Kentucky Common

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Group W, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    now thats a real throw it all in beer, lots of corn but should be good
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It'll make a beer. I don't understand why the wheat is in there but it isn't mine. I use six-row, rye, corn and a touch of molasses with some black malt for color. Seems a bit heavy on the crystal: This beer was designed to be drunk in volume by the working class in Northern Kentucky and it gets hotter than Hades and more humid than a sauna there in summer - sweet wouldn't have been the desired outcome of that beer. I use Cluster hops for bittering, Hallertau for flavor.
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That was my first thought...Wheat seems superfluous, unless maybe you intend to make up for the lack of higher-protein of a 6-row malt. And 2X on the Cluster...it's the old-school hop of choice for beers like this (though the Cascade won't hurt it).
    I just got a Pre-Pro Porter kegged and it's coming out very nicely. It bears little resemblance to a standard Porter because, like all these historical American beers, it's a simpler beer than most modern beers of a similar style. I haven't brewed a Kentucky Common, but when I do it'll be closer to my Cream Ale recipe which is just Pilsner, Corn, Cluster and Saaz. I'll add a little rye and something to darken it and give a little different malt profile and figure it'll be about right.
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's about all it really is, a cream ale adapted to Louisville's water supply. Hint: Don't add a little rye! The recipe that won that medal on the left is on this site, it's public and it's called "Hilltopper's Pride Kentucky Common," after my alma mater. I figure it's a reasonably good starting point.
     
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  6. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Damn, I forgot to include the oats, licorice, star anise, blackstrap and a few other secret ingredients. :):)

    I’ll keep working on it...:D
     
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  7. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    #7 Group W, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    Much appricatied “zen master” Nosy!

    Really, good points. The C-40 is over the top along with the 155 mash temp. I put the wheat in to balance the rye the way I like whisk. I used 2-row since our new local malter (Mecca Grade) doesn’t offer 6-row. I like to keep it local along with my home grown Cascade & Crystal hops.

    Good points, adjustments to follow. THANKS! :)
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Good reasons to choose those ingredients. :)
     
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    So you've got almost 10% flaked rye in your Hilltopper recipe. Do you mean use more than "a little" or use flaked? I'm not a big fan of rye flavor on its own, but I like the little sharp bite it lends in small amounts. I used about 2% in my Pre-Pro Porter and it seems to support the roast flavor (which I intentionally kept pretty low as per style, using 180L Candi-syrup to help enhance the "dark" flavors). Same with my Black IPA, though that's a bigger beer and about 10% rye. Again, supporting a roast flavor that's intentionally more subtle than it would be in a stout or big porter, for instance.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I was intending to say add more. The "bite" is one of the beer's selling points and what differentiates it from an American Altbier. And to "Group W": First, thanks for the "Zen Master" designation - I don't deserve it. Second, as I said earlier, it's your beer. The choice to go with local ingredients is a good one. Two-row vs. six row is a preference thing - when we brewed the GABF Common we used two row, six row has a bit more protein and diastatic power than two row, we had to adjust the hopping due to system differences. To make the style work, think "refreshing." Nothing cloying, in balance, not too bitter, not really hop-forward but bitter enough. Done right, it's a joy to drink.
     
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  11. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Nosybear! I tweaked it a little as you suggested. but decided to keep the wheat in. I suspect the Kentucky shiners used a bit of wheat back in the day. I need to check on that.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Can't hurt! I'm not familiar with moonshiners using wheat, but of course, they'd use anything that made sugar.
     
  13. FPMBomb

    FPMBomb Member

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    a quick question: Are you trying to be historically accurate? If so any reference to shiners making Kentucky Common would be incorrect. This was a commercially produced product; a sort of stock ale of the Louisville, KY area. It was krausened or something similar and then served in the local pubs fresh.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. It was made by professional brewers, mostly German, hence my thought it was based on Altbier, just using local ingredients. There's a great paper out there I patterned my recipe after, if you can find it, that talks about the beer, its history and how to make it. I just can't remember its title. Google "kentucky common filetype:pdf" and you should find it rather quickly.
     
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  15. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response. I was trying to research pre-prohibition and prohibition KC grain bills and was not finding what I would consider credible sources. I suspect there was some connection with whisky makers back then since the grain bills are likely similar. I’m just making a modern day adaptation until the day when I can visit Kentucky for the low down.
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The connection was availability of ingredients. Six-row barley and corn were available to both, as was rye. Distillers used the barley as a source of diastatic enzymes to break down the starches in the corn, brewers used the corn to cut the protein content of the six-row barley. Since Ky. Common was the working man's beer, the brewers used the cheaper domestic ingredients rather than the more expensive two-row barleys. And as to visiting Kentucky for the low down, I am originally from there. Not a lot of places brew Ky. Common, even in Kentucky.
     
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  17. FPMBomb

    FPMBomb Member

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    #17 FPMBomb, Dec 13, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    Group W, you can find a great history with images of actual contemporaneous brewing notes at this link https://www.bjcp.org/docs/NHC2014-kycommon-handout.pdf

    I'm a resident of Northern Kentucky; I've brewed a common myself; I've had a few craft versions by Falls City Brewing and Darkness Brewing; I've toured nearly every distillery in the area; I've never seen any connection to beer.
    A typical Bourbon grain bill is 51% corn, only 7-14% barley and then a combination of rye & wheat to complete the bill.

    You should know this was the cheapest beer available which is why it accounted for 75% of all beer consumed in the Louisville area. It was the easy drinking adjunct "ale". BL drinking friends of mine were amazed at how light this beer is considering its deeper color.

    My typical grain bill for KC is 53% 2-row, 30% flaked corn, 5% Crystal40, 5% Carapils, and 2% Carafa III...remember these were German brewers.

    But this is your beer so make it a Central Oregon Common...You do you and have a homebrew!
     
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  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My recipe is a bit different than FMPBomb's, it's public on this site under "Hilltopper's Pride Kentucky Common" Mine uses flaked rye and a touch of molasses. But I do agree: A "Central Oregon Common" might be a good thing! And the doc listed is the one I was talking about earlier in this thread: Thanks to Leah and Dibbs for their research! It enabled that bit of hardware to the left....
     
  19. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Thank You! Just what I was looking for. Don’t know how I missed it. I need to read 6 more times. A few initial observations:
    - no rye, wheat, oats, etc. mentioned
    - corn is grits (i.e. not malted) which explains the cereal mash with some high DP 6 row.
    - water chemistry altered (gypsum)
    - sugar coloring

    I need to give more thought to this recipe. Thanks again to you and Nosybear!
     
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