Monday, June 7, 2010

Cream Ale - Low ABV Styles Part 1

It's finally Summer in Chicago, which means everyone is OUT DOORS! Festivals every weekend, the beach, al fresco drinking or just hanging out on the porch. The object is to get as much outdoor activity in before out famous Winter comes through again. Unfortunately my Home Brew situation is all imperial styles at the moment, not exactly easy drinkers in the heat. So I am taking these month's to brew up some low ABV styles which I can get from carboy to keg quickly. This week we are starting with a Cream Ale.

Cream Ale, despite the name, has little to do with Cream. Although in the UK this style is often served with a co2/nitrogen blend, which will give a creamy mouth feel. This style is a hybrid ale akin to American Light Lager except fermented with a top fermenting yeast or a blend of both Lager and Ale Yeasts. The grist is often 6 Row or 2 Row Barley with Rice or Corn Adjuncts to lighten up the body. This ale with have a pale straw to amber color. Hop Profile is balanced with noble hops appropriate. You can find more hop assertive versions but not in the sense of a American IPA. Many Lager at below 40 degrees for a few weeks post fermentation. This is not necessary but will clean up the flavor and increase clarity. Cream Ale is served a higher carbonation level then your standard ale.

This being my first foray in Cream Ale I am relying heavily on Jamil Zainasheff's recipe. Making some small modifications for my system and preferences.

This recipe yields 5.5 Gal and 75% Mash Efficiency. Mashing at 149 F for 90 minutes to insure rice conversion. I might do a step mash, undecided. Fermenting with Wyeast 1056 for a neutrality and attenuation. I am on the fence as far as lagering. This might go right to keg.

Pre Boil Gravity: 1.035
Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.009
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 19
SRM: 2.6
Boil: 90 Min
Ferment: 64 F

4 lbs 2 Row
4 lbs Pilsner
1 lbs Flaked Rice
12 oz Dextrous Sugar

1 oz Liberty 90 Min
1 oz Liberty 1 Min

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