Recommendation: The late hop additions for American Pale Ales are 0% to 40% of the total IBUs, with values around 25% being most common.
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American amber ales fall in between American pale ales and brown ales. These are darker than pale ales with a pronounced caramel and malt character. They also tend to be less hoppy than pale ales.
Amerian amber ales should emphasize crystal malt character, which can be up to 15% of the grain bill. Another frequent but less essential specialty malt is toasted malt character from Munich or a similar malt. Some recipes used small amounts (2% or less) of roasted malts. Here are a few example grain bills for amber ales (percentages by gravity points):
For hops, American varieties like Cascade or Centennial are typically used. Some recipes use American hop varieties bred from classic European hops, such as Willamette, Liberty, or Mount Hood. The BJC guidelines state that a citrus hop character is common, but not essential. Aim for a moderate hop bitterness and flavor that should be somewhat less than an American pale ale or IPA. Some recipes use higher alpha hops for bittering and lower alpha hops for the late hop additions. Most recipes have at least one or two late hop additions. Cascade is a popular choice for late additions. Dry hopping is a possibility, but keep it restrained.
Amber ales typically use American ale yeast or a similar yeast with a neutral character.
BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines
Heaney, G. (2005, December). Brewing in the Pacific NW, BYO magazine, 32.
Martin, M., (2008, September). Replicator column: Mt. Shasta Brewing Co. Abner Weed Amber Ale, BYO magazine, 11.
New Belgium clone recipes (2010, December). BYO magazine, 44.
Snyder, S., (1997). The Brewmaster's Bible, HarperCollins Books, New York, 97.
Zainasheff, J. (2007, November). American Amber: An easy-drinking patriotic ale. BYO magazine, 19.
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