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Irish Cream Ale

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kchomebrew

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Going to cut it close, but I thought I'd try to get a Irish Cream ale brewed in time for St. Pats. Sort of a hybrid between Jamil's cream ale and Spotted Cow clones that are out there and then decided to use an Irish Ale yeast. Here's the recipe I'm going to use (I'll post the actual beersmith write up when I enter it...just messed around with this today and came up with it) :
10 gallons
10 lbs Pils Malt
10 lbs Maris Otter Pale
2 lbs Crystal 20L
2 lbs flaked maize
2 lbs flaked barley

2 oz. fuggles 60 min.
2 oz. EK Goldings 5 min.

Irish Ale White Labs (making a starter with it)

I'll post more as I enter the details in beersmith and then brew and ferment. I'll also provide final tasting notes and photos of the beer.
 
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I don't have beersmith with me, but what abv are you shooting for? 13lbs of grain per five gallons seems high for that style.

For party beers I like to keep the abv on the lower side to allow people to keep drinking longer.

I would probably cut the 2-row down to 4 pounds and aim for 10lbs of grain per 5 gallons.
 
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kchomebrew

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chri5 said:
I don't have beersmith with me, but what abv are you shooting for? 13lbs of grain per five gallons seems high for that style.

For party beers I like to keep the abv on the lower side to allow people to keep drinking longer.

I would probably cut the 2-row down to 4 pounds and aim for 10lbs of grain per 5 gallons.
Its a 10 gallon batch.
 
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kchomebrew

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My fault. I get what you are saying. I am not adding cane sugar to the boil. Jamil's recipe has cane sugar ( 1lb per 5 gal), and grains are 11lb ....so I just opted to add some flaked barley....but now that I think of it, I may back off that and just do 12 lbs grains.
 
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kchomebrew

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Alright. Brewed yesterday. System I use is 95% efficiency. 10 gallons. 1.25 quarts water per lb. OG came out at 1.056. Here's the grain bill, etc:

7lbs pils malt
7lbs maris otter
1lb crystal 20L
1lb flaked maize

2oz fuggles 60min
2oz ek goldings 5min

Used wlp004 irish ale yeast....I know this isn't a traditional type of yeast to use on a cream ale. However, since this is an "irish" cream ale, I wanted to see what it would do. Use this same yeast on a red ale last year and it worked well. So , we'll see.
 
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kchomebrew

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Checked the primary today (been about 10 days) and gravity reading was 1.017. Considering I overshot the OG (should have been 1.052) at 1.057 this reading makes sense. So in looking at the OG at 1.057 and assumed FG at 1.016/1.017, that means my system ran 99% or 100% efficiency. That's crazy ! If you read any of my others posts, I built a Kal HERMS clone system recently. This is the first beer I've brewed on it. I read it would yield a 95% efficiency...but this is incredible. Interested to see if I get the same result on other beers I brew.

I sampled some out of the primary and it's nice. In looking at the WLP004 Irish Ale yeast, the flavor profile is spot on to what White Labs says about 004 and its really noticeable in this cream ale (I've used it in dry stouts, red ales, etc. in the past) - really noticeable light fruitiness, very dry, and I do note a hint of diacetyl ( the diacetyl notes make it "irish" in my opinion). The fuggles and EKG hops play well with the grains. The maris otter really shines through with this yeast - good crisp dry malt flavor (I'm a fan of Maris Otter).

While the beer doesn't hit a lot of the #'s within the Cream Ale style....it ought to be a crowd pleaser (bit high on SRM and over on OG and FG and IBUs, but where the IBUs are at will make it work 21.5). I'm not entering it any competitions...just want lots of people to drink it, enjoy it, and switch to drinking craft beer because of it (St. Pats is always a good opportunity for the homebrewer to push the hidden agenda).

Since I don't have much time till St. Pats, I am bottling tomorrow (I don't have kegging equipment yet...wish I did...will have that by this summer) and will warm store next to the central heating unit in the basement which is always a steady 70F. Hopefully means the bottles should be ready by 3/16 or 3/17 (which is when I plan to break into the bottles). Man, did I cut this brew close or what ? Hopefully it will be ready. If it was any more than 5.2% abv , I'd be worried it won't be ready. Finger crossed.

I'll post photos and tasting notes when it's done.
 
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kchomebrew

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Folks...this one is a winner. As far as cream ales go, this has a similar profile to spotted cow but picture it with a more fruity english ale/cask taste. Cereal, biscuit and light fruit flavors up front with a crisp clean finish...mildly bitter on the finish. Its awesome and I think what I like best about it is the odd use of irish ale yeast. I am excited to serve this one and would highly recommend giving it a shot for your st pats brew that all can enjoy.

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kchomebrew

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I ended up entering this one in the Kansas City HopFest homebrew competition and it scored a 37 out of 50. There wasn't an open category for 6A and since the beer is actually out of the style guidelines due to OG/FG ABV and type of yeast used, I went for 23A. The judges permitted it and the comments were pretty good.
 
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