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Old 05-06-2009, 02:46 AM   #1
BillTheSlink
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Default Northern Brewer's Cream ale "Something had to go wrong".

Unless yeast does something I don't know about, something isn't right at all. Cream Ale hybrids should be extremely pale, BeerSmith predicted "straw". Here's what I did.

Put 6 gallons of water on the burner

Put in my muslin bag what is "claimed to be" (I'll explain my skepticism)

.75 lbs Gamdrinus Honey Malt

.25 lbs Dingemans Biscuit

Tossed in around 85 left in for about 16 minuets when the temp was about 135-140. I had swirled and pumped it several times. It was all under water, but I kept it off the bottom.

At this point the wort was EXTREMELY dark.

I turned gas to high. Achieved boil and shut off gas.

Tossed in .85 oz Cluster hop pellets
Added 6lbs Pilsen LME

The LME actually lightened the wort considerably, but it is still the color of Georgia Red Clay, really even a darker red. I boiled 60 minuets.

After cooling I put in better bottle and aireated via stone and pump; I did get tied up and it went to long, about an hour and foamed up. I then pitched my Wyeast #1056 American Ale starter. Gravity was 1.051. NB called 1040 and BeerSmith 1.044, so I guess somehow something went wrong as I have checked my hydrometer and the sample was taken at its rated temp. Can Georgia Red Clay end up straw? I have my suspicions I was sent the wrong steeping grains. I did achieve a finished volume at the five gallon mark on my Better Bottle.

Bill

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Old 05-06-2009, 02:52 AM   #2
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The only advice I can tell you is to wait until you see the finished product before you judge the color.

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:21 AM   #3
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I also just realised I forgot to install the hepa filter between the air pump and wort. That's why it foamed. So for 60+ minutes I was pushing God knows how much air containing the devil knows what into fresh wort. This ought to be interesting.

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:37 AM   #4
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you're all good. I areate my wort with plain old air all the time.

Also LME and partial boils ususlly look really dark and often end up 3-5 SRM points darker, that said my kolsch looked like darker than SNPA in the carboy but came out almost as light (in color) as BMC...

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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I just did an American Cream Ale 4 days ago and it was clay red when I put the top on it.
Since, the sample has lightened up considerably. I was worried as well but then again it's my very first batch so everyone says you are supposed to worry with your first one

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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I did an all-grain version of that NB cream ale with just little change (I added some flaked corn). Everyone raved about it. I think you'll be happy with the results.

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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I did this recipe 8 or 10 weeks ago. Don't worry too much about the color. Mine was a little reddish as well but ended up crystal clear straw yellow. I have to be honest I think this recipe stinks. I pretty much hate the end result (others seem to like it though). It made beer that is for sure, but it is not my idea of a cream ale. The taste is hard to describe, sweet but not cloying, a little too much of the honey malt I guess? The result is a clean tasting beer with a touch too much sweetness and a thicker mouth feel. Not as easy a drinker as a cream ale should be. I should have dropped the honey malt down and used a different hop...I like Northern Brewer much more in my cream ales. YMMV- On the other hand the head on this beer does not like to give up...it is a pretty beer to look at.

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
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I brewed this same kit as an all-grain. It is still reddish in the Primary, but the color has lightened as it has aged. I will bottle soon, but think it will be a just a bit darker than what is expected for a cream ale. I think the Belgian Biscuit Malt is a little darker than the expected calculation for it.

Glad to hear that others have enjoyed this. I am bottling this week.

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:31 PM   #9
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I did the extract batch of this same kit over a year ago. Work crap interfered and I ended up leaving it in prmary for way too long (almost 3 months.. lol).

What I ended up with was dark, almost amber in color, and it tastes more like a pale ale than any cream ale I've ever had... I was looking for a genny clone and got something completely different.

IIRC, the steeping grains got it pretty dark, but a 60 min boil on the extracts likely caramelized and made it so much darker than style.

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Old 05-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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Also, keep in mind you haven't looked at it in a glass yet. More light is blocked when it has to pass through more beer, so beer looks darker in a carboy or a kettle than it will in your glass. All of my beers have turned out lighter in the glass than they looked just before bottling because of the large volume of the carboy.

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