Author Topic: What would you call this beer?  (Read 2709 times)

Offline gmac

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What would you call this beer?
« on: May 31, 2011, 08:26:55 AM »
I've been making a beer for a while now, slightly tweaking the recipe and I really like what I've been making but I'm not really sure what "style" it would fall into.  It was started as a clone of an amber cream ale that I really love but I think that this probably doesn't really exist as a standard style anyway.

The grain bill is very simple.
9 lbs 2-row
100 grams Chocolate malt
1 lb flaked corn - I added this because a lot of CA recipes seem to include corn but I'm considering leaving it out because I'm unsure what it is doing for the beer besides adding fermentables.
0.5 lbs Crystal 45 - I've done it with and without as well and although I like it without, my significant other likes the slight sweetness that this provides so it now goes in.
Mash at 152 degrees for 60-75 min, assume 85% efficiency.

The latest and I think best iteration of a hopping schedule is:
1 oz Cascade FWH
1/2 oz Northern Brewer at 60
1/2 oz Cascade at 15 mins
1/2 oz Cascade at flameout steeped for about 10 mins
WLP001 yeast
Fermented at about 65 degrees
Final beer is between 15 and 20 SRM, mildly hoppy with decent bitterness, very smooth and drinkable with nice colour and excellent head retention.
So, what should I be calling this?
Thanks




Offline denny

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 08:29:04 AM »
I'd call it "beer" and leave it at that.  The corn will lighten the body and perhaps add a very slight "corny" sweetness to the beer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 08:31:45 AM »
Looks to me like an American Amber Ale, or maybe Brown if it gets that dark.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style10.php#1b

Sound about right to you?
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline gmac

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 08:56:57 AM »
Looks to me like an American Amber Ale, or maybe Brown if it gets that dark.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style10.php#1b

Sound about right to you?

Sounds pretty close.  I'm considering entering one in a competition (I'm also a member of CABA and they have some coming up) so I am curious what style it is closest to.

Today's version changed a bit.  Only had 1/4 lb of C45 open so it got a 1/4 lb of C120 as well.  Wasn't gonna open a 5 lb bag just for a few ounces.  Expecting colour from the C120 so I backed down the chocolate to 75 g instead of 100.  I'm glad it will still fit into the style type that Denny recommended...

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 09:02:36 AM by gmac »

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 11:06:00 AM »
I'd agree with the American amber ale category.

What amber cream ale are you so fond of?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 11:54:53 AM »
I'm glad it will still fit into the style type that Denny recommended...

Well, sure, doesn't take much to fit a beer into the "beer" category.  ;)
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 01:02:03 PM »
I'm glad it will still fit into the style type that Denny recommended...

Well, sure, doesn't take much to fit a beer into the "beer" category.  ;)

Tough category to compete in though.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline denny

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 01:04:43 PM »
I'm glad it will still fit into the style type that Denny recommended...

Well, sure, doesn't take much to fit a beer into the "beer" category.  ;)

Tough category to compete in though.

Our county fair used to have a homebrew comp and along with it was a label comp.  For years we picked the really artsy, well produced labels.  One year we decided it was time to go the other way.  We awarded best label to a person who had written "BEER" on a piece of duct tape with a ball point pen and stuck it on a bottle.  I guess we pissed off a lot of people that year....
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 01:11:58 PM »
I'm glad it will still fit into the style type that Denny recommended...

Well, sure, doesn't take much to fit a beer into the "beer" category.  ;)

Tough category to compete in though.

Our county fair used to have a homebrew comp and along with it was a label comp.  For years we picked the really artsy, well produced labels.  One year we decided it was time to go the other way.  We awarded best label to a person who had written "BEER" on a piece of duct tape with a ball point pen and stuck it on a bottle.  I guess we pissed off a lot of people that year....

If it was only one color and simple, then it should have been the winner. :D

Offline bluesman

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 01:16:53 PM »
It's a hybrid..."Stambrown".  ;)

 A cross between a Steam Beer, AAA and a ABA.  ;D
Ron Price

Offline gmac

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 02:30:51 PM »
I'd agree with the American amber ale category.

What amber cream ale are you so fond of?
The one I really like is Muskoka Cream Ale from here in Ontario.  Probably impossible to find in the US.  It's just a nice drinking beer with a bit more flavour and mouthfeel than a traditional cream ale.  It's supposed to be made with barley, hops, yeast and water (I'm not gonna try to spell Reinheitsgebot).  No corn but I put some in.  Not overwhelmingly hoppy but nicely balanced with more malt profile.  I think they market it as a cream ale instead of a brown because it's fermented a bit colder than normal from what I've been able to find out.  I'm trying to keep mine around 62-65 degrees as well although that's getting tougher.  Swamp cooler time I guess.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 01:45:08 PM »
How does the beer look, smell and taste?  That determines style, not the recipe.

Sit down with the BJCP guidelines in front of you and taste your beer critically. If it clearly fits into the American Amber (10B) category, then enter it as that. If not, enter it as a specialty beer (23A). If you're still uncertain as to which category you should enter it in, get an experienced beer judge to taste it and give feedback.

If you enter it as a specialty beer, and it's basically a cream ale except for the darker malt character, then declare the base style as "Cream Ale (6A)". For additional comments write something like, "Amber cream ale - similar to a Cream Ale (6A), but with added chocolate malt to impart amber color and hints of dark grain character." If you're certain that the judges will be familiar with the beer reference, and are trying to duplicate a commercial beer, you could also write something like "Muskoka Cream Ale clone."

If the base beer isn't really that much like a cream ale or an American amber, don't specify a base style, just write something vague like "Canadian Amber Beer" which complies with the competition rules. If you do that though, tell the judges what they should be looking for. For example, if the corn really comes through, mention that you used corn. If the Cascade hops are evident, mention them. Don't mention ingredients which don't come through in aroma and flavor, unless you qualify the ingredient with terms like "subtle" or "hints of . . ."  For example, "A balanced amber ale with hints of corn. 2-row American pale malt/10% corn, late hopped with Cascade and fermented with California common yeast."

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 01:51:58 PM »
The one I really like is Muskoka Cream Ale from here in Ontario.  Probably impossible to find in the US.

And, knowing the state of beer in Ontario, it's probably just about as hard to find in the LCBO or the duty free shops. (grumble, grumble).

Historically, in the latter part of the 19th century until Prohibition in the U.S. and Canada, beers like you're describing mght have been considered to be "steam beers." There was a lot more variation in the style back then. Strike the cascade hops and use nothing but older hop varieties like Northern Brewer, Fuggles, Goldings, Cluster or noble varieties and you've either got a old school steam beer or possibly a variant on English Pale Ale.

Offline gmac

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 03:14:34 PM »

And, knowing the state of beer in Ontario, it's probably just about as hard to find in the LCBO or the duty free shops. (grumble, grumble).

The LCBO is the only place you can regularly find it.  The Beer Store sometimes has it but not always.  Duty Free?  Probably never. 

There's only 3 places you can usually buy beer in Ontario. 
The brewery.
LCBO - Liquor Control Board of Ontario - owned by the Government
The Beer Store - A brewery owned monopoly that controls beer sales in Ontario - not government controlled despite what most people think.

Offline The Professor

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Re: What would you call this beer?
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 06:14:32 PM »
I'd call it "beer" and leave it at that.  The corn will lighten the body and perhaps add a very slight "corny" sweetness to the beer.

I'm with Denny.  "Beer" covers it pretty well!  8)
Unless you're going into a competition with it, I'm not sure why categorizing it as any particular style is even important.  Even in a competition, it's just a label of no particular importance other than to know what to judge it against. 

A "style" query story that kind of fits this thread:
I brought some brews to my 'local' one day for the staff to try out (I had served as a judge at some competitions they held some years back and they were curious about what I was making).    The beers went over very well, but one of the more savvy young barmaids who had some good and rather impressive beer knowledge (she dated a master brewer for a few years) asked  about one of the brews:  "what do you call this style?"
Not knowing how to answer, I just replied... "Arthur"     (quoting the great John Lennon in A HARD DAY'S NIGHT)
AL
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