American Amber Ale Zach & Jack's African Amber

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ohiodad

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
SA-04
Yeast Starter
Nope
Batch Size (Gallons)
5.5
Original Gravity
1.055
Final Gravity
1.014
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
32.4
Color
12
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14
This is a clone of the famous Mac & Jack's African Amber. Adapted from a BYO recipe. Added a few more hops and a little more color. Anxious to see how this one turns out...

Zach & Jack's African Amber
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 1/21/2008
Style: American Amber Ale Brewer: Ohiodad
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 7.00 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Actual Efficiency: 77.09 %
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 77.27 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.55 %
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (60 min) Hops 29.2 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops 3.2 IBU
1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (dry hop) 14 days
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile Estimated Original Gravity: 1.054 SG (1.045-1.056 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014 SG (1.010-1.015 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Color: 12.0 SRM (11.0-18.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 32.4 IBU (20.0-40.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 10.0 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.16 % (4.50-5.70 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 6.52 %
Actual Calories: 240 cal/pint


Mash Profile Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Mash Tun Weight: 9.00 lb
Mash Grain Weight: 11.00 lb Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
Sparge Water: 5.13 gal Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE

Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 13.75 qt of water at 167.1 F 155.0 F 60 min


Mash Notes
Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar Carbonation Volumes: 2.4 (2.3-2.8 vols)
Estimated Priming Weight: 4.2 oz Temperature at Bottling: 60.0 F
Primer Used: - Age for: 4.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Oops.. removed the retired part!! A friend of mine who used to bring these back from the NW for me told me they stopped making this one.. Guess he was wrong! Sorry to cause the alarm!
 

Brewtopia

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Originally posted by ohiodad
This is a clone of the famous but now retired Mac & Jack's African Amber.
Definitely not retired in the Seattle area. African Amber is very much alive. :(

Mac & Jack's also dry hops every keg of African Amber with Cascades.
 

Brentk14

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Ya, you just scared the crap out of me saying it was retired. Then I realized I was just drinking it this weekend. Not retired in little ol' Medford, OR.
 
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rabidgerbil

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Brentk14 said:
Ya, you just scared the crap out of me saying it was retired. Then I realized I was just drinking it this weekend. Not retired in little ol' Medford, OR.

Same here. I just dialed up their office phone number just to make sure that something had not happened. The brewery is definitely still there, and I just can't see them dumping their flagship beer. I know that they brew other things, a wheat, a porter, and IPA, but the simple fact is, if you walk into a bar here in Seattle and ask for a Mac and Jacks, you are pretty much going to get an African Amber.
 

Brentk14

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To me, its the best tasting beer I have tried. I am going to try to make a clone of it this weekend. The best part about it is the hop aroma to it. I am def tossing some hops into the keg with it. I did it with my white chocolate pale that I just kegged and it makes all the difference in the world.
 
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ohiodad

ohiodad

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Brentk14 said:
To me, its the best tasting beer I have tried. I am going to try to make a clone of it this weekend. The best part about it is the hop aroma to it. I am def tossing some hops into the keg with it. I did it with my white chocolate pale that I just kegged and it makes all the difference in the world.
Yeah well you talked me into dry hopping it too.. I threw in an ounce of cascade pellets for a week or 2.. We'll see how this turns out :)
 

iahebert

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Sure enough, they're still open. They actually expanded their brewery as well, so it's a bit bigger. Last time I was down there, they had only been expanded for about 1 1/2 days and some of the brewers had been working for 30hrs straight! Talk about devotion.

They did discontinue their IPA as a result of the hop "shortage" but they claim something will be coming in its wake.

The serengeti wheat is quite tasty (love to get my hands on a clone of that) and the Black Cat porter is also good.

Occasionally they'll participate in a cask festival and come up with something new and exciting. I had a Black Pepper IPA (fantastic) and a Vanilla porter, which tasted like what you'd get if you mixed cream soda and porter... ok, but not great.
 

mongrell

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I worked there for a while. Now I cant stand the stuff.

Say African Amber is a beautiful woman, after you see her spread out on a concrete floor smelling like vinigar you can never look at her the same.

Still a fan of the porter and wheat, their IPA was a big disapointment from day one to me however glad to see it go.
 
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ohiodad

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Just an update on this recipe it came out absolutely fantastic.. It is a touch on the hoppy side past Mac & Jack's but wow did it come out great.. I think the oz of cascade dry hops made it even better! Definitely going to be a repeat brew.
 
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ohiodad

ohiodad

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Just an update on this recipe it came out absolutely fantastic.. It is a touch on the hoppy side past Mac & Jack's but wow did it come out great.. I think the oz of cascade dry hops made it even better! Definitely going to be a repeat brew.

Another update on this one... I made the recipe again and this time I used all whole hops instead of the pellets I used to dry hop last time. It came out even better this time... My brother-in-law requested that this one be available all the time. I'm very pleased with it.
 

ChshreCat

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Oh man, I'll be saving this recipe to try later.

I was on a business training and we had a couple beers with lunch. The place we went had African Amber on a nitro pour. It was amazing that way. Anyone who does this that has the gear for nitro... go for it!
 

GroosBrewz

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Hey Mac and Jacks fans-

I have a 5 gallon batch of this beer bottled right now.. It;s been 5 days and tonight I am gonna pop one and give it a try.. Cant wait! (Though I have a bad cold and I am afraid I wont be able to taste or smell anything).. I'll let ya know how it is..

Here is the recipe in my Beersmith
BeerSmith Recipe Printout - BeerSmith Brewing Software, Recipes, Blog, Wiki and Discussion Forum
Recipe: Mac and Jacks Clone
Brewer: Chris Hiles
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Amber Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.064 SG (I undershot, as usual 1.055)
Estimated FG: 1.106 (I hit 1.016)
Estimated Color: 12.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 32.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
7 lbs 0.2 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 60.87 %
2 lbs 0.1 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 17.39 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 8.70 %
1 lbs Munich Malt (10.0 SRM) Grain 8.70 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.35 %
1.00 oz Cascade [7.20 %] (Dry Hop 14 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Centennial [8.00 %] (60 min) Hops 26.4 IBU
0.23 oz Centennial [9.40 %] (60 min) Hops 6.4 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) (Aroma Hop-SteepHops -
1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-SteepHops -
1 Pkgs British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 11.53 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 3.60 gal of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F



I have a few variations from Ohio Dad's Recipe, but it's pretty close (I used two different pale malts because I had a few pounds of each laying around that I wanted to use up)
 

GroosBrewz

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Another update on this one... I made the recipe again and this time I used all whole hops instead of the pellets I used to dry hop last time. It came out even better this time... My brother-in-law requested that this one be available all the time. I'm very pleased with it.
I used whole hops in the 2ndary as well because I had no cascade pellets.. I am glad to hear that you felt it made your beer better! Hopefully it will have the same e:mug:ffect on mine
 
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ohiodad

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I used whole hops in the 2ndary as well because I had no cascade pellets.. I am glad to hear that you felt it made your beer better! Hopefully it will have the same e:mug:ffect on mine
I've used both whole and pellets with favorable results... Hope the recipe turns out well for you!! This is one of my most requested brews... It is very drinkable and enjoyable!
 

cubbyandmel

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I am brand new to brewing and working on my first brew. For my second, I am going to try this recipe but I wanted to know what you use for priming sugar on bottling day. I have heard corn sugar, DME, dextrose, maltodextrine, etc. Do you use one or a cominbation of both?
 
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ohiodad

ohiodad

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I am brand new to brewing and working on my first brew. For my second, I am going to try this recipe but I wanted to know what you use for priming sugar on bottling day. I have heard corn sugar, DME, dextrose, maltodextrine, etc. Do you use one or a cominbation of both?
I use corn sugar for priming.
 

GroosBrewz

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Well, this brew has been bottled for a couple weeks now.. My overall impression is that it is significantly more hoppy than the original Amber Ale.. this could be due to a combination of factors.. #1 being that OhioDad's recipe did jack up the hops a little and also I got really sh*&#y efficiency in this batch, so less sugars with the same hops is going to be pretty hoppy.. All the fruity, grapefruity, citrusy tastes are present however.. At least one person who drank it recognized that it tasted like MAc and Jacks, so that is good... I am going to brew this again, hopefully with better efficiency and a few less hops and see if it works.. I highly recommend the British Ale yeast for this clone.. It really does make a difference.. Thanks for the recipe OhioDad!
 

dr_finklestein

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This looks promising. I used the BYO recipe which doesn't seem to match the original AA color. I am going to use this recipe next and see what I get.
 

BeerMeChasay

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You think this will turn out pretty good if I do an extract version? I'm thinking of going and picking up my ingredients soon and this looked like a good recipe. I already converted in Beersmith but just wondering your thoughts


Well i decided to do this but a little different. This is the variation that I'm brewing right now. Its about 10 mins in:

Steep:
1 lb - Munich Malt
.5 lb - Caraplis
.5 lb - Crystal 80 L

7 lbs - Pale LME
1 lb - Briess Light DME

1 oz. - Centennial - 60 min
.5 oz. - Centennial - 15 min
1 oz - Cascade - 5 min
1.5 oz - Cascade - O min

Hope it turns out good. What you guys think?
 

BeezBrew

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Well you're going to be overshooting your gravity, Mac & Jack's is 1.060, so maybe decrease the amount of LME to 6 lbs. Your recipe is also going to produce a very hoppy beer, much more hoppy than the African Amber. But if you're ok with it, go for it.
 

humann_brewing

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Well you're going to be overshooting your gravity, Mac & Jack's is 1.060, so maybe decrease the amount of LME to 6 lbs. Your recipe is also going to produce a very hoppy beer, much more hoppy than the African Amber. But if you're ok with it, go for it.
I did a clone of this that came out a bit over, I think I hit 1.067 and it tastes a bit different that the original but still a good beer for sure.

I love your sig, "miss the northwest" I certainly do too. Where were you at up there?
 

Picobrew

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This is finally tapped and it is delicious! Very drinkable, nice gentle hop bite and maltiness. I was worried because all the samples (while dry hopping) were terrible and tasted like an Arnold Palmer.

So far, this is a winner. I'll let you know my real opinion after I have a few gallons.

Is this available by the bottle anywhere? I have only ever had it on tap and can't recalling seeing Mac & Jack at the beer shops.
 

Yooper

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I just mashed in on this! I didn't have any crystal 80L, and it was a spur of the moment brewday, so I used 14 ounces of 40L and added 2 ounces of special B. Hopefully, it'll approximate the 80L somewhat, at least in color.
 

desertbronze

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This is finally tapped and it is delicious! Very drinkable, nice gentle hop bite and maltiness. I was worried because all the samples (while dry hopping) were terrible and tasted like an Arnold Palmer.

So far, this is a winner. I'll let you know my real opinion after I have a few gallons.

Is this available by the bottle anywhere? I have only ever had it on tap and can't recalling seeing Mac & Jack at the beer shops.
I believe that it is only available in kegs. I have never seen any bottled beer from Mac and Jack's.
 

ChshreCat

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I believe that it is only available in kegs. I have never seen any bottled beer from Mac and Jack's.
Yep. Mac and Jack's doesn't bottle anything. You can get growlers from the brewery, but that's as close as you'll get unless you get a keg and beer gun it yourself.
 
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ohiodad

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Just drinking one of the latest 10 gallon batch of this and I can honestly say that in spring/summer this truly has become my favorite brew I make.. Just so drinkable in so many ways!! Glad you all are enjoying it!!
 

BeezBrew

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I did a clone of this that came out a bit over, I think I hit 1.067 and it tastes a bit different that the original but still a good beer for sure.

I love your sig, "miss the northwest" I certainly do too. Where were you at up there?
Seattle, was doing my undergrad at UW. I wish i was this into beers when i lived there instead of having my eyes opened here on the east coast. Oh well, can't complain.
 

GroosBrewz

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I just mashed in on this! I didn't have any crystal 80L, and it was a spur of the moment brewday, so I used 14 ounces of 40L and added 2 ounces of special B. Hopefully, it'll approximate the 80L somewhat, at least in color.
Hey Yoop-

Hows the brew going?? Have you had any samples yet?

I have made 4 batches of this beer up to this point and each has gotten a little better and a little closer to the original.... It is my all time favorite beer to brew and drink.. Have you ever been out to the northwest and tried the real Mac and Jacks African Amber Ale?? Or maybe they have it where you live?
 

BrewMeister49

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this is my favorite brew. i grew up near the brewery and now that i brew, i keep it on tap alllll the time!!! I follow the AG version of the BYO and you cannot tell the difference at all! I even did a side by side!!
 

TheAleMaster

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Kind of a newb question, but when you say:

1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min)

What does the 0 min mean? Does it mean the hops are adding when the boil is done as the wort is cooling? Or do they go into primary and then the dry hopping is done in the secondary?
 

humann_brewing

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Kind of a newb question, but when you say:

1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min)

What does the 0 min mean? Does it mean the hops are adding when the boil is done as the wort is cooling? Or do they go into primary and then the dry hopping is done in the secondary?
This means when you turn off your burner or heat source for your boil just before you begin to cool your wort.

Some may do a little more by whirlpooling the hops in the hot wort for a few minutes before cooling too.

P.S. This is a great beer
 

GroosBrewz

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I just made my fourth batch of this stuff, tweaking a little here and there every time.. I am still dialing it in, but I believe this is the closest clone yet.. I would say that anyone that tries a different yeast besides a british liquid yeast, will be a little dissapointed.. It still makes great beer, but the yeast makes all the difference in this clone
 

cjperisho

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Hey Brentk14,

I saw that you took a stab at making Serengeti Wheat. How'd it turn out? Care to share your recipe? I LOVE this beer but can't find it anywhere! GRRR.

Chris
 

Palefire

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I just cracked this one open last night after 3 weeks primary, 1 week dry-hop, and 4 weeks in bottles. I must say, this is one mighty fine beer. I've never had the original, but based on the three bottles I drank last night, it must be pretty great! Front end is nice and malty and the back end is smooth and hoppy (sure there's a joke in there somewhere). My guess is that over time the malt will become a little more pronounced. It's satisfyingly complex, but easily drinkable ... really a top notch brew.

Only difference from the first recipe on the thread was that I used Galena for the bittering hop, and only dry hopped for a week, but I'm not imagining that those changes made much of a difference. I could see cutting down the hops a bit if that's not your thing, since this one's definitely hoppier than the average amber (though more on the aroma/flavor side than the bittering). But to my tastes it's great.

Going to bring a bunch of these to Thanksgiving dinner next week. Thanks for the recipe!
 

GroosBrewz

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I just cracked this one open last night after 3 weeks primary, 1 week dry-hop, and 4 weeks in bottles. I must say, this is one mighty fine beer. I've never had the original, but based on the three bottles I drank last night, it must be pretty great! Front end is nice and malty and the back end is smooth and hoppy (sure there's a joke in there somewhere). My guess is that over time the malt will become a little more pronounced. It's satisfyingly complex, but easily drinkable ... really a top notch brew.

Only difference from the first recipe on the thread was that I used Galena for the bittering hop, and only dry hopped for a week, but I'm not imagining that those changes made much of a difference. I could see cutting down the hops a bit if that's not your thing, since this one's definitely hoppier than the average amber (though more on the aroma/flavor side than the bittering). But to my tastes it's great.

Going to bring a bunch of these to Thanksgiving dinner next week. Thanks for the recipe!
Hey Pale-

Your tasting notes sound just like mine.. Very accurate description. I made another batch of this a few months ago (5th attempt) but for some reason there was a lot of diacetyl taste and it wasnt very good... I am going to try attempt #6 this weekend.. Hoping it will be the best yet.. I may try galena in the boil like you did because I have some laying around..

Happy Brewing and thanks for the update!
 

northernlad

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I must say, this is one mighty fine beer. I've never had the original, but based on the three bottles I drank last night, it must be pretty great!
For me its the best beer you can get on tap. I am 1 week into a clone of it from my LHBS. I cannot wait. It gets pretty old having to pay a premium for it.
Their other beers are good as well. SeaTac Airport has a couple Mac & Jack "Restaurants" that I go to everytime I fly.
 
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