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Style of the week: American Amber Ale!

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March 6, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Typical American Amber Ale served in the standard American 16 oz. Pint.

Typical American Amber Ale served in the standard American 16 oz. Pint.

It seems like amber ales have been with us since forever, but the first American Amber style beers date from the late eighties. The first beers to emerge from this new (at the time) style were from Full Sail, and Alaskan Brewing. These beers were similar to the Pale Ales that these breweries also made, but had more caramel flavor, and less perceived hop bitterness. As the archetypes of what was to become a now well established style, many beer drinkers and brewers like to have some of this kind of beer around as they tend to go with just about any kind of food, mood, or event. Below is a great recipe from the Steinbart recipe folder that makes a really nice American Amber Ale that just about anyone who enjoys craft brewed beer would like to brew and drink:

Extract:

Est. OG:1.056

7 lbs. light LME

1 lb. Crystal Malt 60L

2 oz. Chocolate Malt

1 oz. Northern Brewer Hops (bittering)

1 oz. Fuggle Hops (aroma)

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or Irish Moss

Wyeast 1056, WLP001 or SafAle US-05

¾ gm. Brewing (Burton) Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in the boil.

Procedure:

  • Heat ¾ gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains, and rinse with 165°F water
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring to boil for 5 min. then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • At 7 minutes remaining, add the aroma hops.
  • At knockout, cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 65°~68°F for 7 to 10 days.
  • Allow to age an additional two to three weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

OG: 1.054

9.5 lbs. Domestic Pale Malt

1 lb. Crystal Malt 60L

2 oz. Chocolate Malt

1 oz. Northern Brewer (Bittering)

1 oz. Fuggle (Aroma)

Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or SafAle US-05

¾ gm. Brewing (Burton) Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in the mash and in the boil.

Infusion mash at 152F for 1 hour. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort. Bring to boil for 5 min. then add bittering hops (Northern Brewer). Continue boiling for 45 min. then add ½ oz. of aroma hops (Fuggle) and Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. Boil for 15 min. then add remaining ½ oz. of aroma hops. (Fuggle). Turn off heat and cool mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F to 70°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 90 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 15 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 55°~60°F in an American Pint glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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