Hops: Mix & Match?

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DinoCow

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Hey guys,

I'm looking into brewing an American Amber Ale (second brew!) and am having a hard time piecing together the hops. I'm looking for an amber ale that has a pronounced malt flavor, balanced underlying bitterness and a noticeable but not overpowering floral, citrusy, fruity aroma. I've read that using certain combination of hops might create a "muddy" taste. I am going to use pale malt extract + caramel 60, 80, Victory, & Melanoidin grains. I was thinking about using Magnum as my bittering and Willamette + Cascade as my finishing/aroma. Would this combination work well? Any recommendations on when to add the hops? Or maybe other hops that might help suit my need?

Also, what are some common hop combinations (in all the different styles of beer, not just amber ale)? I think it'd be nice to have a loose template to work off of for future recipes.

Thanks!
 

AFAJ Brew Guy

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Centennial and Cascade would be a good combo for an American Amber and may get you what you are looking for. I brewed an Amber earlier this year and I used all Sterling hops. It had a pretty mellow bitterness and a great herbal, citrusy flavor/nose. I enjoyed it, but next time I am going to up the bittering addition a little. It was a little to sweet.
 

SteveM

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I've moved off the very high alpha acid hops for the most part. My normal mix these days is Cascade and Amarillo. Amarillo has a great flavor and aroma, kind of grapefruitish and floral. It might be just what you are looking for. I first had a beer made with it a couple of years ago and have hardly made a batch without it since.
 

histo320

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I've made 2 Ambers, both were clones of a Local Microbrew. I would suggest using Zues and Chinook for bittering. Willamette, Centennial, and Cascade as well. I used Cascade for aroma for one of them.

Just a note, I did bottle an Amber yesterday and I only used Chinook .5 oz at 60, .5 oz at 40, .5 oz at 30, .25 oz at 20. I think, I'll post later when I get off work and check beersmith. When I tasted it it was almost a perfect balance probably a bit more malty than bitter,
 

Beerrific

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I was thinking about using Magnum as my bittering and Willamette + Cascade as my finishing/aroma. Would this combination work well?
Yes, that is an excellent combination choice. Maybe something like this:

Cascade 0.25oz 10min
Willamette 0.25 10min
Cascade 0.25oz 0min
Willamette 0.25 0min

This will give you some citrusy, floral flavor and aroam but should be restrained enough to blend with the malt.
You could add some Cascade for a dry hop, if you think it needs it.

Other combination people tend to use:
Cascade/Centennial
Amarillo/Simcoe

In general I think you really just have to choose hops to blend by taste. In general I think most beers really benefit from one hop type unless you are talking about a hoppy beer. There I just stick with American hop types, they tend to blend well with each other.
 

cclloyd

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I use Centennial, Cascade and Columbus in my amber ale. IMHO Magnum has a harsh bitterness that takes a while to lay down so unless you are going to let it sit for a while I would stay away from that one. Amarillo, Simcoe and Summit are all in the same general flavor profile as the "C" hops that have been mentioned so they would all be ones to consider as well.
 
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