Cream Ale - thoughts on this recipe?

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zinn

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Hey all,

Any thoughts on this recipe? How does it look?

Pale 2-row - 5lb
White wheat - 2lb
6-row - 1.5lb
Flaked corn - .5
Crystal 20l - .5
Carapils - 1lb
Flaked barley - .25lb
Honey malt - .75

Cascade hops - 1oz
Saaz - .5oz
Lotus - 1oz

I plan to add some vanilla extract (before bottling) and possibly some honey (but i'm not sure when to add the honey).

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

z-bob

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It looks... busy. :) That's also a pretty low percent corn. Five or 5.5 gallons? It'll be beer, and I'd drink it as long as you don't ruin it with the vanilla.

ETA: I've never heard of Lotus hops. I looked it up. Are you dry-hopping with it? That might be interesting (in a good way.) Because if you boil it your beer will probably be too bitter; it's a high-alpha variety.
 
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lumpher

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I agree with z-bob. Drop the vanilla and the lotus. Otherwise, if that's what you want, go for it. If you want to add honey, do it in the last 10 minutes of the boil.
 

Dland

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If it were me, trying to make classic cream ale, I'd drop the Crystal, Cara, Honey and the the flaked barley (not that that would matter).

I'd swap corn and wheat volumes. Hops look pretty good. No effin vanilla extract. geesh...

Hey, I regularly brew "Cream Ales" with more rye malt than corn, so brew what you want to. Have subbed in wheat and oat malt too, but if done in volume, will likely taste great, but will not clear up as is normal for style.
 
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Dland

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Classic cream ale = 70% 2-row... 20% flaked maize... and 10% flaked rice. OG right around 1.050 and bitterness +/-20 IBU.

Can get similar results with Pilsner as base and drop the rice. A little different, but not much when served at proper ice cold temp. {;
 

Malticulous

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I love cream ales.
I think I'll got out to brew shed and grab a few of these.
 

Kickass

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If you’re set on it , let ‘er rip. If it were me, I’d simplify the grain bill considerably. I’d drop the 6-row, carapils and flaked barely.

Your hop plan is unclear.

What yeast will you be using?
 

z-bob

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Here's a 5-gallon cream ale recipe that I just made up to compare:

6.25 pounds pale 2-row
2.5 pounds quick grits or flaked corn
4 ounces [whatever you want. Go crazy with this one, but probably not black malt, roasted barley, or chocolate malt]

1 ounce Cascade {45 minutes)
.5 ounce Saaz (10 minutes]

1 hour mash at 150°F. 1 hour boil. Nottingham or US-05 yeast. Should yield between 4.9% and 5.3% ABV and about 28 IBU.


The recipe you posted (assuming 5 gallons) will be between 6% and 7% before you add any honey. Depending on when you add the hops it could be more bitter or less. If you're trying to use up odds and ends, there's nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't call it a cream ale.
 

Joe P

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Hey all,

Any thoughts on this recipe? How does it look?

Pale 2-row - 5lb
White wheat - 2lb
6-row - 1.5lb
Flaked corn - .5
Crystal 20l - .5
Carapils - 1lb
Flaked barley - .25lb
Honey malt - .75

Cascade hops - 1oz
Saaz - .5oz
Lotus - 1oz

I plan to add some vanilla extract (before bottling) and possibly some honey (but i'm not sure when to add the honey).

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

Joe P

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Whoops, sorry, add the honey last before kegging or bottling and give it a little stir.
 

Dland

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Knew I was brewing this weekend, but did not decide what. This thread inspired me and it is right time of year, just mashed in:

10 gallon batch;

10# pilsner malt
5 # pale ale malt (golden promise)
2.5# Rye malt
2.5# flaked corn

FW, 1 oz N brewer
30 Min boil, 1 oz Willamette
Speed cool to 160F, then hop step w .5oz leaf Cascade (home grown).
 

Joe P

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I just made the almost identical brew. Was called Kentucky Common. Sucker turned out awesome once it sat for about 2 months. A nice surprise indeed.
 

kylewag

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If you have your heart set on a vanilla cream ale and you haven't made one before, maybe try making it without the vanilla extract and you can add a small amount (1/2 tsp/12oz beer) to a glass before you pour the beer in, that way if it turns out that you don't like it, you haven't ruined an entire batch. If you do like it, you can still have the vanilla cream ale & you will know that you can add it before bottling next time with no worries. I did that with a batch earlier this year. I put the vanilla in a few beers but drink most without. I tried a couple types of vanilla. I tried vanilla extract and vanilla coffee syrup. I liked the extract better. Using vanilla beans is probably the best, but I'm too lazy to do that and was happy with the vanilla extract.
 

pvtpublic

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I shall add my 2 cents, and with inflation, that's worth nothing. I will endeavor anyhow.

Cream Ale has absolutely nothing to do with cream, and even less to do with vanilla. In fact, I doubt there's many people who actually know where that name came from, myself included. According to the 2021 BJCP style guidelines;
"1C. Cream Ale
History: A sparkling or present-use (whatever that means...) ale from the second half of the 1800s that survived prohibition. An ale brewed to compete with the lagers brewed in Canada and the US Northeast, Mid-atlantic, and Midwest states.
Style Comparison: Similar to a Standard American Lager, but with more character. Lighter body, smoother, and more carbonated than a Blonde Ale. May seem like a somewhat subtle Kölsch."
Its more of an ale version of Budweiser than anything. Imagine Budweiser with vanilla beans in it...disgusting...or just Budweiser...

That being said, you're still free to do whatever you want. Who the hell am I to stop you or bring you down.

However, if you're still inclined on a creamy vanilla beer, might I suggest looking into a white stout? In case you're not familiar, it's a stout that looks like a pale ale. With the right mash temp, it can still be super refreshing. Here in Montana, we have Kettlehouse's Afraid Of The Dark, and it's terrific.
*Clink*
 

AlexKay

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Lots of good advice in this thread. There’s no reason to include both 2- and 6-row, there’s never much of a reason to use Carapils (and certainly not in those proportions), that’s also probably too much honey malt, and you could drop the crystal. Lotus is one of my favorites, though strong hoppiness is going to get you more of a blonde (or even an APA) than a cream ale. If you’re new to recipe building, I’d recommend a single flavoring hop. Given its alpha value, you could use the Lotus just at 15 or 20 and flameout, and call it a day.

Edit: oh, and the actual honey won’t give you much of a honey taste, but sugar in general will dry things out, which isn’t a bad goal for a cream ale.
 

bwible

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Lots of good advice in this thread. There’s no reason to include both 2- and 6-row, there’s never much of a reason to use Carapils (and certainly not in those proportions), that’s also probably too much honey malt, and you could drop the crystal. Lotus is one of my favorites, though strong hoppiness is going to get you more of a blonde (or even an APA) than a cream ale. If you’re new to recipe building, I’d recommend a single flavoring hop. Given its alpha value, you could use the Lotus just at 15 or 20 and flameout, and call it a day.

Edit: oh, and the actual honey won’t give you much of a honey taste, but sugar in general will dry things out, which isn’t a bad goal for a cream ale.
I like Carapils and I use it alot. 1 lb in a 5 gallon batch is way too much though. Breiss recommends around 3%.

“The original Carapils® Malt is a unique, dextrin-style malt that consistently increases foam, improves head retention and enhances mouthfeel without adding flavor or color to your beer. The top-performing malt in the dextrin-malt category. Carapils® Malt is produced exclusively by Briess using a proprietary process.”

Usage Levels / Beer Styles
1-5% To add body and foam stability without influencing color or aroma
 

AlexKay

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“The original Carapils® Malt is a unique, dextrin-style malt that consistently increases foam, improves head retention and enhances mouthfeel without adding flavor or color to your beer. The top-performing malt in the dextrin-malt category. Carapils® Malt is produced exclusively by Briess using a proprietary process.”
My experience is that Carapils does nothing in my beer.

There's the Brulosophy experiment:
https://brulosophy.com/2016/11/28/d...ous-beer-characteristics-exbeeriment-results/

And from "Positive and negative impacts of specialty malts on beer foam: a comparison of various cereal products for their foaming properties." here's figure 1:
View attachment carapils.png
Citation is https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.6117 (paywall)
 
OP
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zinn

zinn

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Thanks all. Some really good advice on this thread. I'm pretty new to all this, so just soaking things up. I'll modify the recipe based on some of these suggestions.

If you're curious, this is the recipe I was basing mine off of:


5.25 lb American - Pale 2-Row 371.844.7%
2 lb American - White Wheat 402.817%
2 lb American - Pale 6-Row 351.817%
0.50 lb Flaked Corn 400.54.3%
0.50 lb American - Caramel / Crystal 20L 35204.3%
0.50 lb American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) 331.84.3%
0.25 lb Flaked Barley 322.22.1%
0.75 lb Honey - (late boil kettle addition)
 

Drinkerbell

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Hey all,

Any thoughts on this recipe? How does it look?

Pale 2-row - 5lb
White wheat - 2lb
6-row - 1.5lb
Flaked corn - .5
Crystal 20l - .5
Carapils - 1lb
Flaked barley - .25lb
Honey malt - .75

Cascade hops - 1oz
Saaz - .5oz
Lotus - 1oz

I plan to add some vanilla extract (before bottling) and possibly some honey (but i'm not sure when to add the honey).

Thanks for any suggestions!
I just opened up a Honey Vanilla Cream I concocted using Honey Malt, with a vanilla bean thrown in to secondary. Not too bad. Honey malt rocks! (But I should have gone with 2-row. Marris Otter experiment gives it a weird finish.
 

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