Of all the beers I made last year, one of my absolute favorites was my American Amber Ale. It wasn't the biggest, it wasn't the hoppiest, and it might not have been the most exciting, but I really enjoyed having it on tap. So it was long over due that I made another batch of this.

I like to tweak my recipes. I'm not sure why; it's just one of those urges that is hard to fight. So for this beer, I really tried to do my best to resist that urge. I kept the malt bill identical, and only slightly tweaked the hops due to availability, and what I felt like using up in my freezer.

To be perfectly honest, I'm a few batches behind in regards to updating this blog. Unfortunately, that also means my memory is getting a little fuzzy as to the particulars of the brew day. Nothing really stood out as good or bad, so I can really relay is my notes. I mashed for 60 minutes, and boiled for 60 as well. I whirlpooled the wort for 15 minutes after flameout before chilling down to 62F. Due to convenience, I've been using US05 as of late. It doesn't ferment or flocculate as quickly as WLP090 does, but when you don't have time to make a start, it gets the job done.

Brewed: 01-19-14
Dry Hopped: 01-26-14
Kegged: 01-30-14
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.8%
IBU: ~50
6 Gallons

10lbs 2-row
1.25lb Munich
14oz English Crystal
7oz Crystal 120

2.5oz Chocolate Malt
Mash @ 154*
.85oz Apollo @ 60
1oz  Cascade @ 15
1oz ea Centennial/Amarillo @ 0
US05 - Cali Ale Yeast

Dry Hop - 1oz Citra & .5oz CTZ

Fermentation moved along a little slow, as US05 tends to do. After about 7 days, it was wrapping up, and I racked to secondary for dry hops. The beer sat on those for another 5 days, before I racked to keg for fining and carbonation.

After a good 10-12 days under CO2, this beer really started to wake up. The aroma was a touch dull at first, but once the carb levels come up, it really comes alive. The beer itself is a beautiful dark red with a nice white sticky head. The aroma is mainly fruity hops, with a nice big resiny note. There's a fair mix of malt in the aroma as well. The flavor is pretty similar, but the malt hits you first. The mouthfeel is full, but the beer isn't cloying in any way, with a nice fruity/citrusy hop character in the finish. Overall it's just a really fantastic beer that I can't get enough of.

Every time I brew this beer I tell myself: "I should really keep this on tap more often", but I somehow never manage to follow through with that. So considering this keg is running dry, I'm going to pencil another batch of this in shortly. My hophead friends love it, as well as those that are a little less lupulin-inclined. Anyway, thanks for all the comments and support. Cheers!


  1. Hi Scott - I have your Cali Common recipe on tap right now. What a great beer! I cold crashed the primary in the keezer for about a month(forgot about it) Needless to say the clarity was great as is the malt profile. It's been a big hit with everyone I've shared it with. How would you rate the amber against the common? More hop nose due to the dry hopping? Thanks again for an invaluable resource in this site! -Jason

    1. It's bigger. Similar malt profile, more bitter, and a much bigger hop nose. It's also less.....refreshing, and more satisfying. If that makes any sense.

  2. Hi Scott,

    In the American Amber 3.0, you used 1.5 lbs of Munich while in this version you only used 1.25 lbs. Why the change? And, was there a noticeable flavor change?
    Also, I have noticed that Munich malt can taste quite different depending on the maltster. What degree lovibond did you use and if you remember the name of the maltster, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    1. I'll have to look back at my notes. I definitely brewed it with 1.25lbs, but I probably made a mistake between reviewing my old recipes, and actually pulling grain at the homebrew shop.

      I didn't really notice the change to be honest. I'll probably go back to 1.5lbs in the future.

      I have noticed that munich tastes different. Usually when my LHBS has a different brand for whatever reason. I typically use Great Western Munich 8-10L.

    2. If you ever get a chance to try Weyermann munich 5-7L... do so. It has a softer, smoother taste than Great Western munich..as it is a lower lovibond, but still gives the beer the malt backbone that is necessary.

      Thanks for all OF your efforts with this site. It's great!

  3. I actually have been burning through the American Amber that I made from your american amber 3.0 recipe, which is fantastic. Thanks for all the great recipes and ideas.

  4. I just brewed this up today! I'll let you know how it is. I used 1217 though.

    1. I got better efficiency than I expected so my OG was 1.063, and when I checked the final gravity 1217 worked it down to 1.008! That yeast is a beast.

  5. Mine came out way darker than yours looks. Do you recall the Lovibond of the English Crystal and the Chocolate malt you used? The beer tastes awesome regardless, thanks for the recipe!

  6. This is the best beer I've had on tap. I ended up using some Belma, and Chinook in late/dry hops. Blown away at how fruity this is. Accidentally mashed around 150 so this got down to 1.005 with an OG of 1.060 but I think that really makes the English crystal and C120 stand out beautifully. It's simply way to drinkable for a 7% beer. Can't wait to try more of your recipes.

  7. Scrott,

    I hope you're having fun on your European vacation.

    I just brewed this Amber Ale with my neighbor. It's so much darker in the carboy than expected. I dry hopped it yesterday and it smells fantastic. I think my next brew will be a derivative of the Blind Pig IPA.

  8. Hey Scott,

    I have this beer sitting on dry hops at the moment. It smells freaking fantastic but the FG sample I took looks like it might be paler than yours. Do you recall the color of English Crystal you used? I assumed medium crystal so I went with a English C60.


    1. How do you think this would work with WLP004 Irish Ale yeast? Nice looking recipe by the way.


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