Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Blonde Redhead" A Blonde of a Different Color


When planning a brew I often look at who is going to imbibe with me. We often have people over for dinner and to hang out and with my two tap kegerator, have a couple beers. I cannot get away from brewing experimental styles of beer and this one is no different. The plan is to brew a basic American Blonde ale and hit it with a bunch of raspberries and cherries. This should give it an amazing ruby red color and a unique taste unlike the boring standard American blonde. In the past all of the fruit beers I have brewed have been sour or funky. I have yet to brew a clean fruit beer so I thought this would be a great starting point.


According to Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer, " Blonde ale is a smooth, easy-to-drink beer, with low fruity esters and just a touch of malt character." I am basing my recipe off of these basic concepts while using the recipe they provide in the book as a start to modify from. The recipe in the book is 95% American two row malt with a touch of crystal malt for body and color. My recipe is a clone of this exact recipe with the use of crystal 20 instead of crystal 15 to give a little more color. This might be the most basic grain bill I have ever used.


For hopping I am keeping it simple as well. I am using two classic American hops, Liberty and Cluster. These varieties are known for being used in classic American lagers for there clean bittering and aromatic qualities. Since I am going to have a bit of late sugar additions with the fruit I am aiming a little higher for IBUs with an anticipated 26. Using Cluster to bitter and Liberty as late addition should be perfect.


With the desire for the fruity character of the blonde ale to come through and also wanting some strong fruit character from the raspberries and cherries, I have chosen Wyeast 1272 to ferment this. American Ale II is know for leaving a slightly tart finish and also has a lower attenuation than the standard Wyeast 1056 American Ale 1. It should leave a little bit of residual sugars from the fruit which is what I am looking for. I am racking my hoppy agave wheat to secondary today and this leaves me with a huge slurry to pitch this beer directly on. Excellent!


The fruit additions are all going to come at the end of the boil. I know that additions of fruit in secondary will give me more fruit character but I am going to try this for ease and to stay clean. I am using frozen fruit and I know that they go to great lengths to be sanitary but I don't wont to risk making a sour beer. I am going to also add all the fruit in a muslin bag to aid with the transfer into the carboy. I don't want seeds or chunky purée clogging up my funnel or the bottom of the kettle. Hopefully this works.

Recipe Specs:

Anticipated O.G. 1.055 pre-fruit additions
Anticipated IBUs 26
Anticipated SRM 5.5 pre-fruit additions


7.5 pounds American Two Row
10 ounces Briess Caramel 20


1 ounce Cluster 6.8% aau @ 60 mins. = 20.24 IBUs
1 ounce Liberty hops 3.9% aau @15 mins. = 5.76 IBUs

52 ounces Cherries and Juice
34 ounces Raspberries

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

2 1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme and 1 Whirlfloc Tablet


11/14/12 mashed in with 4.70 gallons of 163 degree water to hold mash at 150 degrees for 60 mins. Collected 8.5 gallons of 1.056 S.G. wort pre-boil. Boiled for 90 mins, added fruit additions at 1 min, chilled and aerated for 30 mins.

"Blonde Redhead" 1.058 O.G 26 IBUs


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