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Adding to the Cream Ale recipe

Hello everyone. I’m new to Northern Brewer, though I have brewed before on a very basic level. I use the 1 gallon, extract kits and I am interested in the Cream Ale recipe for my next batch. I’d like to add a caramel flavor to this beer, as well as some vanilla. I was curious how to achieve this. I was thinking maybe adding some Caramel malts, but I’m not sure if I would add them in addition to the “specialty grains” that come with the recipe, and, if so, when and how. Also, I would like to use real vanilla beans. I was thinking adding them during secondary fermentation. Just curious if, for a 1 gallon batch, anyone could advise on how much to add. Thanks in advance for the help!

While it’s not an “up my alley” sort of beer, you’re on the right track. I think you’ll find your existing specialty grain does already contain some caramel. Don’t think caramel Sundae syrup, though, just a drinkable sweet beer.

When it comes to your vanilla bean idea - I put 2 vanilla beans, split, scraped and cut into quarters in secondary for a 5 gallon chocolate milk stout kit. Even with two whole beans I didn’t get an abundant vanilla flavor. But the idea was for the vanilla to bring out the chocolate flavor.

If you’d like a huge vanilla presence in your 1 gallon kit… I’d say soak one whole bean (split, scraped) in vodka for a few days - put the whole concoction in secondary and then rack your beer on top of it.

If you want the vanilla to be subtle maybe just try half of a bean.

Thanks guys. I think what I may do is use the cream ale kit as it is and add the vanilla beans to it at secondary after soaking in vodka. Then I can tweak the next batch if more caramel flavor is desired with caramel malts.

I was thinking of adding caramel flavor to a beer one of these days, and here is my idea. I am thinking of putting 2 cups of table sugar into a sauce pan and caramelizing the sugar, and then adding that to my boil. I had the idea one day while making a flan, which needs caramelized sugar for the sauce. I thought, wow, how about using this in a beer? Have not tried it yet, but you may want to think about it.

I’m thinking a cream ale won’t want that much flavor coming from the glass. Try that with an amber, perhaps a small dunkels? Sneezles61

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