2018-10-07

1C - Cream Ale - AmeriHelles

BJCP Style: 1C - Cream Ale

I take issue with the name "Cream" Ale. There is no cream. It doesn't taste "creamy." Why is this named so stupid? I've never found an example I liked either. It's usually too sweet and grainy with a corny aftertaste like a macro American lager with some extra flavors I didn't really want in there to begin with.

So in protest, I'm making a better Cream Ale. It fits the style guidelines but is more in line with a German Helles which is a great and simple light beer than can have malt and graininess character but finishes clean and not corny.

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend, but here's the TL;DR:
  • Brewday: 2018-10-6
  • Malts: Weyermann Barke Pils, Munich Light
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Sterling/Cascade)
  • Yeast: SafAle US-05
  • OG: 1.053, FG: 1.008, ABV: 5.9%
  • Kegged: 2018-10-17 (+11)
Grains. Pils and Munich. I was going to use American Pale malt but was out and still had enough German pilsner from the Oktoberfest beers for another batch. 

The Crush. Determined with this batch that the crush I'm getting from my (adjusted) MonsterMill 3 is perfectly good and yielded 80% efficiency. So if I get low efficiency I can't blame the mill or settings. 

Nutsack. This asshole ate most of our peaches this year. Or took one bite and left them to rot. Little bastard. Also when I took this pic he was yelling at Floor Manager Steve. 

Mash temp

Brewday beer: Speaking of Cream ale... Station 26 recently stopped distributing their cream ale in favor of this 303 Lager which is way better. I 100% approve. 

Boiling away...

Chilling and about to go into the fermenter...

And now for the experimental phase of the brew: What happens when we take a saved yeast slurry from June and dump it in a beer almost 4 months later? Guess we'll find out.

Away we go...

2018-10-12 (+6) - Transferring to 2ndary because I needed the fermenter

2018-10-12 (+6) hanging out for another week

2018-10-16 (+10) - cold crash and gelatined. Already looking pretty clear.

2018-10-17 (+11) - kegging

2018-10-17 (+11) - uncarbonated sample with keezer label

2018-10-18 (+12) - fully carbonated. Still has some fruity yeast character and a touch of haze which is expected from US-05 which takes longer to drop out. This should clear in the next couple of weeks.

2018-10-27 (+21): If I were given this blind and asked to determine the style I'd probably say Dortmunder/Helles Export. It's just so clean and delicious with a pleasant bready, doughy body. Especially as the yeast fades and gets out of the way (US-05 is good at that once it clears) this is heading further into lager territory. For a future batch I'd throw out the "cream ale" designation, keep the American hops, maybe use a more standard lager yeast like W34/70 and continue to call it AmeriHelles. 

2018-11-6 (+31): full pour, nice and clear. Tasting nice - bready malt and light spicy hop character. Not getting a lot of ale character as the yeast has completely dropped out and cleaned up nicely.