These Brew Dudes love their cream ale. Mike brews up a good one at least once a year. Each time, he brings something a little different to showcase. Sometimes it’s a change in hops or an increase in adjunct to the grain bill. This brew features an overnight mash and a yeast strain that he’s never used before. Check out our thoughts on this version of his cream ale – the overnight mash cream ale!
The first thing to discuss is the technique of overnight mashing. Mike was looking to break up his brew day to make the time he had to stand in the brewing area as efficient as possible. To do that, he milled his grains and heated up his water to strike temperature. Once that temperature was reached, he added the water to the grains in his mash tun and then went to bed.
The next morning, he transferred the wort to his kettle and started the boil. So instead of waiting around for an hour for the hot water and grain to do their thing, he let the mash last overnight. He believes the overnight mash is a great technique for the style since the extra contact time makes for a very fermentable wort. The low final gravity of this beer was an indication of fermentability of the wort and the resulting mouthfeel was in line with commercial versions of the style.
The only drawback to the overnight mash is that you need to make sure you brew the next morning! If the probability for you to brew in the near future is high, then gives this technique a try.
Was The Overnight Mash Cream Ale Success?
The other tweak to this cream ale recipe was the use of Lager yeast rather than ale yeast. The SafLager™ S-189 from Fermentis was the strain he used and he fermented at cold ale temperatures. The beer itself was crisp and clean in its flavor. Because it was so lager-like, I didn’t have any trouble picking up that he used a lager yeast strain. I also had the advantage of enjoying his earlier versions of the style so the difference was hard to miss.
Overall, Mike thought this beer was one of his best. I think I still prefer the ale versions of this style with just a touch more esters and a bit more body. As beers go, it was extremely drinkable even if the ABV was over 6%! It has only gotten better with age as it has settled in the keg.