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Looking for input on imperial amber ale recipe

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My wife asked me if I could brew an imperial amber ale. After doing some reading I modified my standard amber ale and came up with this recipe below. I would like to hear any input/comments you might have about modifications/changes I should make. I was thinking of using 2 packs of US-05 yeast since this will be a higher gravity beer.

Fear the Red Menace
8 lbs two-row malt
5 lbs munich malt
4 lbs vienna malt
8 oz crystal 40L
8 oz crystal 60L
4 oz crystal 80L
4 oz special B
4 oz victory malt
2 oz centennial hops (first wort 60 min)
1 oz cascade hops 10 min
1 oz centennial 5 min
1 oz cascade 5 min
1 oz cascade flame out

63 IBU's, 1.092 SG

I will probably keep this in the primary for 4 weeks and then transfer to the secondary for 8 weeks before botlling.
 

Dave_K

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Why so long in the secondary? You could just let it condition in the bottle for 8 Weeks or more if you can wait that long.
Are you planing to add some higher gravity yeast at bottling time? In my experience US-05 gives up in the bottle when I'm above 9% abv, and just won't fully carb no matter how much time I give it.

The recipe sounds good to me. Nice complex malt profile with enough bitterness to balance the sweetness. But i'm sure there's plenty of people on here with more experience that can chime in on that.
 
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Thanks for the reply. I had planned on kepping this is the secondary for a long time because my wife wants this on one of her beer taps instead of being bottled. I think this is too high of an abv for kegging but since she tolerates my brewing I want to keep her happy.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I had planned on kepping this is the secondary for a long time because my wife wants this on one of her beer taps instead of being bottled. I think this is too high of an abv for kegging but since she tolerates my brewing I want to keep her happy.
It is a higher OG beer, but if you're really thinking of 12 weeks in a fermenter before kegging it, it will have NO hops flavor or aroma by then as it will be pretty well aged. If that is what she wants, that's fine of course, but this doesn't look like a barleywine recipe.

I like the hopping, and I'd want to preserve that. I'd leave it in the fermenter for 2-3 weeks, and then keg it so that it doesn't lose all that citrusy hops flavor and aroma before drinking.
 

Dave_K

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Thanks for the reply. I had planned on kepping this is the secondary for a long time because my wife wants this on one of her beer taps instead of being bottled. I think this is too high of an abv for kegging but since she tolerates my brewing I want to keep her happy.
Ah ok. You had originally said you were bottling after secondary, but you'll be fine kegging.
I brew a lot of 8+% beers and I'll usually keg some of it.
I've got a homemade draft system with 5L mini kegs, and my imperials taste great out if it.
 

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This looks delicious. What I do not follow is why not keg imperial ales? Is that a thing or a preference? I am new to kegging.
 

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I was going to start the mash at 153-154 becuase I lose 1-2 degrees over 60 minutes in my big mashtun.
Yeah, I lose 2 degrees too, so starting a bit higher seems to work best. I use a 52qt Coleman Extreme cooler. Just doughing in drops me 4 degrees under target unless I compensate. I haven't put it in BS yet, but 154 sounds better than 152 to balance all those hops.

Would 1/2 of each be ideal or should I go with just one type of hop for dryhopping and use a full oz?
If you like Simcoe it may make it very special, adding that slight dankness. 1/2 oz of each is too much. Maybe start with 1/4 oz each first. You can always add more later if you're underwhelmed. It's an Amber not a Pale Ale.

Have you considered replacing the 2-row with half Maris Otter or Golden Promise and the other half with Pale Malt?

When are you brewing this?
 
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Yeah, I lose 2 degrees too, so starting a bit higher seems to work best. I use a 52qt Coleman Extreme cooler. Just doughing in drops me 4 degrees under target unless I compensate. I haven't put it in BS yet, but 154 sounds better than 152 to balance all those hops.



If you like Simcoe it may make it very special, adding that slight dankness. 1/2 oz of each is too much. Maybe start with 1/4 oz each first. You can always add more later if you're underwhelmed. It's an Amber not a Pale Ale.

Have you considered replacing the 2-row with half Maris Otter or Golden Promise and the other half with Pale Malt?

When are you brewing this?
1. Do you like using that 52 qt Coleman Extreme cooler as a mashtun? I have been wanting to upgrade the size of the one I own and 2 quarts would give me plenty of room to do a 10 gallon size batch for most beers.

2. I do have some maris otter and golden promise that I could use. Do you think it would be best to go: 1/2 2-row 1/2 MO, 1/2 2-row 1/2 GP or 1/2 MO and 1/2 GP?

I hope to have this brewed in early June in order to have ready for the fall.
 

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This looks like it's going to be very malty rich in the end. I'd like to recommend mash low (147-148) or cut the base malts with 6-8% sugar to dry this out some (or both).
 

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You could. You'll end up with a 1.085 beer or something like that. I'd still recommend mashing 150 max. Get a nice fermentable wort. It'll end up nice!
 

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I entered your recipe into BS and mashing at 152 brings the FG at 1.019, while mashing at 148 puts it at 1.014. I entered 4# MO and 4# Pale Malt instead of the 8# of 2-row. It's a rich malt bill, hopefully it won't be muddled. As style I used American Barleywine to get some idea where it scales. This beer needs some serious aging, I'm afraid. And controlled temps. It comes in at 10% so that's safe for US-05.

Are you planning on using pure oxygen or just wing it with good shaking?

I like my 52qt Extreme mash cooler ("5-day cooler" type) with its cpvc manifold. It's easy to stir and lots of room for all 5 gallon batches. The grain bed is not crazy deep, like in those round rubbermaid tuns. Because the spigot is in a recessed well the dead space is about nil. But it also comes in under a slight angle and is so close to the bottom it was hard to get a good bulkhead seal using a PVC spacer-tube to give the area some body to screw down on. I used a lot of silicone to get it tight and added more a few weeks ago after I found a small drip. I have some pix if you want to see it.

They make a slightly better Extreme version (a "6-day cooler") that has thicker walls. Probably worth checking out. If you do 10 gallon batches routinely a bigger one is better, like 70-100 qt. Those white Marine Igloos look really good.
 
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I entered your recipe into BS and mashing at 152 brings the FG at 1.019, while mashing at 148 puts it at 1.014. I entered 4# MO and 4# Pale Malt instead of the 8# of 2-row. It's a rich malt bill, hopefully it won't be muddled. As style I used American Barleywine to get some idea where it scales. This beer needs some serious aging, I'm afraid. And controlled temps. It comes in at 10% so that's safe for US-05.

Are you planning on using pure oxygen or just wing it with good shaking?

I like my 52qt Extreme mash cooler ("5-day cooler" type) with its cpvc manifold. It's easy to stir and lots of room for all 5 gallon batches. The grain bed is not crazy deep, like in those round rubbermaid tuns. Because the spigot is in a recessed well the dead space is about nil. But it also comes in under a slight angle and is so close to the bottom it was hard to get a good bulkhead seal using a PVC spacer-tube to give the area some body to screw down on. I used a lot of silicone to get it tight and added more a few weeks ago after I found a small drip. I have some pix if you want to see it.

They make a slightly better Extreme version (a "6-day cooler") that has thicker walls. Probably worth checking out. If you do 10 gallon batches routinely a bigger one is better, like 70-100 qt. Those white Marine Igloos look really good.
I think I am going to have to really rethink what I want to get out of this recipe. If I age it for the malt flavors to develop then I will be losing much of the hop aroma of the late additions. So I either need to cut back on the malt if I want this ready sooner or I need to cut back on the hops if I plan to age this longer. Thanks for doing the detailed analysis of this on Beersmith.

I found a 70 qt Coleman extreme cooler on Craigs List for $15. It is is fairly good shape and has the recessed plug hole you described. I use a stainless steel braid hose with a voile cloth cover for extra filtration. It looks pretty straight forward to convert.

Where did you find the silicon to use for sealing your cooler? Is there such a thing as food grade silicon?
 

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I've been thinking this over as well. I like heavier ambers, with that Caramel Amber being among the best. So this is something I would like to brew too.

Aging high gravity malty ales is the tradition but this is not a traditional ale. Cascade and Centennial are bright hops, they taste best young. With a good malt bill they'll balance nicely. Maybe 1.094 is a bit over the top but worth the experiment as long as temps are low and well controlled. With age (3-12 months) the character of the beer will change toward complex aged maltiness subduing the upfront hops, probably still great for Fall. I'd say aim for drinking it fresh within 1-2 months, tops. It will be something really good. And different. Have you found any other Imperial Amber recipes?

Yeah, the 70 quart coolers are the ticket. Can't beat that price either. I went with the cpvc manifold build for better drainage, and don't regret that. A HERMS/RIMS is in the future, since I like step mashes and dead-on repeatable temps. I knocked it loose only once, so revision 2.0 (side supports) needs to be implemented. Or just be more careful stirring.

I used regular window/bath silicone (DAP) since not much is exposed, it's all behind the silicone seal/stainless washer, except a narrow ooze-edge. I heard that aquarium silicone is fish (and food) safe. No algaecides, etc. Walmart may even have it.
 

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I've played with this idea a bit.

1.092 is probably high for this. I do mine more akin to an IPA. I shoot for dryness. Try aiming for 1.070's OG and around 1.014 FG. I used wlp007 and a lot of it.

Don't mix too many caramalts and aim for 10-15% of grist total. Hop it late like you would an IPA. Bring your initial bittering charge down from where you'd put your IPA. figure around 60IBU for a 1.080 brew. It works well if you use fruity hops late.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/imperial-amber-v2-jenny-punk-464199/

that's my new version. After some mellowing the first version of that beer made me think of pineapple pound cake. I made changes to get more bitterness and a better caramel flavor in V2. In hindsight I would reduce the chinook down some. I used Magnum on the first go and it was way too smooth. I may be overcompensating on the chinook in V2.
 
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Here is the latest revision based on input from this thread. Still not sure if I have enough Munich to make it interesting or too much Munich. I will probably try to mash in the 148-150 F range for 75 minutes. Thoughts?

7 lbs 2-row
5 lbs Vienna
2 lbs Munich
8 oz C 60L
8 oz C 80L
4 oz Victory
4 oz Special B
1.25 oz Centennial (First Wort Hop 60 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (10 min)
1.00 oz Centennial (5 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (5 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (flame out)
0.75 oz Centennial (flame out)

SG 1.078, 52 IBUs
 

RonPopeil

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You have a healthy dose of Vienna in there so melanoidens will be high even with the amount of munich you have.
 

RonPopeil

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Well that's up to you. Most of your grist is Vienna, Munich and Victory so you have a bready base and you're blending several caramalts so I would expect this to be a bit of a malt hammer. I posted my recipe and it seems we have quite different ideas on this beer. I say rock it. Our ideas are almost polar opposite so passed experience probably doesn't mean much.
 
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