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American Amber Ale
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: American Amber Ale Reply with quote


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American Amber Ale or Red Ale is a fairly recent style that was initially popular in the Pacific Northwest before spreading elsewhere.

The style overlaps somewhat with American Pale Ale but with the Amber Ale having a stronger caramel flavour, more body, darker in colour, and a balance between bitterness and maltiness. Pale Ales tend have a lighter maltiness and push the hops more.

The American Amber Ale is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as style 10-B. Our example here tends to run fairly close to the middle of the style guidelines, a good all around example that is well balanced.

I brewed it for the first time on October 26, 2010.

Brew up a batch and let me know how you like it!



Photos/videos:


Brew day! Video (c) TheElectricBrewery.com


Mash holding perfectly at 152F. Set and forget! Video (c) TheElectricBrewery.com


End of boil, Hop Stopper in action (two different beers, second video is the Amber Ale). Video (c) TheElectricBrewery.com


Fermentation Video (c) TheElectricBrewery.com


Dry hopping. Video (c) TheElectricBrewery.com


Keg cleaning. Video (c) TheElectricBrewery.com

Interested in seeing what we're brewing right now? Follow our Instagram feed for pictures and videos of our brewing activities as they happen.



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A 5.25 gallon all grain kit with all the ingredients is also available from OntarioBeerKegs (CLICK HERE).


American Amber Ale (batch #122)

Size: 12.0 US gal (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 95.0%
Attenuation: 78.4%
Calories: 168 kcal per 12.0 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.051 (1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.010 - 1.015)
Color: 13.5 (10.0 - 17.0)
Alcohol: 5.2% (4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 33 (25.0 - 40.0)

Ingredients:
14.5 lb Pale Ale Malt 3L (77.5%)
1.5 lb Munich TYPE II (9L) (8.0%)
1.2 lb Crystal Malt 40L (6.5%)
0.75 lb Crystal Malt 120L (4.0%)
0.75 lb Victory Malt 28L (4.0%)
1.0 oz Magnum Hops (14.4%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [22.47 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
1.0 oz Centennial Hops (9.2%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [5.74 IBU]
1.0 oz Amarillo Hops (8.2%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [5.12 IBU]
1.0 oz Centennial Hops (9.2%) - added during boil, boiled 0 min
1.0 oz Amarillo Hops (8.2%) - added during boil, boiled 0 min
24 g Fermentis Safale US-05 dry yeast
1.0 oz Amarillo Hops (8.2%) - dry hop
1.0 oz Centennial Hops (9.2%) - dry hop

Notes:
Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine/chloramine (as required).
Water treated with brewing salts to: Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=49, S04=280
(Basically Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers with slightly less Sulphate).
For complete details on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustments guide.
1.25 qt/lb mash thickness. Single infusion mash at 152F for 90 mins. Mashout to 168F.
60-90 min fly sparge with ~6 pH water. Collect 14.9 gallons in boil kettle.
Boil for 90 minutes. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
Cool wort to 66F and aerate well. Ferment at 66-68F until complete. Dry hop for ~5 days.
Rack to a CO2 purged brite tank (secondary), crash chill to near freezing (if possible), add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and let clear for 2-3 days.
Package as you would normally. I keg and carbonate on the low side (around 2 to 2.2 volumes of C02) to minimize carbonic bite and let the hop/malt flavour come through.

If you prefer to use liquid yeast, either of these is an excellent choice as they are the same clean fermenting Chico strain as US-05:

Wyeast 1056 American Ale
White Labs WLP-001 California Ale

You'll need to use 4 packs/vials or make an appropriate starter. For more information see Chapter 6 of How to Brew and Appendix A of Brewing Classic Styles. Also see the stirplate/starter equipment I use.

For complete brewing instructions, see our Brew Day: Step by Step guide.

Brew yourself a batch today and let us know how you like it! Enjoy!

Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!

A 5.25 gallon all grain kit with all the ingredients is also available from OntarioBeerKegs (CLICK HERE).

SEE OUR OTHER RECIPES »

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:14 pm; edited 31 times in total
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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just brewed the American Amber Ale this weekend and it looks fabulous already. Excited about it now that the weather is getting cooler. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the recipe!
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoy! I recently made this but subb'ed all of the hops for Cascade to get something that's closer to a local beer we can get up here: Mill Street Tankhouse ale - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/3760/10365

Kal

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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not used Cascade hops yet, what are the characteristics of it?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_hop

Quote:
Use in brewing

The resultant aroma is of medium strength and very distinct. It has a pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. The hop is good for both flavor and aroma uses. It can also be used for bittering effectively, and can be used to make any ales, and indeed is characteristic of American Pale Ales; used in some Lagers.


Kal

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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too soon to tell but I might have some problems with my American Amber. Followed the recipe, but didnt pitch yeast right away. I let it cool down overnight. So I went to pitch the yeast the next day and there was already a pretty good krausen formed. Got nervous because I didn't know how that could happen. Fermenter had been used but let it sit filled to the top with Oxyclean for 2 days and Starsan for a full day before doing anything. I went ahead and pitched the US-05 yeast as recommended. Too soon to take readings, but what do you think? Not a lot of action.

One other problem. Started it in the garage as the temperature here dropped and was going to be in the target zone temp, but then it dropped further and had to move it inside. Area is still around 68, but it had dropped to about 55 before I realized I should move it.

Any thoughts?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing to do now but to sit and wait.

You shouldn't let wort sit around like that as the chance of it getting infected and starting it's own fermentation from airborn stuff gets higher the longer you leave it.

You also need to aerate too before pitching - don't forget that (see the brew day step by step instructions).

You need to find a place that has a somewhat stable temperature. US-05 works great at around 62-68F but is fairly tolerant to higher temps too and doesn't throw a lot of esters at higher temps. I've never gone lower so I'm not sure what it does in the low range. One thing is sure: no yeast doesn't likes fluctuating temperatures. You can let the temp rise naturally towards the end of fermentation with this yeast (70-72F) to let it finish off well but having it drop low suddenly can make any yeast drop out and go dormant. You may be fine however. As well, there's a lot of thermal mass in 5-10 gallons of wort. Ambient temps may drop but it doesn't mean the wort followed exactly. It takes time.

Kal

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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of what I figured on having to wait it out. I did all the steps, airtight container before pitching, aerated like you recommend. We' ll see I guess. Normally have very well controlled fermentation chamber with controllers but strange circumstances just created an anomaly. At least I will learn some things during this!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OkieDokie wrote:
I did all the steps, airtight container before pitching, aerated like you recommend.


The big issue is the delay before pitching. The container may be 'airtight' but there's still air in the container and LOTS of air you forced into the wort if you aerated properly which means there's all sorts of other wild yeast and other stuff in there. (Using an O2 tank and stone lessens this a bit but that's another topic).

That's all completely normal as you cannot avoid this atmosphere/air getting into the wort. What you want to do however is pitch enough healthy yeast ASAP to let it take over before something else does.

Some stuff will have gotten in there from the air and left long enough the stuff WILL ferment... eventually. That's just how nature works. The issue is who knows what you will get. By pitching the yeast we want (and ton more of it than the wild stuff that's already in there), we control the fermentation the way we want instead of letting nature take its course. It's a race/numbers game.

Once there's alcohol in there the chance of infection greatly lessens as alcohol (the higher the better) is a disinfectant.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, maybe I just came across a whole new beer style!
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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So an update on the Amber Ale. Even with all the problems I had, it still hit FG of 1.011, so something fermented. Transferred to kegs tonight and sampled it a bit. Was surprised to have such a citrus taste and smell. I know that is the characteristics of the hops, but it was almost like some form of grapefruit-mango-orange drink you'd buy in the juice isle of the local store. My neighbor noticed the same. Didn't have any maltiness at all. Going to let it slow carbonate and see. i am sure it will mellow some, but does that sound like it is on the right track? It's not bad, just unexpected!
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OkieDokie wrote:
Was surprised to have such a citrus taste and smell. I know that is the characteristics of the hops, but it was almost like some form of grapefruit-mango-orange drink you'd buy in the juice isle of the local store. My neighbor noticed the same. Didn't have any maltiness at all. Going to let it slow carbonate and see. i am sure it will mellow some, but does that sound like it is on the right track? It's not bad, just unexpected!

Not sure - it's really hard to judge if the taste is right based on what the person perceives. It's an American style amber so it will have some maltiness but not a ton. It'll change with time too, hops will lessen.

Kal

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OkieDokie



Joined: 31 Aug 2013
Posts: 187
Location: Oklahoma

Drinking: Electric ale, Weizen

Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So had this on keg for about a week. Not good yet. I am not sure if it is correct. Super cloudy, even though I crash chilled and used gelatin to clear. Let me ask a couple of questions. Still a super strong citrus flavor and aroma. I know the hops will do that, but really strong. When you dry hop, do the hops suspend themselves in the beer, or will they fall to the bottom? The cloudiness seems like it is suspended, but I have not brewed this before or dry hopped before. I am not going to throw it out, but it is hard to drink. Doesn't even taste like you're drinking a beer. What commercial brew is this similar to? Please advise.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When dry hopping with pellet hops, the hops will often float for a few days then settle on the bottom.

The haze is probably chill haze. It'll go away after a couple of weeks of chilling.

My American Amber Ale is similar to Mill St. Tankhouse - a Toronto Canada brewery. At least it is if you replace all the hops with Cascade (as I did in my last batch). Not sure if this beer is available to you.

See the American Amber Ale BJCP style guidelines:

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style10.php#1b

Commercial Examples: North Coast Red Seal Ale, Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale, Deschutes Cinder Cone Red, Pyramid Broken Rake, St. Rogue Red Ale, Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, Lagunitas Censored Ale, Avery Redpoint Ale, McNeill’s Firehouse Amber Ale, Mendocino Red Tail Ale, Bell's Amber

I haven't tried any of these, mostly due to the fact that they're not available in Canada. So no idea which ones may be closer to my recipe.

If things taste funny, it may not be the recipe but something in your process. There are a million things that can go wrong or can be done wrong. The problem here is that nobody can tell you what the problem may have been as nobody was there watching what you did. This is compounded by fact that you're not sure what the style tastes like to begin with nor are you sure if it tastes correct, or what the general style is supposed to taste like to begin with. With this many variables, it's impossible to troubleshoot.

See the BJCP style description for some hints to the expected aroma/flavour/etc. I'm not sure if that helps much since everything is relative.

Kal

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matto



Joined: 05 Dec 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney, Australia


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:


My American Amber Ale is similar to Mill St. Tankhouse - a Toronto Canada brewery. At least it is if you replace all the hops with Cascade (as I did in my last batch). Not sure if this beer is available to you.

Kal


I've got a bunch of Cascade hops in the fridge so I think I am going to follow your lead on this one here soon. How did it turn out for you? Do you recommend any changes/tweaks, or just simply replace all of the hop additions with Cascade?

Cheers,

Matthew
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turned out great!

I simply changed all the hops to Cascade and kept the same amounts, except for the 60 min Magnum addition which I increased until the overall bitterness was the same (30-35 IBU). In my case that was a change from 1 to 2 oz as the bitterness AA% rating of Cascade is not as high as Magnum.

Generally speaking additions in the last ~20 mins do not add much bitterness so you usually keep amounts the same and don't worry about AA% for those hops. This is true of any beer, not just this one.

Kal

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matto



Joined: 05 Dec 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney, Australia


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds great! I'll be giving this a try this weekend then. Thanks!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck! Post back and let us know how you like it!

Kal

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matto



Joined: 05 Dec 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney, Australia


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brewed it up today. Hit all my numbers spot on and it smelled and tasted great coming out of the BK. But it was also VERY sweet. I more than doubled the 60min addition (80grams... metric here down under) to compensate for the change from Magnum to Cascade and then added 80 grams again at 10min. Beer Smith tells me I should have an overall IBU of 35, but I'm a little concerned at how sweet it tasted. Won't know until the yeasties have eaten all that sugar. Fingers crossed. Will post again with a report of the final taste.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9395
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wort was sweet compared to other beers you've brewed or is this your first beer? Wort's always very sweet as it's full of sugar (no alcohol).

Kal

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