Fat Cat Amber

This is a recipe that’s very close to Jamil’s West Coast Blaster from his “Brewing Classic Styles” book. I absolutely loved this one with the burst of citrus flavors and aromas with some good malty backbone to help balance it out. Easy to drink.

It’s essentially my house amber ale. Since my fictitious brewery is named after our house cat, I named this beer “Fat Cat Amber”.


Session Details

Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Boil Time: 30 minutes
Estimated IBU: 39
OG (Est/Act): 1.053 / 1.052
FG (Est/Act): 1.011 / 1.012
ABV (Est/Act): 5.4% / 5.2%
Brewhouse Efficiency (Est/Act): 70% / 68%
Target Mash Temp: 152°F
Target Fermentation Temp: 64°F
Estimated Color: 14 SRM


A standard domestic base malt, with a good amount of caramel for color and sweetness. Just enough chocolate malt to bring out that amber hue.

Amount Name SRM %
10lb Brewer’s Malt 2-Row (Briess) 1.8 87.9%
12oz Caramel Malt – 40L (Briess) 40 6.8%
8oz Caramel Malt – 120L (Briess) 120 4.4%
2oz Chocolate (Briess) 350 1.1%


So much citrus hops here. Lots of Centennial and Cascade. The biggest difference between this and the West Coast Blaster is a light dry hopping.

Amount Name AA Use Form
0.4oz Nugget (US) 12.5% FWH – 30 Minutes Pellets
1.0oz Cascade 6.4% Boil – 10 Minutes Pellets
1.0oz Centennial 9.3% Boil – 10 Minutes Pellets
1.0oz Cascade 6.4% Flameout Pellets
1.0oz Centennial 9.3% Flameout Pellets
0.5oz Cascade 6.4% Dry Hop – 5 Days Pellets
0.5oz Centennial 9.3% Dry Hop – 5 Days Pellets


A good American Ale deserves a good American Ale yeast.

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Safale American US-05 Fermentis 73%-80% 59°F-75°F


Calcium Magnesium Sodium Sulfate Chloride Bicarbonate
71 ppm 8 ppm 19 ppm 109 ppm 47 ppm 69 ppm

Fermenting & Packaging

The Fat Cat Ale was in a 6 gallon carboy under temp control for 2 weeks. After the krausen had fallen (on about day 9), I put the small dry hop charge.

Afterwards, the batch was racked to a CO2 purged 5 gallon keg and put on tap. I should also note, this was my first attempt at kegging!

After a week at serving pressure, the ale was fully carbonated. It was still quite hazy as I didn’t use any fining agents. After a couple weeks in the keg though, it cleared up quite nicely!

Tasting Notes

The same thing I said on the Oatmeal Stout still applies, I don’t really think of myself as having that refined of a palette, and my descriptions aren’t going to the best or even the most accurate. Having said that, I thought this was a good beer!

The beer is a nice amber color with excellent clarity. As noted above, the beer started out hazy close to after kegging, but has cleared up with time. I think the color is spot on for a good amber ale. The head is a nice creamy color and has decent retention. Good lacing down the glass as I consume it.

The nose has a light citrus aroma, thanks to the small dry hop charge. This is followed up some caramel sweetness, almost toffee? but maybe not?

Balance is the key word for the flavor. The citrus and pine flavors from the hops is well balanced by bread flavors and a little bit of caramel sweetness.


  1. Looks great, thanks for sharing! My brew-partner likes ambers and I’m thinking this would be a good one for us to try. We are going to be new to kegging too, stuff gets here tomorrow and can’t wait.


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