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Old 10-19-2007, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default amber? Is it really a seperate style?

Okay, I guess I am just dumb. No big revelation there. I do not understand what an amber ale is. From all the reading I have done, and the few commerical examples I have tasted I do not understand.

According to bjcp and other sources, it is related to APA but is darker color (amber to copper) more carmelly sweet, and sometimes quite hoppy. Am I missing something or is this a description of an american IPA? It seems and tastes (the few that I have had) so much like an AIPA that I really do not see why it is in its own category.

Can someone explain it so an idiot like me can understand?

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Old 10-19-2007, 11:20 PM   #2
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The amber sub catagory does overlap in IPA style ranges but so does IPA and APA. An amber's SRM can be darker than an IPA and an IPA can be higher IBU. You could probably enter a hoppy medium copper ale into either the amber or IPA catagory.

I'm just thinking of something like Troegs Hopback Amber. It's def in the IBU range of a mild IPA and if it were 2 SRM lighter, it would probably fit there as well.

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Old 10-20-2007, 12:15 AM   #3
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American Amber is a very broad category. I've had "amber ales" that were pretty malty and full bodied, others that you might classify similarly that are dryer and more IPA-like. Your post didn't even address where the differences lie between an Amber and a Red Ale.

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Old 10-20-2007, 01:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
American Amber is a very broad category. I've had "amber ales" that were pretty malty and full bodied, others that you might classify similarly that are dryer and more IPA-like. Your post didn't even address where the differences lie between an Amber and a Red Ale.

Well, when I think of a red ale I am thinking irish red. Generally maltier/ less hoppy. Is there another type of red I am unaware of?
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:22 AM   #5
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When I think amber I think malty but balanced, kinda like an APA with more crystal malt. They bridge the gap between pale ales and brown ales, more maltiness than a pale but less buiscity and slighly less roasty than a brown.

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Old 10-20-2007, 01:27 AM   #6
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okay, but an IPA is generally more malty/carmelly (crystal) and hoppy. Many of the commercial ambers I have had were pretty hoppy but balanced between malt and hop.

still not getting it...

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Old 10-20-2007, 03:43 AM   #7
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I think of them in terms of balance:

Pale ale - light malt character and balanced light hoppiness, though the malts are often so light the hops seem stronger than they are

IPA - more malt to set a backbone that can support the hops, but the hops drive the car. Balance leans towards the hops. Alcohol is higher from the extra base malts.

Amber - Like a pale ale, balanced hops and malts, but more of both. Both malts and hops can be relatively light like a Fat Tire, or both can be heavy like a good amber - think Boont Amber.

Just my take.

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Old 10-20-2007, 04:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knights of Gambrinus
Well, when I think of a red ale I am thinking irish red. Generally maltier/ less hoppy. Is there another type of red I am unaware of?

As per the Brewer's Assocation guidelines (not the BCJP),

Quote:

American-Style Amber/Red Ale
American amber/red ales range from light copper to light brown in color. They are characterized by American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor, and medium to high aroma. Amber ales have medium-high to high maltiness with medium to low caramel character. They should have medium to medium-high body. The style may have low levels of fruity-ester flavor and aroma. Diacetyl can be either absent or barely perceived at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Slight yeast haze is acceptable for bottle-conditioned products.
Original Gravity (ºPlato):
1.048-1.058 (12-14.5 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato):
1.012-1.018 (3-4.5 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume):
3.5-4.8% (4.5-6%)

Bitterness (IBU):
30 - 40

Color SRM (EBC): 11-18 (22-36 EBC)
I've had a few that are in this vein, and it's a style that I like to brew as well. Full-bodied, great malt backbone, lots of fresh domestic hop character. McNeill's Ruby Ale is a great example if you can find it up in the NEK.
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