A hoppier cream ale?

So a post on here a week or so ago got me thinking (always dangerous). I really want to brew a simple, simple, simple sessionable, refreshing American style beer. I hate the moniker “Cream Ale”, and I think it frankly turns people off. It just sounds dirty. I’ve brewed them, and enjoyed them, and noticed people’s faces contort when I told them the style.

So I was thinking of making something like the following, and calling it an American Pub Ale (or maybe making up some more creative, since I am deciding to thumb my nose to the BJCP) :

85% 2-row
15% flaked maize
3x decoction step mash

75 min boil
1oz Saaz 60 minutes
1oz Saaz 20 minutes
1oz Saaz flameout

S. German Lager, ferment @ 60, 2 week primary with diacetyl rest

Maybe the only way to know is to brew it, but would bumping up the hops on a ‘cream ale’ type grain bill just be nasty? I am using Saaz and not the gnarly Clusters…but most cream ales are hopped more in the 15 IBU range, and I was thinking more in the 25-30 range.

I know Jamil says on his Classic Am Pils that he kept hopping and hopping and hopping, and loved it more and more as the IBU’s crept up.

Also, I am likely using this cake for a helles then a CAP.

Critiques. Go.

Bumping the hops on a “cream ale” wouldn’t be nasty at all. I’ve done it, with good results…though in the end I did subsequently split the difference and scaled back the hops somewhat.

On the other hand, if you like the cream ale you’ve been making, why not just keep brewing it and call it something else??? The BJCP names and style parameters mean nothing outside of the world of amateur competitions anyway.

[quote=“The Professor”]Bumping the hops on a “cream ale” wouldn’t be nasty at all. I’ve done it, with good results…though in the end I did subsequently split the difference and scaled back the hops somewhat.

On the other hand, if you like the cream ale you’ve been making, why not just keep brewing it and call it something else??? The BJCP names and style parameters mean nothing outside of the world of amateur competitions anyway.[/quote]

Cool thanks.

I think my thing is, I like the cream ale style and have brewed it with some variations (did an all-sorachi ace cream ale last year, which came out great, but a touch too much DMS for my palette), but want to explore more within it (ie a clean lagerish lawnmower that showcases Saaz and has the bite of a german pils).

Why use the lager yeast? Make it with US-05 at the same temp (even a little lower, say 58F) and you’ll end up with a very clean ale that’ll be ready to drink in a couple of weeks. You could also dryhop with a half oz of something American like Centennial or Citra, or keep the Saaz thing going, to make it more interesting.

I think that people make a face for “cream ale” because it just sounds like a girly drink and the thought of putting cream in beer is just weird - call this a “pub ale” or “house pale” and no one will complain.

Rock it! That sounds great to me. Also would just use 05 for simplicity and timeliness.

[quote=“Shadetree”]Why use the lager yeast? Make it with US-05 at the same temp (even a little lower, say 58F) and you’ll end up with a very clean ale that’ll be ready to drink in a couple of weeks. You could also dryhop with a half oz of something American like Centennial or Citra, or keep the Saaz thing going, to make it more interesting.

I think that people make a face for “cream ale” because it just sounds like a girly drink and the thought of putting cream in beer is just weird - call this a “pub ale” or “house pale” and no one will complain.[/quote]

FWIW i turned around an AWESOME steam beer in about 10 days, grain to glass with WY 2206 - Bavarian Lager, fermented at 61*. The other reason I am using lager yeast is I am growing up a yeast pitch for a helles then a CAP. Hopefully the hops in my pub ale won’t inhibit growth too much. I will probably do a starter before the Helles just to get them active again.

I also get that weird peach ester people talk about from S-05 @ the low, low end. I’m thinking I might even use 2206, but want to try out a different lager yeast. I’ve heard 838 is as versatile as the bavarian lager, but a bit less malty.

Hops don’t inhibit yeast growth, so no worries on harvesting and reusing the yeast. If you’ve had good results with the 2206 and a fast turn-around, sounds like a winning combo - I haven’t used lager yeast at that temp before. Not sure what variables make for the “peachy” US-05 thing - I’ve never tasted it myself, but I typically use US-05 in bigger, hoppier beers where it might just be covered up

Just a suggestion but if I were doing that I would rearrange the orders of the beers. I would make the Helles first, it’s low hop and relatively low gravity (O.G. around 1.048 or so). Once you are done with the Helles then I’d do the CAP (the one I make is preprohibition with an O.G. of about 1.055). Finally, rather than a Cream Ale (which I think are rather insipid) do a Ballentines XXX clone and use dry Chico yeast (it’s cheap and easy). Just a thought. :smiley:

my understanding is that the oils coat the cell walls and slow down growth, the same way hops have ‘antibacterial’ properties…ie they do the same thing to bugs/bacteria and inhibit their growth.

I don’t think its much of a concern at the 25-30 IBU level. I think when you start getting into Am Barley wines and IIPA’s it might pose a bit of a problem pitching into an APA or something lighter.

With respec to the order of the beers, yes, that would definitely make more sense. However, my plan is to have the simple light ale done and kegged next to the helles and CAP while they are lagering so I have something to drink (for me, lagering fridge unfortunately = kegerator!). the other problem is, I have heard you need to borderline overpitch with helles, which I want to brew a simple ale to grow up a big pitch of yeast.

Wow, my head is spinning.

First, the recipe you posted looks close to a Czech or German Pils with corn thrown in. If you use lager yeast, it’s not cream ale. If you don’t like the term cream ale, you can call it blonde ale or golden ale but if you use lager yeast I would just call it a gold lager or American lager and leave it be. I know you mentioned the steam beer with the 2206 (which is wild to me and sounds lovely!) but I wouldn’t call it a steam beer without the 2112/810.

I make “blonde ales” all the time and use WLP001 or 1056 but I might also use noble hops. Nothing wrong with it. I will hop it to 25-30 IBUs and it’s very nice as long as the water is appropriate for a beer that color. I think your recipe is a winner… just call it what you like.

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“Shadetree”]Hops don’t inhibit yeast growth, [/quote]my understanding is that the oils coat the cell walls and slow down growth, the same way hops have ‘antibacterial’ properties…ie they do the same thing to bugs/bacteria and inhibit their growth.[/quote]Theory and practice are two different things - I regularly harvest yeast from big, hoppy beers (1.070+ with 100+ IBUs) to make a fresh round starting in the 1.050 range and don’t make starters or any other changes to the regular re-pitching process.

[quote=“Ken Lenard”]Wow, my head is spinning.

First, the recipe you posted looks close to a Czech or German Pils with corn thrown in. If you use lager yeast, it’s not cream ale. If you don’t like the term cream ale, you can call it blonde ale or golden ale but if you use lager yeast I would just call it a gold lager or American lager and leave it be. I know you mentioned the steam beer with the 2206 (which is wild to me and sounds lovely!) but I wouldn’t call it a steam beer without the 2112/810.

I make “blonde ales” all the time and use WLP001 or 1056 but I might also use noble hops. Nothing wrong with it. I will hop it to 25-30 IBUs and it’s very nice as long as the water is appropriate for a beer that color. I think your recipe is a winner… just call it what you like.[/quote]

Ken I’m sending you a bottle of this and my faux-steam and you WILL DRINK THEM AND LOVE THEM!!!

I actually have to double check the steam. I bottled a few off the keg with a beer gun and it seemed to lose a little carb. One bottle I ‘tested’ also had a bit of a tart character that wasn’t there in the keg. Hopefully just a bad bottle. Will test another and send you one this week hopefully!

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“Ken Lenard”]Wow, my head is spinning.

First, the recipe you posted looks close to a Czech or German Pils with corn thrown in. If you use lager yeast, it’s not cream ale. If you don’t like the term cream ale, you can call it blonde ale or golden ale but if you use lager yeast I would just call it a gold lager or American lager and leave it be. I know you mentioned the steam beer with the 2206 (which is wild to me and sounds lovely!) but I wouldn’t call it a steam beer without the 2112/810.

I make “blonde ales” all the time and use WLP001 or 1056 but I might also use noble hops. Nothing wrong with it. I will hop it to 25-30 IBUs and it’s very nice as long as the water is appropriate for a beer that color. I think your recipe is a winner… just call it what you like.[/quote]

Ken I’m sending you a bottle of this and my faux-steam and you WILL DRINK THEM AND LOVE THEM!!!

I actually have to double check the steam. I bottled a few off the keg with a beer gun and it seemed to lose a little carb. One bottle I ‘tested’ also had a bit of a tart character that wasn’t there in the keg. Hopefully just a bad bottle. Will test another and send you one this week hopefully![/quote]
I sure I will love them & I’m looking forward to them. Happy brewing, my friend.

I made a NB Cream Ale kit with a substitution of 1 oz Centennial for 60 mins and 1 oz of cascade for 1 minute with US05. I enjoyed that beer very much. That had about 39 ibus per Brewtarget, but it just didn’t taste that high to me. I very much love to hop up my Cream Ales and Wheat beers too. I don’t care about style guidelines, I just experiment and then adjust until I make something I want to make again. Brew on.

Well if you hop up a cream ale it quickly becomes more of an American pale ale and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Two or three years ago I made a Ballentines XXX clone that really came out nice (which is of course essentially a hopped up cream ale). I really need to make that beer again, it probably won’t do that well in a competition because of all the adjunct but it was a great “drinker”. Another thing you can do along the same lines is to make an American Wheat beer and hop burst it. I did that last summer and I really like the way it came out also. It was great in the hot Texas summer but was not boring like so many American wheat beers can be. :smiley:

Malt and corn make a lovely beer; once you’ve got your recipe dialed in with a clean yeast and light hopping you can call it whatever you want - on a warm summers night folks will tell you it’s the best beer you’ve ever made. My preferred recipe uses Amarillo hops and a touch of Victory malt too.