All Grain Yeast:
US 05 (or any Amercian Ale yeast) Batch Size (Gallons):
5 Original Gravity:
1.046 Final Gravity:
25 Boiling Time (Minutes):
11 Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
30 Additional Fermentation:
no Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
no Tasting Notes:
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.
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
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
4.5# Pale Malt 2-row
2.25# Flaked Maize
1# Flaked Rye
2 oz Black Patent Malt
2 oz Crystal/Caramel 120L
.85 oz Cluster (7.% aau) @60
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.)