Saturday, October 3, 2009

California Amber Ale

So, there are a lot of crisp, hoppy American amber ales in California that are consumed as freely and broadly as pale ales and IPA's here in Portland. I'm thinking of Mendocino's Red Tail Ale, Speakeasy's Prohibition Ale, North Coast's Red Seal Ale, and plenty of other similar hoppy amber ales. Well, I miss those beers - particularly Red Tail Ale - so I decided to brew something in the same general style of hoppy California-style Amber Ale.

I didn't take any pictures of the brewing process, but it was a somewhat eventful brewday, nonetheless.


8lbs Great Western (US) 2-row
2lbs US Munich 20L
1lb British Medium Crystal (70-75L)
8 oz Victory Malt

1 oz Amarillo (9.0 AA) FWH
.5 oz Zeus CTZ (16.4 AA) 60 min
1 oz Amarillo (9.0 AA) Flameout
.75 oz Centennial (7.8 AA) Flameout
2 oz Zeus CTZ (16.4 AA) Dry-hop

Wyeast 1450 Denny's Favorite 50
Mash at 153 60 min w/mashout

1.052, 13 SRM, 37 IBU

So I wanted to try to get better efficiency this time, and I decided to crush the grains real fine (.225) and mash thin, plus mash-out.

I ended up with too much liquor for my kettle, so I dumped about half of the sparge runoff - but my efficiency was so high that I the gravity was already plenty high. I also planned on doing a 90min boil, but just did 60 (in part because of the super-high efficiency), leaving me with over 6.5 gallons of 1.052 wort - well within my ideal range for this beer. The CTZ have been in my freezer for months, so I figured I would only get about 15% AA from them. It's possible, though, that my IBUs could be as much as 5 points lower or higher than the recipe calls for, depending on how many alpha acids were lost in the 4-6 months of freezer storage.

Also, I may dry-hop this one with 2oz Cascade.

Oh, and i let it chill for about 4 hours, letting so much trub settle that it was already clear going into the fermenter - It will be nice to have such a beautiful, crystal-clear beer coming out of my keg in a month or so.

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