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Old 09-15-2006, 03:17 AM   #1
brackbrew
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Default cream ale procedures

So, I started working on what I thought might turn out to be a Hocus Pocus clone until I realized it was a wheat beer. Besides the fact that I'm an idiot, I thought to myself, "Hey self, this might make a good honey cream ale." So I picked up my issue of BYO that had the cream ale recipe in it, and there's a very convoluted procedure that aside from cold-conditioning the beer (which I expected, their process calling for pitching both ale AND lager yeast) racking the beer three or FOUR times. Is that excessive. Anybody with cream ales that turned out spot on, please chime in!

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:23 AM   #2
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I recently did a cream ale, fermented with White Labs California Ale yeast. I lagered it at 50 degrees for two weeks and it turned out great.

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:29 AM   #3
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I use that strain or Cali V for most of my IPA's. Did you just rack it into the secondary and then cold condition it? I'm intrigued about the thought of using an ale and a lager strain. Can you pitch both into the same starter?

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:37 AM   #4
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Yep, I just racked to secondary and stuck in the fermentation chiller.

I suppose you could mix them in the starter, but I would think if you want to do that it would make more sense to use one strain that tolerates cooler temps.

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:50 AM   #5
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Guess I oughta post what I was thinking of doing. It's my first real attempt at formulating a recipe. How should I tweak this, if necessary?

For the Partial Mash,
1-2lbs. 2-row pale malt (Maris Otter maybe?)
1 lb. Rice Hulls

For the Boil,
4lbs. extra light DME (late addition for color reasons)
2lbs. orange blossom honey
1 oz. Saaz hops (not sure what the AAU's should be)
1/2 oz. Hallertau (for aroma?)
1 whirlfloc tab (fining)

White Labs California Ale Yeast (maybe a lager strain too, or not?!)

Thanks.

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:14 AM   #6
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If you're trying to make a traditional cream ale, ditch the rice hulls and honey. Rice hulls and rice are a very different thing. Lighten the flavour with corn sugar or rice syrup instead. Use North American hops and (some say) a neutral ale yeast. After fermentation, lager it for at least a month.

I believe that many cream ales actually use a true lager yeast, but ferment at ale temps prior to lagering. The slight fruitiness produced by the warm ferment is what gives the beer it's 'cream' reputation.

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Old 09-15-2006, 05:35 AM   #7
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As mentioned before, rice hulls won't be necessary, as they add no appreciable flavor or fermentables. Their purpose is to help prevent stuck sparges with really dense grain beds for all grain brews - not necessary with such a small mash.

I think the recipe will ferment to a fairly dry finish, especially with the honey addition. You might consider some specialty grains or even lactose to add some body and sweetness.

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Old 09-15-2006, 12:35 PM   #8
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I'd add a pound of flaked corn and ditch the honey. Flaked corn will add some flavor appropriate to the style, while corn sugar will just add alcohol.

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Old 09-15-2006, 01:42 PM   #9
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Yep, did a cream ale about 4 months ago and you will need to use at least a pound of corn flakes. I used 2 1/2 pounds and the puppy had an awesome creamy flavor and head....

Good luck

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