modifying brewers best american cream ale

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scottab

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Hi all. Just picked up the Brewers Best American cream ale kit and was wondering some things...
First i would like to replace the corn sugar (1lb) with DME. If i replace pound for pound i will get a slightly higher sg and about the same fg, will i have any issues?
Also was considering adding vanilla bean either to the boil or to the 2ndary but unsure which would give a better flavor.
Third, i am considering using carapils and crystal 10l steeping grains 1lb of each... will this tinkering alter my cream ale out of character for the style?
 

JJL

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A few things to consider.

1) The corn sugar is most likely in the recipe to give it a drier finish.
2) Subing DME will probably create a less dry finish, so you may want to use some vienna or biscuit to add a little dry/roasty flavor.
3) Adding DME is actually like adding 2-row malt and carapils to the beer.
4) If you are going to add more crystal malt, you probably won't notice much of a difference between crystal 10 and carapils, so you may want to choose one or the other.
5) Careful not to over do to much with the crystal. You probably don't want it to be more than 20% max of your fermentables.

Not trying to dissuade you from experimenting. You should try whatever you want. Just some things to consider.
 
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scottab

scottab

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A few things to consider.

1) The corn sugar is most likely in the recipe to give it a drier finish.
2) Subing DME will probably create a less dry finish, so you may want to use some vienna or biscuit to add a little dry/roasty flavor.
3) Adding DME is actually like adding 2-row malt and carapils to the beer.
4) If you are going to add more crystal malt, you probably won't notice much of a difference between crystal 10 and carapils, so you may want to choose one or the other.
5) Careful not to over do to much with the crystal. You probably don't want it to be more than 20% max of your fermentables.

Not trying to dissuade you from experimenting. You should try whatever you want. Just some things to consider.
Thanks JJL for he info, those are some of the things i've been considering. but since i'm a new brewer (this will be my 4th batch) i'm trying to get a more malty flavor and body but def don't want to overdo it. i'd like to keep the character of the cream ale but make it more creamy in flavor, body and texture. kind of like a vanilla egg cream soda...
 
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scottab

scottab

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BTW here is the Recipe ingredients:
I believe that both the hops additions are willamette in my kit.

FERMENTABLES
3.3 lb. Extra Light LME
2.0 lb. Pilsen DME
1 lb. Corn Sugar

HOPS
1.25 oz. Bittering
1 oz. Aroma

YEAST
1 Sachet nottingham
 

JJL

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Well, swapping the corn sugar for DME should make it a little sweeter. The crystal will sweeten it a little too. I would go with the crystal 10 as opposed to the carapils. You could also get some less attenuative yeast like windsor. You also might cut back on the aroma addition. Maybe 1/2 oz.
 
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scottab

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Thanks for the suggestions... i'll prob brew as is and either just throw in a vanilla bean or some real extract.
 

iowaherkeye

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Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd put the vanilla beans as you would a dry hop. Soak the pod in vodka, use a sanitized knife and scrape out the little beans, then add. Or you could do a vodka tincture with the beans, too.
 
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scottab

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Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd put the vanilla beans as you would a dry hop. Soak the pod in vodka, use a sanitized knife and scrape out the little beans, then add. Or you could do a vodka tincture with the beans, too.
i believe you are correct, though i have heard differing opinions on when and where to add. in the 2ndary would def from what i understand impart the floral essence of the vanilla bean, the differing opinion is also if you should scrape or not scrape.... maybe it's better all around to split it soak it in vodka for a day (or 2) then pour vodka and split bean into the beer in the secondary with or without seeds as a preference to the brewer.
 

MarcusKillion

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The beer is great just the way it is . Brewed a batch a while back and although it is not my preferred style , it is very good just as it is and I am thinking of brewing an all grain version of it if I can find one .
 

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I just did this one according to the directions. It sucked. I didn't mess it up, it's just too sweet. In hindsight, I'd add some biscuit malt for flavor and maybe some rice solids to thin it out a bit. I'd let it sit in primary or secondary (whatever) for 3 or 4 weeks to clean up some of the wierdness. To date, this is my least favorite by far of 10 or so batches. I DID like the Willamette hops though.
 

Jayhem

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Cream ale is not intended to actually be creamy. The style is more light and dry . Easy drinking.
 
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scottab

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I just did this one according to the directions. It sucked. I didn't mess it up, it's just too sweet. In hindsight, I'd add some biscuit malt for flavor and maybe some rice solids to thin it out a bit. I'd let it sit in primary or secondary (whatever) for 3 or 4 weeks to clean up some of the wierdness. To date, this is my least favorite by far of 10 or so batches. I DID like the Willamette hops though.
What was your final gravity? I did not find it to be overly sweet.
 

MarcusKillion

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I just did this one according to the directions. It sucked. I didn't mess it up, it's just too sweet. In hindsight, I'd add some biscuit malt for flavor and maybe some rice solids to thin it out a bit. I'd let it sit in primary or secondary (whatever) for 3 or 4 weeks to clean up some of the wierdness. To date, this is my least favorite by far of 10 or so batches. I DID like the Willamette hops though.
I let mine sit in secondary for a week I think . bottle conditioned for a month or so before it got to tasting good .
I have the same experience with other kits I have made . I make a lot of nut brown Muntons . Add in a few ounces of honey , a few of chocolate and bit of black , never weighed it . It comes out real good especially after about 2 months .
Even this nasty brewers best holiday ale is starting to get drinkable .
 

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What was your final gravity? I did not find it to be overly sweet.
I didn't measure. I let it sit in primary for a week and secondary for another 10 days or so, but had to bottle in time to take to the family over Thanksgiving. The flavor is not bad, but I can't say I really like it either.
 

MarcusKillion

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I made a BB Belgian triple and it tasted like it should for a while , which I did not care much for actually but after a couple months it has began to taste more like sweetened ice tea . You just never know what a couple months in the bottle will do .
 
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