I desperately needed to get my taps fully filled before a new baby arrived (I was down to only two armed and operational faucets, and one of those was ready to give out at any moment!). I had a schwarzbier and an IPA spooling up within the next few weeks, but wanted to have a light and drinkable beer to replace my wheat ale once that keg kicked. Something with fast turn-around and tasty, interesting drinkability.
Compared to my last batch, I made some very minor edits for my ingredient stockpile (different brands of malt, etc.). I also went with a single infusion, rather than multiple infusions to hit different temperature rests.
Citra Blonde Ale 1.1
- 5 lbs. Château Pilsen malt (Castle Malting)
- 5 lbs. 2-row pale malt (Rahr)
- 0.75 lb. Munich II malt (Weyermann)
- 0.5 lb. caramel malt 20L (Briess)
- 1 Whirlfloc pellet, 10 minute boil
- 0.5 oz. Citra hop pellets (14.1% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 0.5 oz. Citra hop pellets (14.1% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (14.1% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
- 1 package American ale dry yeast (US-05, Safale)
- Full volume infusion mash to hit target of 152°, 60 minutes, no sparge
- 1.050 o.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.1% abv, 20 IBU, 5 SRM, 5 gallons into fermenter
- Water adjusted to hit 83 ppm Ca, 5.4 ppm Mg, 5.6 ppm Na, 79.4 ppm SO4, 87 ppm Cl, 50.7 ppm HCO3
- For the mash water, I mixed 1.8 gallons of Claremont tap water with 6 gallons of RO water, in addition to 3 g gypsum, 1 g epsom salt, and 5 g calcium chloride. I also added 3.1 mL of 75% phosphoric acid, to adjust the calculated pH.
- I heated the sparge water to 160°, added it to the mash tun, and added the grain when the water hit 156.6°.
- After 60 minutes, I vorlaufed and then collected 6.25 gallons of runnings. These had a gravity of 1.047 (a bit higher than expected), so I added 0.25 gallons of RO water to bring the gravity down to 1.045 and increase the overall volume a bit.
- I boiled for 60 minutes, adding ingredients per the schedule.
- After flame-out and the whirlpool addition, I chilled to 80° and finished the rest of the chilling in my fermentation chamber. Once the wort hit 66°, I pitched the dry yeast directly.
- I brewed this beer on 15 July 2017, and fermented at 66° for two weeks. Starting gravity was 1.052.
- I kegged the beer on 29 July 2017. It had a final gravity of 1.008, which works out to 5.8% abv. Then, I force carbonated.
- The Basics
- O.G. = 1.0542; f.g. = 1.008; 5.8% abv; 5 SRM; 20 estimated IBU
- Light gold and beautifully clear. The beer pours with a thick white head that settles to an even blanket.
- Lightly grainy and slightly sweet malty aroma; a hint of citrus behind that.
- Light, very slightly sweet and candy-like aspect, with gentle maltiness; there is a bit of orange citrus behind that. Very clean flavor, with a mild and smooth bitterness.
- Moderate carbonation, light body, with a gentle and moderately dry finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- As always, this is a very nice beer! I slightly prefer Great Western 2-row as a base malt, but Rahr is also respectable. I target mash-in a touch higher if doing a single infusion mash, or else follow the multi-rest schedule, because the beer ended up a bit more attenuated than expected, but that’s a minor point. The late-hopped Citra comes across really nicely, and this is a winner. As an additional variant for next time, I might follow the original Gordon Strong recipe a bit more closely and mix some Galaxy hops in with the Citra.