Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AG#10 All Grain Own Recipe Amber Beer

First brewday posted for a while for various reasons.

This beer was brewed on 31st March 2012.

I became a fan of Amber Malt from my first ever all grain brew and have been looking for a recipe that featured more of this biscuity, flavoursome malt.

Having finally found, via teh Google, that it can be used as up to 20% of the grain bill I decided to construct my own recipe. In it I also wanted to feature Bramling Cross hops, another flavour and aroma I have found I've grown to really appreciate.

My aim was to brew a medium dark, biscuity beer with fruity hop notes. I came close.

Luckily I posted a few Tweets during the brew day and caught the attention of a brewer I have a lot of respect for and who's blog I follow as well as his numerous, informative and superbly photographed posts on Jim's Beer Kit forum, PDTNC.

He advised me of some Amber malt things to be aware of when used in higher quantities than typical and also offered some good advice on upping my original Hopping rates to balance the amber malt flavours. So, if you read this, cheers for the help Ade!

Here's the recipe:

Grain Bill:
Pale Malt: 3400g
Amber Malt: 900g
Torrified Wheat: 250g

Bittering Hops:
Challenger: 14g 90 mins
Northern Brewer: 14g 90 mins

Aroma Hops:
Bramling Cross: 60g (50% @ 10 mins - 50% @ flameout - 30 minute steep)

Irish Moss (10 mins), rehydrated and Safale SO4 made into a small DME starter a couple of days before.

Dry Hops: 15g Bramling Cross - added to secondary for a week before bottling.

Total liquor: 32 litres
Mash liquor: 12 litres

Mash time: 90 mins - Mash temp: 66C
Boil time: 90 mins

Target volume: 23l
Actual volume: 20.5 :(

Target OG: 1,043
Actual OG: 1,052 Oops! I didn't bother to top up with freshwater to adjust the gravity down.

Final Gravity: 1,011

All in all, an uneventful brewday, I like these as I read many that are fraught with equipment let downs. I'm still being very lucky in this aspect, no stuck mashes or blocked hop filters as yet. Using a gas burner for my copper I also avoid the seemingly common place electric boiler cut outs.

This time I batch sparged rather than fly sparging for no particular reason with 20l of liquor at 68C in the Mash Tun.

Here's the piccies...

The obligatory grain shot. Lots of Amber malt and fascinated audience.

I'd taken this pic and added the text before PDTNC advised upping the Bramling Cross (see recipe above)

HLT coming up to temp ready to add 12 litres to the mash tun.

Crud scum forming approaching the boil.

Vigourous boil and bittering hops in.

Spent grains, some went off to my Mum to make some splendid bread with and the rest went to the Chickens.

Post boil hops going in. Just remembered this was an overnight cool down hence the lack of immersion chiller.
I ran off the hopped wort and pitched the yeast the following morning then placed the FV in a heated water bath set to 21C.

Moved to secondary on 14th March but then everything went wrong, we lost our German Shepherd nicknamed The Little Wuppit (Holly) suddenly on the 18th.

Bottled on 22nd and not thinking very clearly primed it with 150g sugar in 350ml water. I usually prime with less than 100g.

As it turned out the extra priming must have fermented out as there's no detectable sweetness in the finished beer of which I have had a few now and it is nicely primed.

A piccy of my first pinta, which I raised to the memory of my very, very sadly missed Little Wuppit.

I love the colour and it has a fantastic head (my reason for adding the torrified wheat) that stays to the bitter (no pun intended) end.

Tastes... not my strong point in describing flavours but slightly burnt homemade biscuits springs to mind but with a floral, black current aroma that in my opinion sets it off very nicely indeed. For me, an enjoyable pint.

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