I’ve been drinking craft beers for a long time now, trying over 700 of them. It’s funny that I don’t see a ton of talk about cream ales in the craft beer circle. And hardly any a blip about it on the homebrew scene. But, as I’ve wrote about before cream ales can be so good for so many reasons; they are simple, they are cheap to make, they make great starters, and they can be so rewarding.
Because of this, I included a cream ale as part of my holiday six pack. It’s a bunch I beer I hand out to spread some holiday cheer. This year I wanted to make some styles that the casual beer drinker may not have tried before. As I was planning things out I thought, “Why not toss in a cream ale?”.
I’ve made a few in the past and I really think I’ve nailed it this time (for my tastes). Here’s the recipe that I’ve created after a number of tries and I think you take the dive into cream ales with this one too. For the record, this beer cost me $15.88 for 5 gallons (I buy in bulk).
- Brewhouse efficiency: 65%
- OG: 1.042
- FG: 1.007
- ABV: 4.6%
- IBU: 17.5
- Color: 2.9 SRM (or as my wife calls it, “apple juice”).
- 6# American 2-Row
- 2# Flaked Corn
- 8 oz table sugar (added at 10 minutes)
Mash at 148 for 75 minutes
- .35 oz magnum (12.10%) at 60 minutes
- .2 oz cascade at 10 minutes
- .5 oz cascade at 0 minutes
- 1 packet US-05 ( I used this as a starter for a rye IPA. Check out how quickly it took off)
Unlike my previous batch, that had some bready notes from the yeast, this beer had subtle floral tones. That translated right into the taste. There was a fine balance of sweet and bitter from the combination of the corn and hop addition. The crispness of the 2-row and sugar came right through. This, is the best cream ale I’ve made to date.
- I cold crashed this beer for about a day and a half to clear it up. It was well worth it. I has a blow-off tube set up so I didn’t have to worry about air getting into the fermentor.
- I started “theming” certain styles of beer. My Belgians are named after jazz artists. Because I this beer I started naming my cream ales after 70s rock bands. This will no doubt be a stand by recipe for me, but I do intend on exploring the style with other hops and continue to make cream ales.
- If you want to use this recipe, try a hop you like for the late additions. I can see some chinook or mosaic working very well.