Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brew Day: American Amber Ale

While I am not old enough to remember the glory days of amber/red ale back in the mid-nineties, I did drink my share of the stuff when I first started buying craft beer in college. In those days, it seemed like every bar in town had at least one version of amber ale on tap, be it the locally made Caskazilla or Red Seal Ale from far off California. Also, while living in Ireland, I drank a lot of the stuff too. The Franciscan Well in Cork made a very nice amber ale under the name Rebel Red and then there was of course the multitudes of Irish red ales you could get in pubs or off licences. Smithicks, Murphy's Red, Beamish Red, Kilkenny draught, and so on. While most of those beers wouldn't be considered the most interesting or flavorful of beers by the craft beer drinker of today, at the time they were just uncomplicated, easy drinking beers. Now it seems any amber or red ale you find is some massively hoppy, 65 IBU concoction. Regardless, I was originally going to brew a cream ale for today, but instead I'll be brewing a lighter-maltier amber ale with minimal hopping. A good drinking beer for the warmer weather. The recipe is pretty standard, although I will be using a somewhat unique basemalt - a US grown Scarlett two-row from Wyoming. From the little I could find about this malt/barley variety, it is often used for making Vienna malt in Germany and is highly regarded for its nutty, complex flavor. To keep the malt profile clean and crisp, I'll be using dry-Nottingham yeast and fermenting it at a very cool 60F.

Amber Ale : American Amber Ale                                                                                                   
Recipe Specifics
-----------------
Batch Size (Gal): 4.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.5
Anticipated OG: 1.052
Anticipated FG: 1.010
Anticipated SRM: 14
Anticipated IBU: 30
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain/Sugar
------------
64.9% - 5.50 lbs. Scarlett, 2-Row
23.6% - 2.00 lbs. Vienna malt
7.1%   - 0.60 lbs. Crystal 60L
3.0%   - 0.25 lbs. Crystal 120L
1.4%   - 0.12 lbs. Pale Chocolate

Hops
------
0.50 oz. Magnum @ 60 min for 20 IBU
1.00 oz. Zythos @ 10 min for 10 IBU
1.00 oz. Zythos @  flameout

Yeast: Nottingham
Mash 154F for 75 min.
Brewed 27 May 

1 comment:

  1. Ah rebel red, that beer has a lot to answer for! It was probably my introduction to good craft beer. It's actually gotten sort of big around Cork now, as Beamish Red was discontinued when Heineken took over, and most of the pubs who used to stock it got in Rebel red as a replacement.

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