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American Amber Ale
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matto



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


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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kal wrote:
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


I agree that wort is sweet, but this was very sweet compared to, for example the 'Electric Pale Ale' or 'Janet's Brown Ale' -- at least if memory serves. Usually I can taste a strong hop presence and bitterness as it's going into the fermenter (which mellows out over time), but the hops on this one were pretty subtle. But we'll see, it might all be fine in a few weeks. I'll post back final tasting results when I have them.

Matthew
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good! I just finished a keg of this myself (the one done with all Cascade) so I may have to queue it up again too....

Kal

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matto



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


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to post an update. I had my first beer from this batch today (I bottle-condition, so it takes a while to get 'em carbonated up nice) and all my concerns about it were for naught. This is a very nice beer. Reminds me a bit of your Electric Pale Ale, but tamer (at least the all-cascade version I followed).

I've brewed three of your recipes now: Electric Pale Ale (my favorite), Janet's Brown (wow! fantastic!), and now this one. This is the tamest of the 3, but it is certainly nice. I think it will be well received by most people, from the home brewers looking for bold flavors to those who don't want to stray too far from 'the norm'.

Thanks again for yet another great recipe.

Cheers,
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome! Tamer is certainly the case here. This is not a "hop bomb" American Amber ale, but the classic ~5% ABV variety that originally defined the style.

Really hoppy / higher ABV american ambers however have gotten popular over the years, especially in the west coast of the USA. I've been meaning to brew one myself. Take a look at the "West Coast Blaster" recipe in the Brewing Classic Styles book for an example (great book - everyone should have a copy!).

Kal

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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my first ever batch of beer (Kal's Blonde Ale actually) is bubbling away in primary as we speak and am already looking what to do next. I am thinking this american amber ale sounds tasty and may have to give it a try. Would you all recommend trying the original version or the all Cascade version. It would seem to me that the multiple hops in the original version would yield a more complex hop flavor and aroma. Thoughts?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go with the original, but then that's because I know what I like and you are correct that it's a bit more complex. All Cascade is good too, but it depends on what you like in terms of flavours. Sometimes simple is good too.

Good luck!

Kal

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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then I shall try the original. My LHBS doesn't seem to have Amarillo on their website so I may have to inquire about that. I suppose I could use Cascade instead since that is listed as a possible substitution if they can't get it. After adding all the ingredients into beersmith The color comes up 2 SRM shy which I assume shouldn't matter. I doubt I would notice a difference and 11.4 is still within style guidelines. I scaled the recipe down to my normal 5.5gal batch size using the percentages you listed. The percentages listed add up to 101.5% so I assumed you did not mean to list both the munich and crystal 40 as both 8% and adjusted the Crystal 40L to 6.5%. I guess I can just tweak the 40L and 120L percentages to get the color up but does it really matter.

Another question I had was about your dry hopping procedure. Since you don't really do a secondary other then for crash chilling and clearing do you just add them into the primary once the FG stabilizes for a day or two then add the hops right into the primary vessel and start the 10 day clock? I am using a SS conical so dumping the yeast and trub would be no problem but I assume that extra time on the yeast would be good anyway just like you recommend with your other beers. Once again I appreciate all your help.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amarillo's been called "super cascade" by some. It's a reasonable substitution. It'll still make good beer.

Thanks for pointing out the percentages error - I've now fixed it.

I wouldn't worry about the slight colour difference that your software is stating.

For dry hopping I'll often add the hops directly to the primary after about a week of fermenting (this is usually when fermentation has slowed quite a bit). Then leave for another week or so such that beer's completely done. There's no right/wrong answer. You can ferment out completely, wait until the beer clears, then dry hop if you like. Or dry hop in a secondary vessel and then wait for the beer to clear/add finings like gelatine.

Kal

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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it turns out my LHBS does in fact have Amarillo so no substitution is required. I may however OPT to use Crisp Maris Otter in lieu of domestic 2-row. Has anyone tried this and noticed any difference? For all I know the difference will be hard to determine just like your Chico strain yeast experiment.

For dry hopping I think I will plan to add the hops to the conical after fermentation is near completion so about a week like you said. Leave it in dry hop on the yeast for another week then dump the trub, yeast, and hops out the bottom. Add the gelatin then chill for a few days. Dump the turn again and transfer to a keg for conditioning and carbonation. Does this seem like a logical plan? When you crash chill do you add the warm gelatin mixture to the beer at its fermentation temp and immediately start bringing it down to near freezing? Or is it better to step it down say 10 degrees a day till I get to near freezing. I am just worried if I set the controller on my freezer right to 35 ish it will get really cold and end up over chilling the beer?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a good plan!

I don't crash chill before adding gelatine simply because (a) I don't have any easy way to do it, and (b) the chill haze that sometimes forms isn't an issue for me since I condition/carb for at least ~2 weeks before putting the beer on tap. So I use the gelatine at room temp, then keg, then chill/condition.

As far as clearing/conditioning the beer is concerned, you can't overchill. As long as you're above freezing you're good.

Kal

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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh now I see. You did say if possible crash chill in the brite tank. I just assumed that is what you did. In that case would there be any harm in adding the gelatin then slowly dropping the temp over 3 to 4 days before transferring to the keg for further conditioning and carbonation. The crash part of crash chill makes it seem like it needs to be done as fast as possible.

As far as mixing the gelatin goes, I have seen some conflicting info on that subject. From a sanitation standpoint I would think one should boil the water and then add the gelatin after it cools below 180. However, some had said to add it to cool water since it dissolves easier then heat it up till it clears but do not go above 180. Seems like it might be worth the trouble of having it more difficult to dissolve over the risk of infection from not sanitizing the water first. Some time on the sir plate should make quicker work out of it.
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jbrace1



Joined: 21 Feb 2014
Posts: 42
Location: Minnetonka

Drinking: Saison de Sol, Summer Noon, Labor Day Pale Ale, Cold Press Coffee


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I add the gelatin at kegging: I boil 1.5 cup RO water in a 2-cup pyrex cup in the microwave and wait til temp drops below 150F, add a packet of knox gelatin (a little more than 2 tsp) and stir to dissolve (the cup, thermometer, spoon and gelatin packet are all sanitized). I pour half of this solution into each of 2 sanitized, CO2 purged kegs. I then push the beer from the fermenter with CO2 to the keg through the liquid out port thereby mixing the beer with the gelatin solution while filling. I then place the kegs in the conditioning fridge at about 35F for 2 weeks. My first (and so far only) batch with this technique resulted in beer that you could read through.

My first go round with gelatin was less spectacular as I didn't follow the instructions carefully enough and added the gelatin to BOILING water, while the beer tasted GREAT (electric pale ale), it was hazy Smile
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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks jbrace for sharing your procedure. I imagine doing it in the keg like that would leave some trub in the first pours from each keg. Do recall how much had to be poured before it ran clear?
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jbrace1



Joined: 21 Feb 2014
Posts: 42
Location: Minnetonka

Drinking: Saison de Sol, Summer Noon, Labor Day Pale Ale, Cold Press Coffee


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

first half glass was gunk then 1 or 2 glasses of faint haze (but very tasty) then clear.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

captacl wrote:
Oh now I see. You did say if possible crash chill in the brite tank. I just assumed that is what you did. In that case would there be any harm in adding the gelatin then slowly dropping the temp over 3 to 4 days before transferring to the keg for further conditioning and carbonation. The crash part of crash chill makes it seem like it needs to be done as fast as possible.

No, doesn't have to be done as fast as possible. There's no real advantage to doing it faster however.

Quote:
As far as mixing the gelatin goes, I have seen some conflicting info on that subject. From a sanitation standpoint I would think one should boil the water and then add the gelatin after it cools below 180. However, some had said to add it to cool water since it dissolves easier then heat it up till it clears but do not go above 180.

I just pour some distilled water in a cup, microwave until it's fairly warm, and stir in the gelatine. Boiling/sanitizing is probably safer, so I'll never dissuade someone from doing that.

Kal

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BlueOvalBruin



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 1



PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the gelatin affect the hop character at all?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gelatin coagulates proteins so it will have negligible effects on hop oils, but some people find it does change the hop character with a possible 'softening' of the edges. I've never really done a direct comparison.

I think that some hop compounds do get pulled to a minor degree out of beers no matter how you clear (cold crash, use gelatin, filter, etc). I don't think it's a big change however. Yeast is also said to absorb some hop oils such that dry hopping in the primary with a yeast cake will result in slightly less hop oils. Again, negligible.

I think the important thing to remember is to look at all this as part of the recipe. I find that hopping to the rates I do in my recipes and then using gelatin results in exactly what I want. It's not a "should gelatin be used ?" type question. Try it out for yourself by doing a comparison. If you find you're losing something but want to continue using gelatin, next time up the amount of hops slightly (5-10%).

Good luck!

Kal

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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I brewed this yesterday and I pitched the yeast around 4pm EST. As of now there is still no airlock activity. Should I be concerned. I made a 10gal batch to split with someone and while I wasn't looking he had started to rehydrate all the yeast in one container instead of one packed in one and one in another like I had planned. After the yeast started foaming and such we then poured half into another container so the yeast mixture was split in half then pitched into our separate fermenters. I have this feeling enough yeast didn't get pitched since there really is not way of knowing if the yeast cells got distributed evenly. Should I consider pitching another packet of yeast just to be safe or give it some more time. I don't want some wild yeast to take over and ruin it. Thanks for your help

Anthony
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10077
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

captacl wrote:
So I brewed this yesterday and I pitched the yeast around 4pm EST. As of now there is still no airlock activity. Should I be concerned.

Probably not.

How much did you pitch? What did you pitch? What was the wort temperature? What is the ambient temperature?

Kal

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captacl



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, PA USA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We hydrated two packs of US-05. The slurry was split in half but can't be sure how many grams of yeast went into each vessel. Pitching temp was probably 74 or 75. I immediately placed my conical into my fermentation freezer and it was cooled to 67 within a couple hours.
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