Cream Ale / Standard Lager

Cream Ale

 

Testimonials

"Brewed 6 gallons of the lager version of this... it tastes fantastic though especially for a light summer beer. Very clean tasting and cheap. Definitely great for non hoppy friends etc. Gonna do a hoppier pilsner next." - blazinlow86

"I made this brew as my 8th Electric Brewery brew. Since then I've searched for other cream ale recipes in an attempt to find, at least for me, the best cream ale. IMHO, this is it!. Kudos to Kal for the recipe. This is one of my top all time favorites. I need to brew more..." - KB

 

Introduction

This Cream Ale / Standard Lager is a crisp, clean tasting beer. It has slightly less malt flavour than our Blonde Ale / Premium Lager as it uses less grainy tasting Domestic 2-Row Malt (1.8-2L) instead of Pilsner Malt (1.5-2.1L).

Our recipe also uses 10% regular table sugar to achieve an extremely crisp and dry taste (the beer is highly attenuated). Table sugar is 100% fermentable so it adds alcohol with very little taste. Other adjuncts such as Flaked Maize (Corn) (0.8L) or rice can be used instead if desired. Rice has a very clean / neutral flavour while corn tends to add a subtle corn-like taste.

The choice of North American malt and hops makes this an American style beer.

We offer two versions of beer here where the only difference is the choice of yeast: Ale or Lager. The resulting beers are similar, but brewing with a lager yeast provides a cleaner tasting beer with a touch less fruitiness and yeast derived character. Patience is required however as a lager with its lower fermentation temperature means it can take longer to ferment if you do not pitch adequate amounts of yeast (make sure to follow our suggested pitch rates), and also requires a longer lagering (held near freezing) period after fermentation to allow the beer to mellow and smooth out.

Most people will find the Cream Ale therefore easier to brew as it does not require special fermentation equipment to maintain a lower temperature and the whole process takes less time. Curious about the differences? Try a split batch and brew both at the same time, using our two recommended yeasts.

Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!

 

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Cream Ale / Standard Lager

Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 95%
Attenuation: 87.2%
Calories: 143 kcal per 12 fl oz
Original Gravity:
1.044 (style range: 1.042 - 1.055)
Terminal Gravity: 1.006 (style range: 1.006 - 1.012)
Colour: 2 SRM (style range: 2.5 - 5)
Alcohol: 5% ABV (style range: 4.2% - 5.6%)
Bitterness: 15 IBU (style range: 15 - 20)

Mash:
13 lb Domestic 2-Row Malt (1.8-2L) (86.1%)
0.5 lb Carapils or Carafoam (1.4-2.9L) (3.3%)

Boil:
3 oz Crystal Hops (3.1%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [14.5 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
1.6 lb Regular table sugar (10.6%) - added during boil*, boiled 10 min (add slowly)

Cream Ale Yeast:
36g Fermentis Safale US-05 dry yeast** (or an appropriate starter)

Standard Lager Yeast:
72g Fermentis Saflager W-34/70 dry yeast*** (or an appropriate starter)

*It's been said that moving the addition of simple sugars like table sugar to the end of fermentation can help if you have attenuation problems. (We've never had issues so we always add to the boil per our recipe). If you prefer to add at the end of fermentation, heat up some distilled water to near boiling (above 180F) and stir in about 1lb of sugar. Let it cool and add directly to the fermenter. Keep doing this every 2-3 days until all of the sugar is used up. Why is this said to help with attenuation? Yeast likes to eat simple sugars (like table sugar) first before it attacks the more complex ones produced by the grain. By giving the yeast only the 'less tasty' stuff (complex sugars) first they're more likely to finish it all before moving on the 'tasty stuff' (simple sugars). Giving them both at the same time is like giving your kids dinner and desert at the same time. They'll eat desert first and then be too full to eat their dinner. Given them dinner first, and there's always room for desert. 😉

**If you prefer to use liquid yeast, Wyeast 1056 American Ale or White Labs WLP001 California Ale are excellent choices as they are the same clean fermenting Chico strain as US-05. You'll need to use 4 packs/vials or make an appropriate starter.

***If you prefer to use liquid yeast, Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager or White Labs WLP830 German Lager are said to be the equivalent Weihenstephan sourced strains. You'll need to use 8 packs/vials or make an appropriate starter.

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Notes / Process

  • Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine / chloramine (if required).
  • Water treated with brewing salts to our Balanced flavour profile: Ca=50, Mg=10, Na=16, Cl=70, SO4=70. (Hit minimums on Ca and Mg, keep the Cl:SO4 ratio low and equal. Do not favour flavour / maltiness or bitterness / dryness. For balanced beers.). For complete details on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustment guide.
  • 1.5 qt/lb mash thickness.
  • Single infusion mash at 148F for 120-180 mins. (A very long low temperature mash helps dry out the beer).
  • Raise to 168F mashout temperature and hold for 10 mins.
  • ~90 min fly sparge with ~5.6-5.8 pH water (measured at mash temperature). Collect 13.9 gallons.
  • Boil for 60 minutes, adding Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
  • Cool the wort quickly to 66F if making the Cream Ale or 50F if making the Standard Lager (we use a one-pass convoluted counterflow chiller to quickly lock in hop flavour and aroma) and transfer to fermenter.
  • Aerate well. Pure oxygen from a tank may be used at a rate of 1 litre per minute for 60 seconds per 5 gallons if making the Cream Ale or 1 litre per minute for 120 seconds per 5 gallons if making the Standard Lager.
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 66F if making the Cream Ale or 50F if making the Standard Lager (wort temperature). We use modified stainless fermenting buckets in wine fridges.
  • Ferment until approximately 5 points from final gravity and then raise the temperature to 70-72F until finished. In our case we simply turn off the fermenting fridges and allow the beer to naturally rise to room temperature. Assume fermentation is done if the gravity does not change over ~3 days.
  • Rack to a brite tank (we use 5 gallon glass carboys) that has been purged with CO2 to avoid oxygen pickup, add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and allow to clear for 2-3 days.
  • Package as you would normally. We rack to kegs that have first been purged with CO2. We chill the kegs to near freezing while carbonating at the same time in a 6-keg conditioning fridge. After ~1-2 weeks at serving pressure the kegs will be carbonated and ready to serve. In a hurry? Feel free to raise the CO2 pressure temporarily to 30-40 PSI to carbonate fast over a 24 period, and then turn back down to serving pressure. 
  • Carbonate this beer to around 2.5 volumes of CO2.
  • The Cream Ale will improve greatly if conditioned just above freezing for 4 weeks before serving (6-8 weeks is recommended for the Standard Lager). Avoid keeping the beer unrefrigerated for extended periods. It will remain clean and crisp for months if kept near freezing.

For detailed brewing instructions, see our Brew Day Step by Step guide.

Enjoy!

Questions? Visit our Cream Ale / Standard Lager forum thread

 

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Pictures / Videos

Interested in seeing what we're brewing right now? Follow us on Instagram for pictures and videos of our brewing activities as they happen.

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Well that was faster than I expected! Rummaging through the freezer I found some old Saflager W-34/70 dry yeast. It’s the most popular lager strain in the world, originally from Weihenstephan in Germany. Equivalent liquid versions are WLP830 and WY2124. Makes a great lager/Pilsner and is one of the few dry yeasts I bother using. Mine was “best before” Sept 2013! Not a problem, assume most of it is dead and just make a starter. Within a few hours of pitching it was at high krausen and now ~18 hours later it’s pretty much done! Time to throw it in the fridge to let it settle out. Brew day in a day or two. What are starters and why/how to make them? See the guide on my website! (Link in bio) . Step by step guide to building and using your own brewery, with tons of recipes! 👉 TheElectricBrewery.com 👈

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Sparge time! After a long 3 hour step mash (to maximize fermentability) the wort going into the boil kettle is crystal clear. Minimizing grain bits in the boil helps keep astringency as low as possible. I’ll try and remember to shoot a video of the new Hop Stopper 2.0 in action after the boil too. 🍻 . ‪TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery‬ . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrewingonly #homebrew #homebrewery #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #controlpanel #brewday #germanlager #germanbeer

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Hop Stopper 2.0 in action! The best hop filter money can buy: Every last drop of 12 gallons filtered in 15 minutes! This is a light tasting German lager that only has a couple of ounces of hops in the boil. Believe it or not, but less hops can actually be harder to filter as the hot break and other fine particulates that settle out can form a thin layer on whatever filter you're using which in turn blocks flow. No concerns with the Hop Stopper 2.0! Takes 30 seconds to spray clean. Available exclusively at TheElectricBrewery.com. Works on gas and electric, any kettle or keggle, 2 sizes available. See: http://theelectricbrewery.com/hop-stopper . ‪TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery‬ . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrewingonly #homebrew #homebrewery #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #controlpanel #brewday #germanlager #germanbeer #hopstopper

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Brew day! Just mashed in and added mash salts and a few ml of 88% lactic acid to bring the pH into range. My water’s very soft and not much salts are added to this German Lager for flavour so some extra help from acids is required. Check out the ‘Water Adjustment’ article on my website for a step by step on why and how: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/water-adjustment . TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewyourown #brewday #controlpanel #brewingwater #brewingsalts #wateradjustment

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German Lager tucked away in the fermenting fridges. One thing I’ve never mentioned is that because these fridges (like most) do not have on/off switches, I made my own using a commercial grade switch and outlet that’s tucked away under the table. Basically a heavy duty extension cord with switch. This way I don’t have to pull the fridges out to turn them off (they’re only on when fermenting). Complete details on the fridges and fermenters I use in the ‘Ferment and Package’ article on my website: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ferment-and-package . TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewyourown #brewday #controlpanel #germanlager #lager

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While the family’s decorating I’m still thinking beer-y thoughts... time to check on that German Lager in the basement brewery. WY2007 seems like a slow fermenter. Only down 14 points or so since I pitched 6 days ago. Most other lager yeasts I’ve used would have almost chewed through this 1.046 beer by now. Pitched ~700B cells into 11 gallons at 50F. Patience is always the name of the game with lagers of course. They take time. There’ll still be a good month of cold conditioning near freezing once fermentation is done. 🍻 . TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewyourown #germanlager #lager #fermentation

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It's a common misconception that lagers will always take a lot longer to ferment than ales given the colder temperatures. Pitch enough healthy yeast and you can be done fast. This 5% ABV American lager fermented at 50F has dropped to within 2-3 points of final gravity in slightly under 6 days since pitching. (My hydrometer reads 4 points high). Time for a few days of D-rest at 60F followed by clarifying, kegging, and the step that takes the longest: Lagering near freezing for a good month or more to develop that clean/crisp flavour that lagers like this are known for. . TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #brewday #americanlager #yeast

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Crisp and refreshing German Lager, after a couple of months of cold conditioning near freezing. 100% Weyermann pils malt to 5.2% ABV, 60 min Hallertau hops to 20 IBU, long 3 hour 149F mash to dry it out, balanced water profile (Ca=50, Mg=10, Na=16, Cl/SO4=70), huge starter of WY2007 Pilsen lager yeast, fermented at 50F. Perfect summer beer!🍻 . ‪TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery‬ . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrewingonly #homebrew #homebrewery #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewyourown #beerrecipes #germanlager #lager

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