Brewing cream ale

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Coronajax, May 19, 2020.

  1. Coronajax

    Coronajax Member

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    I have just completed my first brew that was a blonde ale, it was tasty but a tiny bit too much towards the citrus side of the scale for me. I'm leaning towards a cream ale for the next one but I get the impression there are some tricky steps to get it right. Any suggestions or experiences with this type of brew?
     
  2. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    Tricky indeed. The simpler the recipe the more it can show process flaws!

    I think a Cream Ale should be clear, crisp and eminently drinkable. I'm not a clarity fanatic, but if ever there was a beer to use a bit of gelatin this would be the one. Carb it up nice and bubbly. It could be a perfect SMaSH beer...Pils and one bittering addition is all that's necessary. But Flaked corn, sugar or a touch of Vienna all seem appropriate to me. I just saw in another thread Bulin's Cream Ale recipe that used grits, which really seems interesting as well.

    My next beer is going to be another Cream Ale as well. It's going to be a clone of a favorite of mine from a local brewery:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/threads/cream-ale.12059/#post-101666

    It is a tough style to get just right and where I've messed up in the past is when I got too cute with the hops. Got to remind myself to Keep it Simple Stupid.

    Good Luck!
     
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  3. Steve Ruch

    Steve Ruch Member

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    If it was "too much towards the citrus side of the scale" from the hops you could rebrew the blond ale with different hops.
     
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  4. Coronajax

    Coronajax Member

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    #4 Coronajax, May 19, 2020
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
    I am considering brewing the same blonde again to help refine my process a little and would be a good time to experiment with the hops. The recipe used Yakima Chief cascade 6.7% AA. if you have any suggestions of a milder hop I would definitely appreciate it.
     
  5. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I just used Crystal hops in a blonde ale. It will be ready to drink by this weekend.
     
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  6. Steve Ruch

    Steve Ruch Member

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    I'm a fan of East Kent goldings.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Mosaic.
    Galaxy
    Eureka
    Nelson Sauvin.
    All these won't be too citrusy and would go well in a blond.
    And then there is
    Sazz more noble hop but would go well too.
     
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  8. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I agree with East Kent Goldings! My favorite hop!
    In general, I would recommend not using a really citrusy american hop. Instead, go for a milder noble hop Hallertaur, Hersbrucker come to mind. Or try an English variety (such as East Kent Goldings).

    - Think back to that blonde ale and think what flavors might you have preferred over the citrus? Something woodsy, earthy or minty? Floral, grassy and/or peppery? Honey? Blackberry? Chocolate, Molasses and/or piney?
    -Answering this question will help you choose your hop.

    - CLEAN bittering of the noble type... - Magnum
    - Chocolate/molasses and piney - Phoenix
    - Smooth bittering with Earthy qualities and honey-like sweetness - East Kent Goldings
    - Floral and slightly spicy - Hallertaur

    If you don't want citrus then stay away from: Mosaic, Cascade, Amarillo and quite a few other American hop varieties.

    I personally bitter my blonde with Hersbrucker or Hallertaur and then finish with Cascade - but I hop at 18-20 IBUs.... The citrus is there but light... Again, if you still have the beer - drink another and try to picture another flavor over the Citrus and then see what hop has that flavor. You can also hop less than what was recommended via the recipe. - 28 IBUs? Try dropping to 20.

    Let us know what you decide on! (Sorry for the lengthy response)
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Mosaic depending on crop season can be quite different. Ask one brewer get two answers I don't get citrus at all from mosaic more tropical fruits. Just my 2c
     
  10. Coronajax

    Coronajax Member

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    Thank you, everyone, for the responses! Such a great resource here. After reading the responses and looking around at various recipes I am going to go with Easy Kent Goldings since they are readily available from my kit supplier. definitely looking forward to my next brew! Thank you again Brewers Friends!!!
     
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  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Excellent choice for a blonde imo.
     
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  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to give you the Nosybear speech. Once you get the hop flavor you are looking for, brew the same recipe again, and again, until you can say that it is the same every time. There are so many variables in the brewing process, perfecting your process to eliminate variables is key to "Becoming a Brewer". I personally had no patience for this, so, listen to me! Do what I say, not what I do:cool:. Whatever you do, have beer and make fun, or something like that.
     
  13. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I was going to say the same thing! Nosybear talked me into brewing for consistency with the same recipe! - AND - a guy from work said "you should do your blonde ale" ... That was last year and man has my brewing improved! I still love having a blonde ale on tap! - Just so easy to turn around and so drinkable!
     
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  14. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    This is true. And yes, the mosaic I have reminds me of mangos... My thought was to steer away from American hops because they tend to dominate a beer (IMO) - recently did a brew that used 1 lb (10% of grist) of honey malt which is touted as being very "strong and dominate - sweet" in a beer and all I can taste is the mosaic hops - I'm at 29 IBUs. Maybe that was a bit too high? - I'm pretty susceptible to hops... Anyway, I was worried about the beer having too much of a honey malt taste but instead all I really get is Mosaic hops.
     
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