American cream ale is a great beer style for those just getting their feet wet in tasting craft beer.
With faint malt notes and little to no hop aroma, it is similar to the ubiquitous American light lager. Like most ales, we’ll ferment this between 65° F and 70° F for a crisp, light-bodied beer. Though cream ale is considered an ale by style guidelines, it is not uncommon to use lager yeast in brewing this style. This particular recipe is known to have a slightly more elevated hop flavor than traditional cream ales, with some fruitiness and sweet corn notes.
This recipe was created and brewed by Chris “Pacman” Ingermann of BrewRats homebrew club in Muncie, Ind. It took home a gold medal in the 2002 National Homebrew Competition and was featured in the September/October issue of Zymurgy shortly thereafter.
To see other winning homebrew recipes from the 2002 National Homebrew Competition, visit our archive of National Homebrew Competition winners.
Lao Kang’s Cream Ale | Cream Ale
- 16 lb. (7.26 kg) six-row malt
- 4 lb. (1.8 kg) flaked maize
- 0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) honey malt
- 3.0 oz. (85 ) Liberty whole hops, 4.8% a.a. (60 min.)
- 1.0 oz. (28 g) Liberty whole hops, 4.8% a.a. (5 min.)
- White Labs WLP810 San Francisco Lager yeast
- Original Gravity: 1.053
- Final Gravity: 1.015
- ABV: 4.9%
- Boil Time: 70 minutes
Mash grains at 122° F (50° C) for 20 minutes. Increase temperature to 134° F (57° C) for 20 minutes, to 154° F (68° C) for 60 minutes, then to 168° F (76° C) for 20 minutes. Force carbonate to 2.1 volumes (4.2 g/L) of CO2.