C’s of Amber (American Amber Ale)

My homebrew club decided to do an intra-club competition this year that we has been named Last Brewer Standing. It is a tournament style bracket and each matchup receives a different style to brew. Yeah, we planned this prior to COVID-19 uprooting our lives, but as far as we know, we’re still going to forge on with this little competition, just one month later than we anticipated. Good thing, because I totally forgot to brew this beer for our May meeting. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Luckily the style I drew was American Amber Ale, which we should drink fresh-ish.

It’s been a hot minute since I brewed an American Amber Ale. With all the hatred of caramel malt in hoppier beer styles these days, it just hasn’t really crossed my mind. But after brewing it and trying it. I have missed it. Takes me back to 2012. I don’t know why I picked 2012, but that was just 8 years ago when NEIPAs and fruited sours didn’t dominate the market. Yes, IPAs were popular, but you wouldn’t walk into breweries back then and see over 50% of their taps full of NEIPA with different hop blends, etc.

Here is my take on this version of my American Amber. I used to keep my bittering charge on the low side because of how long it used to take me to chill my wort therefore I would have higher IBUs in my finished beer. Since I’ve purchased a Jaded Hydra Chiller my chilling time has decreased quite a bit my perceived IBUs have decreased. I did not have a traditional bittering charge with this batch, I relied on my bittering to come from the 10 minute additions I added. Beersmith told me 20.7 IBUs, I would rather have this in the 30-35 range. But you know what? I still have a very drinkable beer in my kegerator.

In the recipe you’ll see Southern Select as my base malt. This malt is from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC. I’ve been trying to use smaller maltsters to see what kind of flavors I can coax out of my beers.

Recipe

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 20.9 IBUs 11.9 SRM 1.051 1.011 5.3 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Amber Ale 6 B 1.045 - 1.056 1.01 - 1.015 20 - 40 11 - 18 2.3 - 2.8 4.5 - 5.7 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Southern Select 9 lbs 80.9
Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) 1 lbs 8.99
Victory Malt 12 oz 6.74
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L 4 oz 2.25
Chocolate (Briess) 2 oz 1.12

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Cascade 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 4.4
Centennial 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 6
Cascade 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 4.4
Centennial 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 6
Comet 1 oz 20 min Aroma Pellet 9.4

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 4.48 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 3.64 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 2.97 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Baking Soda 2.07 g 60 min Mash Water Agent

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Safale American (US-05) DCL/Fermentis 77% 59°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152.1°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

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