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Old 01-21-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
berley31
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Default How much Crystal is too much?

Planning on brewing an American Amber Ale recipe soon... it calls for 6.6. lbs Pale LME, 2 lbs Crystal 60, and a few hop additions that I don't remember exactly... I think it works out to an IBU of 40-50.

That's a little over 23% of the malt sugar coming from the Crystal 60. Do you think that will be too much, leading to maybe an excessive sweetness for this type of beer? I know not all American Ambers are created equal, but I keep thinking I heard of a % that you shouldn't exceed when adding Crystal...

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Old 01-21-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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I don't usually go over 10-15% crystal. I'm not sure if that's the rule to go by, but it's my personal preference.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:40 AM   #3
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The Crystal/Caramel Wiki lists 20% as a max per batch.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:57 AM   #4
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While I personally have no experience, I have read posts from more experienced brewers that 2# crystal in a 5G batch is too much.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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Crystal 80L will work better in an Amber and a pound should be plenty. I've got a couple porter recipes that use 1.5 lbs total.

As far as percentages go, C60L is about 18 points vs ~36 for LME, so in your recipe the crystal is contributing more like 13%, not 23%.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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Too much crystal, or anything, depends on your personal preference. Some like more. Some like less. Doesn't matter if it's crystal, hops, vanilla, chocolate, smoke, etc.... Personally I would use 1 lb. or less. The style recommends "usually shows a moderate caramel character." 2 lbs. of C60 IMO is more than moderate.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:45 PM   #7
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From our wiki: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...ican_Amber_Ale

I like a big hoppy amber, but there is a definite caramel malt undertone to it. What I have started doing is mixing the crystal malts a bit- so I'd do maybe .5 pound of 40L, and .5 pound of 80L to give it a deeper complexity.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:46 PM   #8
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I am drinking an American Amber now. I put 2 lbs of crystal in it, 1# 10L and 1# 90L. Turned out great. I was told this was too much too, but I really enjoy it .. not too sweet, but I also used the 10L which is more along the line of caraPils, so it won't add too much sweetness.

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:58 PM   #9
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I would say that for an all grain brew, two pounds is quite a lot. For a steep, I don't think it will be a problem. I like just a touch of american chocolate malt in my american amber ale....food for thought.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:23 PM   #10
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I made a highly hopped american IPA that had 2 lbs of crystal 40 and it turned out great. It had quite a bit of hops (6 ounces) and the crystal helped add some malt sweetness to balance out the hops.

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