Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.2 Update

Having brewed my Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.2 on October 7, I transferred the beer into the secondary fermenter on October 14. Due to various life events, I did not get around to bottling until Monday, November 26. So, the beer sat in the secondary for nearly six weeks. This is longer than I normally go, but the result seems to be an exceptionally clear beer.

Final gravity is 1.010 at 68° F, down from an original gravity of 1.052 at 60° F. Adjusting for temperature, this gives an a.b.v. of 5.5%. The flavor is quite clean, and I think will match Fat Tire pretty well.

I primed the beer with 3/4 cup of priming sugar, and bottled it. The result was 14 12-oz. bottles, 11 18-oz. bottles, and 7 22-oz. bottles.

Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.2

One of my favorite beers from last year was my Fake Tire Amber Ale (a clone of Fat Tire). The first batch was so good that I brewed it again! The second batch was largely the same as the first, except I used pelletized hops instead of whole hops. The unfortunate effect was that the beer was slightly more bitter. Thus, I decided to further refine my pelletized recipe for this brew session. Following advice elsewhere, I reduced the overall hops amounts by 10 percent, to compensate for the greater surface area (and contribution of bitterness) from the pellets versus the whole cones. I also changed the yeast, from Wyeast 1272 (American Ale II) to White Labs WLP051 (California V Ale), based on what was available at my local homebrew supply shop.

The result is:

Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.2

  • 5 pounds plain extra-light DME
  • 0.5 lb Munich light malt
  • 0.5 lb Carapils malt
  • 0.5 lb biscuit malt
  • 0.5 lb crystal malt (20° Lovibond)
  • 0.5 lb crystal malt (40° Lovibond)
  • 1.0 oz chocolate malt
  • 0.9 oz. Cascade hops (60 minutes boil)
  • 0.9 oz. Mt. Hood hops (5 minutes boil)
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (15 minutes boil)
  • White Labs WLP051 Yeast (California V Ale)


  • I heated 3.5 gallons of tap water to 154° F, and steeped the grains for 45 minutes. Then, I sparged the grains with 0.5 gallons of tap water at 154°.
  • After bringing the mixture to a boil, I turned off the heat and added the malt. I brought it back to a boil, and threw in the Cascade hops.
  • After boiling for 45 minutes, I added 1 tsp. of Spanish moss.
  • After boiling for another 12 minutes (for 57 minutes total boil), I added the Mt. Hood hops.
  • After 3 more minutes (60 minutes total of boiling), I cooled the wort with my chiller, added cold tap water to a total of 4.5 gallons, and pitched the yeast. Pitching temperature was 76° F, and starting gravity was measured at 1.052 (gravity is recalculated to what it would be at 60° F).
Steeping the grains for Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.2

    Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.1 Bottled

    After conditioning the beer in the secondary fermenter for three weeks, I decided to bottle the second batch of Fake Tire Amber Ale. The gravity was unchanged from when I racked it to the secondary fermenter, at 1.012. This results in a final ABV of 5.0%. I added 3/4 cup of corn sugar for priming. The yield was 22 12-oz. bottles, 11 18-oz. bottles, and 4 22-oz. bottles. Thanks to my buddy Eric for assisting!

    IPA and Amber Ale Updates

    A few odds-and-ends. . .

    Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.1
    This brew was transferred to the secondary on Sunday, February 12, after 8 days in the primary. The gravity at that time was 1.012, down from 1.050 (giving a current ABV of 5.0%). Unlike the first version of this recipe, I did not get an estery aroma out of the primary fermenter – maybe because I fermented at a slightly lower temperature?

    Fake Tire 1.0

    Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.0
    The original version of this recipe has conditioned very, very nicely, and as a result I’ve been drinking it with some regularity. A few weeks back a friend and I did a blind taste-test with the commercial version of Fat Tire. My version is a little less bitter and just a shade darker. Otherwise, they’re quite similar. In some ways, I prefer my slightly less hoppy version; it will be interesting to see how version 1.1 varies.

    Socks-Off IPA
    On January 5, I transferred this IPA over to the secondary fermenter; the gravity at that time was 1.024. On January 19, I added 2 oz. of Northern Brewer hops pellets directly to the fermenter (no hop bag). I let this mixture dry-hop until February 12, when I bottled the brew. The final gravity was 1.021, yielding an ABV of 6.7%. I ended up with four 22-oz. bottles, 21 pint bottles, and 13 12-oz. bottles.

    This is a solid IPA. It has a subtle hop aroma, and a clear, coppery hue. The flavor is appropriately bitter, but perhaps the only fault is that it is a shade on the sweet side.

    Brewing Plans for the Rest of Winter 2012
    Time is growing short, before the temperatures inch their way up too far. My summer ale is in the primary fermenter now, and I’m considering doing a wheat beer to close out the season. If that happens, it will have to be next weekend. Finally, I have five pounds of honey that I’m planning on turning into mead. My understanding is that you can ferment mead at a reasonably high temperature, so that will be my “anchor” for Winter 2012.

    Fake Tire Amber Ale 1.1

    My first batch of Fake Tire Amber Ale is amazing. In my (non-humble) opinion, it’s probably one of the best recipes I’ve done yet. A genuinely biscuit-ish flavor (just like Fat Tire!), clear appearance, and nice head combine deliciously. The downside of this is that I have finished most of the batch. Watching my dwindling supply, I decided to take action and brew up another batch today. I made some small changes, largely on account of what was available for ingredients.

    Changes from first batch
    Nothing major – instead of whole hops, I used hops pellets. This presumably has the effect of upping the hops utilization a little bit, but according to BeerSmith it’s not a major amount. 21.9 IBU’s versus 24.1 IBU’s for the whole and pellet hops, respectively. Given the margin of error in IBU measurements for hops, as well as the margin of error inherent to home brewing, I decided not to mess with the recipe.

    The only other major variation was that I topped up to just a hair under 5 gallons, with a starting gravity of 1.050. I presume the larger amount of water was needed to get close to last time’s gravity (1.051) because I decanted a little more of my wort into the brewing bucket than I did previously.

    In any case, I will be curious to see how this one turns out!