Classic American Cream Ale
Beer
Source: HOMEBREW Digest #3737 Mon 17 September 2001 From: Jeff Renner Subject: CAP and cream ale recipes (part 1: CAP recipe, mash, FWH) (part 2: more mash, CACA) Discussion: This is a slightly revised recipe from my Sept/Oct, 2000 Zymurgy article that I posted to HBD in June. I corrected the amount of water for the cereal mash and changed it to reflect several other changes. I did not mash in at 104F (40C) for my brews this year, but rather at the first saccharification rest of 146F (63C). It really seems to work just about as well. I add the cereal mash after a 30 minute rest to boost to the 158F (70C) rest (with heat or boiling water if necessary). This also reflects my slightly higher FWHing. These mash rest times are very arbitrary. Longer wont hurt to accommodate the schedule. If you cant get 6-row, 2-row works just as well, and some brewers prefer it. Likewise, if you prefer simplicity, substitute flaked corn (maize) or rice for the cornmeal or rice and skip the cereal mash and even the step mash for a single mash. Mashing at no higher than 149 F (65 C) will give a crisp beer, higher mash temperatures will give a less attenuated beer. Cluster hops are probably what the vast majority of breweries used 100 years ago, and were still the predominate hops until the last few decades. They still are used widely. If you prefer for taste or availability reasons, you can use all noble hops or US equivalent (Crystal is wonderful), or use any neutral hops for bittering. Do not use the distinct modern American hops such as Cascade, Columbus or Centennial. This are not appropriate, IMHO. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Classic American Pilsner (See above for further discussion.) 5 finished beer gallons at 1.051 7.25 lbs. six-row malt 2 lbs. coarse corn meal* *Or grits, polenta or coarsely ground rice, or combination of rice and corn First Wort Hops: 4-5 HBU Saaz or other noble hops [consider FWH as flavor/30min hops not boil hops when calculating utilization, due to the lower temperature steeping binding the hop oils differently, see below or search HBD for details -ed.] Bittering hops: (60 minutes) 5.3 HBU whole Cluster (4.8 HBU for pellets) [authors note in HBD#3739: target is 30 IBU, which is closer to 7 HBU for bittering] Flavor hops: (15 minutes) 1.5 HBU whole noble hops or Styrian Goldings (1.2 HBU for pellets) ten minutes before strike. Yeast: Any clean lager yeast [Author later updated yeast info in HBD#4028:] I really like the clean German yeasts such as YCKCo Ayinger or Weihenstephan 34/70, sold as WLP830, but was also very happy with the American lager yeast I used early on, reputedly the August Schell (New Ulm) strain. I think this is the same as Wyeast 2035, even though its described explicitly as not being a pilsner strain. Its also described as a diacetyl producer but I got none. 2272 is the old Christian Schmidt strain and should be an authentic one. A friend brewed a CAP with the Anheuser Busch strain and got high diacetyl, so that yeast may require some care in that regard. Water: low alkalinity, low sulfate water See below for additional mash details. Schedule for American Double Mash for cornmeal or rice (grits and polenta must be boiled longer): Time 00: In a kitchen pot, mash in corn or rice and 10 ounces of malt with ~3 quarts of water (~4 for rice) to hit 153F (67C), rest in preheated oven 20 minutes. Time 15: Mash in main mash 146F (63C) Time 20: Bring cereal mash to boil, stirring Time 30: Cereal mash boiling, stir frequently Time 65: Add cereal mash to main mash yield, adjust temperature as needed to 158F Time 95: Ramp to 170F (76C) mashout, then sparge and lauter As soon as kettle bottom is covered add first wort hops and maintain wort temperature at approximately 170F (76C) during lautering. Collect enough wort to yield 5.25 gallons finished wort. Boil uncovered at least 60 minutes, longer to reduce DMS if necessary. Chill to 48F (9C), aerate or oxygenate well, pitch yeast from large starter. Ferment at 48F (9C) until fermentation nearly stops, about 10 to 14 days, rack to secondary and reduce temperature 4F (2C) per day to 32F (0C). Lager six to seven weeks. First Wort Hopping A lost and recently rediscovered German hopping technique from a hundred years ago, first wort hopping (FWH), works very well in CAPs. While I have found no direct evidence of this technique being used in the United States, American brewers of this time were largely German born or educated, or at least strongly German influenced, and it seems likely that it was used here. George Fix first reported the German research, which was published in Brauwelt in 1995, to the homebrewing community on HBD in 1996. In this procedure, normal late addition or aroma hops are instead added to the first wort as soon as the kettle bottom is covered, and kept at runoff temperature (about 176F) during the entire time of runoff. These hops are then left in the kettle for the entire boil along with normal bittering hops. Hop oil constituents are bound in a complex manner with other wort constituents resulting in "a fine, unobtrusive hop aroma; a more harmonic beer; a more uniform bitterness" than control pilsners with conventional aroma hop additions, according to the professional taste panels, which preferred the FWH beer overwhelmingly. I feel it gives enhanced hop flavor as well. As expected, since these additional hops stayed in the boil along with the bittering hops, this resulted in greater measured bitterness. However, it was not perceived by the taste panels as more bitter but rather as a fine, mild bitterness without any harshness that might be present in an overhopped beer. For this reason, bittering hops should not be reduced. Traditional American "Double Mash" American brewers more than a hundred years ago realized that domestic barley had an excess of protein and that corn and rice, with their low protein levels, could be used to advantage. However, corn and rice starches dont gelatinize at mash temperatures, and so arent available to the malt enzymes for conversion into sugars. Boiling the cereal gelatinizes the starch, but then you have cooked rice or cornmeal mush, and those are hard to handle in a brewery, and when they cool, they become really stiff and hard to move or incorporate into the mash. The secret turned out to be malt. By adding a small amount of malt to the cereal and mashing a short time before cooking, the cereals become quite thin and stay that way. The practice one hundred years ago was to use 30% malt by weight, which I still do, despite current practice of using only 10%. In a kitchen pot with lid, mash about five ounces of malt for every pound of corn meal, grits, polenta, or coarsely ground rice. Use about a quart and a half of treated mash water per pound of corn, two quarts for rice. Rest at about 153 F (67C) for 20 minutes in a preheated oven or wrap well in a blanket, then bring to a boil on the stove or your brewery burner. Rice and corn meal should be cooked covered about 30 minutes; grits or polenta 45 minutes to an hour. Stir as you bring them up to a boil and occasionally during the boil, adding more water if necessary. Its best not to overcook rice, but corn can be cooked longer for more flavor and color reactions to take place in the cooker if you want these. Meanwhile, you have started the main, or malt mash, and timed it so that just as the cereal mash is done, it is time to boost the temperature of the main mash. Its best to plan this ahead on paper. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Classic American Cream Ale (See above for recipe and further discussion.) No brew fridge? Brew a CACA! Thats HBDer Paul Shicks "unfortunate acronym" for what he calls Classic American Cream Ale. Nineteenth century ale brewers, seeing their sales drop as the publics taste changed to pale, clear, effervescent lagers, but lacking refrigeration and aging facilities, developed a beer brewed like a pilsner, but fermented as an ale. These were called "present use" or cream ales, and they have evolved into todays cream ales just as pilsners evolved, but the few remaining cream ales today bear only a fleeting resemblance to their ancestors. The same advantages those ale brewers exploited can be yours today. A CACA is a fine, enjoyable beer, and youll be partaking of history. Ferment the beer with ale yeast at cellar temperatures and age it as cool as you can manage. This is an ale that can be served at 45 F (7C), where chill haze can be a problem, so if that bothers you, consider using Polyclar (R) at the end of fermentation. This brew has another advantage if you find liquid yeast and starters daunting - there are now some fine dry ale yeasts available. (Quality dry true lager yeasts are on the near horizon.) Shick reports good success with Danstar Nottingham, but I find it a little too attenuative for my tastes. Ive found Windsor nice - it finishes richer. Wyeast 1056 American Ale or White Labs WPL001 California Ale is a natural choice in liquid yeasts as they are reputedly the old Ballantine Ale yeast; White Labs WPL008 East Coast Ale would give less attenuation for a softer, creamier ale. Ive liked the results with Wyeast 1098 British, and Yeast Culture Kit Co.s Canadian (Molson) ale yeast gives a remarkable and distinctive Canadian character. The very clean fermenting White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch yeast would be another excellent choice, producing not so much of a cream ale as a pseudo-lager.
11/15/02
Classic American Cream Ale