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Old 09-03-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
Brulosopher
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Default Session Amber Ale Recipe - Thoughts?

I am leaving for camping in 2 weeks, which would usually be my next brew day... so I plan on brewing next weekend, but I want to do something that will ferment quickly so that I can keg it before leaving. Here's a relatively unique recipe I just developed for a sessionable Amber Ale. Please let me know what you think:

5.5 Gallon Batch
Expected OG: 1.041
Expected FG: 1.011
Expected ABV: 4.0%
IBU: 25.5
SRM: 12.7

6 lbs 10.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row), NW Pale (2.0 SRM) 72.6 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) 11.0 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L (15.0 SRM) 8.2 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 5.5 %
4.0 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) 2.7 %

25.00 g Galena [12.50 %] - Boil 25.0 min 18.2 IBUs
24.00 g Galena [12.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min 7.2 IBUs

1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001)

I plan on mashing high (156-158F) in order to increase the body and hopefully flavor, which is the same reason I was heavy-handed on the character malts. Also, I'm not going to use any bittering addition so all the bitterness will come from 2 later additions- this is something I've been meaning to try for awhile. This baby should ferment out in 3-4 days, allowing me to keg and start carbing within the week.

I'm open to any and all opinions, even super negative ones

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Old 09-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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Self bump...

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Old 09-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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I'm no expert, but I'd make a couple of small changes...

First, I may consider using a different yeast. Wlp028 is the yeast I use for my session bitters. I like this yeast a lot, and people consider it my best beer. I find the yeast let's the malt shine through, without muting the hops too much.

Secondly, I'd drop the chocolate malt. I understand people like a touch of it in beers like this(I've used some in variations of my bitter recipe. It's not for me, but others loved it). What I would do is add in about 8oz of Brown Malt, or 8oz of Victory malt. That's just my preference.

Thirdly, consider doing a FWH with late additions. Again this is just my taste, but I need there to be bitterness in my beers. Late additions are great, and I use then heavily, but to my taste the late additions don't add much bitterness, but tons of flavor/aroma. The FWH should help with that, or maybe a 30 minute addition?

And maybe consider a .25oz dry hop? I find this helps with perceived mouthfeel.

And you may wanna mash 154.

The beer will be awesome. This recipe is very close to my bitter recipe(%4.4ABV).

Good luck.

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrymanback92
I'm no expert, but I'd make a couple of small changes...

First, I may consider using a different yeast. Wlp028 is the yeast I use for my session bitters. I like this yeast a lot, and people consider it my best beer. I find the yeast let's the malt shine through, without muting the hops too much.

Secondly, I'd drop the chocolate malt. I understand people like a touch of it in beers like this(I've used some in variations of my bitter recipe. It's not for me, but others loved it). What I would do is add in about 8oz of Brown Malt, or 8oz of Victory malt. That's just my preference.

Thirdly, consider doing a FWH with late additions. Again this is just my taste, but I need there to be bitterness in my beers. Late additions are great, and I use then heavily, but to my taste the late additions don't add much bitterness, but tons of flavor/aroma. The FWH should help with that, or maybe a 30 minute addition?

And maybe consider a .25oz dry hop? I find this helps with perceived mouthfeel.

And you may wanna mash 154.

The beer will be awesome. This recipe is very close to my bitter recipe(%4.4ABV).

Good luck.
Great advice, thank you! I was actually on the fence whether to use the pale chocolate or Victory... I think I'll use the latter now! I've got a bunch of both, so we'll see. The yeast recommendation is interesting- my experience with 028 has been that it adds a touch of a smoky character, which I do not prefer. I was considering 002, but have 001 on hand. And as for FWH- great idea! I think I'll keep that addition to about 15 bittering units if I decide to go that route.

Thanks, pal!
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #5
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Wouldn't 145-156 give you a hIgher FG than 1.011? I would guess I'd expect that to be around 1.015 or thereabouts, no?

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeintoledo
Wouldn't 145-156 give you a hIgher FG than 1.011? I would guess I'd expect that to be around 1.015 or thereabouts, no?
Not according to BeerSmith, which has been pretty spot on... but maybe not this time.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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In researching low ABV session beer recipes, I've noticed a few add a pound or so of corn sugar to the end of their boil... and I'm wondering the reason is for this? Is it something I should consider? I'm very aware of using dextrose to thin out an otherwise syrupy DIPA or other high gravity beer, but if my goal is to create a med-full bodied, good flavored beer with very low alcohol (4% ish), what's the purpose in using something that fully ferments out?

I'm planning on brewing 10 gallons of this beer this coming weekend. To those who brew session beers often- please, please, please help a brother out!

Cheers.

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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I made some changes to my recipe, mostly in an attempt to get as much flavor out of this little beer as possible. I also scaled it up to my typical 11 gallon batch size. Here goes:

10 lbs 10.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row), NW Pale (2.0 SRM) 57.8 %
4 lbs Munich Malt - Light (10.0 SRM) 21.8%
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) 8.2 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L (15.0 SRM) 5.4 %
10.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 3.4 %
10.0 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) 3.4 %

12.00 g Galena [13.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min 13.0 IBUs
30.00 g Galena [13.00 %] - Boil 25.0 min 11.9 IBUs
30.00 g Galena [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min 4.9 IBUs

1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) - 1.5L Starter

I decided to go ahead with the Pale Chocolate since I just got it and have only used it in one beer. I've got a lot of Victory on hand, but I use it so often I though it'd fun to leave it out this round. I added a small FWH addition to get some smoother bitterness into the beer, only 13 IBU worth. I'm still considering dry-hopping; if I do, it will be with Galena. This is a hop I've come to enjoy as a 30-90 min addition, but I've been wanting to do a single hop beer with it just to see it shine. I threw in a nice dose of Munich just to get more malt flavor, and I was considering using some white wheat malt to up the body. Thoughts anyone?

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Old 09-06-2012, 04:46 AM   #9
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Ehh... I think I'll brew some Tiny Bottom Pale Ale instead...

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