Dave’s pick

Brookwood Amber is nice and clear when lagered for a few weeks.

This is the first in our recipe series. Whether you’re an experienced homebrewer or just starting out, working with other peoples recipes is a great way to learn and get new ideas. The first in our series is a recipe that is a “Dave’s pick.” He’ll be the first to tell you that amber, red, etc ales and lagers aren’t his favorite thing to drink. However, they offer a unique opportunity to weave subtle flavors in to the beer. The darker color of the beer allows you to use some roast malt if you want. This is difficult to do if you’re trying to keep the color light. Dave ended up liking this beer so much, he brought a growler of it home to enjoy!

In designing this recipe, the goal was to make a highly drinkable beer that still lets you know you’re drinking something. We wanted it to be dry, so we chose a clean yeast that does not impart any fruity esters. The exact choice of yeast doesn’t matter, as long as it’s clean. Use your favorite lager yeast or a clean ale yeast. We absolutely love the 2019 crop of Cascade hops from Yakima Valley, so we wanted to add some subtle citrus in to the finish. Finally, there is a very small amount of Chocolate malt that gives you a very subtle hint of roast, coffee and chocolate on the finish if you’re paying attention. This is one area where more is not better! Keep the roast as a subtle background note and around 1% of the grain bill! We hope you enjoy making this beer as much as we did! If you want to mix things up a bit, we’ve included some ideas on variations on the recipe.

We recommend letting the finished beer lager for a few weeks before serving. When it’s clear, the malt really starts to come forward and you can taste the subtle roast and citrus from the hops. If you’re bottle conditioning, choose a high flocculation yeast so that the beer will clear in bottle.

Note: due to differences in systems and methods that people use to brew, our recipe formats going forward will not include amounts, but rather measurements (percentage, IBU, etc) you can use to tailor the recipe to your system. We recommend the use of some kind of brewing software to determine how much of each ingredient to buy. Don’t worry if the percentages are off by a little bit. You’ll still make a great beer. Where it really matters, we’ll tell you to use a particular maltster. Otherwise, use whatever maltster you can find or like. The hop additions are always measured from the end of the boil. For example, a “5 minute addition” means 5 minutes from the end of the boil. Whirlpool additions are always after flameout.

Recipe:

  • Pale 2-row malt 2.0 SRM: 83.7% (We used Viking Pale malt)
  • Medium Crystal 55/65 SRM: 15.2% (Use Bairds for this recipe)
  • Chocolate Malt 350 SRM: 1.1% (We used Briess)
  • Czech Saaz bittering hops: 19-20 IBU, 60 min addition
  • Cascade flavor/aroma hops: 8-9 IBU, 5 min addition
  • Cascade flavor/aroma hops: 2-3 IBU, whirlpool addition
  • Whirlfloc fining tablet
  • Soft water

Statistics:

  • Original Gravity: 1.062
  • Final Gravity: 1.013
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBU: 30
  • Mash pH: 5.32

Process:

  • Dough in to a mash temp of 151°F/66°C
  • Recirculate and maintain temperature if you can.
  • Stir the mash to ensure complete conversion, usually about 75 minutes for us.
  • Mash out at 168°F/76°C for 20 minutes.
  • If you can’t recirculate the mash, vourlauf for a couple minutes until you remove most of the chaff from your tun deadspace.
  • Sparge with 180°F/82°C water.
  • Boil for 60 minutes
  • Add 19-20 IBU of Czech Saaz hops for 60 min bittering addition.
  • With 5 min left in the boil, add your 8-9 IBU Cascade and whirlfloc addition.
  • If you can, start your whirlpool and allow the cone to form, then add your 2-3 IBU Cascade whirlpool addition.
  • If you can’t whirlpool, just add the addition at flameout.
  • Whirlpool/hop stand for 10 min.
  • Knock out to your yeast pitch temperature and pitch your yeast.

Notes on yeast:

Just use a clean yeast. It really doesn’t matter what you use. If you have temperature control, use a German lager yeast strain. If you don’t have a good way to control temperature or struggle to maintain lager temperatures, use a clean ale yeast like Safale US-05 or White Labs WLP-001. Ferment on the cool side of the temperature range to minimize the fruity esters.

Variation ideas:

We really love this recipe as we made it, but here are some ideas for variations on this basic recipe.

  • Use a fruity yeast.
    • Try an English ale yeast like London Ale III and ferment at 63°F/17°C
    • Try a fruity American ale yeast, like Wyeast 1272 and ferment at 68°F/20°C
  • Add a dry hop
    • Add 1oz of Cascade per 5 gallon batch. (2oz/10 gal, etc)
    • Replace Cascade with Centennial or Simco hops.
    • Dry hop with Cluster to add a floral nose.
  • Switch the pale 2-row with something else:
    • Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter
    • Admiral Maltings Gallagher’s Best
    • Weyermann Munich I