Author Topic: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale  (Read 2511 times)

Offline erockrph

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Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« on: April 17, 2012, 07:48:27 AM »
So I'm planning on brewing my lawnmower beer for the summer. I'm thinking Cream Ale, but I want something with a bit of a hoppy snap to it, sort of like a BoPils. I'd kind of like a balance where I can serve it to my BMC drinking friends without putting them off but with still enough hops for me. I was thinking of aiming for the 30-35 IBU range. Anyone have any experience/thoughts? Is this too high? Could I push it a bit higher and still get away with serving it to friends who aren't into craft beer?

Here's the recipe as it stands now:

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Cream Ale
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons
Boil Size: 4 gallons
Efficiency: 70%

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 5.07%
IBU (tinseth): 32.4
SRM (morey): 3.03

FERMENTABLES:
2.25 lb - Bohemian Pilsner (41.9%)
2 lb - Pale 2-Row (37.2%)
0.625 lb - Corn Sugar - Dextrose  (11.6%)
0.5 lb - Flaked Rice (9.3%)

HOPS:
1 oz - Ultra (AA 4) for 60 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
0.5 oz - Ultra (AA 4) for 15 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
0.5 oz - Ultra (AA 4) for 1 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil

MASH STEPS:
1) Infusion, Temp: 149 F, Time: 90 min
2) Temperature, Temp: 168 F, Time: 15 min, Mashout

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 each - Whirlfloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil

YEAST:
Wyeast - Kölsh 2565

NOTES:
Ferment at 58F
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 08:07:45 AM »
A 35IBU cream ale sounds like an APA to me.  Your buddies are going to choke on 30IBU, they're used to 15.  You might get away with 25 IBU tops, or 20 with plenty of late additions for flavor.  I make my wife a 15IBU cream ale that she likes, but she tends to put flavored syrups in it.
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Offline james

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 08:11:37 AM »
I believe Pelican makes their Cream ale with all late or whirlpool additions.  That might be something fun to try to get just enough bitterness and some flavor/aroma to go along

Offline gmac

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 08:19:46 AM »
Search around on the forum for the Genessee clone.  I made that for a non-craft crowd and it went over very well.  I wasn't super sold on the Wy2035 American Lager but it turned out better than I expected after some aging.  I'd try something else besides the Kolsch yeast just because it takes forever to clear.  I use it for Kolsch but it takes so long to clear that I'd suggest a lager yeast at 55 to 60 F or Wy1056 at the same temps.
That's also a lot of adjunct (over 50%) with the corn and the rice and the corn sugar.  I'd leave out the corn sugar and rice and up the pils malt. 
25 IBU will give you a lots of bitterness, I think anymore will be too bitter for your BMC friends.   

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 08:25:23 AM »
If I wanted to make a hoppy beer without the added bitterness, I would go with 3oz, split 1 each at 30, 15, and flameout. Looking at my hop addition calculator, I get 24 IBU.

Thats how I do the flavoring for my APA and AAA, and I get a nice hoppy flavor. On those, I also add an oz at 60 for bitterness, and dry-hop for 7 days.

Also, I agree with gmac, 2565 takes forever to clear. I would recommend 1007 or 1056 for a clean beer like this. Ferment it on the cool side, 55-60 or so.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 10:41:23 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I was thinking the Kolsch yeast because I wanted a bit of the fruity esters but still keep it clean overall. Since I really don't have a way to cold crash my fermenters (otherwise I'd just make a Bo Pils for real), I think I'll take everyone's advice and try a different yeast. I'd still like something a little estery if possible though. Maybe WLP007?

Based on everyone's advice, I'll probably ratchet things back to about 20 IBU's and shoot for a bit more flavor than bitterness from the hops. I'll probably add in a second hop variety for a late addition and maybe dry hop as well. Any suggestions for something interesting to pair with Ultra for flavoring/aroma? I'm thinking maybe a little Columbus.


That's also a lot of adjunct (over 50%) with the corn and the rice and the corn sugar.  I'd leave out the corn sugar and rice and up the pils malt. 

I think you might have misread the 2-row as corn? Right now the grain bill has 20% adjuncts. I wouldn't go much over that. This is kind of roughly based on Jamil's Cream Ale recipe in BCS, by the way.
Eric B.

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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 11:30:21 AM »
For a touch of esters, I like WY1272 or 1332, I find them to accentuate the sweetness of the malt a bit as well, which will make it seem a little less bitter. 1272 is my favorite for brown porters and other malt forward ales. 1968 works pretty well as well, and it also leaves some sweetness.

I think Columbus would make a decent match with ultra. You could also go with Mount Hood, Liberty or US/German Hallertau.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 11:45:13 AM »
i agree with most of the above.  i would push a little less bitterness and add more aroma.  just my thought though that a little over 5% abv i think it is more than a lawnmower beer. 
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Offline gmac

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 12:49:47 PM »
I think you might have misread the 2-row as corn? Right now the grain bill has 20% adjuncts. I wouldn't go much over that. This is kind of roughly based on Jamil's Cream Ale recipe in BCS, by the way.

You're right.  I did mis-read it as 2 lbs of corn.  Ooops.
You could do a cereal mash with corn meal or add flaked corn to get more corn flavour (1/2 lb) that is supposed to be characteristic in a cream ale.  With the flaked rice, it'll be more like a blond ale than a cream ale but it'll still be good. 

Offline erockrph

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 08:28:05 AM »
i agree with most of the above.  i would push a little less bitterness and add more aroma.  just my thought though that a little over 5% abv i think it is more than a lawnmower beer.

Yeah, I should probably put the "Lawnmower" in quotes since I have my landscaper mow my lawn :) It's more of a "Sitting on the porch, watching my son play in the yard while listening to the Sox on the radio" beer, but "Lawnmower" has a bit better ring to it.

I agree that 5% is a bit above a "Session" beer in alcohol, but for me having a little more alcohol makes a beer smoother and more drinkable. The sweet spot for me is between 5 and 7%. Plus, my sessions don't seem to make it past beer #2 or 3 nowadays so 5% is OK for me.
Eric B.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 09:18:02 AM »
I believe Pelican makes their Cream ale with all late or whirlpool additions.  That might be something fun to try to get just enough bitterness and some flavor/aroma to go along

The Kiwanda Cream Ale has all the hops in the whirlpool.  I have done this for my Kiwanda knockoff and it works.  Used 8 oz of Mt. Hood for 10 gallons. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 09:48:42 AM »
I believe Pelican makes their Cream ale with all late or whirlpool additions.  That might be something fun to try to get just enough bitterness and some flavor/aroma to go along

The Kiwanda Cream Ale has all the hops in the whirlpool.  I have done this for my Kiwanda knockoff and it works.  Used 8 oz of Mt. Hood for 10 gallons.

I've never done an all late-addition beer. I've heard from some that the bitterness doesn't get quite the right bite if you skip the 60-minute addition. How did yours turn out?
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline richardt

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 10:11:50 AM »
IBU's can be process-dependent.  If you're doing 10 gallon batches with a 50 ft IC, it can still take 30 minutes to get the temps down during whirlpooling in the summer.  So, even with an all-late hop addition, or whirlpool addition, one would still get some IBU's from those additions.  In a low IBU beer like a lager or cream ale, that may be enough--so you can skip the 60 minute addition.

I have mixed emotions about all-late hopping.  It uses a lot of hops (an expensive ingredient) for questionable benefit.  I am not sure I can tell the difference between all-late hopping and a traditional 60-15-0 hop schedule with knockout additions (and/or dry hopping in the fermenter).

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2012, 11:07:28 AM »
I believe Pelican makes their Cream ale with all late or whirlpool additions.  That might be something fun to try to get just enough bitterness and some flavor/aroma to go along

The Kiwanda Cream Ale has all the hops in the whirlpool.  I have done this for my Kiwanda knockoff and it works.  Used 8 oz of Mt. Hood for 10 gallons.

I've never done an all late-addition beer. I've heard from some that the bitterness doesn't get quite the right bite if you skip the 60-minute addition. How did yours turn out?

Since we are talking about a Cream Ale, you don't want a lot of bite.  These turn out very good.  The one last year got a 3rd in the NHC First Round, so not too bad.  This years is a crowd pleaser.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Recipe critique - Hoppy Cream Ale
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 11:56:18 AM »
i agree with most of the above.  i would push a little less bitterness and add more aroma.  just my thought though that a little over 5% abv i think it is more than a lawnmower beer.

Yeah, I should probably put the "Lawnmower" in quotes since I have my landscaper mow my lawn :) It's more of a "Sitting on the porch, watching my son play in the yard while listening to the Sox on the radio" beer, but "Lawnmower" has a bit better ring to it.

I agree that 5% is a bit above a "Session" beer in alcohol, but for me having a little more alcohol makes a beer smoother and more drinkable. The sweet spot for me is between 5 and 7%. Plus, my sessions don't seem to make it past beer #2 or 3 nowadays so 5% is OK for me.

this is actually the same for me except i do my own lawn and i am not a fan of the sox (of either red or white variety) ;D
Don AHA member