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-   -   "Kiss Yer Cousin" Rye Kentucky Common Ale (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/kiss-yer-cousin-rye-kentucky-common-ale-290419/)

Revvy 12-30-2011 02:46 PM

"Kiss Yer Cousin" Rye Kentucky Common Ale
 
This is my take on the lost Kentucky Common Style of ales. It is heavily inspired by O'Daniel's research into the style and his original recipe- O'Daniel's Kentucky Common 1902, conversations with him via pm, and my own research. Both our recipes were influenced highly by American handy-book of the brewing, malting and auxiliary trades By Robert Wahl, Max Henius.

The Basics...

Quote:

In the area around Louisville, Kentucky, in the years before Prohibition, a distinctive style of dark ale was popular. Referred to at the time as Common Beer, a term which was also used in other areas to refer to Cream Ale and other beers, or sometimes as Dark Cream Common, it is now generally called Kentucky Common, the term used in the Wahl-Henius Handy Book.

Kentucky Common was made with was usually made with about 75% malt and 25% corn grits or sugar. The grist included 1 to 2% black malt and sometimes also 1 to 2% crystal malt per barrel. Also, a small amount of brewers caramel was sometimes used.

Like cream ale, it was consumed fresh, usually as draft beer. In 1913 it was estimated that 80% of the beer consumed in Louisville was of this type.

Although now largely a defunct and forgotten beer style, it is occassionally brewed by American microbreweries, including the New Albanian Brewing Company in New Albany, Indiana.
My version is greatly influenced by the discussion about the style here. The idea that perhaps Kentucky Commons owed a lot to the grainbills of moonshiners intrigued me. My vision of this ale is that it is the beer that the 'shiners might have made and drank to slake their thirsts while working down in the hidden hollers making their illicit spirits.

And rather than using a complicated grainbill, they just used the same stuff they would for moonshine, namely barley, corn and rye.

My version of the KC is NOT SOURED, some readings mention that KCs were soured, but even discussing it with O'daniel, I believe that the majority of the versions were not soured, and those that were soured, was so more because of poor brewing sanitzation practices than intent. Or perhaps they brewed sour because they were used to brewing sour mashes. Though in my pretend fantasy about this beer, it wouldn't be too far fetched to think perhaps some moonshiners ran off 6 gallons of their sour mash, boiled and hopped it like beer and pitched yeast.

There is a good discussion of KC's and sourness in this thread.

One could sour this if they wanted or add in some aromatic or acid malt but I think the Rye alone lends a slight tart crispness to it.

But I personally like it this way, and don't see me ever souring it.

This is an amazingly smooth sipper, at only 4.7% ABV. It goes down extremely smooth, I think due to the corn which thins out the body a bit. It's a beer that is very quaffable- I start drinking it, and before I realize it, I've downed a second or third one.

The beer has a dark reddish color to it, with a fairly thick head that lingers for a bit, and leaves lovely lacing on the glass.

To me the rye gives it a pleasing aroma and a sort of "peppery" crispness to the flavor.

This has rapidly become my favorite recipe. It's the first one that I think I've truly, hit it out of the park on the first try. I really can see no way that I would want to tweak or change any aspect of this recipe, it is exactly what I envisioned it to be.

"Kiss Yer Cousin" Rye Kentucky Common Ale

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...Label_copy.jpg

5 gallons.

Grain

4.5# Pale Malt 2-row
2.25# Flaked Maize
1# Flaked Rye
2 oz Black Patent Malt
2 oz Crystal/Caramel 120L

Hops

.85 oz Cluster (7.% aau) @60

Yeast

1 Packet US-05 (any American Ale yeast can be substituted)

Single Infusion, LIGHT body, batch sparge.

Mash Temp 148 degrees
Sparge Temp 168 degrees

(I primed this beer with table sugar rather than corn sugar.)

https://untappd.s3.amazonaws.com/pho...73_320x320.jpg

cuttsjp 12-31-2011 04:37 PM

This sounds awesome! I love historical brews and good session ales, and I've been really intrigued about trying to make a good "American mild" of sorts. I'll have to give this a shot early in 2012!

nate_ive 12-31-2011 07:57 PM

Brewing this today, but the LHBS only had .75lb of flaked rye so I subbed in some flaked rice. I'm going to try this as a steam beer, s-23 at ale fermentation temps.

NJstout 01-01-2012 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Revvy (Post 3612424)

One could sour this if they wanted or add in some melanoidin or acid malt but I think the Rye alone lends a slight tart crispness to it.

But I personally like it this way, and don't see me ever souring it.

Melanoidin doesnt sour, its like a concentrated munich

Revvy 01-01-2012 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJstout (Post 3616673)
Melanoidin doesnt sour, its like a concentrated munich

OOPS, good catch, I meant aromatic. It doesn't sour , but I find it lends a back of the throat tartness to many beers. It seems to come out it "redder" beers such as Malticulous's Mojave Red Ale. I once got the owner of my lhbs drunk sampling my beers BEFORE he filled my grain bill and he doubled up on it, and it had a bit of a pucker-ness to it.

I corrected my original post.

jonmohno 01-10-2012 10:52 PM

This sounds like a fun beer to make, i didnt read through it all but why the black malt?Oh, ok i just skimmed through,its a Kentucky dark cream ale. And what are a few hops would you might think would make a good sub for Cluster? What temps did you ferment this at?

cuttsjp 01-18-2012 12:34 AM

Kay Revvy, I'm fixin' to brew this one up sometime this week, most likely on Friday or Saturday. Can't wait! I'm using this batch to build up a yeast cake of the new WLP250 Rebel Brewer strain for an American barleywine/bitter partigyle brew day.

Revvy 01-18-2012 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cuttsjp (Post 3676383)
Kay Revvy, I'm fixin' to brew this one up sometime this week, most likely on Friday or Saturday. Can't wait! I'm using this batch to build up a yeast cake of the new WLP250 Rebel Brewer strain for an American barleywine/bitter partigyle brew day.

Awesome. Can't wait to hear how it goes. I've got to brew this one again, soon. I think I might have a half dozen left.

Will this make your blog???

jonmohno 01-18-2012 02:30 AM

galena,northern brewer.

DanaDana 01-26-2012 04:45 AM

My mouth is watering already!
What would you classify this beer as if you had to though? A cali-common or do you think it would fall under the rye beer category with a small portion of rye?


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