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Cream ale


read 1088 times • 11 replies • posted 1/23/2013 12:24:36 PM

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JulienHuxley 2991:252
Hi guys,

Thinking about brewing a cream ale. Iím aware that there is some variance on what a cream ale is inside and outside the US (although it is apparently an american beer). The only thing I found was usually no hop taste/aroma (Iíll probably use Zeus for bittering) and usually a lot of corn adjunct. I have lots of corn, but was also curious about trying it with kamut flakes. Have any of you guys ever tried brewing with them? Do you have any recipe pointers to make a cream ale especially smooth and, well, creamy? Iím assuming this is a mash high beer, something like 156F, but Iím curious about your techniques. Thanks!



J.
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foppa78 12
I used to brew cream ales often because the neighborhood loved it. Personally I hate corn in beer and found that substituting rice produced a better beer. Some may argue that rice isnt to style but I wasnt worried about that. Once I even fermented my cream ale recipe with american wheat yeast and it was very good. I wouldnt want to mash a cream ale that high but play around and find out what you like.
1/23/2013 12:29:25 PM

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HornyDevil
Make a kolsch instead. Thank me later.
1/23/2013 12:49:57 PM

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Quasimodo 217:
"Cream ale" sounds good until you realize itís the light ale version of a Pale Lager. A cream ale isnít creamy. Itís a watery beer made with 6-row, corn and 15ibu worth of flavorless hops.
1/23/2013 1:06:09 PM

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NobleSquirrel 3437:209
Iíd go 65-35 Pilsner (Heidelberger would be even better)-Maize. Maybe 20ibus of something smooth and neutral (only to balance the sweetness). Shoot for 5-6% or so and ferment cold. Mash low 150s; it should be dry. The "creaminess" is more because of the high carbonation. Personally, I find a good cream ale to be at least as good as a good Kolsch. Keep it clean and youíll be solid.
1/23/2013 1:06:38 PM

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SamGamgee 2452:182
It seems like what most west coast brewers call a cream ale is the same as a blond ale, not the watery corn-ale that the old regionals used to make. The only one Iíve had of the old ones is Genessee and itís not a beer I would try to copy in any way. Thereís a reason that pale lager won the contest for the light beer market.
1/23/2013 3:34:51 PM

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bitbucket 2159:63
Originally posted by JulienHuxley
Hi guys,

Thinking about brewing a cream ale. Iím aware that there is some variance on what a cream ale is inside and outside the US (although it is apparently an american beer). The only thing I found was usually no hop taste/aroma (Iíll probably use Zeus for bittering) and usually a lot of corn adjunct. I have lots of corn, but was also curious about trying it with kamut flakes. Have any of you guys ever tried brewing with them? Do you have any recipe pointers to make a cream ale especially smooth and, well, creamy? Iím assuming this is a mash high beer, something like 156F, but Iím curious about your techniques. Thanks!



J.

There seems to be a LOT of misunderstanding around the Cream Ale style due to the word "cream". Various people have tried to brew a Vanilla Cream Ale. Please do not attempt this.

Cream Ale should be a "clean, well-attenuated, flavorful American lawnmower beer." Basically, brew an old-school pale lager, but use an ale yeast. Itís in the same general family as Kolsh, but just a little lighter and just a little less hoppy.

Iíd probably go with something like
5# 2-row (you could use 6-row to be more authentic)
3# Pilsner
2# Flaked Corn

And Iíd do a step mash, but you could do the standard single step 152 degrees and be just a bit less well-attenuated.
Iím guessing Cluster is probably the most authentic hop for this style.


Youíll want a clean, neutral yeast. A Kolsh yeast would work just fine, or you could use any of the Chico strains: White Labs Cal Ale, Wyeast American Ale, Safale US-05.
1/23/2013 8:55:40 PM

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HornyDevil
Originally posted by bitbucket
Originally posted by JulienHuxley
Hi guys,

Thinking about brewing a cream ale. Iím aware that there is some variance on what a cream ale is inside and outside the US (although it is apparently an american beer). The only thing I found was usually no hop taste/aroma (Iíll probably use Zeus for bittering) and usually a lot of corn adjunct. I have lots of corn, but was also curious about trying it with kamut flakes. Have any of you guys ever tried brewing with them? Do you have any recipe pointers to make a cream ale especially smooth and, well, creamy? Iím assuming this is a mash high beer, something like 156F, but Iím curious about your techniques. Thanks!



J.

There seems to be a LOT of misunderstanding around the Cream Ale style due to the word "cream". Various people have tried to brew a Vanilla Cream Ale. Please do not attempt this.

Cream Ale should be a "clean, well-attenuated, flavorful American lawnmower beer." Basically, brew an old-school pale lager, but use an ale yeast. Itís in the same general family as Kolsh, but just a little lighter and just a little less hoppy.

Iíd probably go with something like
5# 2-row (you could use 6-row to be more authentic)
3# Pilsner
2# Flaked Corn

And Iíd do a step mash, but you could do the standard single step 152 degrees and be just a bit less well-attenuated.
Iím guessing Cluster is probably the most authentic hop for this style.


Youíll want a clean, neutral yeast. A Kolsh yeast would work just fine, or you could use any of the Chico strains: White Labs Cal Ale, Wyeast American Ale, Safale US-05.


Decoction mashing is one of the best ways to make these light hybrid beers come to life.
1/24/2013 5:39:08 AM

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JulienHuxley 2991:252
Thank you guys! Your comments have definitely confirmed what I thought, which is that what the BJCP and the US in general calls cream ale has nothing to do with what brewpubs around here serve as cream ale. I think our cream ales are basically just english pale ales served on nitro (although some arenít and manage to be quite creamy as well, which is what I was after).

I probably wonít brew a cheap pale lager fermented with ale yeast. As Horny Devil said, I brew KŲlsch instead for super good easy drinking beer.

Anyhow, Iíll probably brew a light Kamut beer going with something more along the guidelines of EPA or maybe Golden Ale to keep hops really light.

Cheers,

J.
1/24/2013 6:17:25 AM

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JoeMcPhee 8381:502
Julien - you might find this interesting. What Canadians call cream ale isnít necessarily what the Americans do
http://beerology.ca/articles/the-canadian-cream-ale-puzzle/
1/24/2013 8:33:16 AM

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JulienHuxley 2991:252
Originally posted by JoeMcPhee
Julien - you might find this interesting. What Canadians call cream ale isnít necessarily what the Americans do
http://beerology.ca/articles/the-canadian-cream-ale-puzzle/


Ah ha! Thanks Joe, it seems like I grew up right in the thick of the emergeance of a very distinct style of cream ale. I like the idea behind both montreal and vancouver cream ales, I might shoot for something in between.
1/24/2013 10:40:34 AM

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