Back to Basics – American Amber Ale

The aim for this homebrew project is to produce an American amber ale that offers plenty of malt character with a medium to low caramel level.
Maris Otter, Dark Crystal, Amber and Munch Malts will help me to achieve this.
I’ll be using Chinook hops to give a medium hop bitterness whilst also adding a little pine and spiciness to the overall flavour and aroma.
Bringing it all together will be a US West Coast yeast by Mangrove Jacks. I’ve been getting some pretty consistent results with Mangrove Jacks so aim to use these sachets for the time being.

Here is what I’ve come up with:-


816g Maris Otter
115g Dark Crystal Malt
22g Amber Malt
22G Munich Malt

Hops – Start – Bittering
2.5g Chinook

Hops – Middle – Flavouring
2g Chinook

Hops – End – Flavouring
5g Chinook

1/4 tsp Irish Moss (Added in the final 15 minutes of boil)

US West Coast (Mangrove Jacks M44)

Cleaning & Sanitising:

Prepare your sanitiser by dissolving 2 teaspoons of powder or dissolving one tablet in 5 litres of water.
Sterilize all equipment including the demijohn, Syphon tubing, airlock, bung, funnel, thermometer and sieve by soaking in the liquid for around 20 minutes.
Try to hold onto this sanitiser solution until the brewing process is complete as you never know when you’ll need it.


Heat 2.2 US quarts (2 litres) of water to 71 degrees then add the grain mixture. Stir gently and maintain a temperature of between 62 & 67 degrees for the next hour.
Stir the mixture every 10 minutes until you have reached the 1 hour mark.


With 10 minutes left in the mash, bring the temperature up to 77 degrees. At the same time, start heating up another pan with 4.5 US quarts (4.3 litres) of water to around 77 degrees.
Place the sieve over this second pan and start to pour in the grains. Once all the grains have been poured into the sieve, carefully pour the hot grain mash through the grains.
Then move the sieve onto the empty pan. Gently and evenly pour the 4.5 quarts (4.3 litres) over the grains and recirculate a couple of times.

You can pass the wort through the grain a couple of times to capture as much of the sugary liquid as you can.


Place the pan containing the wort onto a high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Set a timer for an hour and allow to boil until the time is up.
With 60 minutes left on the timer, add the starter hops as listed above, with 30 minutes left, add the middle hops and with 5 minutes left on the clock, add the end hops.
If you’re using Irish moss, add this with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Take off the boil ready to cool right down.
Remember, the earlier the hops are added the more bitter the wort and the later the hops are added, the more aroma will come from the wort.

Ensure you have an ice bath prepared somewhere to cool the wort down to around 20 degrees. A bath or a sink will do.


Using a funnel, pour the cooled wort into the sanitised demijohn. Allow a little space at the top as fermentation will cause a krausen to form which could overflow.
I use a filtered funnel which catches all the left over hops and debris.

Pour three quarters of the yeast into the demijohn, then half fill the airlock with some of the left over sanitiser. Attach to the bung and push into the top of the demijohn to create a seal.
Store in a cool and dark place at room temperature and monitor.


After up to 14 days or when the fermentation has finished, sanitise bottles, caps, and syphon using the same principles as above.

Prime the bottles by adding 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per 500ml or 1/4 teaspoon of sugar per 330ml to them.
Using the syphon, disperse the liquid equally amongst the bottles trying not to disturb the sediment in the bottom of the demijohn.
You can control the flow with a clamp mechanism or if your quick enough place the end from one bottle to the other quickly.

Leave a space at the top of each bottle to allow for fermentation within bottle, cap or close the lid then store in a  cool and dark place at room temperature for around 2 – 3 weeks.

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