I will note that the recipe in the end was a bit of a mistake; I had intended to throw in a pound of crystal 60, but forgot to write it down when I went to the brew store. The resulting malt bill was thus a little simpler than I intended. This also meant that I miscalculated my mash steps (I didn't remove the crystal malt from BeerSmith's recipe calculations), and the mash was a bit thinner than it should have been, at least by a little. But...I am hopeful that the strong mix of Maris Otter malt will balance out the flavor, and I do not think the mash was thin to the point of inhibiting enzymatic reactions (I achieved 85% efficiency!).
Experimental Amber Ale
- 4.5 lbs. American 2 row malt
- 4 lbs. Maris Otter pale malt
- 0.25 lbs. chocolate malt
- 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha acid; boil 60 minutes).
- 1 oz. Willamette hops pellets (5.3% alpha acid, 3.7% beta acid; boil 10 minutes)
- 1 oz. Liberty hops pellets (4.5% alpha acid, 3.5% beta acid; whirlpool ~30 minutes)
- 1 tsp. Irish moss
- 1 tbs. 5.2 pH stabilizer
- 1 pkg. Safale US-05 dry yeast (rehydrated in 1 cup water)
- I mashed in with 3.1 gallons of water at ~172°, which stabilized to 156° within 10 minutes (and was still at that temperature after 20 minutes).
- After 60 minutes of mash, I added 1.2 gallons of water at 185°, which bumped the mash temperature up to ~160°. I let this sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and then collected ~3.3 gallons of wort.
- I then added 3.15 gallons of water at 185°, let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the rest of the wort, for a total of ~6.7 gallons. This had a gravity of 1.041, which works out to 85% efficiency! This high efficiency, I suspect, is due to the fact that I sparged more than I would have normally (due to assuming the extra pound of crystal malt in the calculations, which wasn't physically in the recipe).
- I brought the wort to a boil, and added the Cascade hops.
- After 45 minutes of boiling, I added the Irish moss.
- After 50 minutes of boiling, I added the Willamette hops.
- After 60 minutes, I turned off the flame, added the Liberty hops, and started chilling. The volume in the brew kettle at this point was around 5.8 gallons.
- I rehydrated the yeast in 1 cup of water, and pitched it.
- The starting volume was ~5.5 gallons and had a gravity of 1.047 at 60°.
- I set the temperature for the fermentation chamber at 65°. The beer was brewed on 1 January 2014.
Despite my mistake in my calculations, I think this will (inadvertently) be an OK brew. I'll be curious to see how it ends up with no crystal malt, and how the combination of 2-row and Maris Otter play together. It probably won't be true to the American amber ale style, but it should still be drinkable!