Carmel Amber Ale

Written by Justin on February 4, 2011

The Carmel Amber Ale was something we decided we were going to brew just before the holidays as a holiday beer. Of course it was ready by Christmas, but just barely. So now it has become instead a warm amber light through these dark winter months.

The beer is a pretty simple Amber Ale. It’s made up of mostly 2 Row Pale, a bit of Crystal 80 and Amber Candi sugar. It’s hopped with Chinook for the bitters and Chinook and Willamettes for the aroma. The beer beer came in at 5.25% and 45 IBU. After fermentation we kegged the beer and force carbed it in our keezer.

So how’d it come out? On the pour it comes out with a great amber color a little bit on the darker Carmel side. The keezer helps to build a creamy white head on the beer that slowly settles out leaving some silky foam on the side of the glass. On the nose it’s really not there. There is a small hint of hops but you really have to search for it. A friend of mine suggested that a future batch should shoot for more of a floral hop aroma and I would tend to agree. Once it hits your mouth it’s a nice medium hopped brew. The carbonation is on the low side and really gets out of the way for the malts and hops to shine. There is a slight Carmel flavor from the candy sugar but it isn’t strong. It finishes leaving a bit of the hop flavor behind and a bit of a bitter bite in your mouth.

Overall I like the beer. I think it’s very drinkable but there isn’t anything that makes it particularly special. If we decide to make it again I think that I would focus on finishing the beer at a slightly higher FG and definitely change up the hop additions a bit. What do you think? Got a suggestion?

Brew details after the jump.

Carmel Amber Ale

Style: American Amber Ale
Type: All Grain Calories: 165
Rating: 0.0 Efficiency: 70 %
IBU’s: 44.93 Boil Size: 6.50 Gal
Color: 19.8 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Estimated Actual
Brew Date: 11/27/2010
OG: 1.050 1.050
FG: 1.015 1.010
ABV: 4.59 % 5.24 %
Serve Date: 12/24/2010 12/23/2010

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp Estimated Actual
Primary 14 days @ 68.0°F 11/27/2010 11/27/2010
Secondary 7 days @ 72.0°F 12/11/2010 12/10/2010
Bottle/Keg 7 days @ 74.0°F 12/17/2010 12/17/2010
Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Gravity Color
1.50 lbs 15.79 % Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L 1.034 80.0
7.00 lbs 73.68 % Pale Malt (2 Row) UK 1.036 3.0
1.00 lbs 10.53 % Candi Sugar, Amber 1.036 75.0
Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 44.93 Chinook 60 mins 13.00
1.00 ozs 0.00 Chinook 0 mins 13.00
1.00 ozs 0.00 Williamette 0 mins 5.50
Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg California Lager Wyeast Labs 2112
Mash Profile

Full Body Infusion In 45 min @ 158.0°F
Add 10.62 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 170.0°F

Full Body Infusion Out 10 min @ 168.0°F
Add 4.25 qt ( 0.50 qt/lb ) water @ 196.0°F

Notes Version: 1.431

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