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Old 02-28-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
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Default Dark Cream Ale?

I just brewed a batch of Cream Ale from a recipe I got out of The Brewmaster's Bible. I'm a little confused on the color. I expected it to be very light golden. I've only had cream ale at a local micro, so I don't necessarily know that theirs is true to the style. But, the book says the SRM for cream ales in general should be 2-4. This looks like it is going to be in the amber to brown ale color. Here's the recipe:

1/2 lb. Crystal malt (10L)
1/2 lb. CaraPils malt
8 lb. Alexanders Pale LME (AHS pale LME)
1/2 oz Willamette hops - 60m
1/3 oz Hallertauer hops - 60m
1/3 oz Cascade hops - 60m
1/2 oz Hallertauer - 2m
1 tsp Irish Moss
1 ale yeast (Nottingham dry)
1 tsp gelatin - secondary

OG = 1.061
FG = should be 1.010

The names in parenthesis are the actual ingredient I used. I'm just wondering if they gave me the wrong extract. I didn't think about it at the time because all of my previous brews have had about that color of extract. But, AHS specs the LME at an EBC rating of about 3. Should it have been a really light golden color? It was pretty dark. It's hard to tell when it's concentrated like that.

Will it lighten in color as the fermentables are eaten up by the yeast? I'm not too worried about a ruined batch because I think it will be perfectly drinkable. It just may not taste like the style is suppose to. Who knows, maybe it will be a good accident?

Thanks.

Dave

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Old 02-28-2006, 02:11 PM   #2
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it's nearly (if not entirely) impossible to make an extract beer at SRM 2-4... you just don't have that fine of control over the color.

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Old 02-28-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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It's possible they gave you the wrong extract, although more likely is the LME caramelized during the boil as it is wont to do. You could probably get a lighter product by using DME instead. Also, more beers look darkish in the fermenter if that's what you're basing your judgement on....in a glass you'll have a lot less beer to look through and it will appear lighter.

When I was doing extracts I don't think I ever managed a beer in the 2-4SRM range, but my memory's not that great.

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Old 02-28-2006, 02:17 PM   #4
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It also helps to do the largest possible boil that your kettle can accomodate, if you're going for a lighter color. On my last batch, I started with about 1 galllon in a seperate pan, until the initial boilover tendancy subsided, then reunited all the wort in the kettle. The larger boil helps minimize the carmellizing of the wort.

You might need to reduce your hopping amounts a little if you're doing a much larger boil than the recipe you're following indicates.

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Old 02-28-2006, 03:32 PM   #5
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I suppose the caramelizing is possible. There was really no burnt deposits on the bottom of the pot, so I wouldn't think so.

Yes, I am basing the color from the fermenter. A bucket at that. I realize a glass of it will be lighter, it just seemed darker than I expected. Honestly, I don't really care about the color as long as it tastes good. Someday I may be pickier as I learn more. Right now, I just want to make something that is drinkable.

Good tip on the hops. It never occurred to me to reduce the amounts. I boil a full 5 gallon batch at a time (actually 6 to start).

I will let you know how it turns out in about a month.

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Old 02-28-2006, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocker
Good tip on the hops. It never occurred to me to reduce the amounts. I boil a full 5 gallon batch at a time (actually 6 to start)..
Software like ProMash or Recipator will calculate IBUs according to the gravity of the boil.

The difference between a 2.5 gallon boil (typical extract recipe) and a 5 gallon boil can be pretty large, in terms of bittering hop utilization and IBUs.
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Old 02-28-2006, 04:11 PM   #7
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Sorry.. SRM? I assume that's a measurment for colour? What does it stand for?

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Old 02-28-2006, 04:18 PM   #8
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Standard Research Method. Yes, it is the measure of degrees of color.

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Old 02-28-2006, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocker
Standard Research Method. Yes, it is the measure of degrees of color.
standard reference method
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Old 02-28-2006, 05:26 PM   #10
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I've never seen crystal malt (of any colour) used in a cream ale. It's usually just the lightest DME/LME plus some corn - no adjuncts that would add colour or body.

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