Summer Blonde Ale 1.1

Thanks to a few recent gatherings at which I have served my homebrew, my three kegs all kicked this past week. That means…more brewing! My Pannotia White IPA just came online this weekend (and wow is it tasty!), but I’ve got two taps to fill as soon as possible. So, I’m fulfilling this “obligation” first with a blonde ale and second with a “wild and crazy brew” (more on that one in a subsequent post).

For tonight’s brew, I elected to rebrew a blonde ale that I did last summer. That one turned out pretty nicely, and the warm summer months are approaching, so on we go again! I made a few minor modifications, partly to account for the efficiency of my equipment but also to use up some hops I had on-hand. Also, I switched yeast strains from US-05 to WLP001.

Summer Blonde Ale 1.1

  • 9 lbs. 2-row malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 8 oz. 15° crystal malt
  • 1.10 oz. Willamette hops pellets (5.2% alpha, 3.7% beta), 60 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (10 minute boil)
  • 1 pkg. California Ale Yeast (WLP001, prepared in 1L starter)
  • I mashed in with 3.1 gallons of water at 160°. The temperature stabilized at 151°, was down to 148° after 35 minutes, and was down to 147° after 55 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 1.25 gallons of water at 160° to the mash, let the mash sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected 3.3 gallons of wort.
  • Then, I added 3.1 gallons of water at 185°, which raised the mash bed to 168°. I let it sit for 10 minutes and vorlaufed.
  • All told, I collected 6.6 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.039. This works out to 74% mash efficiency.
  • Once the wort came to a boil, I added the hops and boiled the mixture for 60 minutes. 10 minutes prior to flame-out, I added the Irish moss.
  • After removing the kettle from the heat, I chilled the wort down to 70° and transferred all to the fermenter (aerating with the Venturi pump). I pitched the starter (which I had put together five days previous; cold-crashed for two days, and decanted spent wort leaving all but ~0.5 L yeast slurry).
  • My starting gravity is 1.047, with 5 gallons of wort into the fermenter. I’ll be fermenting at 65°.