Bertus Brewery

Home / Recipes / American Amber Ale & Equinox Hops

American Amber Ale & Equinox Hops

DSC_9941

Things have slowed down in the realm of brewing for me lately. The Wife and I purchased a house, which while awesome, hasn’t left much time for beer. Between the house-buying process, packing, moving, and unpacking, it’s been a busy couple months.

 

On the bright side, I get to setup my brewery in a permanent fashion, which is something I haven’t had the luxury of in the past. Since we’ve always rented, my entire home-brew setup was built with portability in mind. It will be a nice change of pace to set things up exactly how I want. Plus, it’s always fun to get to play with new toys. There was also a pretty sweet little nook to put the kegerator in, so that worked out pretty well.

IMG_6828
I do still have a few prior things to write about. There are still a few beers (dating back to last year), that I have on tap, so let’s get to talking about them. I’ve been brewing a lot of 10 gallon batches lately. This is partially due to having less time to dedicate towards brewing, and the fact that I have an additional 7.0 cf freezer dedicated towards cold storage. It’s been really nice to have additional kegs that are carbed and conditioned ready to go on tap when a keg kicks.

 

I’ve had a chance to use Equinox hops a couple times now, and I really like them. I’m actually more impressed with Equinox than I am with Mosaic, and that’s saying something. So it’s no surprise that I decided to take my de-facto house beer (American Amber Ale), and I find a way to integrate some Equinox hops into the recipe. This was a perfect excuse for a 10 gallon batch so that I could taste the beers side by side, and see what the Equinox added.

 

In terms of the recipe for this beer, it’s pretty much the same Amber Ale I brew all the time. The brew day went really smooth. I mashed for 60 minutes, boiled for 60 minutes, and whirlpooled the wort for 15 minutes before chilling this down nice and cool. I pitched half of a 4L starter into each fermenter, and hit them both with 90 seconds of oxygen before setting the fermenting fridge at 17.2C. This fermented out strong, and I added the dry hops directly to the primary once fermentation was dying down. The first five gallons was dry hopped with Citra and CTZ. The second five was dry hopped with 2oz of Equinox.


Brewed: 11-22-14
Dry Hopped: 11-26-14
Kegged: 11-30-14
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.017
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 50
12 Gallons


20lbs 2-row
2.5lbs Munich
1.75lbs English Medium Crystal
14oz C120
5oz Chocolate Malt
Mash at 154*
1.6oz Apollo @ 60
2oz Simcoe @ 15
2oz ea Centennial & Amarillo @ 0
Whirlpool for 15min
WLP090 – Super San Diego Yeast
Dry Hop Fermenter 1: 1oz Citra + 1oz CTZ
Dry Hop Fermenter 2: 2oz Equinox

 

I dropped the temp on both the fermenters after 8 days, and then kegged them a few hours later. I was greeted with a bit of a surprise when I took a gravity reading though, FG was 1.017. I was expecting 1.014. With that said, the hydrometer sample tasted pretty good, so I shrugged my shoulders, and carried on. By early December the beer was ready to drink, and here still in early April it’s held up very well.

 

The beer is a very nice deep crimson red, with a nice off-white head. The aroma is strongly reminiscent of the hops with some caramel malt that follows. The Citra/CTZ beer smelled more resiny, and the Equinox beer was much more Tropical. I didn’t expect quite the difference. Both beers had a strong citrus note. The flavors are pretty similar with the addition of a nice bready, toasted note in the finish. Carbonation is medium to medium high, and the finish is medium as well.

 

This beer provided a couple good reminders for me. First, sometimes in home brewing, despite careful planning and execution, beers don’t always turn out 100% as you expect. Even professional breweries have variations in their gravities, and as regimented as I would like to think I am, I’m not as disciplined as they are. Secondly, even if a beer didn’t turn out as planned, it can often be quite good, sometimes just as much so as the beer you planned for.

 

In other news, I’ll be documenting my new brewery build here in the next few months. I’m not planning to go nuts like some of the all-out electric builds you see, but I am planning on running some 240 to the back yard and building a brewing stand. Stay tuned for the details.

 

And finally, thanks to Northern Brewer for the shoutout on Twitter. Cheers guys!

13 thoughts on “American Amber Ale & Equinox Hops”
  1. Peter Walsh 04.07.2015 on 1:41 PM Reply

    Contrats on the new home. Looking forward to the build of the new brewery. Are you going all electric?

    I just built a BrewPi and will use it for the first time this week. 😉

  2. Scott 04.07.2015 on 5:00 PM Reply

    Thanks! I'm probably going to keep the propane for boiling, but I'm not entirely sure. Things will start off with getting a 30a outlet in the backyard.

    Congrats on the BrewPi, that software looks pretty cool.

  3. Shawn 04.07.2015 on 6:48 PM Reply

    I'm also a big fan of Equinox. Only brewed with it once, but the single-hop Session IPA I used it in came out extremely tasty, even more so than the previous ones I had brewed (with Mosaic for one, El Dorado for another). I've been wanting to use it in an Amber; nice to see your recipe yielded good results!

  4. David Taylor 04.08.2015 on 2:00 PM Reply

    Hi Scott – great blog. Every recipe I've tried has been a hit and my brewing has definitely improved since I started reading your blog.

    For the dark malts in this recipe, are you throwing them in for the whole mash? I've recently switched to adding them before I sparge to limit astringency but I'm curious if you've ever seen this as an issue with your beers. Cheers!

  5. Scott 04.08.2015 on 2:20 PM Reply

    I typically incorporate my dark grains in with the grist for the entire mash. I've heard of people having good success with what you're describing though. There really aren't many grains in this recipe that would leave to astringency though. It's all crystal malt (which you want in there for the entire mash), and just a few ounces of Chocolate malt (2.5oz in a 5gal batch).

    But ya, feel free to experiment. I think the risk of it not turning out is pretty damn low. To be perfectly honest, the chocolate malt is in the recipe mostly for color adjustment. I like a deep dark red for my amber ales.

  6. TungstenBeer 04.08.2015 on 5:12 PM Reply

    After your hiatus last year I was worried you'd taken another one and that the blog might be dying. I'm happy to see you were just busy though! Looking forward to tracking the brewery build as I'm designing my own right now – although mine probably will be more "nuts" as you said.

    Thanks for the notes on Equinox as well! Cheers.

  7. Unknown 04.11.2015 on 7:45 AM Reply

    Nice post! I will definitely try out this recipe, it looks delicious 🙂
    Did you ever tried to clone Easy Jack summer session IPA? I've tried to look out for a recipe and couldn't find one…

  8. Scott 04.14.2015 on 1:51 PM Reply

    Ya, I always laughed when friends complained about getting busy, and their hobbies fell by the wayside. I get it now. If you want to see your spare time disappear like magic, just buy a foreclosure. Poof!

    My schedule is getting considerably more open now that we're getting settled in the house though, so I'm working on writing more. What kind of system are you looking at putting together? All-Electric?

  9. Scott 04.14.2015 on 1:52 PM Reply

    I haven't really looked into putting together a recipe for that one, but I will say it's one of my favorite session IPAs on the market. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to that one.

  10. Wes Fowlks 04.18.2015 on 2:11 AM Reply

    Congrats on the house! I am actually closing on a house myself May 1st. I share your struggles with having less time for brewing especially having a little rugrat running around. My new house has Natural Gas, but I was looking into the Banjo KAB6 (http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-KAB6-Cooker-Guard/dp/B003B7USOM) to speed up my brewing time, and it puts out 4x the heat, the only other thing I have found that cuts the brewing time is reducing my mash time to ~40 min.

  11. Kieran Huscroft 08.09.2015 on 5:33 PM Reply

    Great blog!

  12. Scotty_Dawg 09.17.2015 on 2:41 PM Reply

    Dude, is everything ok? You've been absent for so long….

  13. Felipe 05.16.2016 on 9:42 AM Reply

    Hello. I follow your blog closely and I really like it. What would be the maltsters for the grains in this recipe? And the SRM for the grains you used too?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

>> <<