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Old 10-16-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
jas3019
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Default Golden Ale?

I've looked around the forum a bit for a golden ale recipe to try for my first beer but haven't found much info. It seems you guys enjoy the IPA's and I just haven't acquired the taste for them yet. Maybe with time! The beer I'm trying to recreate is an ale from my local brewpub that I used to enjoy when I could drink real beer.

Here's the description:
A golden colored ale with crisp malt character and a slightly spicy hop aroma. We use a good amount of wheat and some German malt in this one to give it a very refreshing taste. Avenue Ale is a true session beer, so sit down and prepare for a long one.

Since I've never brewed beer (I've done some cider before) I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants here. The recipe I've cobbled together is this:

2 lbs 10 oz brown rice syrup
2 lbs 6 oz sorghum syrup
1 lb soft candi sugar - blonde
3/4 oz cascade hops at 60 mins
1/2 oz saaz hops at 30 mins
1/4 oz saaz hops at 15 mins
1 pack of US-05 yeast

Any thoughts? Seems like it shouldn't be to bitter from what I've read but I'm not sure about the hop combo/schedule.

Thanks for any help you can give!

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Old 10-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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What I would recommend on the hopping is to aim to get a little more than half your IBU's from late additions. The bitterness will be softer and there will be a more intricate hop flavor. Assuming your saaz hops are 5% AA and your cascade around 5.3%, I'd do 0.5 oz cascade at 60, 0.5 oz saaz at 30, and another 0.5 oz saaz at 15. That puts you around 24 IBUs, right in range for a blonde ale, not too bitter at all but with nice hop aroma.

I also think you might do better using 1/2 pound honey in place of 1/2 a pound of that candi sugar, and maybe actually replace that candi sugar with turbinado sugar or evaporated cane juice. It's cheaper and tastes just as good--light belgian candi sugar doesn't provide much flavor.

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Old 10-16-2012, 10:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response!

I'll definitely switch out the sugar for some honey and turbinado. I might also add some maltodextrin for extra body. The beer I'm hoping to replicate was thicker than some of the typical beers like Budweiser.

Is getting half the IBU's from late addition hops a general rule you go by or more just for a less hoppy beer? Also, any issues with the cascade/saaz blend? I'll admit I'm a bit intimidated by the number of hops varieties there are and nervous I might get something too strong.

Hopefully I'll be swinging by my LHBS this Saturday to get the ingredients (and a better bottle, beer bottles...I think the bug bit me!) At least I have 2.5 batches of cider left to keep me going until this will be done.

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Old 10-17-2012, 01:10 AM   #4
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I get the "half IBUs from late additions" straight from Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing"; it's definitely NOT just for hoppy beers, but it is for all beers where you want hop aroma. Wouldn't do it that way with an oatmeal stout or a brown ale, but blonde/golden ales do benefit from some nice hop aroma. Cascade and Saaz is a perfect combination for such a beer as well. Me, I'd probably even throw in a touch of cascade in the last addition, but that's just because I like cascade. Don't be too intimidated by hop varieties; there's not THAT much variation, really. Or there is, but it's all quite subtle. All hops are generally some mix of "floral" (like geraniums or roses--palisade exemplifies this quality), "spicy" (saaz and sterling come to mind, as well as British hops like EKG), "herbal" (most other noble hops, like tettnanger or hallertau, or northern brewer), "fruity" (this is where American hops really go to town--flavors of grapefruit, citrus, melon, berry, etc.; cascade, centennial, chinook, columbus, citra...notice a naming trend?), "earthy" or "woody" (some British hops, like Fuggle, as well as U.S. Willamette), and "resiny" (like a pine tree; also a forte of American hops, like simcoe).

Basically, you can't screw up the hop schedule too badly if you make sure to keep your hop choices confined to similar flavor categories. And there's plenty of room for inventiveness. Experiment, and you'll slowly figure out what you like. I've used different hops for almost every beer I've brewed, just trying to get a feel for what they each offer. But every category has it's exemplars--it's "old stand-by's"--and if you stick with them, it's hard to go wrong.

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Old 10-17-2012, 03:08 AM   #5
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Okay--I have to know the recipe for "Wild Rumpus Blackberry Wild Ale"! What a great name and it sounds good too!

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:43 AM   #6
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I'll post about it when it's bottled, after I've determined if it's drinkable or not. Suffice to say, it's pretty gosh darn complicated, involving a split batch, wild yeast, and, well, blackberries.

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igliashon View Post
I'll post about it when it's bottled, after I've determined if it's drinkable or not. Suffice to say, it's pretty gosh darn complicated, involving a split batch, wild yeast, and, well, blackberries.
What's all that you keep saying about keeping it simple and cutting down your variables? Man...
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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LOL, that was an old batch! It's been aging for almost 3 months now....

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:54 AM   #9
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Well I brewed this yesterday. I only did a small batch so I reduced everything accordingly. The OG was a little low for me at 1.04 so I added a bit more turbinado to get it up to 1.05. I also added some cascade hops after everything chilled down.

We'll see how my first brew goes. It's bubbling away now!

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas3019 View Post
Well I brewed this yesterday. I only did a small batch so I reduced everything accordingly. The OG was a little low for me at 1.04 so I added a bit more turbinado to get it up to 1.05. I also added some cascade hops after everything chilled down.

We'll see how my first brew goes. It's bubbling away now!
Good luck with it.

If you consider brewing it again, maybe look at a small amount of dark candy syrup to impart the Golden colour you're looking for.
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