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Old 02-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
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Default Lemon Blonde Recipe

I'm going into the experimentation phase of my brewing and will be going for a lemon blonde ale next. Below is what I was thinking. What do you all think?

9 lbs. pale malt
1.25 lbs crystal 40

1 oz Summit @ 60
2 lemons of zest @ 15
2 sticks lemon grass @ 15
0.5 oz Summit @ 5
0.5 oz Summit @ flameout

Safale S-04 Ale Yeast

Ferment @ 65 for 10 days
Rack with 2 lemons of zest in secondary for 7 days


I had a suggestion to use Crystal 10, but I want to get more of the complex flavors from the 40 that you don't find in 10. I also had a suggestion to use Sorachi Ace as the hops, but my LHBS does not carry it. They showed me Summit and I love the smell and think it will tie in nicely.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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I hate to do this, but does anyone have any feedback on my design? This is my first real experimentation so any feedback would be helpful. Thanks!

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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Well, you should leave your lemony additions until 5m or later, otherwise you're going to boil off all the nice aromatic oils you want. Also, a beer with 20oz of C40 isn't going to be anywhere near blonde (9-10 SRM), not to mention very sweet. You'd be hard pressed to use any crystal at all, but C10 or carapils would be the ones to use, say half a pound.

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Old 02-21-2013, 12:01 AM   #4
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Replace. C40 isn't going to give you a more complex flavor than C10, just a different one and a darker color. Carapils adds a tiny bit of sweetness but not much flavor, a bit of body and adds head retention. If you're using any crystal, you usually don't need carapils.

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Old 02-21-2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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Looks like I gotta stop listening to those guys at my LHBS!

I ended up choosing crystal 40 as it did the best under my smell test. I don't think I even looked at the carapils. So essentially it is not going to be a blonde? What is it going to end up being?

Ok, so I need to adjust my grain bill, what about my hop choice and yeast? Also does the fermentation schedule look good?

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Old 02-21-2013, 04:52 AM   #6
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The zest, lemongrass and late summit don't need to be boiled, just steeped. Add them after the boil, when your temp is under 200, and let them steep for 5-10 minutes, the same way you would if you were making tea. If you already bought the grain, I would resign yourself to a dirty blonde. You might mash on the low side if you have over a lb of crystal. Hops and fermentation schedule seem fine, although I have no experience with S-04.

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Old 02-21-2013, 10:21 AM   #7
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What would you consider the low side of a mash temp? 145 or even lower? How long should I mash it for, still 60 minutes?

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Yeast is great. Definitely rehydrate and I would do my best to keep it between 60-65 ambient temp. S-04 can definitely get a "bubble gum-y" as you get closer to 70.

Mash for 60 minutes, and keep it lower so you get more fermentable sugars verses flavor/mouthfeel contributors (at 2lbs you will still get plenty of that).

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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145-148 for around an hour should be good. You won't need to move your beer to secondary, just add your zest after a week or so and let it sit for another week or two. You should find some method of zest sanitation, however. You can either heat it to 160+ in a little water, or soak in vodka for a few days. The alcohol in the vodka should help dissolve the oils you're after.

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Would throwing the lemons and the zester in some Star San prior zesting work? I don't drink any alcohol other than beer so I don't have any vodka in the house.

Also, it looks like I need a resource that tells you exactly what each specialty grain does. Is there a good book or site that just lists all grains and what exactly each grain brings to the table?

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