In Recipe


To kick it off I figured I would try a simple Blonde Ale as my first attempt. I was going for a nice easy drinking session beer. Nothing offensive but balanced & drinkable.

I decided to split the base grains 50% 2-row & 50% German pils malt because I was looking for a nice bready malt character, but nothing overwhelming which can happen with 100% German Pils, especially in a lightly hopped beer. The flaked rice will ensure enough attenuation to keep it nicely dry & drinkable. The wheat malt provides a subtle creaminess and keeps if from being too dry & harsh. A fair amount of Crystal 20 also helps in maintaining the body of the beer. I kept the hops mostly limited to the 60 min addition to provide a nice firm bitterness without much hop flavor (again, airing on the side of balance). It's harder than you think to use a restrained hand with the hop additions, especially if you love them as much as I do haha. I fermented this in the lower 60s and "cellared" it in my garage which was around 50-55 degress for about a month.

Blonde Ale
(BJCP Description)
(6 Gallons, ~70% Eff, Tinseth)

OG: 1.043
FG: 1.009
IBU: 28
ABV: 4.4%
  • 3.5 lbs - Domestic 2-Row
  • 3.5 lbs - German Pils
  • 1 lb - White Wheat Malt
  • 1 lb - Crystal 20
  • 1 lb - Flaked Rice

  • 2.25 oz Spalter 3.8% @60 Min
  • .5 oz Spalter 3.8% @ 10 min

  • Yeast: US-05

  • Mashed 60 min @ 153, 1.25 qt/lb
Tasting Notes:
Look - Light straw color, slight chill haze, 1 finger head that sticks around, nice lacing
Aroma - Sweet bready malt, little hop aroma
Mouthfeel - Medium bodied
Taste - Initially fresh milled grains followed by a solid but not over-powering clean hop bitterness, little to no hop flavor, very mild fruity ester from the yeast, almost imperceptible

I think this came out really well and was just what I was shooting for. I think the low fermentation temperature and the extended cellaring helped make this beer come out nice & clean. This is a recipe I would definitely brew again exactly as it is but I'm going to try some different things next time. Maybe eliminating the rice (and lowering the mash temp) and upping the wheat. We shall see.

My brother and his friend Fast Freddy are both non-craft drinkers for the most part and they happily sucked down more than a few pints so it passed the test in my book.

I entered this beer into the 2011 Boston Homebrew Competition and it took 3rd place in the Light Hybrid Beer Category (!

There weren't many critiques by the judges, one though the level of DMS was a bit high while the other judge thought it was within style. Both commented that it was a good "lawnmower" beer.

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