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Summer Blonde Ale Recipe

It has been some time since I posted a homebrew recipe on this site. As I mentioned previously , I haven’t brewed in about three months but I brewed a fair amount before my dormant period. I will make sure to get the recipes for my other beers up on here at some point soon.

If you have been following this blog for any period of time you will know that I love a beer with a bready finishing note. My wife likes the bready finish more than I do so when it came time to plan out my next beer recipe, I made sure to make something that was a bit more malt forward. While being more malt focused than normal, I didn’t want anything super sweet, and certainly not caramel flavors. I also wanted to make something that could be used to drink for the remainder of the summer.

I started by deciding to make an American Blonde Ale. This style very light in flavor and hopping, but also allows for some variety in both hops and malt. Using the American Blonde Ale style as my guide, with the following considerations:

  • Original Gravity: 1.035-1.050
  • Color: 3-6 SRM
  • Alcohol: 4%-5.5%
  • Bitterness: 15-25 IBUs

After reading a few more things about the style I found a few things about the flavor profile that I wanted to change. Jamil Zainasheff says “Blonde ale should always be a smooth, easy to drink beer with a clean fermentation profile and just a touch of malt character.” I wanted to add a level of yeast character to this beer with some fruity notes. For this reason I decided to use an English Ale style yeast that will help the beer hold some sweetness and also give it some nice fruity esters. I also decided to use about 10% wheat malt to give a bit a different malt character than a typical American Blonde Ale.

Below is the recipe that I decided on:

  • 7 lbs Pilsner Malt
  • 1 lbs Munich Malt
  • 1 lbs Torrified Wheat Malt
  • 1 oz Saaz hops at 60 mins.
  • 1 oz Saaz hops at 5 mins.
  • Wyeast 1318 London Ale III

I am hoping that this combination of ingredients will produce a beer that has a slightly richer body than an American Blonde Ale and that has a medium amount of fruity esters. If all goes right, my Summer Blonde Ale will have the following stats:

  • 5.25 SRM
  • 4.5% ABV
  • 22.5 IBUs

I’m looking forward to brewing this beer. There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes with this flavor profile so any mistakes will be very noticeable.

My Europe Trip

Later this week I will be traveling to Europe for a two week vacation. I have always wanted to travel to Europe and when it came time to decide between a house and a fun vacation, my wife and I decided that the housing market just wasn’t stable enough. We also don’t know how long we will be in our current area, and with that type of uncertainty, Europe was an easy decision.

Smalls, my wife, wants to travel everywhere and do everything. I’m much less adventurous when it comes to travel, but Europe has always been interluding to me. Now that I’m into craft beer, Europe becomes even more interesting. I’m really looking forward to relaxing with Smalls and traveling all over the place and trying the beverages of the different countries.

We will be traveling to five countries during our trip, but only actually be staying in three of them. We will be traveling to Belgium, German, Austria, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. Austria and the Netherlands will be day trips for us. Does anyone have any tips or any beers in particular to try when I am over there? We will be in each country for 2-3 days so we aren’t going to get to travel deep into an area to explore something special. We will also be mostly sticking to the major cities of the countries that we are going to; Brussels, Munich, Prague, and Amsterdam.

I’m really excited about this trip. On a side note, I’ve written some posts ahead of time and scheduled them to come out during my time in Europe. If you leave a comment or try to contact me, chances are I’m not going to see it until early July. Please leave any suggestions for my trip, I appreciate it.

Rogue Mocha Porter Beer Review

I’m a big fan of Rouge’s beers. This one newly appeared in the 6-pack store the other day and I just had to get it and try it out. As usual, I’ll let the brewery describe the beer first:

Tasting Notes:
Ruddy brown in color, a bittersweet balance of malt and hops with a light cream finish.

13 Ingredients:
Malts: Northwest Harrington & Klages;
135-165, 95-115, and 70-80 Crystal; Beeston Chocolate, Black, Munich
and Carastan.
Hops: Centennial & Perle Hops.
Yeast & Water: Rogue’s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

Specs:
13º PLATO
54 IBU
73 AA
77º Lovibond”

Rouge’s Mocha Porter pours a dark black with a full light brown head. It had great head retention that lasted all the way though the beer. The smell was full of chocolate malt, coffee bitterness, and a bit of hops. Overall I loved the look and smell of this beer.

Upon first taste there is a lot of malty flavor going on. The chocolate malt is the first thing you notice, followed by some coffee, then a very slight hop flavor. It was a thin beer (as expected with a porter) and was very drinkable.

One thing I did notice was a slight chalky mouth feel after I was done. Everything tasted fine, it just left that feeling in my mouth. It was interesting, but to a great or terrible thing. As I said eariler I love Rouge brews, while this one isn’t my favorite, it is very good and worth a try.