Get it? Ha. Anyway, this was my second annual attempt to make something approachable for family members around the holidays. In 2011 I did Diet American Rice Beer, so in 2012 I decided to try a corn adjunct. I was still extract brewing though, so I used corn sugar. I have since found that corn sugar is not really a good substitute for mashing corn, but this still turned out to be a decent, drinkable beer.
To make it more fun, I did some experimentation with the fermentation. Cream ales have a legacy of sometimes being fermented with lager yeast or even a blend of ale and lager yeasts. I decided to split the fermentation and add ale yeast to some and lager to the rest. This was my first time using lager yeast and I fermented it at ale temperatures.
This was a seven and a half gallon batch. I added Saflager S-23 to five gallons of it and Safale US-05 to the other two and a half. I fermented them next to each other at the same temperature. When they were ready, I bottled a six pack of each and then blended the rest together and bottled that.
Comparing the beers, I remember the lager thread and the blend being very similar, which makes sense as the lager made up a larger portion. The ale thread was somewhat more distinct and had some fruity esters, though US-05 is known as a pretty clean ale yeast.
I have never used S-23 again, but I read that it was good for fermenting at warmer than normal temperatures for lager. I’ve actually seen people claim that it gets more ester-y and ale like at lower temperatures. I’m not sure if that is true, but it worked well for me in this case. A lot of people seem to not like this yeast and it has discouraged me from going back to it, despite it working well for the this, admittedly abnormal, batch.
In 2013, I made N.E. Helles for my light holiday beer, but I’m thinking about doing another cream ale this year. I can mash the corn now, but I’m still debating what kind of yeast I would use. I’m not even sure if it will happen, but it’s something I’m thinking about. BMC was a fun experiment but I don’t think it really captured what a cream ale is supposed to be. It did go over fairly well at parties, though I found it be a bit dull after I was done comparing the different threads.
Bring Me Corn
Style: 6A. Cream Ale
Brew Date: August 26, 2012
Serve Date: October, 2012
Original Gravity: 1.050
Expected Final Gravity: 1.015
Approximate ABV: 4.5%
Fermentables (7.5 gallon batch):
1 lb Carapils
7 lb LME
1 lb DME
2 lb Corn Sugar
1.5 oz Liberty @ 60 min
1 oz Liberty @45 min
.5 oz Liberty @ 2 min
S-23 Lager and US-05 Ale, fermented separately then blended