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Old 01-11-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
RedGuitar
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Default Summer Ingredients?

It might be the fact that we had another winter storm of the century come through last night, but I've started thinking about summer brews. Typically the summer seasonal beers are my least favorites, and I've decided I can do better than that. I'm wondering what y'all out there typically like to use in summer beers to give it a summer flavor, and what your techniques are. Any ideas?

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Old 01-11-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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When I think of summer I think of weizens (some American hops is a nice twist), kolsch, pils, and Berliner weisse. Last summer I did a light pale ale with Citra hops, and a bit of flaked corn to dry lighten the malt character. Keep the alcohol and sweetness low to make it refreshing.

If you want to spice it, citrus zest, pink peppercorns, hibiscus, etc… is the direction I would go.

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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Little Sumpin Sumpin - half pale ale malt/half wheat, lot of hops. This of course is not your low gravity lawnmower stuff.

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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I was just thinking along these same lines a day or two ago. Like Oldsock said, Weizen, Pilsner, and Kölsch are great summertime brews. I'm also partial to the lower-gravity Saisons. The yeast character provides plenty of interesting flavors to me (I love Wyeast 3711 Fench Saison), but you can always add some citrus or coriander to give it a little something else.

I've read enough good things about BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde that I fully intend to brew it this year for summer quaffing.

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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I was actually sipping on one of my simple pale ales last night and thought that a little orange zest could make it a good summer beer, and something else, I just can't decide what else.

I also want to make a honey beer for the summer.

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:57 PM   #6
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New Belgium say their summer seasonal, Skinny Dip, is flavored with Kaffir lime leaves.

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:16 PM   #7
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A friend of mine was house sitting for a homebrewer two summers ago. He invited me over and (with the permission of the homebrewer) we tried what he had on tap in his kegerator. By far my favorite for the summer brew was a light pepper ale. It was just bitter enough to be a pale ale and just spicy enough to be able to identify the Serrano peppers it was made from.

Hot Pepper Ale is my vote.

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:17 PM   #8
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In addition to the aforementioned I tend to make witbiers, saisons, and I always make at least one batch of strawberry blonde for the summer.

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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I had an american watermelon wheat that was ready for the 4th last year.
I highly suggest it if you are at all interested. Rack onto the juice from 1 watermelon in secondary. It added almost .75 gallons.
I scrubbed the outside with soap and a brilo pad, rinsed and sprayed with idophor. Sanatize a bowl, stainer and knife and mash with your hands.

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Old 01-13-2011, 12:20 PM   #10
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I'm thinking of adding orange zest, ginger and nutmeg to my pale ale for a summer pale, and then brewing something with honey malt, crystal malt and 5 pounds of honey at knock out for another. Thoughts?

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