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StonesBally 02-11-2013 10:03 AM

Cream Ale first time
So I want to make a cream ale for the first time since I just received a pound of Czech Saaz, can't really lager, and want to make something I haven't tried before. I only plan on giving my cream ale a touch more finishing hops than is traditional. Other than that it is straight up 20 IBU, 4 SRM, with an OG of 1.050. My grain bill is 16.5 lbs. Marris Otter and 4.5 lbs. flaked corn. I am using American Ale 1056 for my yeast and fermenting at 60 degrees F. My main concern is my grain bill. Will Marris Otter work for a cream ale, or should I go out and get some regular American 2-row or some Pilsener malt to replace it? I've never used Saaz before and am excited to try it. I have made a very pale, SRM 6, beer before that turned out great, so I'm not too worried about that either. Just unsure of the malt bill. Anyone with any guidance or support?

Pie_Man 02-11-2013 01:30 PM

Using MO will probably make a great beer, so I wouldn't worry about using it if that's what you choose to do. However, if you're going for a more traditional cream ale, I'd use an american 2-row or 6-row barley.

Yooper 02-11-2013 01:36 PM

I've never had any luck fermenting 1056 below about 64 degrees- have you used it at 60 degrees before?

aiptasia 02-11-2013 01:37 PM

It'll work but it'll also take on the nutty rich flavor of the MO. I'd agree that using 2 row or a pilsner malt will make a more traditional cream ale. I'm going to try my hand at a cream ale this spring using late additions and dry hopping of Belma hops.

StonesBally 02-11-2013 05:40 PM

Ok, I think MO will be alright, as I'm not necessarily going for a traditional cream ale, and I'd rather not go back to the LHBS. I have fermented 1056 at 60 degrees before for a 1.060 apa/ipa beer with 81% attenuation and no sugar added, so I hope it will work again for me. This was in a 57 degree ambient room, the same room I will ferment my pseudo-cream ale, hopefully it will work out and produce a nice beer. I was going to brew a robust porter, but thought I should take advantage of the low ambient temps in the basement as I don't know how long they will stay that way as it looks like the worst of winter is over here.

One last question, will the MO be enough to convert all that corn or should I switch up the ratio? Right now the MO is a little bit under 80% of the bill.

daksin 02-11-2013 06:13 PM

Our cream ale uses a little biscuit malt and it's just delicious. I think going with MO in this recipe will be wonderful. I've actually had great luck with White Labs' cream ale blend. Maybe give it a try for this batch. The beer it produces is very clean and quite lager-like.

Yooper 02-11-2013 06:44 PM

MO has plenty of diastastic power to convert adjuncts.

schristian619 02-11-2013 09:18 PM

I second the use of WLP080. I use it my cream ale and am very happy with it. I also agree with the american 2 or 6 row. I use 6-row and flaked corn in mine and couldn't be happier.

Battles4Seattle 02-11-2013 10:38 PM

For the temperature you plan on fermenting at, California Common or Kolsch yeast could work well.

StonesBally 02-11-2013 11:13 PM

I have used Cali Common yeast before, it was not my favorite. I have used 1007, but just bottled it and didn't save the yeast. I only had a fresh pack of 1056 which is already going in a large starter on my stir plate. I also have 1272, but it is a bit dated. I plan on smacking that, seeing if it inflates, and using it to package a wood aged stout I have to bottle in a few more weeks. Maybe it won't be a true cream ale, but it will be close enough for me and I hope the Saaz tastes good. I made a similar gravity pale ale with all Mt. Hood hops, and it was one of my favorite beers.

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