Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vanilla Toffee Cream Ale

Ive been drinking/brewing a lot of very hoppy and bitter beers lately, and really needed a change, I wanted something that was sweet, but not malty, light and smooth, almost dessert like. One of my favorite sodas is vanilla creme soda, its great stuff, So I thought I'd try making a beer version of it.
Creme soda isn't very complex though, so I wanted to add another layer to it, some extra complexity. To me toffee and vanilla go very well together, but how to get that toffee flavor?? Toffee is just heavily caramelized sugar, but I didn't want to add sugar to this beer, I wanted it to be fairly low in alcohol if I could, and the sugar might thin it out a bit too much. So, I took ~0.5# of LME, mixed it with a cup of water, and boiled it, as you would sugar to make caramel, the results are delicious

Vanilla Toffee Cream Ale

1060: 22IBU: 15SRM

7.25 lb 2-Row
0.75 lb 40L
0.50 lb 80L
0.50 lb Carapils
1.00 lb Lactose
0.50 lb LME (Boiled for 10min)

1.0 oz NZ Hallertaur 7.0% 60min
US05

Vanilla to taste in Secondary

Hopefully this will turn out, after boiling, again, it tasted bitter, I'm not sure whats going on the last two batches, although I payed attention to the crush after sparging and it didnt look as it should, there were a great number of kernels still intact, yet I still got nearly 80%efficiency when checking the gravity, so it doesn't appear that the IBU's are elevated due to a lower extract. I'm not sure whats causing this, but I hope I don't have to dump this one and the schwarzbier, I plan on ripping through all of my equipment and testing each piece separately in the next few days

First Tasting - 3/16/09

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