Banana Cream Ale

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Schlenkerla

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I made my first really half-wacked brew. Banana Cream Ale.

I've been eyeballing this one for awhile. Now with warm weather on the way I got the urge to do it, so Saturday I went and got the ingredients.

I did a steeped extract, not quite a PM. I boiled some banana in the partial boil. I tasted the banana left over in the kettle. It was really hopped-out banana. Oh so bitter....

.... comments welcome!!

:ban: :ban: :ban: :ban:


Banana Cream Ale - Extract w/ Steeped Grains

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------

20-A Fruit Beer, Fruit Beer

Min OG: 1.030 Max OG: 1.120
Min IBU: 12 Max IBU: 50
Min Clr: 2 Max Clr: 70 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 5.50 Wort Size (Gal): 3.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.040 Plato: 9.88
Anticipated SRM: 5.2
Anticipated IBU: 18.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 30 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts
----------------

Evaporation Rate: 15.00 Percent Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 3.53 Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.062 SG 15.10 Plato


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
26.3 2.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
5.3 0.50 lbs. Pilsener Belgium 1.037 2
26.3 2.50 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
42.1 4.00 lbs. Edme Original Draft - Hopped Great Britan 1.040 6

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Extras

Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
5.00 Lbs Banana Fruit 20 Days(fermenter)
0.25 Oz Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)
4.00 Oz Banana Flakes Fruit 10 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp Nutmeg Spice 10 Min.(boil)


Yeast
-----

WYeast 2565 Kolsch


Notes
-----

Add grains to 3 gal of water, heat to 150F and mash/steep 45 minutes.

Sparge grains, then boil.

Turn off heat add; extract, bananna flakes, irish moss, & nutmeg.

Boil 10 Minutes, then chill, top off to 5.5 gal of cold water pitch yeast

Ferment 1 week, rack to 2ndary that has 5lbs of bananas. Make sure the 2ndary is large enough to hold a active fermentation. (Banana's have lots of sugar.)

Ferment in 2ndary 20 days. Prime w/ cornsugar or Muntons Kreamy X
 

landhoney

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I've heard of banana's being used in brewing, but haven't really payed attention because its not something I see myself doing. But in passing I don't remember hearing of anyone using this many bananas before, probably wrong though.

My questions are:
1. Have you tried/tasted a beer like this before(this amount of banana)?
2. What do you expect from this one? (maybe obviously, just a banana taste:drunk: )

Sounds interesting though, good luck.
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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Let me first say this. The recipe is from, "More Homebrew Favorites" by Karl F Lutzen & Mark Stevens.

Its not my own creation. I just found the Banana flavor an interresting idea. I really like Banana. I love the smell for sure, I don't know how I will like it when its abundent in beer. I like it well enough that I made a heffe just recently.

I have never tried this beer and I'm mainly expecting significant banana flavor. I want this beer to have a stiff head after the pour.

As for yeast, I used the Kolsch 2565 because that what they call out in the recipe. Not to mention temp-wise its perfect for my cool basement.

Subsitutions;
1) I used Edme Original Draught Extract 4lbs - Recipe called for 3.3lbs Munton & Fison Hopped lager extract

2) I will use Muntons Kreamy-X to prime and get a moussey head

3) I will probably add some vanilla ~ 2 oz and a little lactose.

I like how cheeses VCCA turned out, so I'm thinking this will be similar. The VCCA has a really thick head on it after the pour. So, so good!!!

I'm not sure I like the idea of using a pilsner malt w/o a long boil. I wonder how the DMS we be? The amount is very small though.

I'll keep you posted!!

:ban: :ban: :ban: :ban:
 

WortMonger

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"Jr., remind me to punch your Momma in the mouth when we get home." -Sheriff Buford T. Justice from Smokey and the Bandit-

Just kidding, sounds like it might be pretty interesting. I am going to keep reading. :D
 

pain++

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so, any updates? I want to hear how this came out :)
 
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Schlenkerla

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Not yet - It not due to come out of the 2ndary until Sunday. I will certainly post some tasting notes on the way to bottle!!!
 

FlyingHorse

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For me, this beer is like a car accident -- it sounds gross*, but I know I'm not going to be able to stop checking this thread to see how it turned out.




* No offense intended; wacky stuff like this is one of the reasons we homebrew, and I applaud your sense of adventure!

:mug:
 

XRINGNH

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R.I.P. Schlenkerla
Well folks its Monday the 5th and no word from or fearless banana crusader.
I fear the first sip has taken the fearless brewmiester from us.
Good news is there should still be 5gals left for those who want to meet the big banana in the sky:ban:.
Go ahead don't be shy take a sip my children :fro:
Just don't look into the light.
Well Bike N Brew, car wreck, Jonestown its all the same 1 by 1 they drink and crash or slip on a peel or something:tank:.
Move along people nothing to see here.:D
 
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Schlenkerla

Schlenkerla

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Don't count me out!!!! I was too hung over on Sunday to do anything!!! I've got my AW to move into bottles.

I will move this prolly on Friday (I'm out of town until Friday). Can't rush a good thing!!

I didn't know I had some so many banana beer closet enthusists. :D
 

Klainmeister

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I hate to admit it....but i'm a closet banana beer enthusiast....

I'm curious. I love banana's and here in Deutschland they make Bananaweizens that are delicious.
 
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Schlenkerla

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I hate to admit it....but i'm a closet banana beer enthusiast....

I'm curious. I love banana's and here in Deutschland they make Bananaweizens that are delicious.
Ha - Proof I'm not crazy!!!

Bananaweizen's - I'm assuming they requested a brewing varience from the Rheinheitsgebot.
 

Klainmeister

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Ha - Proof I'm not crazy!!!

Bananaweizen's - I'm assuming they requested a brewing varience from the Rheinheitsgebot.
Eh, it's just a standard weizen with some banana juice added when poured into the glass. it's damn delicious though.

PS: I'm going to Bamberg to drink some Schlenkerla and get my bierdiplom. Love the name!
 

XRINGNH

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Ha - Proof I'm not crazy!!!
Your baseing your sanity defense on 1 Deutschlander jacked up on Bananaweizens???:drunk:

I ask the court is this not grounds for cuckoo for cocoa puffs time?:p

Its the whole "I'm a closet banana beer enthusiast" thing that has us worried but you just carry on and we will wait and wait and wait for your words of wisdom on the Banana Bomb you have concocted.:mug:

ARE WEEEEEEEEEE THERE YET
 
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Schlenkerla

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Almost... I should be getting it out of the 2ndary tomorrow. :ban:

I can't wait to taste this!!
 
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Schlenkerla

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Ok - This beer is now in bottles. I debated as to whether not it should put in a tertiary. I used my 2nd 7.9 gal fermenter as a 2ndary. I used the spigot instead of my auto syphon so I think that I got more sediment as a result. It should be OK. On to tasting notes...

FYI - I bottled w/ Muntons Kreamy-X, 8oz of lactose, and 2 oz of vanilla.

Bouquet/Aroma - No doubt banana. When I was bottling, I left the 2ndary out in the open (5 lbs of banana in the bottom) and the banana smell perimiated the whole kitchen. This made it hard just to smell what was in the glass. Since I added some vanilla there is some essence of that too. I asked SWMBO to smell (not taste it) and she said it smells like banana and caramel. I think the vanilla addition was subtle, which is what I was after. Malt presence is there, no hop smell to detect whatsoever.

Appearance - Color is like a typical amber. My guess is in the low 10's. This is too dark for what I wanted. Clarity could not be rated since it came from the 2ndary and I got the yeast dusted up. Head rention should be good from the PM and the Kreamy-X.

Flavor - It has a definite fruity banana taste, malt and hop flavors appear to be in balance and it finishes with an ester-like after taste. This needs to age for a bit. It could use some cold conditioning in the bottle after they get well carbed. The after taste could be from the yeast-stirr-up too.

Body & Drinkability - (Not rated, waiting for carbonation...)

Key Take-aways so far...
  1. I had very little activity in the 2ndary. It didn't warrant the use of a big 2ndary like the book said it needed. Be cautious if you go to a carboy w/o head space.
  2. I was concerned about the hop bitterness being to big. The original recipe was for 3.3lbs of Muntons hopped extract. I used 4lbs of "EDME's Orginal Draught" hopped extract. If I remake this would go with 3lbs of light DME and hop it get about 18-25 IBU's. This is part of the reason I added the lactose. It may not have been necessary but it will add to the mouth feel.
  3. I was disappointed about the color. I'm sure going with 3 lbs Light DME over hopped extract will keep the color out of 10's for SRM.
  4. Next time I would use a dry yeast. Nottinghams or Safale #5. I guess Wyeast 2565 is OK. I'm thinking the original brewer was trying to mimic a cream ale/kolsch hybrid. 2565 is a recomended strain for fruit beers too. I'm thinking the yeast should be pretty neutral.
I plan to keep this stuff in the man-fridge for 6-8 weeks after its carbed. This will help clean up the green estery aftertaste. I plan to sample one quart after this occurrs and the yeast drops out of suspension.

Questions & Comments Welcome!!
:mug:
 

stevecaaster

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Any wagers on how many bananas it will take to get 5lbs? Assume Skin Removed.
21 bananas , coming from someone who worked at a supermarket for waaaaaayyyyy too long...

edit: sorry, i didnt see, with the skin removed that will take you to 25 bananas

edit again: damn i was off by 5...
 
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Schlenkerla

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From a guess that's pretty good. I had no clue. I started w/ 10 thinking it was too much. Got another 14, later that night. Some of the bananas were big and some small. 20-25 is a pretty good guess in my book.

I couldn't believe the suckers floated the whole time like sludge. When I opened the 2ndary it was like a banana shock wave. They also swelled up a good deal.
 
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Schlenkerla

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Got another taste....

Bouquet/Aroma - No doubt banana. The vanilla is definately now subdued. Right on the mark.

Appearance - Color is like a typical amber. Like that of a bass ale. The head thick rich and creamy like a milkshake. (I'll include big picture)

Flavor - Its actually pretty nice! (Definately Different) Its nothing like a hefe... Think of a mild english ale with banana that covers any type of noble hop flavor and aroma. It has a definite fruity banana taste, malt and hop flavors appear to be in balance and it finishes with nothing less than a banana after taste. I have the remaining 16 quarts chilling now. I drank 3 or so since last Friday.

The perceived estery like flavor has greatly diminished now. The banana aroma & flavor is very prominent. After sipping on the foamy head you could almost garnish this with a maraschino cherry. Like a banana split. Hold the nuts though.

Body & Drinkability. I'd say medium . As for drinkability, I like this beer. I could drink several of these. Not much more than three at a time. I bottle in quarts so I'm on my 3rd glass right now. Its a desert type of beer. I think its the kind that you might have on hand for awhile unless you love fruit beers. I'm not a big fruit beer drinker but I can see me making this once a year.

If you make this and you use Promash/Beersmith and rather not use a pre-hopped extract I'd pick up 3-4 lbs of light DME and hop it with a fairly neutral hop to get about 18-25 IBU's.


Runnin' A Banana Train!!!!
:ban:
:ban:
:ban:
 

WBC

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What's the age of your bananna ale? I wonder if it will all of a sudden change to another flavor like ales do IMHO.
 
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Schlenkerla

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I belive I pitched the yeast on 4/7

4/14 it went to the 2ndary.

5/11 I bottled.

2 months from pitching, 3 weeks in the bottle.

I'm guessing the banana may tame down slightly. Right now its not tart like a hefe. Its just a mild amber w/solid banana flavor & aroma.
 

celtic_man81

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I would suggest using 15 to 20 lbs of banana. I just finished making a strawberry wheat beer. I added about 15 lbs of strawberry, and you can only taste light notes of strawberry. I don't think fruit has a lot of sugar (or the amount we'd like) in it, so try that out. I was doing a 6 gallon batch to keep in mind. It all depends on how much flavor you want.
 
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Schlenkerla

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I would suggest using 15 to 20 lbs of banana. I just finished making a strawberry wheat beer. I added about 15 lbs of strawberry, and you can only taste light notes of strawberry. I don't think fruit has a lot of sugar (or the amount we'd like) in it, so try that out. I was doing a 6 gallon batch to keep in mind. It all depends on how much flavor you want.
What??? :confused:

Are you bananas??? :D

I used 5 lbs and it very banana-like but not too much. I still want it to be beer and not a banana daiquiri.

Did you see my tasting notes?

5 lbs of banana = 22 peeled. In my 2ndary it had 2-3" of level banana across the bottom.

15 much less 20 would be way too much banana
15 = 66 bananas, ~6-9" of sliced layers of banana
20 = 88 bananas, ~8-12" of sliced layers of banana

Where would I put the beer???

I'm happy w/ 5 lbs.

:ban:
 

celtic_man81

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I would suggest using 15 to 20 lbs of banana. I just finished making a strawberry wheat beer. I added about 15 lbs of strawberry, and you can only taste light notes of strawberry. I don't think fruit has a lot of sugar (or the amount we'd like) in it, so try that out. I was doing a 6 gallon batch to keep in mind. It all depends on how much flavor you want.
Sorry, this is actually wrong. I found my original notes today, I actually added 5 pounds, not 15 lb. I would actually recommend using maybe 10 lb (depending on how much flavor you want). I just read your comment as well. If 5 lbs works for you, then great! I just remember that my brew was a little different (not enough strawberry flavor).
 

Tonedef131

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It would be interesting to add some plantains to the mash of this beer, get some banana starch conversion going on.
 

shagington

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?Question?

Do you think the dried banana flakes you added into the boil in the last 10 minutes just boiled and fermented off, not really adding to the banana flavor of the beer?
 

eschatz

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WOW! I have been wanting to make a banana beer for SO LONG!!! I'm REALLY impressed with this beer. I couldnt find any info on bananas used in beer. Some info for wines, which always included the skins in the boild, but not beers. I've always been interested in making a banana choc stout.... mmmmmmm sounds like a winner to me. I'll be stealing bits from this recipe to make that. thanks man! :mug:
 
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Schlenkerla

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?Question?

Do you think the dried banana flakes you added into the boil in the last 10 minutes just boiled and fermented off, not really adding to the banana flavor of the beer?

I made this only once so I'd say its hard to for sure. If you go with the hopping rule-of-thumb, then the flakes added flavor.

I'd say with the quantity of whole banana used it had to no doubt be source of of aroma but I think it had alot to do with the flavor.

The dried banana flakes are cheap, so don't skip this ingredient.
 

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