Thursday, March 8, 2012

AG#10 All Grain own recipe Amber - part 1

I've just doughed in and have 90 minutes or so to get some work done (one of the perks of working from home) and begin reporting my first brewday of 2012 on here.

As I mentioned previously I ended up with a surplus of Amber malt and have been looking for ways to use some of it up. Having found a blog post mentioning use of up to 20% Amber malt in a brew I thought I'd give it a go using a much higher quantity than I've previously used.

My first attempt at a 100% own recipe beer:

I'm going to stick with my 90 minute mash schedule but drop my boil time down to 60 minutes a) to save gas and (b) it's still pretty cool outside so I'm expecting a fair bit of condensation :(

Target volume: 23l
Target OG: ? No idea, we'll just have to see but somewhere around 1,050 will be cool (edit: I hit 1.052 but that was almost 2 litres below target volume so with fresh water top up it will be less and, if I can find the bloody calculator for top up amounts, it may well end up around the 1.043 I was told via Twitter to expect).

Grain Bill
Maris Otter Pale Malt - 3.4kg
Amber Malt - 900g
Torrefied Wheat - 250g

The obligatory grain bill shot.
Hops - chosen based on fruity tones (to my nose anyway) to compliment the biscuity, Amber malt.
Challenger - 14g
Northern Brewer - 14g
Bramling Cross - 14g (EDIT plus 50g as recommended on Twitter by @pdtnc)

Lovely hops.
Hop addition timings
Challenger & Northern Brewer: 60 mins
64g Bramling Cross: Flameout with a 20-30 minute steep before cooling. (EDIT altered hopping by adding a further 50g BC after advice on Twitter - see comments below)

Dry Hopping
5g of each of the above in a muslin bag.

Finings, Irish Moss and yeast, 1 sachet of Safale S04 rehydrated and kicked off in a 2l starter of pale malt wort 2 days ago.

I've split the hop additions during the boil to (in my theory and probably why I've seen it done elsewhere) get loads of bitterness from the first additions, less from the secondary but some flavour/aroma. We'll see, it might make no difference. (EDIT altered hopping by adding a further 50g BC after advice on Twitter and putting all bittering hops in at start of boil to offset the sweetness of Amber malt - see comments below)

I chose the hops because to me they smell fruity which is something I want to compliment the biscuit flavours I've found in other beers using Amber malt. Fruity biscuits, what can be wrong with that?

I mashed in with 12l of liquor (20 minutes remaining on mash as I type) which is more than previous volumes that have been around 10. My last brew was a real struggle to dough in with just 10 litres and this time was much easier with a lot less dough balls to break up without pounding the mash to oblivion.

I am also going to batch sparge after I've run off the first wort this time rather than use my spray bar system. again, just to see and it's one less thing to clean afterwards.

See you in part two of my first own recipe all grain homebrew...


pdtnc said...

I'd say, if you have any more Bramling Cross dump a minimum of 50g in at Flamout to try balance the strong taste of Amber Malt.
BeerEngine says you'll get about 1043.

pdtnc said...

Your bitterness is pretty low for the OG, not a bad thing so long as you want a sweeter beer.
The Amber malt is a full on flavour, hope you know, you've got almost 20% in there, I've done that before and regretted it :|
If you were to shift all your Challenger & Northern Brewer to 60mins it would balance the bitterness better too. Hope you don't mind the Crits, I just know it was the first beer I dumped because of too much Amber malt.

Steve189 said...

All very much appreciated and as a regular reader of your blog and posts on Jim's I shall certainly take your advice. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Glad I read this. I have about 900g of Amber to use up at some point and had an Amber malt heavy recipe in mind. Thank god for someone else going before me :) cheers Ade!
Good bloggage by the way, happy brewing!

Steve189 said...

Well said broadfordbrewer, I've made the adjustments as recommended. Still smelling bloody great though and the wort tastes fine so far, maybe my palette is shit LOL

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