Dear Replicator, A couple of years ago I was in Nashville on business and had the good fortune to tip a few brews at the Market Street Pub in downtown Nashville. I fell in love with their Vanilla Cream Ale and now that I am into Homebrewing and your magazine, I wondered if the "Replicator" could come up with a clone for this creamy sweet ale. I've checked several recipe websites for anything that might be close to it but have had no luck. Can you help me? Sincerely, Gary Heyden Gary , Summertime is just around the corner, and this beer sounds perfect for those lazy days on a hammock listening to a baseball game. Throw in a bag of salted peanuts and I could spend the entire summer just “hanging out” Crème Ales are normally a somewhat light alcohol beer, medium in body, with no dark malt flavors or colors, and a low level of hop bitterness. This beer is truly unique, since the vanilla flavoring is a trade “secret” that is made exclusively for Market Street Pub, according to brewer Jeff Kennard. To make this beer, you will want to start off with a low specific gravity, around 1.040. In order to achieve some body in a beer with this low an original gravity, you need to use some non-fermentable malt sugars. Market Street uses some light colored crystal malt in their malt bill to achieve the medium body. Since “smooth” is the predominant flavor in this kind of a beer, you also want to keep the hop level low. You want to allow the vanilla flavor to creep through, and a high hop level would overpower the vanilla flavors. Since the Vanilla flavoring is a “trade secret” that is locked in the Market Street vault, I asked Jeff for some help for the homebrewer to come close to their vanilla flavor. Jeff suggested that you take 2 vanilla beans, cut them in about 1 inch long pieces, and boil them for the last 15 minutes of your boil. You can get more information about Market Street Pub at http://www.marketstreetpub.com/ or by calling 615-259-9611. Vanilla Crème Ale (5 gallon, extract with grains) OG=1.040 FG=1.012 IBU’S = 14-16 Alcohol 3.5% by volume Ingredients 3.3 lbs. Muntons Light malt extract syrup 1.0 lb Muntons Light Dry Malt Powder .5 Lb Wheat malt 1.0 Lb Crystal Malt 10L 3.25 AAU Nugget hops (bittering hop) (0.25 oz of 13.0% alpha acid) 2.0 AAU Mt. Hood hops (aroma hop) (0.5oz of 4.0% alpha acid) 2 Vanilla Beans, cut in 1 inch long pieces 1 tsp Irish moss for 60 min White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast or Wyeast 1056 American Ale O.75 cup of corn sugar for priming. Step by step Steep crushed malts in 3 gallons of water at 150º for 30 minutes. Remove grains from wort, add malt syrup and powder and bring to a boil. Add Nugget (bittering) hops, Irish moss and boil for 60 minutes. Add chopped Vanilla beans for last 15 minutes of the boil. Add Mt. Hood (aroma) hops for the last 2 minutes of the boil. When done boiling, strain out hops, add wort to 2 gallons cool water in a sanitary fermenter, and top off with cool water to 5.5 gallons. Cool the wort to 80º, aerate the beer and pitch your yeast. Allow the beer to cool over the next few hours to 68º-70º, and ferment for 10 to 14 days. Bottle your beer, age for 2-3 weeks and Enjoy! All grain option: Replace the Light syrup and powder with 5.5 lbs. Great Western 2-row Pale malt. Mash all your grains at 155º for 45 minutes. Collect enough wort to boil for 90 minutes and have a 5.5-gallon yield. Since the IBU’s are so low on this beer, it is difficult to decrease the quantity of hops to account for increased hop extraction efficiency in a full boil. An easier way for this beer is to use the same amount of bittering hops, but simply reduce the total boiling time of the bittering hops from 60 minutes to 50 minutes. The remainder of the recipe is the same as the extract. Dear Replicator: What I would like is a clone for Sprecher Special Amber Lager. It is brewed here in Milwaukee, the Birthplace of great American Beer. I have enjoyed this brew for many years (as well as a BYO subscriber for many years). If you could clone this and maybe even feature Randy Sprecher and his company it would be greatly appreciated. He not only brews great ales and lagers but also supports public television and many local events, a good citizen. The beer is described as “A delicate balance of toasted malt and fresh hops give this medium-bodied German style lager an intriguing complex flavor. A creamy head, deep golden color and an impressive hop bouquet make this a very special beer”. I myself can enjoy this beer fresh from the brewery here in Milwaukee, but it deserves to be made by Home brewers everywhere. It is a fine lager. Thanks Glenn Gavin, Milwaukee, Wisc Glenn, Special Amber is the flagship beer for Sprecher Brewery, and no wonder. The brewers at Sprecher Brewery make this beer with great care. I talked to Craig Burge, who had been making beer since 1990 at Sprecher Brewery, to find out how they craft this beer. Craig tells me this is a true lager beer, fermented with lager yeast at the cooler lager temperatures, which helps to enhance the maltiness and minimize the fruitiness that you might get if you used an ale yeast and fermented at higher temperatures. Craig said they ferment this beer around 50 degrees F, and at the end of fermenting they drop the temperature to about 33 degrees for about 5 weeks to age this beer and give it the smooth, malty flavors it is known for. Hopheads should love this beer, since Sprecher Special Amber has a rather aggressive hop level, with the IBU’s in the mid 30’s, which is higher than normal for a German/Bavarian Lager (which would be about 20 to 28 IBU’s). By having the higher IBU level, they balance this beer nicely, to match the high malty level from the lagering process. Now, the hard part for all you Homebrewers is going to be lagering this beer for 5 weeks or so, but hold steady, it will be worth the wait!! For more information about Sprecher Brewery and their beers, go to their web site at http://www.sprecherbrewery.com or call them at 414-964-2739. Sprecher Special Amber (5 gallon, extract with grains) OG=1.054 FG=1.015 IBU’S = 34-37 Alcohol 4.7% by volume Ingredients 4.0 lbs. Alexander’s pale malt extract syrup 2.0 lb Briess Light Dry Malt Powder .5 Lb Dark Munich malt (20L) .5 Lb Crystal Malt (120L) .5 Lb Belgian Caravienna malt 1.0 AAU Cascade hops (bittering hop) (1.0 oz of 8.3% alpha acid) 4.0 AAU Mt. Hood hops (aroma hop) (1.0 oz of 4.0% alpha acid) 1 tsp Irish moss for 60 min Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager or White Labs WLP830 German Lager yeast 0.75 cup of corn sugar for priming. Step by step Steep crushed malts in 3 gallons of water at 150º for 30 minutes. Remove grains from wort, add malt syrup and powder and bring to a boil. Add Cascade (bittering) hops, Irish moss and boil for 60 minutes. Add Mt. Hood (aroma) hops for the last 2 minutes of the boil. When done boiling, strain out hops, add wort to 2 gallons cool water in a sanitary fermenter, and top off with cool water to 5.5 gallons. Cool the wort to 70º, aerate the beer and pitch your yeast. After the beer has started fermenting (about 12-18 hours), move the fermenter to a 50 degree location and let the beer cool and ferment until fermentation is complete, about 14 days, then cool the beer to 33 degrees and lager for an additional 3 to 5 weeks! Bottle your beer, carbonate, and Enjoy! All grain option: Replace the Light syrup and powder with 8.5 lbs. Pilsner malt. Sprecher Brewing does a 2-step mash. Mash all your grains at 122 º for 30 minutes. Then raise the temperature to 155º for 45 minutes. Collect enough wort to boil for 90 minutes and have a 5.5-gallon yield. Lower the amount of boiling hops to .9 of an ounce to account for higher extraction ratio of a full boil. The remainder of the recipe is the same as the extract.