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Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Pecan Pie Amber Ale

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 October 2016 at 21:12

Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Pecan Pie Amber Ale - Tips and Advice


Today, 29 October 2016, I brewed a Pecan Pie Amber Ale, by Brooklyn Brew Shop.



As always, I’ll start with the particulars:


Informational Link:


http://brooklynbrewshop.com/pecan-pie-amber-ale-mix


Instructions:


http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn_Brew_Shop_Pecan_Pie_Amber_Ale_Instructions.pdf


This amber ale strikes me as a wonderful idea for an autumn beer, when the crisp leaves, blustery evenings and frost-cracked mornings call for warm, toasty, nutty flavours. Brooklyn Brew Shop describes this beer as an “easy-drinking amber ale [that] will make you forget pie ever existed (in solid form).” They go on to say that this beer embraces “the nutty and sweet flavors of pecan pie without being too sugary,” resulting in a beer that is “full-bodied, flavorful and fun to make.” At 5.5% ABV, it sounds just right to me, and I am looking forward to enjoying it during the magical time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


The recipe for this beer is in neither of Brooklyn Brew Shop’s books; therefore, I am not totally sure of the grains that are used. I presume that they would be the typical malts employed for amber ales, with perhaps some specialty grains added in order to enhance the nutty aspects that are to be expected with this variety. The total weight of the grains is approximately 2.5 pounds, necessitating 2.5 quarts of water for the mash.


This beer uses Northern Brewer Hops added @ 60, 30 and 10 (0.1 oz per addition). I have never used these hops before, but they are described in good detail here:


http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/hop-of-the-month-northern-brewer/


I am anxious to see how well this profile plays with the Pecan Pie theme.


At the end of the boil, 1/4 cup of light brown sugar is added along with 1/2 cup of shelled pecans. These of course are the primary components of the “Pecan Pie” profile. I had dark brown sugar on hand, so I used 1/3 cup of that.


Since I don’t have the actual recipe for this ale, I am using Brooklyn Brew Shop’s “standard” yeast, which is a fast-acting, clean-fermenting, middle-of-the-road yeast that I am assuming is similar to S05, but that would only be a guess. I briefly considered trying Nottingham for this, but ultimately decided not to stray too far from the original intent. I have about half a dozen packages of these Brooklyn Brew Shop yeasts remaining; once I use them up, I intend to delve into the necessary reading involved to understand how different yeasts work with different situations and beer varieties.


The mash went completely without incident; I had no trouble keeping my temperatures within the 144-152-degree range. Because this is described as a fuller-bodied beer, I tried to keep the temperatures at the upper end of that range, with fair success.


The sparge went similarly well; the grains drained easily and I appear to have captured all of the wort that I was supposed to get.


The boil had one anomaly: I didn’t quite get the rolling hot break that I am used to seeing; however I was stirring it right as the boiling started, so this might account for that. When the boil was finished, I added the brown sugar and pecans as described above.


I chilled down the wort to 70 degrees, then transferred it to my fermenter. I decided to run the worth first through a medium mesh filter on my funnel, then the fine mesh (twice) after that. This seemed to work pretty well, capturing a lot of hop and break material. I’ve done this before, and the beers seemed to be a little clearer in the end; also, it seems that my yield was a bit higher, which is very important when the batches are only a gallon to begin with. In this case, the mash and boil resulted in just a hair over a gallon; I added it to the fermenter in the hopes of accounting for some of the trub loss.


I pitched the yeast as usual, then capped the fermenter and agitated the wort for a little over two minutes. After that, it was a simple matter of fitting the blow-off tube and tucking the fermenter away in my closet.


The wort looks great, at the moment; it’s a beautiful, caramel colour and has a nice, nutty aroma from the malts and pecans. The Northern Brewer hops appear to be a great fit for this amber ale, and I think we’re going to end up with a great beer.


I expect fermentation to be in full swing tomorrow; after three days, I’ll swap the blow-off tube for an air-lock as the most active period of fermentation should be finished.


More as it happens, etc. &c….


Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 November 2016 at 09:46
Here is the label that I came up with for this beer:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2016 at 20:00
This evening, 30 November 2016, I put this beer in the refrigerator to cold-crash. i plan to bottle it this weekend. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 December 2016 at 01:54
Tonight, 3 December 2016, I bottled this amber ale. I think it's going to be a good one, for sure.

The process went fairly smoothly - I sucked up a bit of trub, but it could have been a lot worse, considering that I was not paying attention. I used two tablespoons of maple syrup for the gallon of beer, and was able to fill 9 bottles, with a little left over for sampling. 
Thanks to my screw-up when siphoning, it was a bit cloudy, but still had a beautiful amber colour that is exactly what you would expect for a beer like this. The flavour was mild, with a good balance between the malts and the hops. In my opinion, it was neither too sweet now too bitter. The pecans really showed up beautifully in the finish, and to me they make this a truly special ale - I am pretty sure it will turn out to be one that a person could drink all night, especially after a blustery, grey day kicking leaves around or stalking deer in the field. 

In all, I am a big fan of this one, so far, and I only expect it to get better as it conditions in the bottle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2017 at 09:09
I've tried this beer a couple of times since I've bottled it, and it really is a nice one. I think it turned out about as well as it could.



Both the aroma and the flavor of the beer carry the pecans really nicely. I know that the nuts are there, but they aren't "in-your-face" there; they compliment the malts very nicely. The Northern Brewer hops seem to be a good fit for this amber ale and I like them quite a bit. The head on this beer is really nice, in my opinion; it was creamy and thick and lasted for a good, long while; there was some decent lacing on the glass.

The photo doesn't really do justice to the clarity of the beer; it was crystal clear in the bottle but hazed up a bit when I opened it. Even so, it was quite a bit better than the photo indicates.

Over-all, I really like this one and can't think of any improvements. I've got quite a few left, so I will see how it ages over time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2017 at 12:33
This beer continues to impress as it ages - I like it quite a bit, and will be looking to enjoy it again in the future.

Here are a couple of photos -

11 February 2017:



14 March 2017:



It has aged quite well, and I am a big fan of this one -
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2017 at 16:21
   looks real nice...I swear I could smell the pecan through the screen too!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2017 at 10:46
It's a special one, Dan ~ I really enjoyed it.

I don't have the EXACT recipe for this, but I do have a good idea of how it goes, based on another couple of amber ale recipes in their books, as well as the added ingredients that I used for this. If you want to try it, I am pretty sure that between the two of us we could brainstorm a reasonable approximation of it.
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