Thoughts on Blonde Ale

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Doing a blonde ale here pretty soon. I've never been crazy about blonde ales, but FW's 805 is a perfect example in my opinion. For an easy beer on those days where you just want to have a few, can't beat it. So, I found a clone recipe in BYO that I was going to start with and maybe tweak the hops from there, as the hop character in 805 is the only thing I would increase a smidge (<-- Technical term).

They state in the recipe that they use WLP002 English Ale. However, when I build the recipe in Brewers Friend, as they have it listed, the attenuation of WLP002 is too low. BF calculates FG at 1.016 whereas the recipe shows 1.011. Never used WLP002 - is it really as light of an attenuator as BF shows or is it typically more aggressive?

I'm thinking of using S-04 instead as it gets down to 1.012. Any other English Ale yeast recommendations?

Anyone made something else similar to 805 where the recipe differed from what I have shown?

The other thing I find interesting about the clone recipe is if I enter it exactly as they have laid out, it comes out significantly different - none of the numbers line up as they state. Probably just a result of scaling a recipe down I suppose...

1624048438237.png

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Blonde Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 18 gallons (ending kettle volume)
Boil Size: 19 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.044
Efficiency: 75% (ending kettle)

Hop Utilization Multiplier: 0.97

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 4.6%
IBU (tinseth): 19.03
SRM (morey): 5.09
Mash pH: 0

FERMENTABLES:
26 lb - Pale 2-Row (85.2%)
2.25 lb - Honey Malt (7.4%)
2.25 lb - Pale Wheat (7.4%)

HOPS:
3.25 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 15.74
3.4 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 3.28

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 154 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 10 gal
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.31 qt/lb

YEAST:
Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Starter: Yes
Form: Dry
Attenuation (custom): 75%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 54 - 77 F
Fermentation Temp: 60 F
Pitch Rate: 0.75 (M cells / ml / deg P)
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
2,635
Reaction score
1,542
Recipe looks solid and as far as yeast goes you'll get a million different opinions, as for mine I'm a big S-04 guy. I also enjoy WY 1968 if you can get your hands on it.


The other thing I find interesting about the clone recipe is if I enter it exactly as they have laid out, it comes out significantly different - none of the numbers line up as they state. Probably just a result of scaling a recipe down I suppose...
The reason the numbers came out different is because of your equipment profile being different then the one used by BYO.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
714
Reaction score
976
Location
St Louis, MO
Recipe calls for 68°, yours is set for 60°.

At 60, not much difference between the two yeasts I'd think. At 68, you'll have different flavors between the two. If you go for 1968/002 for the flavor, go a step further with Imperial's version: A09 Pub.

You could get some more attenuation with a lower mash temp. 154° is kind of high.

Consider recipes as guidelines and starting points in finding your own version. I've now brewed half a dozen bitters and I feel like I'm getting close to what I want mine to be. Try a different yeast, try an extra 5% invert, try a warmer/cooler mash, etc. Just not too many at once.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Recipe looks solid and as far as yeast goes you'll get a million different opinions, as for mine I'm a big S-04 guy. I also enjoy WY 1968 if you can get your hands on it.




The reason the numbers came out different is because of your equipment profile being different then the one used by BYO.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Yeah my only issue with the 1968 was the attenuation. It’s lower like the 002 is. I wanted a bit more attenuation. I like S04 myself as well. I use it in a brown Ale that I love. It can get a little fruity which is why I questioned it.

in regards to the equipment profile, guess I just didn’t realize it would change THAT much.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Recipe calls for 68°, yours is set for 60°.

At 60, not much difference between the two yeasts I'd think. At 68, you'll have different flavors between the two. If you go for 1968/002 for the flavor, go a step further with Imperial's version: A09 Pub.

You could get some more attenuation with a lower mash temp. 154° is kind of high.

Consider recipes as guidelines and starting points in finding your own version. I've now brewed half a dozen bitters and I feel like I'm getting close to what I want mine to be. Try a different yeast, try an extra 5% invert, try a warmer/cooler mash, etc. Just not too many at once.
Yeah I had the temp a bit lower because I have it set for a different yeast. I have used s04 before and like it but it can get a bit fruity so I had the temp set lower to minimize that, as there’s not much yeast character in the 805. I won’t go the 1968 or 002 route simply for the attenuation.
This is definitely just a starting point like you said. I have some tweaks I want to make, just was curious what others experiences were.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
714
Reaction score
976
Location
St Louis, MO
Hmm. Don't want fruity, want higher attenuation. Fuller's (1968/002/A09) definitely not your yeast. 60° to suppress the S-04. Maybe give 1318/Verdant a try? Milder as far as English yeasts go. Or getting away from English strains altogether?
 

bwible

I drink, and I know things
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
771
Reaction score
804
Location
Oxford
Doing a blonde ale here pretty soon. I've never been crazy about blonde ales, but FW's 805 is a perfect example in my opinion. For an easy beer on those days where you just want to have a few, can't beat it. So, I found a clone recipe in BYO that I was going to start with and maybe tweak the hops from there, as the hop character in 805 is the only thing I would increase a smidge (<-- Technical term).

They state in the recipe that they use WLP002 English Ale. However, when I build the recipe in Brewers Friend, as they have it listed, the attenuation of WLP002 is too low. BF calculates FG at 1.016 whereas the recipe shows 1.011. Never used WLP002 - is it really as light of an attenuator as BF shows or is it typically more aggressive?

I'm thinking of using S-04 instead as it gets down to 1.012. Any other English Ale yeast recommendations?

Anyone made something else similar to 805 where the recipe differed from what I have shown?

The other thing I find interesting about the clone recipe is if I enter it exactly as they have laid out, it comes out significantly different - none of the numbers line up as they state. Probably just a result of scaling a recipe down I suppose...

View attachment 732787
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Blonde Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 18 gallons (ending kettle volume)
Boil Size: 19 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.044
Efficiency: 75% (ending kettle)

Hop Utilization Multiplier: 0.97

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 4.6%
IBU (tinseth): 19.03
SRM (morey): 5.09
Mash pH: 0

FERMENTABLES:
26 lb - Pale 2-Row (85.2%)
2.25 lb - Honey Malt (7.4%)
2.25 lb - Pale Wheat (7.4%)

HOPS:
3.25 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 15.74
3.4 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 3.28

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 154 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 10 gal
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.31 qt/lb

YEAST:
Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Starter: Yes
Form: Dry
Attenuation (custom): 75%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 54 - 77 F
Fermentation Temp: 60 F
Pitch Rate: 0.75 (M cells / ml / deg P)
If you’re a Wyeast guy, go on their website and “explore beer styles.” Click on blonde ale. They list under it the strains they recommend. Scroll through them and look at the properties.

For attenuation, 1272 says 72-76, 1098 says 73-75. 1026 PC says 74-77 but that’s private collection, who knows when or if that will be available.

1968 is not in their list under blonde ale, but I’ve made a couple blondes with 1968 and had good results. Or 1056 or 1272. 1056 takes a bit longer to drop clear. 1272 drops pretty well. 1968 or 1099 drop brilliant.

I’m at the age where I can appreciate a ‘68 blonde. 🙂
 
Last edited:

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
714
Reaction score
976
Location
St Louis, MO
I've brewed a bunch of these Make Your Best recipes. All very tasty, if not 100% true to the style. For example, his go to yeast for Irish stouts is German Ale 1007 and he uses Irish Ale 1084 for his Wee Heavy. Same for his use of Briess specialties in his UK styles. Etc, etc. For this one, he's got 1318 fermenting at 60°. Verdant's version would likely add some vanilla which might be nice next to the malt.


Then there's HBT favorite Centennial Blonde. Original recipe has Notty at 68°, but as you can see by perusing the thread there is much latitude in yeast and hop choices. Author recommends any clean ale yeast, 1056, US-05. Author also liked a Northern Brewer/Willamette version.

 

Steveruch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
1,648
Reaction score
862
Location
Fort Wayne
WLP002 drops out quickly. To get better attenuation rouse it back into suspension.
 

Csuho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
361
Reaction score
5
Location
Springfield, TN
Bootleg biology Oslo @ 95f grain to glass in a week and it will drop clear and be clean. Did a batch of centennial blonde with it recently and it was good.
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,434
Reaction score
1,053
Location
VA, USA
While I have not used it in a while, I have enjoyed WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast over WLP002. I could see that being a good fit for a Blonde Ale.

The past few times I have used WLP002, I just get flashbacks to my beginning brewing days when all my room-temperature fermented beers (with a packet of some unknown "Ale" yeast) were just too fruity with that same character.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
While I have not used it in a while, I have enjoyed WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast over WLP002. I could see that being a good fit for a Blonde Ale.

The past few times I have used WLP002, I just get flashbacks to my beginning brewing days when all my room-temperature fermented beers (with a packet of some unknown "Ale" yeast) were just too fruity with that same character.
I'll have to look into 007 and check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Brewersfriend isn't the final word on yeast attenuation. 002 attenuation varies a lot.

Has anyone tried Bry-97 in a blonde ale?
Yep, absolutely. But it's a starting point of estimating attenuation. Usually, I end up with the attenuation predicted in BF, +/-1 gravity point.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,899
Reaction score
1,862
002 is the closest you’ll get to their yeast character. You can get it to attenuate no problem but you need a step mash.

Every FW recipe I’ve ever seen lists steps at 145/154/168.

They pitch at 64 and ferment at 66 then raise to 68 after day 2. I might try it a little colder than that to keep it clean. This yeast is insanely fast and will probably be done in 48 hours if oxygenated correctly. If handled correctly you can make very clear beers, very fast with this yeast.

Supposedly 805 leaves the brewery in something like 8 days. That’s what you call printing money.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
002 is the closest you’ll get to their yeast character. You can get it to attenuate no problem but you need a step mash.

Every FW recipe I’ve ever seen lists steps at 145/154/168.

They pitch at 64 and ferment at 66 then raise to 68 after day 2. I might try it a little colder than that to keep it clean. This yeast is insanely fast and will probably be done in 48 hours if oxygenated correctly. If handled correctly you can make very clear beers, very fast with this yeast.

Supposedly 805 leaves the brewery in something like 8 days. That’s what you call printing money.
Thanks for the insight! I may try the step mash, now that I have tried that on this system and know what to expect.
 

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
335
Reaction score
308
I've used WLP002 only twice and my experiences were.... weird. This only concerns those of us who bottle, and I found quite a lot of posts by people with the same issue:
Low attenuation, slow carbonation, and then some 3 months later it somehow kicks back in and you have a lifeless and hopelessly overcarbonated beer. Yikes.

(And yes, I know people will say "you got infected, bro", but it is somewhat strange that this issue comes up so often with this yeast. So, take it with a grain of salt, but: if you're bottling, I suggest using a different yeast.)
 

Northern_Brewer

British - apparently some US company stole my name
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,564
Location
UK
Low attenuation, slow carbonation, and then some 3 months later it somehow kicks back in and you have a lifeless and hopelessly overcarbonated beer. Yikes.

(And yes, I know people will say "you got infected, bro",
More likely you don't know how to look after your yeast, "bro" - those hard-floccing British yeasts don't respond well to "pitch and forget". They need rousing and generally a bit more fussing over - maybe a bit more oxygenation, good nutrition and water chemistry, a bit of care with temperature profiles.
 

monkeymath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
335
Reaction score
308
More likely you don't know how to look after your yeast, "bro" - those hard-floccing British yeasts don't respond well to "pitch and forget". They need rousing and generally a bit more fussing over - maybe a bit more oxygenation, good nutrition and water chemistry, a bit of care with temperature profiles.
Yeah, sure, you can do all that and build your own Burton Union system - or just use a different yeast strain and "pitch and forget". Since the OP is not asking "how to nail fermentation with WLP002" or trying to up his Best Bitter game, but just looking for advice on yeast for a Blonde Ale, I think his best bet will be to use a different yeast (if he actually bottles his beers, WLP002 will be fine in a keg).

For example WY1318 or WY1469 are amazing British yeast strains that ime require much less maintenance.
 

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
1,520
Reaction score
1,161
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
More likely you don't know how to look after your yeast, "bro" - those hard-floccing British yeasts don't respond well to "pitch and forget". They need rousing and generally a bit more fussing over - maybe a bit more oxygenation, good nutrition and water chemistry, a bit of care with temperature profiles.
Interesting. I did a Blonde ale last fall that was about "half-kicked" when the change of seasons dictated a keg rotation to more Autumnal brews. The beer had been brewed with all normal precautions (good ingredients, careful process [LoDO], plenty of yeast [A09 Pub; i.e., Fullers IIRC]) when it got put in the beer fridge. This Spring when I pulled it out, the keg pressure was close to 20 psig @ 38F. It wasn't infected, so there must have been some re-fermentation and there was a ton of carbonic bite. It had been a very good beer beforehand but obviously wouldn't be the same brew 5 months later.
 

MaxStout

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
11,401
Reaction score
8,442
Location
Twin Cities north 'burbs
More likely you don't know how to look after your yeast, "bro" - those hard-floccing British yeasts don't respond well to "pitch and forget". They need rousing and generally a bit more fussing over - maybe a bit more oxygenation, good nutrition and water chemistry, a bit of care with temperature profiles.
This.

I've never had a problem with any Brit yeasts. Build water with adequate Ca, add a tsp. of yeast nutrient at the end of the boil, oxygenate the wort well, watch the ferm temps, and the yeasties go crazy.
 

bwible

I drink, and I know things
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
771
Reaction score
804
Location
Oxford
Haven’t used 1968 for awhile and the last time I made a blonde with it that beer went quickly so it wasn’t around that long.

I’ve been doing a string of beers with 1099 lately, which also flocs well. No issues with that one.

I did a couple a few months ago with 1332 Northwest ale, which is supposedly also of British origin. That yeast had a krausen on it for a really long time. Like 6 weeks. I finally just racked out from under it. That one was different.
 
Last edited:

bwible

I drink, and I know things
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
771
Reaction score
804
Location
Oxford
I've used WLP002 only twice and my experiences were.... weird. This only concerns those of us who bottle, and I found quite a lot of posts by people with the same issue:
Low attenuation, slow carbonation, and then some 3 months later it somehow kicks back in and you have a lifeless and hopelessly overcarbonated beer. Yikes.

(And yes, I know people will say "you got infected, bro", but it is somewhat strange that this issue comes up so often with this yeast. So, take it with a grain of salt, but: if you're bottling, I suggest using a different yeast.)
Well, overcarbonation would not be the only sign of an infection. You would most likely have some kind of off-flavor. Band aid or Chloraseptic flavor is one of the most common. Or the beer also becomes acidic, lactic acid or vinegar type flavor, depending on the source of the contamination.

It happens to the best of us.

If you have an infection, you should be able to tell.

Overcarbonation in bottles can be too much priming sugar. Or beer that was bottled before the yeast was finished fermenting. How far it ferments down can be affected by mash temp too. If only some bottles are overcarbonated, or bottles are not carbonated evenly, then priming sugar might not have been mixed in well.

Once you get a consistent gravity reading 3 days in a row and its in the right range, I never heard of a yeast taking off again for no reason. Obviously if you are brewing a blonde and your gravity reading is 1.022 3 days in a row that is stalled, not in the right range.

Overcarbonation in a keg is a function of how much gas you give it. I’ve overcarbonated beers burst carbonating and not even leaving them on gas. It’s a tricky process to me, more of an art than a science.
 
Last edited:

duncan_disorderly

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
136
Reaction score
78
Location
Manchester England
So should a blonde ale have a fruity, estery yeast profile, or a cleaner profile? Or, which do you prefer?

I recently split a batch between Nottingham and M36, Crystal hops in both, and the beers came out very different. The Notty is like a lager, having been in the fridge a few weeks, and the M36 is much more fruity than I anticipated. I am English and drink ales fermented with English and Belgian yeasts almost exclusively, both good but I think I might like the Notty version better.

Anybody used Bry-97 in a blonde?
 
Last edited:

jtratcliff

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
1,912
Reaction score
756
Location
Pasadena
Then there's HBT favorite Centennial Blonde. Original recipe has Notty at 68°, but as you can see by perusing the thread there is much latitude in yeast and hop choices. Author recommends any clean ale yeast, 1056, US-05. Author also liked a Northern Brewer/Willamette version.
I came here to mention Centennial Blonde.... :rock:... It's on my regular rotation... I just brewed a variation yesterday using sorachi ace for the late additions instead ofCascade... seems promising, so far...
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,353
Reaction score
2,796
Location
Bremen
I don't like s04 in a blonde. A would go with lallemand verdant IPA... Or another decent English liquid strain. If it's a low attenuator like 002, replace some malt with simple sugars and mash low and long.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,895
Reaction score
1,072
Location
Spring Grove
Ended up deciding to go with either WY1098 or OYL 006, whichever my shop has 4 packs of. We'll ferment low to keep the profile clean.

Thanks for all the feedback. Appreciate it.
 

duncan_disorderly

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
136
Reaction score
78
Location
Manchester England
I read a lot of posts in which people express the need to keep temperatures down to make sure you keep the yeast profile clean. What I don't really understand is why you would buy an English yeast that has been selected for many years for its character and then seek to suppress that character? Why not use a clean yeast that does that anyway? I'm English, in England, and I don't tend to see brewers saying the same things on UK brewing forums. It's more about choosing a yeast that provides what you want, than a temperature to do that, and, with English yeasts, finding the temperature that expresses the yeast character. Although, of course, breweries will use the same strain to produce different results in different beers by varying temperature. I'm also aware that Chico and other relatively neutral strains have proliferated in America, it just a lot if people seem to use characterful strains but then aim for a Chico kind of result?

But I could be misunderstanding, and I'd like to be clear about why people do this.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,353
Reaction score
2,796
Location
Bremen
I read a lot of posts in which people express the need to keep temperatures down to make sure you keep the yeast profile clean. What I don't really understand is why you would buy an English yeast that has been selected for many years for its character and then seek to suppress that character? Why not use a clean yeast that does that anyway? I'm English, in England, and I don't tend to see brewers saying the same things on UK brewing forums. It's more about choosing a yeast that provides what you want, than a temperature to do that, and, with English yeasts, finding the temperature that expresses the yeast character. Although, of course, breweries will use the same strain to produce different results in different beers by varying temperature. I'm also aware that Chico and other relatively neutral strains have proliferated in America, it just a lot if people seem to use characterful strains but then aim for a Chico kind of result?

But I could be misunderstanding, and I'd like to be clear about why people do this.
I also don't get it...
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,899
Reaction score
1,862
Some English strains can produce rather “unwanted” character at elevated temps where as others produce pleasant or complimentary character. 1968/002 especially can produce some weird higher alcohols at even 67 and S04 can get really lactic even above 64. They either need a bit of pressure to reduce the unwanted aspects of a warmer ferment or be kept cold for the first few days.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,353
Reaction score
2,796
Location
Bremen
Some English strains can produce rather “unwanted” character at elevated temps where as others produce pleasant or complimentary character. 1968/002 especially can produce some weird higher alcohols at even 67 and S04 can get really lactic even above 64. They either need a bit of pressure to reduce the unwanted aspects of a warmer ferment or be kept cold for the first few days.
002 is really a bastard at elevated temperatures. I produced with it the most headache inducing beer I had the pleasure to throw away.

However, the question was not about unwanted flavours or byproducts but why not choose a clean yeast if anyway aiming for a low temperature to "keep the beer as clean as possible"?
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,899
Reaction score
1,862
002 is really a bastard at elevated temperatures. I produced with it the most headache inducing beer I had the pleasure to throw away.

However, the question was not about unwanted flavours or byproducts but why not choose a clean yeast if anyway aiming for a low temperature to "keep the beer as clean as possible"?
I think it was more to replicate a certain breweries profile. 002/1968 is the closest commercial yeast available to what FW uses. Commercial breweries use a similar yeast because it ferments so fast and floccs so well. Wouldn’t surprise me if 805 is done fermenting in under 2 days in the brewery. Faster you can turn beer, the more money you can make. Chico would add at least 2-3 days to this beer and that’s a ton of money when this beer is 75% of your production at 500,000 bbls. Plus a temp or pressure suppressed 1968/002 fermentation is nothing like a clean Chico ferment. Still way more character IMHO out if the English strain
 
Top