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Old 11-06-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
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Default Please help with Amber Rye tweaking

I brewed this as my first attempt at AG, and I believe it went well. so well that some family members asked me to brew more. Before I order my ingredients I would like some input from you folks:

1: To maintain a malty sweetness should I change out the Crystal Rye for a more conventional Crystal and use Chocolate Rye or Flaked rye instead? If so which Crystal? Which Rye?

2: Any input on hops substitutions? Is there a hop that you think would play better with the flavor profile?

3: Yeast Substitutions? The Irish left it a bit too toffee/butterscotchy. How would a traditional American or English play with these grains?

Grain Bill:
  • 10 lbs American 2 Row
  • 6 oz. Crystal Rye
  • 8 oz. Amber Malt
  • 2 oz Light Roasted Barley
  • 1 oz Palisade (bittering)
  • 1 oz Horizon (flavor and Aroma)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Irish Moss
  • White Labs Irish Ale yeast

Doughed in and mashed for 1 hour at 156-159f.

Boiled one hour with 1 oz Palisade

45 minutes in added Irish moss

50 minutes in added 1/2 oz Horizon

58 minutes in added 1/2 oz Horizon

Pulled hops, chilled and pitched yeast at 78f

OG: 1.045

FG: 1.011

Tasting notes:

Light brown/red/blonde, clear. Foamy head with little retention

Malty on the nose light caramel, butterscotch and cinnamon

Opens with slight sweetness with round mouthfeel, biscuity, caramel. finishes bitter, slightly hoppy, spicy and dry (from Rye?)
Well rounded and balanced brew, lingers with dry astringency, possibly slightly medicinal.

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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If you want to taste the rye more you can swap in some malted rye for some of the 2-row (I don't get much rye flavor from the specialy malts since they are such small amounts). Swaping out the yeast and/or lowering the mash temp will certainly help to reduce the sweetness, American and English yeasts would be fine choices for a recipe like this.

All of the changes you suggested are fine depending on what you want the beer to taste like. If this is a recipe you really want to dial in just make one or two changes each batch so you can really taste the differnece between the yeasts/hops/malts, that way you'll be able to apply it to other beers you brew.

Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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If you are interested in the rye, I would try rye malt like Oldsock is suggesting. I have a rye ale on tap (20% rye) and have noticed no significant rye flavor but get a certain roundness and creaminess in the mouthfeel. It seems to mute the carbonation a bit, so I might increase it because I was expecting something crisp and drier from the rye. My beer was OG=1.046 and finished lower than yours at 1.008, using US-05.

As for yeast, I would look first at your fermentation temperature. If you pitched at 78F, that would explain some of the flavors you are describing. Diacetyl (toffee/butterscotch) and phenols (spicy-cinnamon, medicinals) all formed during your fermentation, even if the temperature came down after pitching. The fact that you taste these in the beer is evidence that the levels were too high for the yeast to reabsorb/breakdown and it's left in your final product. A cleaner yeast (ie American US-05 or the like) would not help you even at the same temperatures.
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