Brew Day | American Amber Ale

in life •  11 months ago 
Last week, I decided to brew an Amber Ale, because I love this style of beer. I haven't brewed in almost 6 months now, so I felt a bit rusty. My brew method is BIAB (brew in a bag), it means that you put the malts in a bag when you're mashing.
I'm not going to go into every detail about brewing, but if you know even something about beer, then you might understand what I'm doing and explaining.


I use the software Brewmate (it's for free) to create my recipe for the beer. Here is my amber ale recipe.


The malts for this brew: Viking Pale Ale Malt, Viking Crystal Malt 100 and Viking Black Patent Malt.


Firstly, I started heating up about 10 liters of water to a desired temperature of ~ 71° Celsius.


Meanwhile when I'm waiting for the right temp, I weigh the malts and put them into the bag.


When the temperature is right, put the bag with malts into the pot. Make sure all the malt is wet and try to dissolve the clumps. After you've done this, the temp should be around 66° Celsius.


Then I put a sleeping bag around the pot, to keep a steady temperature. I leave it like this for about 90 minutes. This is called mashing and the goal is to get the sugar extracted from the malts.


To get even more sugars out of the malts, you can sparge. It means that you pour hot water (~90° Celsius) on the malt bag and let the water run through the malt and into the pot.


After this, you heat up the wort (the liquid extracted from the mashing process) to the boiling point and add the first addition of hops @ 60 min. If you want, you can first remove the foam with a strainer to get a clearer end product. The foam is caused by proteins in the wort that coagulate due to the rolling action of the boil.


Set the timer on 60 minutes countdown. Next hop additions will be @ 15 min, @ 5 min and @ flameout (0 minutes).


The hops I use! Simcoe @ 60 min, Simcoe and Cascade @ 15 min, Simcoe and Cascade @ 5 min, Simcoe and Cascade @ flameout (0 min) and then I'm also gonna dry hop with Cascade.


When the boiling is done (60 min), the next step is to cool down the wort as fast as possible. I use this technique: fermenter bucket, ice packs, cold water with an ongoing flow. It takes about 40 min to cool it down to yeast pitching temperatures (18-20° Celsius).


Now comes the most important part! Remember! Everything that touches the cooled wort should be clean and sanitized! I use Star San for that (Star San is an acid-based no-rinse sanitizer that is effective and easy to use). Otherwise, your beer will be ruined.


It's time to filter out the hop gunk. This technique also automatically aerates the wort when the wort drops down into the fermenter bucket. The yeast needs oxygen to reproduce.


Checking the original gravity with a hydrometer. Original gravity measures how much sugar is present in the wort (density) before it is fermented. The OG will provide the brewer with a good idea of the potential alcohol percentage for that particular beer. My OG reading was at 1.069 and my aim is 1.048, so I added boiled water to the fermenter bucket to get the right OG and amount of wort (about 15 liters).


It's time to add the right amount of yeast. For this beer, I use a dry yeast called Safale US-05. Remember, the wort has to be in yeast pitching temperatures before you add it (18-24° Celsius).


Lastly but not least, put the fermenting bucket in a space with the right temp for your specific beer. The fermentation should start within a day, the sooner the better. Try to keep the temp steady so that the yeast stays happy! I leave it like this for about 2 weeks until it's time for bottling. On the tenth day of fermentation, I'll dry hop to get more nice aromas. Now comes the most difficult part, the waiting time!


I also review beers. Check out my latest beer reviews:

Borran's Beer Review: Must Kuld

Borran's Beer Review: Almost 5 Year Old Orval!

Borran's Beer Review: Lervig Hoppy Joe

Borran's Beer Review: Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar

I hope you enjoyed my post! Thanks for stopping by!

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Wow it looks and sounds like it will be a great !BEER
Now I want to brew a beer, it's been more than a year since my last brew session
Ok I have to order some fresh maltsand hops xD

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At least I hope so! :)
Cool! What kind of beer do you usually brew? IPA? :)

I am a big stout fan so normally I brew a nice dark stout xD

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Ok! Stouts are nice! :)

That looks like it took quite the effort to put together, you deserve a !BEER 1

Thanks! :)..Have you ever brewed your own beer? You should try someday!

  ·  11 months ago (edited)

Hi @borran, what a great report from your work.

Love to share a bottle with you in a few weeks and send you a virtual !BEER to overcome the waiting time.....

A perfect post for your #BeerSaturday week 166 - Thanks!

Thanks @detlev! :)

Damn that looks like a lot of work! Hope it will be worth it in taste. :D

Well, it takes about 5-6 hours to brew a beer at home with this technique and equipment!

I hope so too! Usually homebrews taste quite good! :)

Your post was extremely informative and interesting. I had no idea how much work was involved in making beer even though I toured a Heineken plant in Amsterdam. Cheers!

Yeah, a lot of work but also a lot of fun! Cleaning is the worst part. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers! :)

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Thats a great post, I have two years since my last batch, a 18 lts of a brown ale.

I'll be waiting the review of the beer in a month or so.

Greetings from Mexico.

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Thanks! Cool! I have made a brown ale once! Maybe you should start brewing again? :)

Great post, I also love my home brewing. I actually bought an electric urn, it works very nice for temperature control, no need for blankets and as it is a 50l urn and I only brew 25l batches, the grain bag fits nicely and the grain is nice and loose. I normally don't put as many hop types in only two and at two intervals, but I use a small hops bag, which makes it easier to get the hops out.
1.069 is a nice reading!!
(I brewed 2 weeks ago, but did not post on it yet, will do soon)

Cool! 25l batches, now I'm jealous! I can only make about 15l max.
I have thought about using hop bags but it works pretty well without them too.
1.069 was exactly the reading I wanted, but my brew efficiency is pretty bad with this equipment and brewing method. Normally, around 57 %.
I'm looking forward to your post! :)

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Thanks! :)

What beer were you drinking while making your own beer? :)

Actually, I usually don't drink beer when I'm brewing. The first picture is a beer I drank a couple of weeks ago. Põhjala, Virmalised! :)

I'll order a few bottles! You know where you can send them XD

I can probably save one for you! I hope so at least, they run out fast! :D

Yeah I can imagine...the long term solution for me would be to learn to do it myself...probably ain't gonna happen...

I can teach you!

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Wooow, that looks awesome! I am really impressed by your skills and overall approach towards beer :) Are you sure you are a Finn and not a Czech? :D

Hahaha! Well, we Finns do like beer too! But maybe I have a little bit Czech blood in me! :D

I think you do :) You love beer and ice hockey, just like us :D

Maybe we are pretty much the same! Czechs and Finns! :D

Very nicely done. I would have enjoyed watching this in video format, heh. Nonetheless its still quite awesome. There is a craft brewer down the road from my house and as you probably know there is nothing like fresh beer. Happy Friday Borran.

Thanks! Yeah, I guess it would've been better in video format, maybe next time! ;)
I agree! There is nothing better than a cold fresh craftbeer!

WOW thanks for the awesome info! gonna resteem it for save in my blog for later use... forever :)
I just tried once as a experiment... from scratch... :D HAH still could get a little drunk out of my "product" but it tastet awful + decided to go 1 part baked malt :D huh?!
AAAND very handy software btw... gonna get it to learn a little bit... but I'm a fan of craft beers and have local friends! :)

Thanks for the resteem! :)
Baked malt! Well, it's always nice to experiment! :D
Hmm, maybe your brew got infected?
Yeah, the software is quite good! There are also other free software's you can use:
For example:

Maybe yes...i killed it :)
Thanks a lot again!


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Well this brought back a few memories. I haven't made beer in decades and now I can see why lol

It is a lot of work but if you enjoy the process. It can be fun.

Last time I made beer the home computer hadn't been developed. 😐😱

Yeah it's a lot of work but it's worth it! The best feeling is when you open your first bottle of your batch! :)
Did you use the same technique as me?
Haha, that's a long time ago then!

I recall that the process was similar but the container that held the brew was a thick plastic square box shape with a vent mechanism.

Lucky that I had it in the bath overnight as it exploded. 😂😂

The vent thing didn't work so I had 40 pints of beer in the bath!

I salvaged most of it and gave it to my uncle. He liked it 😂😂👍 but he would drink anything.

Your brew looks much more professional.

Okay, sounds like a working system!
Oops!..Imagine if you would have had it in the living room! 😂
I don't know if you could call it professional but it is works! :)

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