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Toasted Citrus Amber Ale

April 23, 2012

I recently hooked up with the local homebrewing club, which was a first time for me.  I’m surprised it took me 5+ years to do that.  While I wouldn’t necessarily change the way I’ve progressed, I can’t help but think that being able to tap into the experience of their membership, I probably could have learned and advanced as a brewer much faster.  That said, I’ve reached a point where I am ready for some constructive feedback on my finished products, and this is probably the best way to get that.  They seem to be a great bunch, so I’m excited to get involved.

One of the members lives nearby and we’d shared some beers, so I invited him over to join me on a brewday.  It was the first time I’ve brewed with someone who wasn’t a first timer, so it was nice to have company and an extra set of hands that didn’t require thorough instruction.  Not to say that I don’t like teaching, but I do sometimes tire of repeating “vorlauf” and explaining why I do some of the weird little things that I do.

We brewed what I’m calling an Amber Ale (up for debate) that was kind of a closet cleaner.  I thought I had some C40 and C60 laying around, but I didn’t.  We settled for smaller proportions of some English C77 and C120.  There were some other on-the-fly modifications, to which I remarked “I’m not going to be a slave to weights and measurements, dude.”  Pretty proud of that little nugget.

First (concentrated) runnings.

Second (less concentrated) runnings

Following in the footsteps of my Fruition APA, this is pretty light on the bittering hop addition and heavy handed on the flavor and aroma.  Should have a much more complex profile, with a blend of Citra, Amarillo, Columbus and Simcoe.

I built what’s called a hop spider before the brew, which was a nice way to contain all of the hops that went into this boil.  It was a little clunky, but did its job pretty well.  Won’t use it for every brew, just ones with large hop additions.

I wound up with a little less volume than expected, but this should be a great, complex, American Ale.  Here is the recipe:

Toasted Citrus Amber Ale
Brewed 4/7/2012

Size: 5.0 gal
Efficiency: 80.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Original Gravity: 1.058 (measured)
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (measured)

Color: 12.51 SRM
Alcohol: 6.3% (actual)
Bitterness: 61.7 IBU (theoretical)

Ingredients:

  • 7.0 lb American 2-row
  • 2.25 lb Superior Pilsen Malt
  • 0.75 lb Biscuit Malt
  • 0.125 lb Crystal 120
  • 0.33 lb American Caramel 80°L
  • 0.33 oz Columbus (15.0%) – First Wort Hop
  • 0.33 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
  • 1 oz Citra™ (12.0%) – added during boil, boiled 5.0 m
  • 0.75 oz Citra™ (12.0%) – added during boil, boiled 2.0 m
  • 0.5 oz Amarillo® (8.5%) – added during boil, boiled 2.0 m
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe® (13.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
  • 1 oz Citra™ (12.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
  • 0.75 oz Amarillo® (8.5%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
  • 0.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter

Schedule:

  • Mash-in – Liquor: 3.27 gal; Strike: 166.2 °F; Target: 153.0 °F
  • Batch Sparge – Water: 3.61 gal; Temperature: 153.0 °F; Target: 153.0 °F
  • Total Wort Collected: 5.75 gallons
Notes:
Collected 5.75 gallons of wort.  5.25 went into the kettle, while the remaining .5 went into a separate pot on the stove.  I simmered this for about 90 minutes to reduce it down and get some caramelization.  The main kettle boiled down to about 4.6 gallons and with the stove-top reduction added pre-chill, I had a final volume around 4.8 gallons.  Will probably top up the keg when adding priming sugar.  TBD.

4/22/2012:

Measured FG at 1.011, added dry hops:

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