A vanilla cream ale recipe sounds like it belongs in the dessert section but really, it is for brewing beer. If you have never heard of or tasted vanilla cream ale, let curiosity get the best of you and brew it. In this piece, we unravel the process of brewing this refreshing beer. But first, let us take a peep at the origin of vanilla cream ale.
- Definition of cream ale
- Characteristics of vanilla cream ale
- Calorie count
- Brewing process
- Notable brands in the market
Vanilla Cream Ale: What Is It?
Vanilla cream ale is a type of craft beer infused with vanilla. Vanilla cream ale is part of differently flavored cream ales that you can make at home or purchase in liquor stores. Cream ales are light in color, and they are the perfect mix between lagers and ales because of blending the two brewing processes.
This beer, in fact, is a top-fermented ale cold conditioned once primary fermentation ceases. Cold conditioning, which is usually used in lager brewing, brings out a clean flavor thanks to the reduction of fruity esters.
Cream ales are American-style beers that debuted in the mid-19th century, and due to the Prohibition period in the US, Canadian brewers adopted the style and tweaked it for the better. After the Prohibition period, the style re-emerged in the US, and to date the brew continues to grow in popularity in both nations.
The creaminess associated with cream ales is due to the easy-to-drink flavor of the beer rather than the use of dairy products. Brewers include unmalted grains like rice in the process, which introduces a lighter flavor profile and increases foam retention in the beer.
What Is the Alcohol Content in a Vanilla Cream Beer?
The majority of cream ales are between 4.2 and 6 percent ABV. This is not a lot of alcohol. Therefore, you can have a glass at any time without reeking of alcohol. You would have to drink a considerable amount of vanilla cream beer to get drunk, so worry not: It is nothing too crazy.
The amount of sugar available while fermenting determines the overall alcohol content. If you want more alcohol in your vanilla cream ale, ensure the grains produce maximum sugar while mashing by adding enzymes.
How Does Vanilla Cream Taste and Smell?
Due to the infusion of vanilla, the beer resembles the taste of cream soda. On top of the sweetness of the vanilla, you might get hints of light caramel that tapers off with piney bitterness. Depending on the adjunct used in brewing, the variety of hops, and the amount of vanilla used, the flavor profiles will vary.
The good thing about brewing at home is that you can tweak the ingredients until you find your preferred flavor. As long as you ensure the malt and the hops are well balanced, the flavor will not be displeasing.
Calories: How Many Does Each Serving Have?
Per 12 oz. serving of vanilla cream beer, you consume around 110 -190 calories, depending on the formulation. Brewing at home allows you to minimize the calorie content in cream ales by breaking down the starch completely by using enzymes. This way, the alcohol content remains unchanged but the calories are less.
Working out to get rid of the carbs is easy because cream ales do not have a high calorie content. If you cycle for an hour or swim for an hour, the calories stemming from the cream ale will have burnt off.
What Do You Need to Make Vanilla Cream Beer?
Brewing the perfect beer takes a lot of patience and the right ingredients. To produce light-colored vanilla cream ale with a creamy white head you will require:
- 6.5 pounds of 74 percent Pilsner to form a clean malt base
- 12 oz. acid malt (9 percent) to lighten the malt character in the beer
- A pound of 11 percent flaked corn is intended to drop the PH of the mash
- 4 oz. Honey malt – 3 percent to add sweetness
- 4 oz. carapils for a creamy texture
- 30g Diammonium phosphate
- 9g Fermaid O
- 14g of Warrior hops or any other preferred variety
- 11.5g of Safale US-05 or Saflager 34/70 depending on preference.
- A Whirlfloc tablet
- 3 oz. of high-quality vanilla extract
- A fermenter, keg and transfer hose
- A hydrometer
How To Brew Vanilla Cream Ale: Everything You Need To Know
The vanilla beer recipe presented here utilizes the brew in a bag method. This recipe creates a big batch; therefore, you will have extra to share with friends and family.
- Heat 4.5 gallons of water to 156 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature is right, place the grain bag around the pot and add the grains. Mash for about 45 minutes at 151 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to drive the beer gravity down and provide better dryness once the brewing process is complete.
- Take out the bag and squeeze it out to harvest all the wort from the grain. Spurge the bag using warm water to release any leftover sugars from the grain and mix it with the initial liquid. Since this vanilla cream ale recipe features a lot of pilsner and corn, let the wort boil for 45 minutes. This lowers the Dimethyl Sulfide precursor (DNS) that gives beer an off-flavor.
- 25 minutes into boiling the wort, add the Warrior hops or any other variety you prefer. With five minutes left on the clock, add the Whirlfloc tablet, which reduces the fuzziness in beer. The tablet is a binding agent that collects proteins and other impurities in your beer.
- Add the Diammonium phosphate and Fermaid O. These nutrients guarantee the yeast will work during fermentation without producing an off-flavor. Let the work cool down by using a wort chiller or basin of cold water. As the wort cools, you can check on the gravity of the beer using a hydrometer to have an idea of the alcohol content to expect.
- Once the wort cools down to 18 degrees Celsius, transfer into a fermenter and secure the airlock. Add the yeast starter made the night before to the wort and give the fermenter a good shake.
- Place the fermenter in a fermentation chamber or a bucket of water and add ice packs to keep the temperature at 64 degrees Fahrenheit for seven days. Be sure to change the ice packs to maintain ideal fermentation temperatures.
- After seven days, the fermentation process has died down; let the temperature rise by a few degrees to facilitate diacetyl rest. This allows the yeast to soak up the diacetyl, which usually imparts a butter-like taste in beer. At this point, check the beer gravity for final readings of the alcohol content.
- Before transferring the beer to the holding container or keg, add the vanilla extract to the empty vessel. Purge the keg or container with carbon dioxide to minimize oxidation and then transfer the beer using a hose from the fermenter. Adjust the regulator to 10 psi and let it sit for a week. If you don’t have a keg, cold condition for about two more weeks and it is ready to drink.
Top Vanilla Cream Brands on the Market
There are a few vanilla cream brands available because this style of beer is not as popular as the others on a global scale. However, brands are drawing more people to flavored cream ales include:
|Vanilla Affogato by Sycamore Brewing||
|Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale||
|Nitro Cali Creamin’||
|Garage Brewing Co Real Vanilla Cream Ale||
As days go by, more and more people appreciate the unique taste that vanilla cream beer has to offer. You can perfect your brewing skills at home by compiling homemade vanilla cream ale recipes you come across. Knowing how to brew beer is a skill that will connect you to more people and potentially save you some money since you can make delicious beer at home.
- Before you go, here are a few things to remember on vanilla cream ale:
- Stick to prescribed temperatures while mashing because you want the grains to release all the sugar for successful fermentation.
- The longer you cold condition a cream ale, the clearer the brew will appear.
- Be careful of the vanilla extract quantity you use because it is easy to overpower the flavor of the brew.
Brewing cream ale looks like a big task but with practice, and proper equipment, it is a manageable task. Try the vanilla cream ale recipe and tell us if you made any alterations and the flavor profiles you enjoyed in the comment section below. See you next time!
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