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Old 05-19-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
onipar
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Default amber beer

I started a thread a couple days ago asking for suggestions on what beer I should try brewing next, and based on my likes, someone recommended an Amber Ale.

I wanted to try that style first, so I went to the store and bought the only amber ale they had: Troegs hopback amber beer

I don't like a very hoppy/bitter beer. Now, I knew when I purchased this one it would be hoppy (It is called "Hop Back" after all), but I guess what I'm wondering is, is this normal for an amber, or are they usually less bitter?

The IBU on the site says this is 55.

Overall I actually quite like the beer, as the bitter doesn't seem *that* bitter since it's also a bit sweet. But if I brew an amber i would like to go less hop-heavy.

Thanks.

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Old 05-19-2011, 10:42 PM   #2
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Ambers will vary from distributor to distributor; from my (admittedly limited) exposure to Troeg's selection, I think they tend to gravitate towards the recent trend of hoppier beers, hence this version. In my experience, I'd put a "typical" amber as something akin to a sweeter and darker pale ale. I think 55IBU is towards the upper end of the typical amber spectrum, so toning it down a bit when you make it would certainly be acceptable.

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Old 05-19-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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Right on, thanks smagee. I knew going in it'd be hoppier than I wanted, but unfortunately, the supermarket isn't known for a great variety of beer.

I'm trying to sample a bunch of different styles before choosing my next batch to brew, but finding beer that isn't highly hopped is proving harder than I thought. We may just go with another wheat (our first batch is a Belgian White).

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Old 05-20-2011, 05:07 AM   #4
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Yeah, due to the recent I(I)PA craze in the US, it's getting somewhat challenging to find decent PAs and Ambers (not to mention browns, bitters, etc.) in non-specialty shops. I like my hops and have been riding the wave happy, but there comes a time when a nice amber sounds awfully refreshing. Then again, I suppose that hunt for the right beer is what keeps us coming here, eh?

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Old 05-20-2011, 12:10 PM   #5
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When you decide on your first amber attempt, consider this recipe. It's my wife's favorite, and it comes in around 40 IBUs. It's more about the unique caramel tones than hoppiness.

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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Smagee, Hunting for the perfect beer *is* half the fun.

Thanks, carrotmalt. I'll file that recipe away for when I get to AG. I'm hoping by this time next year I'll have the money for the equipment, and the know-how to do it.

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Old 05-20-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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Can you find Bell's Amber Ale? It's not what I would call hoppy.

To me ambers are supposed to be balanced, I mean if it's too hoppy it should be considered an IPA....it's pretty much in a lot of ways the same grainbill, just with a different hopping ratio.

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Old 05-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Can you find Bell's Amber Ale? It's not what I would call hoppy.

To me ambers are supposed to be balanced, I mean if it's too hoppy it should be considered an IPA....it's pretty much in a lot of ways the same grainbill, just with a different hopping ratio.
I'll look for that, Revvy. I'll admit to having been lazy yesterday--when I got the Troegs--and only checked the supermarket. I'm sure I could find more varieties at the distributor.

TO me it tasted *almost* balanced. The perceived bitterness was less than an IPA due to the sweetness of the Amber, but it still had more of a forward hop aroma and taste than I was looking for.

My brother took one look at the label (which has a giant hop on it) and said, "Why would you buy this?"
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