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Old 12-04-2012, 06:44 AM   #1
sinnerman79
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Default All Grain Holiday Amber - critique request

Trying out a holiday amber ale. Would welcome critique of the following recipe.
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Batch size: 20L or 5.28 gallons
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Grain Bill:
Pale malt – 4.5 kg (9.92 lb)
Amber malt – 600g (1.32 lb)
Cara Munich – 500 g (1.10 lb)
Cara Aroma – 500 g (1.10 lb)
Dark roast chocolate malt – 300 g (0.661 lb)
Total: 6.4 kg or ~14 lb
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Target ABV: 6.0% to 7.0% (not sure what my efficiency will be but I am working on a basic bucket with false bottom inside a bucket setup)
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Mash:
Two temperature infusion mash
145F for 30 minutes
155F for 30 minutes
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Boil:
Zythos pellets added three times during a 60 min boil to get to a 25 IBU level
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Dry Hopping:
Nelson Sauvin dry hop (~10g or 0.4 Oz of pellets) for 7 days after 10 days of primary fermentation; objective is to add a bit of a floral wine like aroma in addition to the spices (see below)
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Yeast:
Dry American ale yeast
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Spices:
Not added during boil, but I have made a vodka infusion for a couple of days with a number of holiday spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, cloves, peppercorns)
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Thinking of adding this infusion in after fermentation is done and before bottling

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Why the mash rest at 145? I would just hit 155 and mash until conversion.

I did a spiced lager with cinnamon, all spice, ginger and honey this year and it turned out great. I use a tsp of each spice for a 5 gal batch. I would be afraid the peppercorns would add a "bite" to the brew. I have never used them but also I am not a fan of peppers in my beer either.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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I would think using that much chocolate malt, you might end up with a brown ale. What is your calculator telling you for srm?
Just personal preference, but if it were my Amber Ale recipe, I would bump IBUs a little and do a yeast starter.

Besides that, it looks good. And the 2 temp mash is a nice touch.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:10 AM   #4
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Thanks guys for the comments. Appreciate it. Turns out I did make a mistake and SRM is 38.6 since my malt guy actually used Carafa 3 for the dark roast malt (which I should have realized sooner). Looks like it might be in the stout region now? Malt is crushed and mixed together so I will go ahead with the brew. I have never dealt with stout. Anything you would recommend adjusting in recipe in terms of mash, IBU etc? Not sure if spices still make sense? Also dry hopping with Nelson?

Thanks again for all your help. This is only my fourth all grain brew. Hope to salvage it by making something that still tastes good.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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If you told him it was an Amber ale recipe, why in the world did he use over a half lb of carafa 3, or any carafa 3 at all for that matter?
You might get a muslin bag and steep some flaked oats & a small amount of black patent.
Maybe skip that 145 rest.
If you are set on dry yeast, I'd switch to maybe a nottingham.

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #6
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Be careful with star anise...too much and you really have to wait it out. Maybe try a cinnamon stick with 5 minutes left in the boil. Do you want a strong spice profile or are you using them as a backdrop? If its strong, go ahead as planned, it you want it subtle, I would try at flameout or with 5 minutes left.

Finally, you seem to have a lot going on in your grain bill, not that there is anything wrong with this, but if you are just starting out (guessing since your building a mash tun) I would reduce it a lot so you can make sure your understanding where your flavors are coming from. Just a thought

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Old 12-08-2012, 12:27 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the feedback. I am proceeding as planned earlier and will see what happens.

As for spices I am not adding anything to the boil. Just thinking of adding the spice infused vodka after fermentation. Will bottle some without it and some with it to see the difference.

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