone from AHS (bottling tomorrow if all goes well). I wanted to make another Amber, but not from the kit, so while I was in Nashville for Thanksgiving I purchased items that were in the Brewers Best kit (except for the LME) and I also purchased some caramunich. The Brewers kit contained 3.3lbs Plain Malt Extract LME, 2lbs of Amber DME, 8oz of crystal 60L, and 2oz of Williamette hops (1oz@ 60min, and 1 oz @5min).

I currently have 6lbs of Amber DME, 8oz of crystal 60L, 2 oz of Williamette, and in addition I have 1 lb of caramunich. I know I have more DME than needed to "reproduce" the kit, but my main question is whether or not anyone here would use the caramunich, and if so how much would you use? If there are suggestions on a better way to use what I have in inventory I would appreciate any and all help. I currently do a full 5 gallon boil and can cool the wort from 200-190 to 70-80 degrees in less than 10 min thanks to the chiller I designed from the help on this forum.

Again, thanks for all the help everyone gives here and if I asked something stupid (blame the American Amber...j/k) please take it easy on a noooooooob.

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Old 11-30-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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American Amber Ale (AAA) is a very rewarding style. Easy-drinking yet satisfying for the beer enthusiast, I think every brewer should have a AAA recipe in his or her library. For a quick lesson on the style, see the Wiki entry.

I think your on-hand ingredients will make a pretty good AAA. As I wrote in the Wiki, AAA tends to be a malt-forward beer with a significant crystal/caramel overtone. Amber extracts already contain a certain proportion of crystal malt in their formulation. Adding your half-pound of 60L Crystal and 4-6 oz of CaraMunich will make a really nice AAA malt bill.

Unfortunately, you're going to be light on hops. I don't know the alpha-acid percentages of your Willamette, but it's probably not going to be enough to balance all that crystal.

Good luck!

Bob

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Old 12-01-2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the reply and the write up. I was begining to wonder if anyone was going to respond. I really enjoy this style and want to develop it as a house brew.

The AA on the Williamette is 5.4. I have an extra ounce of Cascades left over (~5.6 AA). Do you think I should use them and if so what schedule should I use in conjunction with the Williamette?

I noticed the article said to avoid using Williamette or any other domestic varities based on European ancestors. When I get ready to make this again what hops would you recommend?

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Old 12-01-2008, 06:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
American Amber Ale (AAA) is a very rewarding style. Easy-drinking yet satisfying for the beer enthusiast, I think every brewer should have a AAA recipe in his or her library.
+1

Many brewers are so "into" extreme beer that forget that many people like non-aggressive beer. I totally understand this as I have noticed that as I brew more and more I tend to get more and more extreme and have to real it in and brew Amber and brown ales for the non-extremists! in my group.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayMizuno View Post
Thanks so much for the reply and the write up. I was begining to wonder if anyone was going to respond. I really enjoy this style and want to develop it as a house brew.

The AA on the Williamette is 5.4. I have an extra ounce of Cascades left over (~5.6 AA). Do you think I should use them and if so what schedule should I use in conjunction with the Williamette?
I'd add hops like this:

1 oz Willamette - 60
0.5 oz EACH Willamette & Cascades - 20
0.5 oz Cascades - Flameout

Bog hops flavor, good aroma, solid but not overwhelming bitterness (~36 IBU).

Quote:
I noticed the article said to avoid using Williamette or any other domestic varities based on European ancestors. When I get ready to make this again what hops would you recommend?
Any of the "C" hops - Cascades, Centennial, Chinook, Cluster, Columbus (but not Challenger; that's British!) - Amarillo. Any variety that gives the signature American citrus profile is acceptable, IMO. If you consider a variety, read up on its history. Liberty and Mt Hood, for example, were developed in the USA; unfortunately, they are Hallertauer cultivars or hybrids, possessing much of the character of their parent - too much to be distinctively American.

What you should be after in AAA is a beer that cannot be confused with English Pale Ale or commercial English IPAs - both caramel malt-rich styles with generous hopping rates. The most obvious way to set AAA apart from EPA or EIPA is through American, citrus-flavor hops varieties.

Cheers!

Bob
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:27 AM   #6
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Once I got home I checked the Williamette again and they are actually have an AA of 4.6%. I think I will try your schedule, but I will add the entire ounce of Williamette with the half ounce ounce of Cascades at the 20 minute mark. I believe this should give me something in the 33 range for the IBU's unless I have totally screwed the pooch in the calculations. I will use 8oz of the 60L and 4oz of the CaraMunich.

Thanks once again for all the help and I will let you know how it turns out in about 6 to 7 weeks.

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Old 12-02-2008, 11:17 AM   #7
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Cool! Remember, no matter what happens, it's going to be beer, and it's going to be yours. You just can't beat that!

Cheers,

Bob

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