What? It’s time for another batch of my Hell Creek Amber Ale? Count me in!
The latest version–incorporating wild hops that grew directly out of the world famous Hell Creek Formation (home to T. rex and Triceratops)–is only slightly modified based on my tasting of the previous version. For this time around, I replaced the Special B malt with crystal 120, to tone down the raisin-y notes of Special B. I also upped the biscuit malt just a touch. As before, the base malt was from Montana, and the Cascade hops were from South Dakota.
Hell Creek Amber Ale 1.1
- 9 lbs. 2-row American pale malt (MaltEurop)
- 1 lb. Munich I malt (Weyermann)
- 0.75 lb. Victory (biscuit) malt (Briess)
- 0.5 lb. 120° crystal malt (Briess)
- 0.5 lb. 40° crystal malt (Briess)
- 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 2.05 oz. wild Hell Creek hops, 10 minute steep after boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
- 1 pkg. California Ale Yeast (White Labs, WLP001), in 1L starter
- 1.059 o.g., 1.014 f.g., 5.9% abv, 36 IBU, 13 SRM, 5.5 gallons into the fermenter
- The day before my brew, I made a 2L starter, with a plan to set aside 0.6L. I note that the starter wasn’t quite going when I pitched it here. It probably could have used an additional day or two, and as a result it took two days for the beer to really get fermenting after I pitched the yeast.
- I mashed in with 3.9 gallons of water at 168.5°, to hit a mash temperature of 156.5°. This was hotter than I wanted, so I stirred until it was down to 155°. It was down to 151° after 50 minutes. I added 1 gallon of water at 185°, to raise the mash temperature to 156° or so. I vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I sparged with 3.5 gallons of water at 180°, let it rest for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the remainder of the wort.
- In total, I collected 6.5 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.052, for 79% mash efficiency.
- I brought the wort to a boil, adding hops per the schedule above. At flame-out, I added the wild hops and then let them steep for 10 minutes before chilling the wort.
- Starting gravity was 1.060, and I fermented the beer at 68°.
- This beer was brewed on 14 April 2017.
- I kegged the beer on 7 May 2017. It had a final gravity of 1.016, for 5.8% abv. The beer was force carbonated.