Friday, January 08, 2016

SheppyBrew 2015 Styles: International Amber Lager

So, if you have been following this blog for awhile, you know that in 2013 I made a pretty big effort to make sure I had brewed at least one beer in all of the 2008 BJCP Categories.

On 12/30/2013, I finished up this goal, brewing Schnockered to Comfortably Numb Barleywine (see Brew Day: Schnockered to Comfortably Numb).

But, of course, then the BJCP updated their style guidelines last year (see 2015 Style Guidelines). Now there are more Categories to brew.

Last year, I did brew a Pre-Prohibition Lager ... or at least something that I believe satisfies the guidelines (see Brewing Chelsea Dagger) ... to check off the new Category 27. Historical Beer. Other than this one style, I have not made any progress on the new 2015 style guidelines.

So, this year, I am planning on making a dent in the additional categories. I still need to brew the following categories:
  • 33. WOOD BEER
I don't expect I'll brew something in all these categories this year. In fact, I may not brew some of them at all. We'll see how it goes. But, I would like to reduce that list.

And ... I expect to start off with an International Lager ... probably one in the 2B. International Amber Lager style.

Briefly ...

An International Amber Lager is a well-attenuated malty amber lager with with an interesting caramel or toast quality and restrained bitterness. It has a smooth, easily-drinkable lager character, often with an adjunct quality. It has low to moderate malt aroma and flavor which can be grainy, with a very low to moderate caramel-sweet to toasty-malty taste as well.

Based on the description, I'm sort of thinking Vienna Lager light.... sort of.

OG should be 1.042 to 1.055 (mine will be towards to lower side)
IBU should be 8 to 25 (mine will be about in the middle of that range)
SRM 7 to 14 (we will see where mine ends up)

Some commercial examples of the style include: Brooklyn Lager, Capital Winter, Skål, Dos Equis Amber, Schell’s Oktoberfest, Yuengling Lager.

I have not completely designed my beer yet, but I expect to try for something like ...
OG: 1.045
IBU: somewhere between 16 and 20
SRM: I'll shoot for around 10

  • American 2-Row
  • Vienna Malt
  • Flaked Corn (maybe)
  • Cara-Vienna 
  • Blackprinz (only to add color to the beer)


  • I'm thinking Cluster Hops just at the 60 minute addition to add the right IBU level. But, I might just end up using what I have in the freezer.
  • WY2206 Bavarian Lager (I am not real picky on this. If my LHBS has WY2206, I'll use it. If not, I'll find a substitute that says it is good for brewing Doppelbocks)

So ... the real reason I am brewing this (other than it is another style-category to mark off my list) is that I want to use it to harvest a nice big healthy pitch of yeast to brew my second category ... 9. STRONG EUROPEAN BEER.

The reason I've picked a Doppelbock yeast is that the style I have picked to brew is 9A. Doppelbock.

Of course, we will see how things go, but I am hoping to brew my International Amber Lager this weekend and my Doppelbock two or three weekends from now.

Not a bad start to 2016 ...

As always ... stay tuned on the regular SheppyBrew Channels to see what is happening with these (and many other) beers:  SheppyBrew's Facebook Page; Sheppy's Twitter Feed; and SheppyBrew's Website. Of course, don't forget to visit this blog often as well!

Happy Brew Year Everyone!

Go Blackhawks!

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