DIY Amber Recipe

Showcase your carefully home-toasted malts with this simple, low bitter, and experimentation friendly amber ale recipe.

| April 2019


Since this beer is designed as a showcase for your home-toasted malt, the color and flavor depend entirely on how dark you go with your toasting. It may be deep gold with a delicate biscuit flavor or dark brown with roasted flavors. The hop bitterness stays low so it doesn’t interfere with the malt.


Yield: 5 gallons
OG: 1.053–1.055
FG: 1.012 IBU: 25


  • 8 - 1 ⁄ 2 gallons filtered brewing water
  • 9 pounds pale malt (81.8%)
  • 2 pounds home-toasted malt (page 38) (18.2%)
  • 7 alpha acid units Willamette hops at 60 minutes (25 IBU)
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet
  • 2 vials or packages California Ale WLP001/American Ale WY1056 yeast
  • 3 ounces dextrose/corn sugar (optional, use only for bottling)


  1. Mix the malt with 31∕2 gallons of water at 170 degrees Fahrenheit or the appropriate temperature to mash at 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash for 60 minutes.
  2. Recirculate the wort until it’s fairly clear. Run off the wort into the kettle.
  3. Sparge with 5 more gallons of water at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Run off the wort into the kettle.
  4. Bring the wort to a boil. Boil it for 15 minutes, then add the hops and continue to boil for 60 minutes. Add the Whirlfloc tablet at 30 minutes. Put your wort chiller into the wort at least 15 minutes before the end of the boil.
  5. When the boil finishes, cover the pot with a lid or a new trash bag and chill to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Siphon the wort into your sanitized fermentor and pitch two packs of liquid yeast or a 2-liter starter.
  6. Ferment at 65 degrees Fahrenheit for one week. During the second week, let the temperature rise to 68–70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Keg or bottle the beer. If you’re bottling, use 3 - 3 / 4 ounces of dextrose/corn sugar for this beer.


 More from Home Brew Beyond the Basics

Reprinted with permission from Home Brew Beyond the Basics by Mike Karnowski and published by Lark, 2014.



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