Homebrew Recipe: B&G Amber

Some days, you just need to brew something simple. For my brother-in-law and I, two days after Christmas was one of those days.

At the time, I had rencently brewed quite a few beers, including the Red, the WH Honey Ale, and my Holiday Beer, and when I purchased the ingredients for each brew, I had made a point of picking up additional ingredients. what’s mroe, many of the recent extract recipes had called for odd amounts of DME, which left me with a few 1/3 and 1/2 empty bags of various kids of dry extract. I also had about half a pound of Saaz left over from a 16 oz. bag that I had purchased in October or so.

Anyway, with this overstock of ingredients, and a basic need to create something simple, Grant and I set out to make an easy-drinking amber.

We used:

6 lbs DME

1 oz. Saaz @ boil

1 oz. Saaz @ 45 min

1 oz Saaz @ 30 min

1 oz Saaz @ burnout

American 1056 Yeast

Primary for 2 weeks, then bottle for 1 month before cracking the first one.

The result was exactly what we were hoping for. It was a simple ale with an amber hue and a good amount of foam after a clean pour.

Plus it only ran me about 25 bucks for the brew.

Try this one out!

The Chupahopra – The Dry Hopped Amber

When I conceived this beer, I set out to create a smooth but hoppy brew. I wanted something that was easily drinkable, but satisfied my taste for hoppy bitterness and consistent malty goodness. The Chupahopra – my dry-hopped amber – was the result, and it did not disappoint.

This beer began as a simple IPA. Actually, it began as a bit of a challenge. My buddy Zach had mentioned that it would be cool to create an IPA with an ultra-hoppy finish, a lot of alcohol, and a light color, which we could call “The Hoax” for it’s deceptive nature. While I was toying with a recipe for such a beer, I came across a number of different recipes for dry-hopped ambers, and other malty/hoppy brews which sounded interesting, and altogether delicious. As a result, I put “The Hoax” on a backburner, and decided to aim for a balanced IPA, which quickly turned into my DHA.

The resulting brew is delicious (as mentioned above), though I would caution brewers to let it dry-hop for an additional week or two, and then resist opening for at least four weeks after bottling.

Ingredients are as follows:

Grains:

  • 1 lb. Crystal 20, steeped in 3 gal of 150 degree water for 30 min.

Malt:

  • 4 lbs Pils DME
  • 2 lbs Pale LME
  • 2 lbs Amber LME

Hops, etc.:

  • 1 oz. Columbus for 60 min
  • 1 oz. N. Brewer for 45 min
  • .5 oz Cascade for 30 min
  • .5 oz Cascade for 15 min
  • 1 tsp irish moss for 15 min
  • 1 oz Cascade (for dry-hopping)

Yeast:

  • WYEAST American Ale (#1056)

I racked the beer after a week of fermentation, and allowed it to dry-hop for two weeks in the secondary.

Note: When I do this again (and I WILL do this recipe again), I think I’m going to add an additional oz. of hops for the final 5 minutes, to finish the boil, and an additional .5 to 1 oz. of hops during the dry-hop. Despite being hop-heavy in the beginning, the hoppy finish was less strong than originally intended. I would also consider dry-hopping for an additional week or so, although after a month of staring at a brew in the garage, it’s hard NOT to bottle it.

Shadow Brewer Amber: Take Two

Grant

Grant, Being a helper…

Brewing is always better with others, so I invited my brother-in-law, Grant, over to brew a couple batches in June. I asked him – forgetting that the novelty and creativity of homebrewing is basically only intriguing to yours truly – what kind of beer he would like to create, citing limitless possibilities, various malts and umpteen choices for hops. His curt reply brought me back home: “Yeah, I don’t fucking know. Like, an Amber or something.” He then came over, and proceeded to get obliterated in my backyard on Deschutes Chainbreakers as Jared and I brewed and Amber and a Pale.

Our second attempt at an Amber (the first was the Skunk Ape) was a lighter brew with a less-hoppy finish (compared to the Ape). The ingredients and process is faily simple, as I wanted to brew something that wouldn’t confuse Grant, which I should have known wouldn’t be a concern, considering his disproportionate interest in drinking rather than brewing.

Ingredients for SB Amber:

  • 1 lb 2-row
  • 1 lb Crystal 40
  • 3.3 lbs Amber LME
  • 3 lbs Pilsner DME
  • 1 oz cascade @ 60 min (boil)
  • 1 oz Saaz @ 15 min
  • irish moss @ 15 min
  • 1 oz Chinook @ 5 min
  • American Ale Yeast

The result was a less than ipressive, but still “not bad,” Amber. If I redo this one I would consider adding additional hops (or maybe dry-hopping) and going with darker malt. I think that the addition of the Pilsner malt evened it out a little too much.

The Creation of Skunk-Ape Amber

Check out the stinky bastard to the right. That, my friends, is the Skunk-Ape; Florida’s smelly, swamp-dwelling version of the mighty Sasquatch. Skunky over here is also the (perhaps improperly chosen) namesake of one of our recent brews, the Skunk-Ape Amber.

What’s that Andrea? You’re not supposed to associate beer with skunky things? That’s true, but as Andrea agrees, the name has a certain – awesome – ring to it.

Let’s take a break for some information about this mysterious and (probably) majestic cryptid. This information is from the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters. (http://www.skunkape.info/)

About Skunk Apes

Skunk Ape is a   large hairy, bipedal mammal that calls the Florida Everglades home. They have   been spotted as far north as Tallahassee and as far south as Lostman’s River.   Large adult males reportably weigh in excess of 450 lbs and stand 6 to 7 feet   tall. Some believe that this biped is part of the same species as the famed   Big Foot.The smell of a Skunk Ape has been reported to be similar to rotten eggs or   methane, possibly because, as some say, they hide in alligator dens filled   with swamp gas and rotting animal cadavers. Others speculate that they smell   because they never bathe. Maybe it is a combination of both.

You might be interested in downloading a PDF file of the Skunk Ape Sighting Locations Map (Adobe PDF Reader   required).

Look in this section for more information about Skunk Apes. We have also   collected a variety of links for your Skunk Ape surfing   pleasure.

Fortunately, our brew does NOT taste or smell like rotten eggs or methane, and it cannot be found in alligator dens. Side-note: having watched Swamp People, I don’t recommend going into, hanging around, or being near alligator dens, unless you’re into that sort of thing… then have at it.

This classic American Amber actually has the common, light-malty taste and mouthfeel of a basic amber, like the one produced by Alaskan Brewing Co.

This is our second (and probably final) brew created from a kit, although we modified the ingredients and directions. I guess you could say that it was “influenced by” the American Amber kit from Brewer’s Best.

List of Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Caramel 80L
  • 3.3 lbs Amber LME
  • 2.5 lbs Amber DME
  • 1.5 oz Amarillo hops
  • .5 oz Willamette hops
  • Yeast
  • Priming sugar

Directions:

Steep (tea-bag) grains in 3 gal of 150 degree H20 for 30 minutes. Remove grains and bring wort to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in LME and DME. Return to a boil, watching for the break. At the break, add 1.5 oz of Amarillo, and start the 60 min timer. Being a relatively simple brew, the final .5 oz of flavoring hops are added with only 5 minutes remaining in the boil. Remove from heat after 60 min. Cool with the wort chiller, and siphon into the carboy.

We bottled this badboy about a week later, as the fermentation had visibly ceased after 5 days.

Our OG for this brew was 1.05, and our FG was 1.012, giving us a final ABV of 4.99%