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Old 02-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
rancidcrabtree
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Default Recipe Critique, Amber Ale

I'm brewing an amber this weekend, here's what I'm thinking of doing... Any thoughts?? I am open to suggestions and willing to make changes.

Original Gravity: 1.049 Final Gravity: 1.014 ABV: 4.59% IBU: 31.47 SRM: 13.21

Fermentables
Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %

9.5 lb Pale 2-Row 37 1.8 79.17%
0.7 lb Victory 34 28 4.17%
1 lb Munich Dark 37 15.5 8.33%
1 lb Crystal 80L 33 80 8.33%

Hops
Amount Variety Time AA Type Use

1 oz UK Kent Golding 60 min 5.8 Pellet Boil
0.5 oz Willamette 10 min 4.7 Pellet Boil
0.5 oz Willamette 0 min 4.7 Pellet Boil
0.5 oz UK Kent Golding 0 min 5.8 Pellet Dry Hop
0.5 oz UK Kent Golding 60 min 5.8 Pellet First Wort

Mash Steps
Amount Temp Time

15 qt 152° F 60 min

Other Ingredients
Amount Name Time Type Use

25 oz Irish Moss 15 min Fining Boil
9 oz Burton Water Salts 60 min Water Agt Boil

Yeast
Fermentis / Safale - Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05
Attenuation (avg):72%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temperature: 59°F - 75°F

Starter:
No

Water Chemistry: St Cloud Tap Water
Ca+2 Mg+2 SO4-2 Na+ Cl- HCO3-

102 28 35 11 20 90

Notes
Home-made victory malt:
toast 0.7lb of 2-Row in oven for 15 mins @ 300°

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Old 02-23-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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I make a lot of Ambers and the suggestions below are what create the Ambers that I enjoy.

IMO i would bump the amount of munich up by .25 - .5 lb as well as the victory. I tend to want a little higher OG between 1.055 -1.06 and add about 15-25 IBU depending on where in that range you fall. I would also drop to a lower crystal c-40, c-60 I personally use ablend of the two. Depending on how much body you like I tend to mash at 154* for ambers ,i also pick a yeast particularly with the use of english hops that throws more fruity esters and english character.

Again this makes the ambers I like but they are a very broad class and this route might not be the direction that you will want to take

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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Hi crackhead, thanks for the reply! I'm guessing the actual OG will be a bit higher, I have the efficiency set at 60% for the above calculation (because that's what I've been getting), but I just my barley crusher and I'm hoping to get closer to 70% with a better crush. What kind of a difference do you think subbing the C-80 for 40/60 would make? I have a packet of Windsor that I could sub for the 05 as well, do you think that would compliment the hops better? Also, what do you think of the Burton salts? I've never used them, I just threw them into the recipe because I have them on hand. Thanks again!

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Old 02-24-2012, 02:43 AM   #4
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I am wondering if you can pick-up some efficiency points to get the OG higher. Are you following a style to get the types of grains you are using? I am trying to learn recipe making and your approach may be helpful to me.

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Old 02-24-2012, 03:00 AM   #5
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With the suggestions of more Munich and victory you will have more malt back bone from those grains and will need less of an impact from the crystal. The c 80 has more of a raisin slightly burnt taste where the c 40/60 will add more of a sweet Carmel toffee flavor that I think it balances with the full malt profile of Munich and the toasty nutty bready victory. I would stick with the 05 over the Windsor id be worried that it might not attenuate low enough. The Burton salts could work but its hard to know your results unless you know your water profile. 05 is a clean yeast and will make an excellent amber, i like wy1332, wlp 007, wlp 013, and nottinham(@ 64 to 66*)If you already have hard water I would take a conservative approach with the salts. My objective with an amber is to really balance the hop flavor and bitterness with the strong malt backbone so to much could throw that balance out of wack

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Old 02-24-2012, 03:24 AM   #6
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My total hardness is 130 mg/L, or at least it was in December. My tap water is fairly neutral tasting, I've made good beer with it before. The only reason I would even think of trying the Burton salts is because I had a Burton ale at a craft beer expo recently and I liked it a lot. Unfortunately I had it towards the end of the expo so I can't exactly remember what it was that I liked so much about it... I saw the salts at my LHBS today and grabbed them, just kind of a last minute thing. My water profile is posted with the original recipe but I have zero experience with brewing salts so I have no idea what the mixture of my water and the salts will end up being like.

I'm not entirely sure where I came up with the C-80, I guess I was thinking of something middle of the road, enough to contribute some color but not to be overbearing on the overall flavor. I'm on the fence about keeping it or else subbing some 60. I don't want to go as low as 40, I've been using a lot in my IPA's lately and I want something with a little more kick.

Thanks for the advice on the yeast, I'll stick with the 05! My hope is to get a much better efficiency than 60% now that I'll be crushing my own grain. I'm excited to see how it goes!

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Old 02-24-2012, 03:43 AM   #7
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I have a monster mill and just cranked the gap down to .39 from .42 and when from 70% to just over 75%.sorry missed the water profile in the original post. I would cut the salts in half. By all means stick with the c 80 I just offering my thoughts on how I see and like ambers you can always adjust in your next batch if you need to. This is a beer I have brewed at least 5 times a year I am trying to dial exactly what I want it to be. I tweak it a little each time but its by far my most requested and complimented beer. 40 is def a staple for my IPAs, I also use biscuit malt in my amber as well and a smidge of roasted barley 2-3 oz.

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Old 02-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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I'm concerned about the water salts- you may really increase your alkalinity, if the salts can dissolve, and that sure seems like an awful thing to do. I also think the amount would be criticial.

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #9
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Hi Yooper! The salts are sitting next to me on my coffee table, I ended up skipping them. I plugged my local water numbers into the water chemistry app on brewers friend and they came up as "good for amber beer (50-150 ppm Alkalinity)" so I decided to leave it be. Right now I'm currently towards the end of the slowest sparge I've ever done, going on an hour right now. Really hoping for a better efficiency this time!

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Old 02-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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what did you finally end up going with as to your recipie? I am brewing Mt hood/ columbus pale ale tomorrow.

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