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Biscuit Amber

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 17:09
by rodwha
I actually like Foster's ESB. I've tried a couple of times to recreate it using S-04 yeast. It tasted like unsweetened tea to me so I decided to try an American amber with US-05 yeast instead.

This one didn't have any sort of biscuit flavor at first (I ferment cold for a week followed by two weeks at room temp. Bottled it sits to condition for three weeks at room temp followed by a week in the fridge). I tried one a few weeks later and found it had a nice pronounced biscuit flavor!

But I'm considering changing my base malt to a British malt that gives a bready/biscuity type flavor. Looking over what my supplier carries I see Optic and Maris Otter as being the two better options, though there is an American version that claims to be similar to British malt, but it didn't say which one and they vary. Which would you choose and why?

As additional options they offer Golden Promise, Castle Belgian pale, Pearl, and Halcyon. I'm actually thinking I need to go ahead and do a bunch of small SMaSH test batches of the various base malts.

This is my recipe for (converted) a ~19.9L batch:

3.52 kg of 2-row (very plain flavor come to find out)
454 g of Special Roast (more pronounced Biscuit than the Belgian Biscuit)
227 g of carafoam
170 g of crystal 90
113 g of crystal 20
28 g of Willamette (4.5%) @ 70/21/7 mins each
US-05 yeast

5.4% ABV
29 IBUs
11 SRM

Mashed at 67.8* C and fermented at 19.4* C

My OG was actually 1.055 and my FG was 1.014.

I'm also considering dropping the crystal malt for 340 g of honey malt and a pinch of Midnight Wheat for color. I may also add honey at flameout as I do in my honey wheat. Who doesn't like biscuits and honey? But I'd likely work on the base recipe first.

Re: Biscuit Amber

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 17:14
by robwalker
Is that an american beer? If so I'd say stick with american malts as much as possible, as that's likely what's in the beer you're trying to recreate. you won't make a bad beer with MO though, tonnes of beers over here use it.

big fan of willamette too. your core recipe looks great as it is, possibly a lot of biscuit, but go for it.

Re: Biscuit Amber

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 17:56
by rodwha
It is to fit more in an American style, but I wouldn't mind a British base malt. Maris Otter is held in high esteem here, though not often used in American styles.

We have a local brewery that makes a very interesting IPA. They use equal parts Maris Otter, Munich, and American 2-row and has a hop profile that is something like a hybrid of American and British. Very good beer!