I was planning on brewing a Double Jack clone this weekend (that keeps getting pushed back), but with the move looming, I never got around to making a starter this week. So on Saturday I scrapped that idea, and flipped through the future batches I have planned to see what could use dry yeast. My Amber Ale fit the bill nicely. I’ve brewed this beer a few times, and most recently back in February. The recipe is pretty close to where I want it, so I only made a few small tweaks this time around. I dropped the C60 to 14oz, and the C120 to 7oz. We added 8oz more Munich, and threw in 1oz Chocolate (up from a pinch) to make up the color difference. Finally there’s .5oz of Galaxy added to the dry hop.
Again, since I’m moving, we brewed this batch over at Greg’s place; I’m taking advantage of his brew system before he moves out of town. With that in mind, I thought why brew 5 gallons when I can brew 10 in the same time. It’s finally cooling off here in AZ, so it was a relaxing day to be outside for once. We mashed and boiled for 60 minutes, then whirlpooled the wort hot for 10 minutes before chilling the beer down to 64F. I pitched 3 packs (1.5 per fermenter) of re-hyrdated US05, and we buttoned up the fermenters in the fermenting fridge at 62F.
28oz Crystal 60
14oz Crystal 120
2oz Chocolate Malt
Mash @ 154*
1.4oz Warrior (16.7% AA) @ 60
1oz Centennial @ 10
1oz Amarillo @ 10
2oz Centennial @ 0
2oz Amarillo @ 0
3 packs Safale US-05 – Fermented at 62*F
Dry Hop – 2oz Citra & 1oz Galaxy
This was a pretty standard beer in terms of the fermentation. US05 usually takes a week to ferment out when I keep it in the low 60s. I dry hopped the beer directly in the primaries on day 7, and then kegged them a week later.
Ah, now we’re talking! The dry hop additions of Citra and Galaxy are the first things that stand out in this beer. There’s a lovely tropical fruit aroma that melds right in with the caramel malt. The hop character definitely has some resinous quality that keeps the aroma from being too….sweet, for lack of a better word. There’s a rich maltiness in the flavor that’s immediately backed by a strong citrus hop presence. The fermentation character is very clean, and the beer finishes with a firm but smooth bitterness. US05 seems to be flocculating worse and worse lately, but after a couple weeks this beer is finally clearing up.
This recipe is now what I would call ‘dialed in’. The only change I would make is merely a color adjustment; I was shooting for a richer red color. I’ll add .5-1oz more chocolate malt (per 5gal) next time I brew this to lend a deeper red hue. I’m very excited though. This is probably the first recipe I can truly say I’m done tweaking, and ready to put the ‘finished stamp’ on. I’ll probably send this one off to a competition to see how it does. It definitely has too much dry hop character to be taken too seriously under the BJCP guidelines, but what the hell.
This beer scored a 41, and took 3rd place at a recent competition. I’ll have to wait for the scoresheets to arrive to see what the judges comments were. My hunch is that this was too hoppy for the style, but we’ll see shortly.