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Old 04-12-2012, 03:45 AM   #1
aidan
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Default Light Session Blonde Ale - feedback wanted

I've already got a good pipeline of pale ales, IPAs, stouts etc. so for my next brew I want to do an easy drinking, low alcohol, session beer. I also want to use only the ingredients that I have on hand which are Hops: Motueka, Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe, Yeasts: US04, S04, Grains: TF Chocolate, TF Golden Promise, TF Maris Otter, Bairds Pale Crystal, Weyermann Pilsner, TF Caramalt.

Here's what I've come up with:

Blondie (Blonde Ale), Partial Mash

Grain Bill
2.000 kg Pilsner (62.5%)
1.000 kg Liquid Malt Extract - Light (31.25%)
0.200 kg Crystal 10 (6.25%)

Hop Bill
15.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.7 g/L)
20.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 30 Minutes (Boil) (0.9 g/L)
25.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Boil) (1.1 g/L)

Misc Bill
Single step Infusion at 66°C for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 18°C with Safale US-05

Recipe Specs
Batch Size (L): 23.0
Original Gravity (OG): 1.034
Final Gravity (FG): 1.009
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 3.34 %
Colour (SRM): 3.7 (EBC): 7.3
Bitterness (IBU): 26.5 (Average)
Est. Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

I'm looking for feedback on this recipe. Do you think it will be a decent tasting light blonde ale, or might it be too bland/watery? I picked pilsner malt instead of pale ale malt for lighter colour. Would I get better flavour with a pale ale malt such as Marris Otter? Also going with a small quantity of the palest crystal malt to keep the colour light. Can a beer this low in alcohol still taste good? Could you recommend a better 3(ish)% ABV recipe from the ingredients I've listed above?

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Old 04-12-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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i am enjoying a nelson blonde right now that I just kegged a few days ago, still a little green but quite tasty already

90% Belgian Pils
6% carapils
2.7% Honey Malt
1.4% Biscuit (probably should have upped this slightly)
1.4% Acid Malt (for water adjustment)

Nelson Sauvin
.25oz @ 60, 20, 10, 0

Wyeast 2112
OG 1.048
FG 1.007
IBU 21
higher gravity and ABV than yours but still very good

I think your recipe will be solid with the Pilsner malt, should have a nice hop presence but not too dominant

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Old 04-12-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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I think you're fine. The only thing I'd change is a 90-minute boil. I prefer to do a 90-minute boil regardless, but with Pils malt it's a rule I won't break. You can keep the hops additions where they are; just adjust your water use.

I'd drink the hell out of that beer!

Bob

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Old 04-12-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
I think you're fine. The only thing I'd change is a 90-minute boil. I prefer to do a 90-minute boil regardless, but with Pils malt it's a rule I won't break. You can keep the hops additions where they are; just adjust your water use.

I'd drink the hell out of that beer!

Bob
So you would boil for first 30mins with no hops? What does the 90min boil do for it?
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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I found a BrewStrong podcast on session beers - http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/688. It had some usefull tips which I will try - use 2 different base grains (I'll split between Marris Otter and Pilsner malt), more hops (I'll up the hops a bit, add in a 10 min addition), dry hopping, more speciality grains (I'm not sure about this as I want it to be a light blond colour but maybe I'll compromise on that a bit). Higher mash temp. They mentioned maltodextrin as being usefull for adding body, so maybe I'll see if I can get some. Also they mentioned oats, so if I don't get maltodextrin I might throw some oats into the mash. Interestingly thay said you can get a good tasting beer with as little as 2% alc. So I'm optimistic that a decent non-flavour-compromised 3% beer should be doable.

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Old 04-13-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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A 90-minute boil drives off DMS, which is a precursor to certain off flavors. Pale Ale malts generally don't require a 90-minute boil to drive off DMS, where Pilsner malts do. You're not using a whole lot of Pilsner malt, in the grand scheme of things, but it can't hurt to take DMS into consideration, especially since you're planning such a delicate beer.

I wouldn't change a thing, regardless of what Brew Strong you heard. JZ also wrote a style column in one of the homebrew magazines on Blonde Ale which specified one type of pale malt and one specialty grain. Blonde Ale is really easy to over-think and over-complicate. Resist the impulse. Brew a simple, easy-to-brew, easy-to-drink beer and be proud of it.

Bob

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Old 04-16-2012, 12:02 AM   #7
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I modified my recipe after listening to the Brewstrong podcast but before reading Bobs post. But I'll just throw it out here anyway. Main changes are, splitting base grain between Pilsner and Maris Otter, more hops, dry hopping, higher mash temp (reduced attenuation and efficiency a bit to compensate), 90 min boil. Who thinks this is an improvement on my first version of the recipe?

Blondie (Blonde Ale), Partial Mash

Grain Bill
1.500 kg Pilsner (40.54%)
1.000 kg Maris Otter Malt (27.03%)
0.200 kg Caramalt (5.41%)
1.000 kg Liquid Malt Extract - Light (27.03%)

Hop Bill
15.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.7 g/L)
15.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil) (0.7 g/L)
20.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 10 Minutes (Boil) (0.9 g/L)
25.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Boil) (1.1 g/L)
25.0 g Motueka Pellet (7.1% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1.1 g/L)

Misc Bill
5.0 g Irish Moss @ 15 Minutes (Boil)
Single step Infusion at 71°C for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 18°C with Safale US-05

Recipe Specs
Batch Size (L): 23.0
Total Grain (kg): 3.700
Total Hops (g): 100.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.038 (°P): 9.5
Final Gravity (FG): 1.013 (°P): 3.3
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 3.34 %
Colour (SRM): 5.1 (EBC): 10.0
Bitterness (IBU): 25.6 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 67
Boil Time (Minutes): 90

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