1 Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 1:55 PM

Hey everyone,

So looking at planning my 2nd ever brew and like the look of the Family Secret Amber ale.

Planned recipe was as follows:
1.7kg TC Family Secret Amber
1kg Light Dry Malt
Cascade Hops - steeped in warm water and added to fermenter at start of brew.
Some other hop (maybe more cascade) dry hopped from start of brew
Kit Yeast - Or might pick up some US-05 yeast
Brewed to 23L
Brewed at hopefully between 18-20 degrees - Just finished a lager and temps were usually around these temps

So my questions:
a) Do I need to add any other fermentable or the LDM will be enough - Was hoping for something around the 5% ABV - but 4% up will be fine.
b) Would cascade be a suitable hop for an amber ale? I basically just want them to just add some aroma and maybe a bit of flavour - Also how many grams should I be looking at.
c) Should I have both steeped and dry hopped? And is there an issue dry hopping from the start of the brew - I usually keep in the fermenter for 14 days.
d) Is the kit yeast sufficient? I hear a lot that it isn't enough yeast and usually a larger packet is better

Usually the ambers I like are a James Squire Amber or a Newstead Brewery Liquidamber - So I mean I don't care if its not a “Clone” or anything, but something around that mark would be good.

As it is just my 2nd brew I am trying to keep the process as simple as possible, so not really ready to do boils etc.

Any help would be great :) Thanks everyone!

2 Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 2:23 PM

Answers in red below. That Liquidambar is a real nice beer actually. I went to the brewery recently with SWMBO for lunch and had a pint of it. I like all their beers really, but that one I probably drink more of than any other.

Fergy1987:

So my questions:
a) Do I need to add any other fermentable or the LDM will be enough - Was hoping for something around the 5% ABV - but 4% up will be fine. 1kg dry malt will get you above 4%, so you don't need anything else if you're happy with that.
b) Would cascade be a suitable hop for an amber ale? I basically just want them to just add some aroma and maybe a bit of flavour Cascade will work fine in that style, I use it in my own red/amber ale with great results.
c) Should I have both steeped and dry hopped? And is there an issue dry hopping from the start of the brew - I usually keep in the fermenter for 14 days.You can both steep and dry hop, no problems there. Don't tip the steeped hops into the FV though, strain the water through a sieve or something to keep them out. I'd leave the dry hops out of the brew until a few days before bottling though. They don't need to be in there any longer than that.
d) Is the kit yeast sufficient? I hear a lot that it isn't enough yeast and usually a larger packet is better Technically probably not, but it will still work. Re-hydrate it before pitching it, or you can just go with the US-05 idea.


Cheers

Kelsey

3 Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 6:37 PM

Cheers for the advice Kelsey!

I do like that Liquidamber - that paired with some of those buffalo wings is my dream arvo session.

So with the malt, I was just going to pick up some of the Coopers LDM at the local bottle-o, but have to stop at the brew shop to get some hops anyway, would their LDM be a superior product? I notice they also have Dark and Amber malt. I would assume that being an Amber kit already, the Dark and Amber malts would be more for extract brewing and I wouldn't need something that…I dont know the word…..Intense? :P

In terms of the hops what quantity would I be looking at for both steeping and dry hopping. I was thinking maybe 15g for the hop tea and 15g dry hopped. From your advice I'll chuck the dry hops in around day 10-11 or so. Need to get myself some tea infusers, but might just get some chux for this brew.

Sh1t reading this back, even I find my questions annoying :P Coming from an accounting background as a crust, I just enjoy definitive answers :P

Thanks again!

4 Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 10:13 PM

It probably makes little difference where you buy the malt from, the LHBS one may be a bit cheaper though. You won't need amber or dark malt in it though, just the normal light dry malt will do the trick.

With the hops I guess it depends on how hoppy you want it. I'd say 15-20g for the steep and the same for the dry hop would be the go for now, you can always make it again with more hops if you feel it needs it.

My red ale is dry hopped with 30g Cascade and turns out nicely, but it doesn't have any steeped hops in it. There is a thread that contains that recipe but it is an all grain one. A couple of guys did try converting it to kits and bits though. It started life about 4 years ago intended to taste like a pale ale but look more amber/red. It has since become its own style of sorts, it has the APA style hops but they are more subdued while still balancing the toffee/caramel from the Caraaroma grains which is more prominent. It was that flavor which made it different to the pale ales, and the recipe has never been changed since the first brewing of it other than changing the yeast to an English strain to bring that malt out a bit more. It's a lovely beer though, and I brew it regularly.

Cheers

Kelsey

5 Posted: Friday, September 15, 2017 8:56 AM

So I am just planning my hop steep - Can I just get a sanitised container and throw some hot water from the tap in and throw the hops into it and leave for say 20mins or so? Or does it need to be boiled water cooled down?

6 Posted: Saturday, September 16, 2017 11:37 AM

I always used boiled water and let it cool.

Last edited by Graculus (Saturday, September 16, 2017 11:37 AM)