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Attempting first fruit beer

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CmdrTrekk

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Hi all, just got started brewing a few weeks ago and looking to make our second brew. Our first one, so far, was very successful. I wanted to try to design a Strawberry Blonde Ale for a contest (don't intend to win, just have fun). So here's my suggested recipe.

I definitely want some fruit flavor and smell but want the ale to have more hops bitterness than a usual fruit ale. Nothing Lambic flavored, because they can get nasty but something a bit unique too. But also try to avoid overly dry blondes.

Thoughts?

Strawberry Blonde Ale - Extract

6.5# light malt extract or pale liquid extract
3# fresh strawberries (pasteurized, deleafed and crushed)
Flavoring hop: Hallertau? Tettnanger? Willamette?
Flavoring hop: Perle? Styrians?
Aromatic hop: Cascade
1 tsp Irish Moss
¾ tsp Gypsum (our water is approx 68 ppm hardness)
1 package of Nottingham Ale Yeast?? or WLP001
4.5oz corn sugar

Clearly I'm not sure which hop to go with. Not terribly versed in hop character yet. Any suggestions? I like the idea of the pine/cascade cross of the Perle.

Similarly with yeast. Most fruit ales seem to use Nottingham Ale Yeast, but the WLP001 says its more crisp and can deal with the excess sugar.

Thanks in advance everyone!
 

Suthrncomfrt1884

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For lighter beers, I love hallertau and saaz hops. I would leave out the flavoring hop all together and just throw in some saaz at 10 minutes.

I've never used notty yeast, so that one I can't help you with.
 
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CmdrTrekk

CmdrTrekk

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Suthrn, good point, thanks! I tried Pete's Strawberry Blonde today and they use Cluster hops which was a bit overwhelming and not as refined as I'd like. The strawberry smell was plenty strong but the taste was overwhelmed by hops. Saaz sounds like a good idea, slightly lower bitter, but better flavor.

As for the yeast, I dunno either. The Pete's is a Lager, I wonder if that effects its dryer/crisper taste?
 

Suthrncomfrt1884

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Yes, lagering will definately make a more crisp final beer. Not neccessarily dry though. That has to do with the mash temperature used or the recipe.
 
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