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Old 07-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default Cream Ale?

With all respect to "drink / brew what you like," its nice to be able to classify a beer so that you have and easy way to describe it to friends and family without a 20 minute dissertation on ingredients and how it was brewed.

Yesterday brewday was more about experimenting with new equipment. Wanted a grist that would have a good chance of scorching an electric element in the mash. Something sticky with lots of protiens. A trip to the basement produced malted wheat and flaked maize. Mashed with a 50/50 mix and had no problems with a contrived step mash. Hopped to 17 IBU with Willamette and added some simple sugar at the end of the boil. Its now fermenting with a clean ale yeast.

So, the question is, what the heck did I brew? I'm thinking Cream Ale, but can you make a Cream Ale with wheat? Most of the recipes I see use pilsner and a lot less corn. When my wife asked what I was brewing, I told her, Fizzy Yellow Beer. She made an "ewww" face, so I need a better description. Will Cream Ale work?


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Old 07-09-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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As long as you have fun and make beer that you enjoy drinking,start a new style hell I will brew it so post your recipe


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Old 07-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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Whenever I say "Cream Ale" to my friends, they inevitably ask, "Oh, is that like a milk stout?"

So I avoid that title. Blonde works for me.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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Going with the much hated self bump.
(Somehow that sounds wrong. )

Got 8 gallons of this 50/50 wheat/corn, 17 IBU stuff bubbling in the basement.
I'm getting nervous. Not a fan of BMC.
Is there any hope that this will be any better?

Edit to say:
Looking for comments on the recipe.
Searching turns up nothing like this.
There must be a reason.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #5
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I always think of a cream ale as a pilsner malt base (or other light two-row) and either a bit of corn or rice to lighten the body and flavor even more. You know how I feel about wheat beers, so I wouldn't think of this combo as a cream ale.

Sounds more like a light wheat beer. Does "light wheat beer" work better for your wife?
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Does "light wheat beer" work better for your wife?
Is that politically correct for "fizzy yellow beer?"

What has me confused is that most of what I read says that the corn is a neutral fermentable and is used to reduce maltiness. Yet the BJCP guidelines for Cream Ale mention corn character in both aroma and flavor. And since most Cream Ale recipes only have small percentage of corn, my 50% should be pretty dominant. Or is it coming from DMS resulting from under boiled Pilsner?

(Am I the only one who loves the anxious anticipation of what a new recipe will produce? )

Quote:
Aroma: Faint malt notes. A sweet, corn-like aroma and low
levels of DMS are commonly found
. Hop aroma low to none.
Any variety of hops may be used, but neither hops nor malt
dominate. Faint esters may be present in some examples, but are
not required. No diacetyl.

Flavor: Low to medium-low hop bitterness. Low to moderate
maltiness and sweetness, varying with gravity and attenuation.
Usually well attenuated. Neither malt nor hops prevail in the taste.
A low to moderate corny flavor from corn adjuncts is commonly
found
, as is some DMS. Finish can vary from somewhat dry to
faintly sweet from the corn, malt, and sugar. Faint fruity esters are
optional. No diacetyl.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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I just kegged my first cream ale and the taste test going in to the keg was bland. I simply asked my local homebrew store guru to put together something for me. I said I wanted to try a generic cream ale and made this mostly for my wife and son (who will be 21 very soon) as they don't like my heavy, dark and hoppy beers. Since I'm lucky enough to have 3 kegs going at once, I figured I should have something the regular crowd likes to drink too. Plus, it's summer and lawn cutting time and it's better than water or Gatorade.
Just in case anyone cares, here's what I did (except I used 05 yeast rehydrated)

Metry Cream Ale
American Pale Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (G): 5.2
Total Grain (lb): 10.000
Total Hops (oz): 2.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.049 (P): 12.1
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012 (P): 3.1
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.81 %
Colour (SRM): 4.0 (EBC): 7.9
Bitterness (IBU): 23.5 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill
----------------
3.000 lb American 2-Row (30%)
3.000 lb American 6-Row (30%)
3.000 lb Flaked Corn (30%)
1.000 lb Munich I (10%)

Hop Bill
----------------
1.00 oz Cluster Pellet (5.7% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
1.00 oz Mt. Hood Pellet (5.2% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)

Misc Bill
----------------

Single step Infusion at 151F for 60 Minutes.
Fermented Metry Cream Ale
American Pale Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (G): 5.2
Total Grain (lb): 10.000
Total Hops (oz): 2.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.049 (P): 12.1
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012 (P): 3.1
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.81 %
Colour (SRM): 4.0 (EBC): 7.9
Bitterness (IBU): 23.5 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill
----------------
3.000 lb American 2-Row (30%)
3.000 lb American 6-Row (30%)
3.000 lb Flaked Corn (30%)
1.000 lb Munich I (10%)

Hop Bill
----------------
1.00 oz Cluster Pellet (5.7% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
1.00 oz Mt. Hood Pellet (5.2% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)

Misc Bill
----------------

Single step Infusion at 151F for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 68F with WLP080 - Cream Ale Blend
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:23 AM   #8
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With sugar and corn, I might go Extra Light Wheat (if I can do s0 without ripping Yooper off too bad)... I'm interested to see your FG, this might be very dry depending on the attenuation of the yeast.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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Default Morning Ramblings

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwadric View Post
... I'm interested to see your FG, this might be very dry depending on the attenuation of the yeast.
Strange stuff. My beers usually turn around pretty fast, but this one appears to be in for the long haul. Started really fast with Pacman, so I was expecting a quick ferment with possible blow-off, but never even got close. Got about an inch of persistent, fluffy pure white krausen and steady bubbles with the wort sitting at 63 degrees. Not sure if this will produce under attenuation or a dry beer as you suggest. Still too early to check, but it has piqued my curiosity.

I do have about a half gallon satellite going in a gallon pickle jar. Sprinkled a little 05 on it and let it sit at basement temps. Not a fan of over-filling my primaries, so this is something I'll often do if there's a little extra wort. No airlock, just foil. Usually finishes up sooner than the main batch. A PET bottle and carbonater cap gives me a rough idea of how the beer is progressing. This one's got the same white krausen that won't quit. Was hoping to cold crash and be sampling before the weekend, but guess I'll have to wait.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #10
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More strange stuff. The satellite had a slight sourness to it. Actually pretty tasty. Reminded me of a Berliner Weisse. I wouldn't have minded if the main batch ended up the same, but it must have been an uninvited (but good) bug from only using loose foil to cover it and fermenting in my damp basement. Should have harvested the yeast. May have been onto something.

I kegged the main batch yesterday. Surprisingly good! Even my wife, who's lately been passing on her usual milds and sucking down my IPA's liked it. Still not sure how I would categorize it. Very smooth, but dry enough to be easy drinking. Low hop flavor and aroma. A good balance of hop to malt. The gravity went from 1.062 to 1.012, so high ABV for the style, but not outrageous. On the down side. there might be too much body for a Cream Ale. Another style related problem, it's still hazy and given the ingredients I don't expect great clarity after it settles.

Hope to find someone local who's familiar with Cream Ales. The drop-off date is coming up for a local competition. I might go for the official critique there, but don't want to enter that category if it's way off.


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