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Old 07-28-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
danath34
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Default Imperial (Lime) Blonde Ale

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: WLP 080
Yeast Starter: 2L
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.097
Final Gravity: 1.021
IBU: 27
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 7
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days @ 63F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days @ 63F
Tasting Notes: Surprisingly light and clean for the ABV. Lime flavor/aroma, slight honey, light hops

Brewed this one for SWMBO's father, who requested a "light, refreshing, drinkable lime beer with at least 8% alcohol."

So I kicked it up a notch, gave it a shot, and am actually very pleased! Goes down SUPER easy, and tastes great, but watch out. At 10%, it doesn't quite "sneak up on you". It walks right up and punches you in the head before you even know what's going on.

The beer pours a nice golden color (which isn't quite as dark as it seems from the picture - crappy camera and lighting!), and has a great frothy head which persists until the last drop.

Smells and tastes like lime, with a little bit of the cluster hops, which in my opinion go nicely, but V 2.0 will be using Sorachi hops instead. There is also a little bit of honey, which in my opinion balances the lime flavor nicely. I was originally shooting for more of an imperial cream ale than blonde, but I think there is enough residual sugar left that it's more of a blonde.

I cold crashed for a week at ~35F with gelatin. The beer was amazingly clear. I could read words through a pint. However, that combined with the high ABV, and the yeast just were not carbonating. Two months in the bottles and there wasn't any carbonation beyond the tiniest 'pfft' when opening. Beer was flat. So I ended up opening and capping half the batch with EC1118 and the other half with CBC-1. Two weeks later, both were carbonated, but unfortunately not clear anymore. Hopefully some time in the fridge will settle it out again. In the future, I'll be repitching a small amount of yeast before bottling, and hopefully that will help it stay clear. For what it's worth, the CBC-1 left a good amount of honey flavor, and the EC1118 left the beer drier and more crisp.

Here are the details:

Briess Pilsen Light LME 6lb - late addition (~15mins)
Munton's Extra Light DME (Spraymalt) - added at beginning of boil (60 mins)
Gambrinas Honey Malt - 12oz
Belgian Biscuit Malt - 4oz
Honey - 3lb 10.5oz
(20 mins @ 166F in ~1.5gal for the specialty grains)

Cluster - 1oz - 60mins
Cluster - 2oz - 15mins
2 limes worth of fresh zest - 15mins
Irish moss - 1tsp - 15 mins
yeast nutrient - 1/2tsp - 15 mins

primary for 2 weeks at 63F
rack to secondary, add 1.75L Simply brand Limeade and the juice of 2 limes, condition 2 weeks, prime and bottle. This batch was excellent after 1 month in the bottles at room temp. At two weeks in, it was very alcohol hot, and the lime was very strong as well. Both mellowed out after a couple more weeks, no problem.

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