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Old 02-10-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default Recipe Check - Simple Amber

Any thoughts about this? I'd like to begin dialing in a nice, simple Amber recipe so I made this in BeerSmith based on some recipe I found and a few turns of my own.

My goal is to make a very easy-drinking amber with low bitterness, good hop aroma and clean finish. I drink a lot of commercial ambers and would like to find/create one that I can make a standard to always have on hand.

That said, I'm sure there are brilliant recipes out there already but I just feel compelled to try to make a recipe. So this is what I came up with - "Simple Amber"

==============================
Style: American Amber Ale
TYPE: Extract

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 4.08 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 15.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 26.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: - %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
6.50 lb Amber Liquid Extract (12.5 SRM) Extract 66.67 %
1.25 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 12.82 %
2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 30L (30.0 SRM) Grain 20.51 %
1.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 26.7 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: None
Total Grain Weight: 10.00 lb
----------------------------
Steep grains as desired (30-60 minutes)

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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you never really wanna go over 10% with your specialty grains, so I would cut back on your crystal. What is your projected SRM? Seems like to is gonna turn out dark...

I like to use all pale extract instead of the amber and color it up with the specialty grains, not to say you cant do it that way...

Another thing you can do is add some honey in at the end of the boil to make it a little more complex and it can give it some nice citrusy flavors which would compliment the cascades. Here is one i did that way http://brewersnotepad.blogspot.com/2...amber-ale.html

cheers

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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Kinda similar to NortherBrewer's American Amber Ale recipe:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewin...tract-kit.html

Except they have 6.3lb amber LME only and 1lb of Caramel 20L. Might want to think about cutting it down to 1lb for the 60L.


Rev.

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
you never really wanna go over 10% with your specialty grains, so I would cut back on your crystal. What is your projected SRM? Seems like to is gonna turn out dark...
In an Amber, your crystal is fine up to 20%. Under 10% is too little really, especially when you can't control the mash. I would also lower the amount of Amber extract and use more pale. If you need more color, use some 80L crystal to give more caramel flavor and color.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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Briess Amber has some Munich in it, which I personally like, so I'd lean toward keeping the Amber but halving the Crystal. But there are several ways to do this.

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Old 02-10-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
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I would lower the crystal malt by at least half a pound...

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Old 02-10-2011, 09:20 PM   #7
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if you want easy drinking, i'd bring it down to 1.050 max.

i agree with reducing the crystal; remember, there's caramel malt in amber syrup.

maybe add 1-2 oz chocolate for color.

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Old 02-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the feedback and advice. I made some tweaks that removed the amber malt extract and reduced the crystal malt to 1.5 pounds and with a few other tweaks, ended up with this...
6.75 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 79.41 %
1.5 lb Caramel Malt - 40L (Briess) (40.0 SRM) Grain 18.18 %
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (60 min) Hops 22.6 IBU
0.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (15 min) Hops 6.2 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops 1.7 IBU
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale

I am expecting an amber, somewhat hoppy-fragrant brew.

When I got to my homebrew shop, the guy looked at my recipe with disgust and said I should remove most of the steeping grains (down to .75lbs). I was suspicious because it would lose all its color since I am only using pale LME. I asked him what other changes he would recommend - I could tell he had something to say and figured he may have good advice, being an experienced brewer and all. But he only said "It will be an Amber, I guess". So I bought all the stuff (while ringing me up, he continued his disgusted look).

Brewed it that night and it made a sweet-smelling yellow wort (I'd estimate the SRM at about 7-8). It's been fermenting for a couple days so far and the bubbles smell nice out of the airlock. I'm sure it will be beer-like. I'm mostly disappointed with the color. I have no idea what the flavor will turn out like - I can't taste the warm wort and predict - just not experienced enough for that.

Any predictions?

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Old 02-15-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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The guy was probably worried the beer would be too sweet, and he's not wrong in the concern. I don't think you're off the charts here, but that is a good bit of Crystal.

I calculate you're around 11 SRM, which is on the lighter side of Amber. You could have used half as much Crystal 40 and a couple ounces of darker stuff to get a darker color. Something like Chocolate malt brings a ton of color per ounce.

I still think the beer will taste good.

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Old 02-15-2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
The guy was probably worried the beer would be too sweet, and he's not wrong in the concern. I don't think you're off the charts here, but that is a good bit of Crystal.

I calculate you're around 11 SRM, which is on the lighter side of Amber. You could have used half as much Crystal 40 and a couple ounces of darker stuff to get a darker color. Something like Chocolate malt brings a ton of color per ounce.

I still think the beer will taste good.
I wish he would have said so, then. I feel like I opened the door for suggestions and criticism by asking for his input. I'll drink it, so it won't be wasted, but after about 45 bucks in ingredients, I hate to miss too much. Maybe next time I should stick to a 'known good' recipe and use that as a baseline for changes rather than trying too hard to 'make it my own'.
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