Want to make a smooth, slightly sweet, red, light beerl

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thrifty_bob

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I recently had a case of Sleeman Cream Ale while up in Canada. I like the smooth taste, but want to make a lower alcohol brew, and would like it a tad sweeter, and with a bit of reddish color, which I think adding a bit of crystal malt might do.

Anyway, so I took a light beer recipe (Jeepers Creepers Light Lager) from Joy of homebrewing and used the reduced proportions of malt and hops from it, and merged it with a Sleeman Cream Ale clone recipe I found online

http://www.beertools.com/html/recipe.php?view=535&fvu=gallons&u=us&fv=5&scaleBttn=Scale+Recipe

I have brewed beer a number of times before, all either extract or extract with some malt, and will try that again with this, but haven't ever attempted a light beer before.

5 gal batch

3.00 lbs malt extract (I have plain pilsen light and plain amber)
0.50 lbs crystal malt crushed
0.25 lbs dextrine malt crushed (cara pils)
0.25 lbs flaked maize
0.25 oz chinook hops 11.4% 30 min boiling bittering
0.50 oz cascade hops 7.4% 1 min aroma

1 tsp Irish moss

For yeast, since my basement is about 65 to 68f, I was considering using either a California Lager 2112 yeast (good for that temp range, I think), or an ale yeast Safale 05, and have both here to choose from.

Any thoughts? I haven't found much in the way of lighter beer recipes out there to work from, but I would imagine someone here has experimented with them enough to critique/make suggestions for my proposed recipe.

Any thoughts?
 

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The flaked corn needs to be mashed, so make sure you put a pound of 2-row malt in the grain bag, and keep it at 150-155 for an hour.

I wouldn't use the amber malt- it'll be too sweet I think. I'd use the light DME, and maybe use some 60L crystal malt in the recipe where you have "crystal malt". You could even add an ounce of darker crystal, like 80L or 120L, for a red color.
 

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The flaked corn needs to be mashed, so make sure you put a pound of 2-row malt in the grain bag, and keep it at 150-155 for an hour.

I wouldn't use the amber malt- it'll be too sweet I think. I'd use the light DME, and maybe use some 60L crystal malt in the recipe where you have "crystal malt". You could even add an ounce of darker crystal, like 80L or 120L, for a red color.
Oh, and 3 pounds of extract isn't enough for a 5 gallon batch!
 
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thrifty_bob

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Oh, and 3 pounds of extract isn't enough for a 5 gallon batch!
Thanks for the reply...

Yes, the crystal malt I have is 60L, so that should be good.

Ok, thanks for the suggestion on the 1 lb of 2 row. I'm guessing its because the corn needs the enzymes from it for conversion?

What do you think on the yeast? Go with the Ale yeast or try the California lager?

On the 3 lbs extract, the Jeepers Creepers light lager recipe (from joy of homebrewing) I was using for a pattern was for a 5 gal batch and had:

3.50 lbs plain extract
0.25 lbs toasted barley
.50 oz cascade boiling 45 min
.25 oz tettnanger or hallertauer finishing
1-2 pkg lager yeast
.75 cup corn sugar or 1.25 cup dry malt extract for priming (I left out priming sugar in my recipe by mistake)

I could up the extract to 3.5 lbs like the recipe above, but am really trying to get some decent flavor without too much alcohol. Hopefully this will turn out a great "racing beer", one that is refreshing, with some flavor, that you can have 4 or 5 of and still feel good to race the next day.
 

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Thanks for the reply...

Yes, the crystal malt I have is 60L, so that should be good.

Ok, thanks for the suggestion on the 1 lb of 2 row. I'm guessing its because the corn needs the enzymes from it for conversion?

What do you think on the yeast? Go with the Ale yeast or try the California lager?

On the 3 lbs extract, the Jeepers Creepers light lager recipe (from joy of homebrewing) I was using for a pattern was for a 5 gal batch and had:

3.50 lbs plain extract
0.25 lbs toasted barley
.50 oz cascade boiling 45 min
.25 oz tettnanger or hallertauer finishing
1-2 pkg lager yeast
.75 cup corn sugar or 1.25 cup dry malt extract for priming (I left out priming sugar in my recipe by mistake)

I could up the extract to 3.5 lbs like the recipe above, but am really trying to get some decent flavor without too much alcohol. Hopefully this will turn out a great "racing beer", one that is refreshing, with some flavor, that you can have 4 or 5 of and still feel good to race the next day.
Right- you have to mash the corn. Or, use corn sugar instead if you don't want to do a partial mash.

I like lighter beers (especially for summer) but with 3 pounds of extract in a 5 gallon batch, you're looking at maybe 2-2.5% ABV if it finishes where you'd expect. In my book, that same recipe called for 4 pounds of extract PLUS 1 pound of rice extract. That's 5 pounds of fermentables. You may get some fermentables out of the corn, but not much since it's only .25 pound.

I guess you could do what you're proposing if you really want a "near-beer" type beer. I'd go with 5 pounds of extract and/or rice syrup, or 3 pounds of extract, a pound of two-row and a pound of corn, etc. I'd get the fermentables to give me an OG of 1.040 or so.

I've never had Sleemans, so I'm not able to help you with recreating it. But I've had some very nice cream ales, and I would bet they are similar.

As for yeast, if you can ferment at lager temperatures, a lager yeast is the way to go. If not, a "clean" ale yeast will work. If you can ferment at 60-62, I'd go with nottingham (dry) yeast. If you have to ferment at 65-68, I'd go with S05. They can be very clean at those ale temps, and give a great result. I would NOT go with California lager yeast. I love that yeast, but it is pretty fruity and probably not something you want in a cream ale.
 
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thrifty_bob

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Yes, you're right, there, I think.

I'll up the extract and other ingredients in proportion. Interesting that they had to change it that much because it sort of implies that maybe they never made and tasted it before printing it the first time...

Thanks for taking time to explain. I've upped the fermentables and added a bit more hops to balance them, and will go with the ale yeast.

revised proposed recipe:

5 gal batch

4.00 lbs malt extract plain pilsen light
0.50 lbs crystal malt crushed 60L
1.00 oz crystal malt crushed 80L for color
0.25 lbs dextrine malt crushed (cara pils)
1.00 lbs 2 row malt
0.50 lbs flaked maize
0.25 oz chinook hops 11.4% 45 min boiling bittering
0.25 oz chinook hops 11.4% 15 min boiling
0.75 oz cascade hops 7.4% 1 min aroma
1 pkg Safale 05 ale yeast
1 tsp Irish moss
3/4 cup corn sugar priming
 
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