Recipe of the Month – American Amber Ale
American Amber Ale
While the whole world is increasingly keen on APA’s and IPA’s we easily forget about this style that has been also developed in the American craft beer revolution as a variation from American Pale Ales. According to BJCP it is an amber, hoppy, moderate-strength American craft beer with a caramel malty flavor. The balance of this style may vary in a wide range, some versions are quite malty, while others extremely hoppy (they often referred as Red IPA). The point is to have a nice amber color and a harmony in malt-hop profile.
Grain bill: Your aim is a dark, caramelly beer without any chocolate and roasted flavour. Malty sweetness and a moderate caramel taste is essential in this style. Therefor our grain bill consists mainly of Ale malt, while you get the amber color and deeper tastes by adding Munich and Crytal malts too. This will definetely result in such flavours, as caramel, bread and toffee, and you also need them to balance the hops. As you want to brew a full body beer, feel free to go only for alpha-amylaze rest at 69˚C (156F) and hold for 50-60 minutes.
Hops: Hoppiness should be moderate to high – you don’t need to increase IBU, but need perceptible hop flavor. Go for typical fruity new wave hop varieties (citrus, floral, pine, tropical, raisin). I had great experience with Cascade, but you can pick any such as per your own taste. Dry-hopping is not needed for this style.
Yeast: You need a clean fermenting American ale yeast strain. As you don’t need strong esters, try to keep fermentation temperature at the advised level of your strain.
Batch size: 19 l (5 gallon)
Bitterness: 33 IBU
Colour: 13 SRM
Taste: medium body and hoppiness, rich in caramel and toffee aroma
Food pairing: street food meals