Well, I've done it guys. I've made homebrew history. (help?)

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mrkristofo

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10 steps forward, 11 steps back I guess. I made Budweiser. :(

I started off with the Blonde Ale guidelines in the latest BYO, but then decided to add a titch more malt extract and use EKG's as the bittering hop. "Goldinglocks" has a nice ring to the name. Recipe is below...seemed pretty reasonable at the time:

[size=+2]Goldinglocks Blonde Ale[/size]
[size=+1]6-B Blonde Ale[/size]



Size: 5.06 gal
Calories: 139.15 per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.042 (1.038 - 1.054)
|============#===================|
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 - 1.013)
|================#===============|
Color: 5.8 (3.0 - 6.0)
|=======================#========|
Alcohol: 4.12% (3.8% - 5.5%)
|==========#=====================|
Bitterness: 19.97 (15.0 - 28.0)
|==============#=================|

[size=+1]Ingredients:[/size]
4 lbs Pale Liquid
.5 lbs Carahell®
1.5 lbs Dry Extra Light
1 oz East Kent Goldings (4.6%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1 ea WYeast 1099 Whitbread Ale
1 tsp Irish Moss - added during boil, boiled 15 min

[size=+1]Notes:[/size]
1tsp Gypsum to 1/2gal water and heat to 170˚F. Steep grains for 30 mins @ 170˚F. Allow grains to drain into kettle (without squeezing), and discard. Heat to a boil, remove from heat. Add 1.5lbs extra light dme. Return to a boil, add 1oz EKG. Boil 40 minutes, then add 4lbs Alexander Pale Liquid malt extract. Stir rapidly to avoid carmelization.
Boil 5 minutes, add 1tsp irish moss (and wort chiller). Boil 15 minutes and remove from heat. Chill to 68˚F. Aerate thoroughly. Pitch yeast. Ferment 1 week below 70˚F, rack to secondary for 2 weeks to clear. Bottle with 4oz dextrose.


[size=-1]Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.0.29[/size]



Anyway, I racked to secondary today after 8 days in primary, took a hydro sample (1.011), and gave it a taste. Hands down, this tasted like warm, flat budweiser. It has an awful bitterness on the back of the tongue that was reminiscent of when I was 10 and tried a sip of my dad's beer and gagged. In fact, I haven't had this response to a beer since I was about 10, and I enjoy hoppy, puckeringly-bitter beers.

I troubleshooted what might have gone wrong early in the process, but everything was thoroughly rinsed, the hops smelled fine, I kept the wort from caramelizing, I didn't oxidize anything in siphoning, I aerated the wort thoroughly, I pitched an amount of Whitbread that should have easily handled this, fermentation was quick and vigorous, I used a blowoff, and I fermented at 68˚F.

I've used EKG's before many times, but never as the sole hop added. Is this a normal character for EKG's?

I figure I'll give it a couple of weeks to mellow in the secondary, but if it still tastes like warm Budweiser come bottling time I'm tempted to scratch the "Blonde Ale" style all together and just dry hop the sh*t out of it.

Were my expectations for a nice, malty yet slightly bitter but overall well-balanced light ale out of wack? Any of you blonde-ale fiends have thoughts on the matter?

Cheers,

Kris
 

Sir Humpsalot

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mrkristofo said:
Were my expectations for a nice, malty yet slightly bitter but overall well-balanced light ale out of wack? Any of you blonde-ale fiends have thoughts on the matter?
If you wanted something a little malty, then I'd say that a british bitter would be more to your liking. Pale ales are definitely a littler drier and thinner.

Don't give up on the style. First, you need to give it time to age. Second, you need to appreciate it in the right context. Be sure to save a few until the dog days of July. Then you'll understand the style better.


Cheers!
 

BierMuncher

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Never judge a beer by it's taste from primary to secondary.

THat back of the throat bitterness is very normal for green beers. It will definitely mellow, and rather quickly.

Your gravity - to - IBU ratio is right in line for a blonde so just give it time.

Blonde ales especially, will benefit from the flavor and body of carbonation.
 
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mrkristofo

mrkristofo

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Sir Humpsalot said:
If you wanted something a little malty, then I'd say that a british bitter would be more to your liking. Pale ales are definitely a littler drier and thinner.

Don't give up on the style. First, you need to give it time to age. Second, you need to appreciate it in the right context. Be sure to save a few until the dog days of July. Then you'll understand the style better.



Cheers!
Touché. I'm definitely on the "if it tastes terrible, forget about it for a while" train. That's a good point about it being nice and refreshing in July, and that's what I was going for. Something refreshing, and low in alcohol to session with after a long day skiing. I just didn't quite expect it to come out tasting quite like this.

EDIT: Sir Humpsalot, nice ethanol doggy. I like the lone pair ears.

BierMuncher said:
Never judge a beer by it's taste from primary to secondary.

THat back of the throat bitterness is very normal for green beers. It will definitely mellow, and rather quickly.

Your gravity - to - IBU ratio is right in line for a blonde so just give it time.

Blonde ales especially, will benefit from the flavor and body of carbonation.
Thanks BM. Maybe I've just been fortunate enough to have brewed beers that all taste good from primary to secondary. Glad to hear that "nastiness" in the back of the throat will dissipate.
 

bradsul

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My house beers are all EKG based (or they were, now the bittering is galena, damn hop shortage) and in my experience that is very typical when the beer is still that young. Let it age normally and it will go away for sure.
 

PseudoChef

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I have come to really appreciate carbonation. At first I couldn't perceive how bubbles in solution could alter a beer so much.

When I came to bottle my Wit, I was quite disappointed because of how thin it tasted, with strong orange overtones.

about 5 weeks later now, it is definitely drinkable and quite enjoyable. The carbonation really brings all the flavor profiles into balance well. The orange has faded to a good hint and there definitely is more of a body to the beer, even despite finishing at 1.007.

Even if you did 'make Budweiser,' it has its time and place. Like in your float as you relax in the pool :)
 

jzal8

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I was in the exact same position a month ago when I bottled what was supposed to be a pale ale that I had toned down the hops and only used pale malt and crystal 20 in. During bottling I was kicking myself. I just made a Bud style ale, with maybe less flavor!

One month later, the beer is tasting more and more like a sweet and slightly bitter blond. I would actually brew this again.

As with all things in this hobby, you really have alot to gain from bottling and forgetting about it for a while. A little aging goes a long way. :)
 

Danek

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I made one batch with Goldings and at bottling (after 4 weeks in fermenters) I thought it was undrinkably bitter and foul. Four weeks later after carbonation it had turned into the best beer I'd brewed. Give it time.
 

shafferpilot

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give it tons more time, but don't forget that taste. It's important for a brewer to understand the progression of a beer as it ages. Don't worry, this sucker will be awesome come spring.

Bobby M your assessment is probably right on. It's nearly impossible for a homebrewer to make anything even close to as bad as Bud, the king of $hit...... er beer, I guess.
 
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mrkristofo

mrkristofo

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shafferpilot said:
give it tons more time, but don't forget that taste. It's important for a brewer to understand the progression of a beer as it ages. Don't worry, this sucker will be awesome come spring.

Bobby M your assessment is probably right on. It's nearly impossible for a homebrewer to make anything even close to as bad as Bud, the king of $hit...... er beer, I guess.

There's no way I'll forget that taste...I look forward to the hydrometer samples to see how it mellows. It's just bizarre that I haven't encountered this in 20+ batches. Here's to Goldings :tank:
 
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mrkristofo

mrkristofo

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Bottled that sucker two days ago and forgot to update...you're right, that certainly was green beer. It tastes really well balanced now...maybe still on the green side, but certainly balanced with the malt. I'll give it a few weeks in the bottle and update this. I understand this beer can be consumed pretty young, yes?
 

Poindexter

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Happened to look it up lately. On the Budweiser site they are claiming 1.045->1.009 = 5.0% ABV, US + Euro hops, 8.5 IBU.

I couldn't find jack doodle about the grain bill except we know USA 6 row and rice.

You are close, but twice as hopped.
 
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