Brew Day: American Amber Ale (Beer #32)

February 13, 2012 by Jack

Vital Stats:
Target OG: 1.052 Actual OG: 1.049
Target FG: 1.013 Actual FG: 1.011
ABV: 5.0%
Color: 13.4 SRMĀ (Calculated)
Bitterness: 37.5 IBU (Calculated)
Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale

On January 20th, 2012 I brewed the American Amber recipe from Brewing Classic Styles for the second time. The first time I brewed it was almost exactly one year prior. It was my first all-grain batch and with it I scored my first medal in a competition. I’m still looking for my second.

This time around I altered several things. Changes to my process include precise fermentation temperature control, the use of a stir plate, pure O2 oxygenation, and milling my own grain. That last difference requires me to change the recipe to adjust for the increase in efficiency it brought me. The adjusted grist bill looks like this:

– 6 lb. 12.8 oz. Maris Otter
– 13.1 oz. Crystal 40°L
– 11.7 oz. Munich (9°L)
– 8.7 oz. Crystal 120°L
– 8.7 oz. Victory (28°L)

I kept the bittering, flavor, and aroma hop charges the same as the book calls for – except that I bittered with Yakima Magnum instead of Horizon, and I adjusted the amount of bittering pellets used to keep the same HBUs.

The recipe does not mention dry-hopping, but I chose to do so for this batch. Last year’s judges’ notes suggested it would benefit from a touch more hop aroma. I agree. To that end I dry-hopped this batch in the primary fermenter after five days with 7g (1/4 oz.) each of Cascade & Centennial pellets. I just chucked them into the carboy. It’s a small dry-hop charge. I’m not trying to make a west-coast amber; I’m just trying to brighten up a classic American amber. I think it worked well, as I’ll post about in the tasting notes that will be coming soon. I allowed the dry hops to do their thing for six days before crash-cooling for three days then kegging it up. It’s on tap now, and I’m enjoying it.

Leave a Reply