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Home Brewing: AmberHop in Secondary

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This beer was basically an experiment for me, but not a wild risky experiment where I thought there was a good chance of producing a bad beer. More experimental in the sense that I have been dabbling more and more with partial mash brews in an effort to expand my knowledge of the brewing process and also tune in on flavors, body, mouthfeel, everything. So I set out to make a classic American amber with some decent hop presence. As you’ll see by the recipe, after one key step, this beer got big, and bigger than I intended. Here’s the gist of the recipe:

  • 5 lbs Maris Otter
  • 1lb Munich
  • .75lb Victory
  • .75lb Crystal

Crushed all that grain in my new grain mill (thanks wife) for a total of 7.5 lbs. Did a stovetop partial mash for a grand total mashing time of 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Sparged the grains by steeping for another 15-20 minutes to get all the goodies out. I wasn’t convinced that I got great conversion so my thought was to bump up the amount of dry malt extract I would add to make sure I had enough fermentable sugar in the wort. This is where I got a little crazy. I added 3.4 lbs at the beginning of the boil and also did a 3.3lb late addition at flameout.

Hops were as follows:

  • .6 oz Magnum pellets (14.4% AA) for 60 minutes
  • .25 oz Cascade (7.5% AA) @ 10 minutes
  • .25 oz Centennial (8.5% AA) @ 10 minutes

Repeated that same hop addition at 0 minutes. Total boil volume was 4.5 gallons.

Chilled wort. Hydrated some US-O5 ale yeast, topped off to 5.5 gallons, pitched yeast. OG 1.08!

I let this batch sit in primary longer than it needed to and 2 weeks ago I racked it to secondary and added a full oz of Simcoe 12.9% AA whole leaf hops for aroma. It’s ready to keg or bottle this week.

It’s more copper than amber, which I’m fine with … and a bit syrupy. The final gravity is 1.028 yielding an ABV of just under 7%. I have high hopes for this beer and will update once it’s ready to drink! Any comments or critiques on the recipe are welcome and encouraged…

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