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Hopback Amber Ale

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Kephren

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I took this recipe from BYO Magazine and made some modifications. First, I made a hopback, which is essentially a container to put hops in to siphon hot wort through. There were instructions on how to make it in the magazine, but they seemed overly complicated. I just took a 1/2 gallon thermos and installed spigots on the top and the bottom, then filled it with hops. When I started the siphon, I filled the hopback first with hot wort, otherwise, I probably would have aerated the wort. Here is the recipe, with the mods I made.

(All-grain)
10.3 lbs German Pilsner Malt
2.5 lbs Munich Malt
.25 lbs 20L crystal malt
1 oz chocolate malt
1.2 oz 10.1 AAU Centennial Hops (60 minute boil)
.5 oz ??? AAU Mt. Hood Hops (in hopback)
.5 oz 13.7 AAU Chinook Hops (in hopback)

Single infusion mash for 1 hour at 149F, then mashed out at 170F. Mash efficiency was 62%. Boiled a total of 75 minutes. Pitched White Labs California Ale at 74F from a starter. OG is 1.063 which should bring my ABV to 6-7%. The biggest beer I have made so far.
 
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Kephren

Kephren

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I just racked this from primary to secondary and all I can say is WOW! The hop aroma and flavor is amazing and there is very little bitterness - I thought I didn't use enough hops, but it was perfect. It's a lot like Anchor Steam Liberty Ale. Makes me wish I had used Northern Brewer. I'll definitely do that next time. My gravity right now is 1.014. I can't wait to get this one into the keg!
 

Sir Sudster

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This sounds good! Would you have replaced northern for your bittering hops?
Or all your hops?
 
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Kephren

Kephren

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I think I would have kept the centennial and replaced the chinook w/ northern brewer in the hopback. I love the northern brewer aroma, and based on the smell when I transferred it to the secondary, I think it would have gone really well. It's still in the secondary waiting for keg space in the fridge. I can't wait to try it.
 
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Kephren

Kephren

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Okay.. this one is flowing from the keg. Very intoxicating. I've got a few more pints to go before it clears completely, but overall, it's very nice. It's like a pale ale, but with more hop aroma and less bitterness. The hop flavor really comes through, but it's really not bitter at all. I still should have gone with northern brewer hops, but this will be a very nice warm weather brew. And at 6.4% ABV, I get a nice buzz going.
 

Dude

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Kephren said:
Okay.. this one is flowing from the keg. Very intoxicating. I've got a few more pints to go before it clears completely, but overall, it's very nice. It's like a pale ale, but with more hop aroma and less bitterness. The hop flavor really comes through, but it's really not bitter at all. I still should have gone with northern brewer hops, but this will be a very nice warm weather brew. And at 6.4% ABV, I get a nice buzz going.

I've been wondering if a hopback is worth making....sounds like it is!!!
Good job!

BTW...Where are the moderators? This thread should be on the BEER side.....
 

Rhoobarb

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ORRELSE said:
I've been wondering if a hopback is worth making....sounds like it is!!!...
I saw that issue and wondered the same thing. A hopback may be a weekend project in my very near future! :D
 
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Kephren

Kephren

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Rhoobarb said:
I saw that issue and wondered the same thing. A hopback may be a weekend project in my very near future! :D
I just used a 1/2 gallon thermos and put a spigot in the lid and near the bottom. Seemed to work okay, but it leaks a little bit. The PVC design in the magazine would probably be better.
 
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