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Cream Ale Identification

From BJCP site:
“Ingredients: American ingredients most commonly used. A grain bill of six-row malt, or a combination of six-row and North American two-row, is common. Adjuncts can include up to 20% flaked maize in the mash, and up to 20% glucose or other sugars in the boil. Soft water preferred. Any variety of hops can be used for bittering and finishing.”

My initial understanding was that an adjunct, namely corn, was necessary and a combination of lager and ale malts almost always present. But the above description doesn’t state these are necessary.

Here is the recipe (5 gal partial mash/partial boil) for a jalapeño cream ale I just revised, but wondered if it’s truly a cream ale:

4 lbs pilsner LME (FO)
3 lbs 2-row
1/2 lb crystal 20
1/2 lb soft white wheat berries
1/4 lb carapils
3/4 oz Mt Hood @ 77 mins
1/4 oz Mt Hood @ 21 mins
3 1/2 small jalapeños roasted, steamed, and sliced @ 7 mins
3 1/2 small jalapeños sliced and soaked in vodka for 2 weeks for 10 day “dry pepper”
1/2 Whirlflock @ 7 mins
US-05

1.051/1.010
5.4% ABV
17 IBU’s
4 SRM

Can I call this a cream ale?

[quote=“rodwha”]
My initial understanding was that an adjunct, namely corn, was necessary and a combination of lager and ale malts almost always present. [/quote]

Not sure what you mean by “lager and ale malts”.

Cream ale is the ale version of standard american lager, so grain bills tend to be pretty straightforward. You have a good bit of specialty malts in there, so it may be a bit muddled for the style.

I brew a faux american pils that is basically 80% 2-row/pilsner malt and 20 (up to 30)% flaked maize, fermented with S-05. It is hopped higher than a cream ale ‘should’ be, but if I wanted to, I could call it a ‘hoppy cream ale’, but I find the name ‘cream ale’ makes most people want to vomit because its a horrible name and creates confusion that the beer should have vanilla in it or something. [steps off soap box].

Short answer, you can call it whatever you want, but purists probably wouldn’t want to have that many malts in a cream ale and would use some sort of adjunct (corn or rice). Then again a purist wouldn’t add jalapeno either, so you’re all good there! :cheers:

Do you have the wheat and crystal in there for any particular purpose? Also, whats with the weird hopping intervals? One other piece of feedback, you may want to consider only using the tincture, and not the ‘boil’ jalapenos. You are really after the oils that are in the seeds and ribs of the pepper, so the vodka tincture will basically make those oils soluble and get them into your beer. Using a tincture also allows you to dial the heat in at packaging so its to your taste, particularly useful since there’s really no good way other than your palette, to measure how many peppers you should add.

Pilsen vs 2-row (or 6-row).

My main question is whether or not corn or rice are required in a cream ale. But I also don’t want to mislabel my beer.

I do add wheat as I struggle with head retention issues that I cannot seem to nail down. I quit washing my glasses with dish soap (I now soak them in Star-San and rinse), and use a bit of carapils/carafoam. But every now and then I get poor head retention.

The crystal I just added for a little bit of flavor.

I went with weird hopping (as well as mashing) intervals once I saw a hop utilization chart in which the peak for aroma was ~7 mins, and the peak for flavor was ~21 mins. So I ran with the 7’s. I know, I know…

I boiled some jalapeños as this was how it was shown for me to do, and it came out awesome the first time. So I stuck with what I knew.

The NB cream ale all grain kit is -

-7 lbs. Rahr 2-Row Pale

  • 0.75 lbs. Gambrinus Honey Malt
  • 0.25 lbs. Belgian Biscuit malt

I brew this at least once a summer and love it. I used to live in Upstate New York and Genesee brewing makes a cream ale that includes corn in it but still taste pretty close to the NB version. I actually could see adding a bit of corn sugar to the NB recipe to lighten the body and boost the alcohol just a bit. You can play with this template. The honey malt gives it a nice sweetness. Jalapenos would take it in different direction. If you are worried about whether or not it is okay to call it a cream ale keep it simple or who cares what you call it as long as you like it and you think it taste good in the end, no one should judge you for that. I don’t know of any good local to MN good commercial examples. I remember several several being the east coast and Genesee was always my favorite example http://www.geneseebeer.com/beer/genesee-cream/

[quote=“rodwha”]Pilsen vs 2-row (or 6-row).

My main question is whether or not corn or rice are required in a cream ale. But I also don’t want to mislabel my beer.

I do add wheat as I struggle with head retention issues that I cannot seem to nail down. I quit washing my glasses with dish soap (I now soak them in Star-San and rinse), and use a bit of carapils/carafoam. But every now and then I get poor head retention.

The crystal I just added for a little bit of flavor.

I went with weird hopping (as well as mashing) intervals once I saw a hop utilization chart in which the peak for aroma was ~7 mins, and the peak for flavor was ~21 mins. So I ran with the 7’s. I know, I know…

I boiled some jalapeños as this was how it was shown for me to do, and it came out awesome the first time. So I stuck with what I knew.[/quote]

You could call it a jalapeno blonde (a hot blonde?) and be all set!

I do think you could have an all-malt cream ale (the style guideline says “can include”). I think the take-home point is that the style emerged via brewers using adjuncts to cut costs and either rice or corn most certainly contributed a flavor. The reason I brought it up was if you are not brewing true to the style anyway, who cares what its called?

If the jalapeno additions done as is contribute the flavor you want, then brau on brauer.

As a Roch guy, I love Genny! Even classic “Genesee” is great (for what it is, a competitor to PBR).

Does New Glarus still distribute to Minnesote, or are they just in Wisconsin? Spotted cow is another good one.

Sorry to threadjack, but have to bump the mention of a oldschool Roch brewery (now owned by NAB)…

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