My go-to cream ale recipe is based on an interview with a guy named Curt Stock that I heard in a podcast. Off the top of my head he recommended 70 - 80% 2-row or pilsner malt. And the remaining being flaked corn... or a mix of flaked corn and flaked rice with a 2:1 ratio of corn to rice. The OG should end up around 1.050 to 1.055 with the ABV in the neighborhood of 5%
Curt says use a mild, crisp hop like Hallertauer or Saaz. I've used both of those and they work well but my favorite is Lemondrop hops and I've pretty much locked it in as the only variety I use in my cream ales. The IBU should be fairly low in the mid to upper teens but not much higher than 20 - 22 IBU. Your choice of Crystal should work well.
I forget how many batches Curt says he has made with a variety of yeasts but the one he swears by is Wyeast 1056. However the one yeast he says he has used often also is US-05 so you have chosen another winner.
Curt's recipe is 73% pilsner malt, 18% flaked corn and 9% flaked rice with Hallertauer to reach the IBU target. Usually two thirds of the hops for bittering and the remaining toward the end of the boil.
My recipe varies slightly using about 78% 2-row, 15% flaked corn and 7% flaked rice. I like the little extra body the higher percentage of base malt gives. Like you though, I have been kicking around the idea of using a touch of flaked barley for extra body. I use Lemondrop hops and target 20 IBU in each batch and I use the WYeast 1056 every time.
So my Cream Ale went into bottles today.
2.5 gal (into fermenter)
2 gal (into 21 bottles)
14% Flaked Corn
.25 Lemondrop FWH
.5 Lemondrop - 15 minutes
.25 Lemondrop - Dry Hop
US-05 - 2 weeks in primary at 68.
OG - 1.051
FG - 1.008
ABV - 5.63% (a bit more than I was expecting)
The US-05 took off at 8 hours, peeked at about 24-36 hours, and banged away for almost 5 days before finally peetering out. What a trooper! Dry hops went in with 4 days left.
The color came in around 3, with Morey being the correct predictor.
The sample taste I took was nice and clean (no peach, at least not yet) with a slight but noticeable lemon nose. I'm really liking the suggestion of the Lemondrop hops and a little upset I didn't use more (even though it really wouldn't have been "to style"). Thank you very much.
Anticipation is high.