Our friends Kiernan and Shannon are having a house warming party this December, and I’m brewing them a couple kegs to help celebrate. Since one of the two kegs will be half of the Pliny the Elder clone I recently brewed, we decided the second should be something with more mass-appeal. My Blonde Ale fit the bill nicely. Also, since my last two batches were big Double IPAs, this is a welcome change. As is usually the case, I’m forever tweaking my recipes, and this one is no exception.
The tweaks to this batch are small, but needed. I’m bringing the gravity down to around 1.045 from 1.050, and throwing in some carapils to add body to the beer. I’m also going to try Amarillo rather than Centennial as the flavor and aroma hop this time around.
This was my first brew day at my new place, and it went rather well. Now that I have a back porch, I’m using propane to boil (I was never a big fan of boiling with electric elements.) I’m using the old electric kettle as a electric hot liquor tank, which is nice. The HERMS is still in place as it was before. I’ll have some updated pictures of my brew day here shortly. Anyway, 60 minute mash for this beer followed by a 60 minute boil. I started chilling immediately, and knocked out at 63F. Thankfully, the ground water is finally cooling off in AZ; 72F is much easier to chill with than 100F+.
2lbs Marris Otter
8oz Crystal 10
Mash @ 150*
.25oz Apollo @ 60
0.25oz Amarillo @ 20
0.25oz Amarillo @ 0
WLP001 – California Ale Yeast
I pitched a small starter of WLP001 in this beer, and let it go at 63F. Once fermentation slowed down, I let it raise up to 68* to finish out. Oddly enough, I just can’t seem to keep this beer from attenuating lower than I want. 1.006 isn’t a bad place for this beer to finish, but I’d like to see it at 1.010. Nonetheless, I kegged it, and fined with gelatin.
This batch turned out really nice. It’s still a little drier than I’d like to see it, but it’s very crisp and refreshing in it’s current state. The aroma is mostly a bread-like malt character with some subtle citrus. I’m definitely liking the direction this beer is going with the Amarillo hops, as it tastes less…tart, for lack of a better word. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it finishes very clean. The only thing I’m debating is how much higher to mash this beer at to get it to finish around 1.010. I’m thinking I’ll try 153* next time, and see where that takes me.
Cheers to our friends Kiernan and Dr. Shannon Riley!