Blonde ale no flavor

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rtstrider

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I brewed a blonde ale a few weeks ago and cracked open a bottle last night to test carbonation. It's been almost 3 weeks (will be on Friday) and carbonation is fine. But...My ale has no flavor! Feels like I brewed a coors lite clone lol. I'm going to get a local blonde six pack this weekend to compare and see if this is indicative of the style. Also there's little to no head retention. This was my first BIAB and looks like a few people try and use around 5% carapils to help with head retention so may try that next go around. Color wise it's spot on and VERY clean/dry. Anywho here's my recipe

5 Gallon Batch

OG 1.050
FG 1.008

9.25LB Briess 2 row brewers malt
.5LB Crystal 40L

.3oz Cascade 60 min
.3oz Cascade 30 min
.3oz Cascade 20 min
.1 oz Cascade 5 min

1 packet Safale US-05 rehydrated

Mashed at 150 for 60 min, verified starch conversion with iodine

1 week primary, 2 week secondary, 3 week bottle carb (almost)

I used Cascade because this was originally supposed to be a SMASH. I played with some numbers in Brewers Friend and saw how simple a blonde was so thought why not. Do american blonde ales get better with age?
 

Lefou

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An alternate recipe could've been two-row or Pilsner, Vienna or Munich 10L, and about 10% malted wheat. The malt would've been a bit more up front. Personally, I rarely use crystal when a darker malt can do. Bumping up the mash temp on your recipe can help, too. I kept my batch of American-style blonde made with WLP001 around for a couple months and yes, it did improve with a little time. My beer usually gets consumed young as it gets made in small batches. Blondes should have a bit more body than a Pilsner or cream ale and be lighter than a pale ale ...dryness isn't a big issue as long as you prefer it and you aren't chasing comp medals.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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The end goal is to have this turn out a tad maltier. So will have to do more reading/research
 

slym2none

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Yep, dump the crystal, go with Vienna or Munich. For a 5G batch, I'd go 8# 2-row, 2# Vienna, 1/2# of Carapils. That's it. 20-25 IBUs, however you want to get there (I use all Centennial).
 

z-bob

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The end goal is to have this turn out a tad maltier. So will have to do more reading/research
Try using Munich malt instead of crystal. (I've been using a lot of Munich this year and it's my answer for everything now) The color will be a little lighter...

And how many IBU's is that? (it might be a little too bitter and you're losing maltiness that way.) But your recipe looks fine to me. Maybe it just needs another week.
 

V-Fib

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You can try taking some plae malt out for some Munich and mashing at 152. My go to is 90% 20 row, 5% crystal 10 and 5% Munich.
 
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rtstrider

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Looking at the hop additions it looks like I didn't add enough for aroma. So I may try tweaking the additions and nix the 30/20 minute additions while focusing more on the 15min-Flameout for additions. Also will brew this again towards the end of the month. I'll go ahead and take out the crystal and add munich and carapils (for head retention). IBUS are right at 20 IBU
 

Northern_Brewer

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5 Gallon Batch

.3oz Cascade 60 min
.3oz Cascade 30 min
.3oz Cascade 20 min
.1 oz Cascade 5 min
Forget the malt, that's fine - but an ounce of hops really isn't much in 5 gallons. What alpha % are your Cascade? I'd guess you're coming in at <10IBU? And your flavour additions are just as feeble. I'm not surprised you're not tasting much.

The other factor is that Cascade is a notoriously poor keeper. If it's kept at room temperature in an open packet its alpha acids have a half life of about 6 months. Obviously at this time of year we're all using up the last of 2016's harvest, so it's no bad thing to up quantities to allow for that, especially if the hops have not been kept in good conditions.
 

ChelisHubby

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If the goal is a maltier blonde, I would go with 8lbs two row,1.25 Munich 10 and keep the crystal 40 as it will bring malt flavor also. I would also change the hop schedule to .5 at 60 and then split the rest at 15 and one minute. Blondes should be lightly hopped. A blonde is a light beer in flavor. Maybe what you are looking for is a pale ale.:mug:
 

MSK_Chess

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I agree one ounce for a 1050 beer is nada, my American Pale Ale used 3.5 ounces of hops and tastes amazing.

Mosaic 11.7% 0.353 oz 60.min
Mosaic 11.7% 0.882 oz 12min
Mosaic 11.7% 1.411 oz 5min
Mosaic 11.7% 0.882 oz Dry Hop
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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Forget the malt, that's fine - but an ounce of hops really isn't much in 5 gallons. What alpha % are your Cascade? I'd guess you're coming in at <10IBU? And your flavour additions are just as feeble. I'm not surprised you're not tasting much.

The other factor is that Cascade is a notoriously poor keeper. If it's kept at room temperature in an open packet its alpha acids have a half life of about 6 months. Obviously at this time of year we're all using up the last of 2016's harvest, so it's no bad thing to up quantities to allow for that, especially if the hops have not been kept in good conditions.
The hops are fridge kept at the LHBS. I transport them to the house in a cooler and keep them in the fridge until my next batch which is usually either the day of or next day. Not sure what these were tbh as I didn't notate it. But they were YCH hop pellets
 

slym2none

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You should try the recipe I listed. It's by no means light on malt flavour nor hops. It's not a pale ale, but it ain't boring!
 

slym2none

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Oops, forget to mention, I used Nottingham in my batches, but I am wanting to experiment with the higher-temp lager yeast (whatever # that was).
 
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rtstrider

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Blonde ale is much better now! Seems like the flavor has hit it's stride at around 4 weeks in the bottle. Have a Bitter that's carbed up and was 2 weeks old. Tried one this weekend and same, no flavor. Going to give that another week or so and sample another. Just tried munich the other day and I agree that would've gone much better with this grain bill than crystal.
 
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rtstrider

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To revive an old thread...

I rebrewed this with the experience gained and made some tweaks. This will be getting bottled Thursday. This has the makings of exactly what I'd expect from a microbrewery. It's not a cute malt bill and the hop bite is VERY subtle. There is enough there that will fade easily with cold conditioning or will be faded by the time the bottles are carbd. This was tweaked to be the new taco Tuesday beer for my house. I focused on Cascade for the bite and lime like flavor. This was brewed with a 3rd gen repitch of wlp001 and man is that clean! Anywho here's what I got

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Blonde Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Gravity: 1.041
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.011
ABV (standard): 5.1%
IBU (tinseth): 22.64
SRM (morey): 3.54

FERMENTABLES:
9 lb - Pale 2-Row (94.7%)
0.5 lb - White Wheat (5.3%)

HOPS:
0.25 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: First Wort, IBU: 7.92
0.35 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 7.75
0.4 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Boil for 20 min, IBU: 6.98

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 150 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 5 gal

YEAST:
White Labs - California Ale Yeast WLP001
 
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