Tag Archives: amber

Another Rough Amber

Less Awesome Amber aleNose is faintly boozy on this one. A little malt there but not much.

The flavor is sweet and then finishes with the same bite as the last amber. I am holding the yeast responsible for this-two times in a row isn’t coincidence, especially when I’ve brought the malt sugars down.

It’s not undrinkable, though. It’s just not what I wanted and it doesn’t encourage more sips: it’s a One And Done (with this).

Brew Date: 8.12.18

Steeping grains
5 lb toasted pale
.75 lb Caramunich, Encore, Munich, Opal 44

Fermentables: 4 lb Light Malt Extract

Hops:  .72 oz US Fuggle, Loral @60

Yeast: Imperial Barbarian (3rd use)

OG: 1.075

FG: 1.01

Into secondary: 8/29
Bottle: 9/3

ABV: 8.8%

Finally: I’m going to be out of town for two weeks.

But not to worry! A friend has agreed to step in and provide content for me while I am gone. Yay, content!

So thanks to him, and I’ll be stepping back into the  saddle in 14 days!

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Heady

Fizzy amber aleThe amber challenge continues!

The nose is rather nice: yeast oriented, it’s got a pleasant bread quality but it’s also allowing the malt to come through, too. It’s a very smooth nose too, the velvety quality coming through there: nothing sharp or dissuasive in it.

Flavor is pleasantly sweet; a bit like a fluffy piece of chocolate mousse. Lighter than-it’s not nearly chocolatey enough for that but it’s treading some similar water.

Now if only I could work out the carbonation. It’s not unpleasant but it just doesn’t fit the style. Getting a little further into the beer I might also be picking up a slight buttery quality? The darker malts and the effervesce make this not a problem but if I’d gotten the carbonation right, I might feel differently.

Brew date: 5.26.18

Steeping grains
4 lb Metolius
1 lb C 80, 2 row, Munich
.75 lb Vanora

Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME

Hops
.75 oz Northern Brewer, Amarillo @60
.25 oz German N Brewer, Amarillo @5

Yeast: Imperial Barbarian

OG: 1.08

FG: 1.016

ABV: 8.7%

Velvet Elvis Amber

Homebrew amber aleI have to say, I think the amber ale project is coming along pretty well.

The malt shows up in the nose-velvety in its smoothness.The scents reside someplace between chocolate and caramel, a little toasty and a little sweet. Under that is a little yeasty quality, not enough to disrupt things but definitely there.

And it’s damn drinkable. Quaffable (which is a word that I love): I set this beer down and I already want to pick it up again. It’s not hop forward at all, which is proper to me and the sweeter flavors aren’t cloying either. The effervescence on the finish helps…and maybe there’s a hint of hop bitterness to keep it all in line.

This one is a winner.

Brew date: 4/22

Malts:
5 lb pale
.75 lb biscuit, caramunich, and Munich malts
.5 carapils
.25 roasted barley

Fermentables: 5 lb Extra Light Malt Extract

Hops
.75 oz Loral, .66 oz US Fuggle @60
.25 oz Loral, .33 oz US Fuggle @5

Extras: 1/2 tsp Irish Moss@ 5

Yeast: Imperial Flagship

OG: 1.074

FG: 1.014

Bottled 5.20

ABV: 8.1%

Second Verse Not The First

2nd amber homebrewFor the second amber of the year, I’d say there’s a notable improvement!

The nose has a yeast scent, like bread dough. I like it-it’s not sour or off putting to me. There’s a sweetness there, perhaps due to the malt? Maybe just healthy yeast coming off where there isn’t a  lot of hops. Either way, it works.

It has some nice flavor, too. Caramel, but lightly so: this beer doesn’t taste or feel very dense. The effervescence pops on the finish, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it clears the palate, it does do a nice job of setting things up for another sip.

This beer is very, very drinkable and I can’t wait to try and replicate it.

Steeping grains
4 lb Metolius
1 bl C80
.75 lb Vanora
.75 lb Munich, 1lb 2 row

Fermentables: 5 lb EXLME

Hops
.5 oz Magnum, .25 oz Centennial @60
.5 oz Centennial, .25 oz Magnum @30
.26 oz Centennial, Magnum @ 5

Yeast: Imperial’s Tartan (2nd use)

OG: 1.069

FG: 1.01

Bottle 4/15

ABV: 8%

Don’t Get Off The Boat

This amber ale is almost there.

It’s a solid enough beer but it tastes a little thin and that is because I added too much water to the wort after the brew.

See, I always have to add in some water because my brew kettle doesn’t hold five gallons of boiling liquid. It holds closer to four. So, I top the wort off and most of the time, that’s not a problem.

This time, however, I added in a bit too much water and that means that the malty qualities of this beer are muted, instead of prominent. An unfortunate mistake but one that is easy to fix and isn’t all that bad, honestly. Sure, the caramel notes of this amber aren’t as robust as I wish they were, but it’s not a bad beer by any means.

This is especially surprising as my notes remind me that this is a beer where I did have to add in a second yeast in order to get the batch fermenting. Mixing yeasts can have weird results but it looks like I got away with it this time!

Brew date: 11.13.1.5

Grains
2 lb pale wheat
3 lb Maris otter
1 lb 2 row
2 lb C120

Fermentables: 4 lb LME

Hops
1 oz Glacier, 1 oz Palisade @ 60
.5 oz Glacier, Palisade @30

Yeast: Wyeast American Ale 2
Had to add Windsor dry yeast after 24 hours

OG: 1.075

FG: 1.014

Secondary on 11.21

Bottled 12/5

Common Ales: Alaskan Amber

I didn’t even have to ask Alaksan brewing what their best selling ale was: they tell me on their web site that the Amber ale is their flagship. Problem solved! Plus, I even get to save some money for once, because the Amber is available in a handy 22oz bottle instead of having to buy a six pack.

But buying a six pack wouldn’t be so bad.

Caramel in the nose! That’s pretty exciting because it’s not hoppy. That this kind of variety exists at a grocery store is kind of remarkable.

The caramel flavor is right there in the middle too; a roasty caramel flavor, sweet but not cloy.

The finish is very bright; the bubbles are adept at sweeping nearly everything away. Nearly. After it’s all done, I’m noticing a biscuit flavor, just a little bit. The label says it’s an alt style and when I look at the style guidelines, it’s suggested that there should be an assertive hop bitterness but I’m not getting that at all.

I’m not complaining by any means. This beer probably a “take” on the style and what the brewers at Alaskan did to this beer I can’t say. But it retains it’s crisp finish (with biscuit) all the way to the end of the glass and I really see this beer as a great staple to the pub. There’s enough going on that I can drink it by itself but also nothing wrong with pairing this up with some nachos.

Mmmm….nachos.

Common Ales: Full Sail Amber

Nobody at Full Sail got back to me about their best selling ale so it was a dealer’s choice moment. While there may be better known styles, (read: IPAs all day every day) I am a little tired of those styles. Time to have an amber instead!

It’s a malty ale, nose with a bit of a note like a lager, in a way. Almost funky but not exactly, is the best I can do here. The beer itself has a solid malt flavor but it isn’t too thick by any means. So what we have is a drinkable beer that feels like something that I would have with pub grub. I mean this in the best way: it’s got an exceptionally clean finish that should be able to take on any kind of salty, spicy, greasy munchies of your favorite spot.

Which means that this should be easy to find at any pub and worth a pint to wash down your burger.

Ambers can be  tricky to recommend, because they don’t have the same kind of flavor profile or visual familiarity as many other styles. Even so, I think this is a pretty good beer and a nice example of the style. It’s a good pairing for food and it’s a worthy beer that, again, I think should be a great ‘gateway’ ale.