I am back to the brewing pot….I went down to the new brewing supply store in Humble, TX and had them help me design a blonde ale for an easy drinking session beer. What we came up with has the name – “Dirty Honey Blonde”. I was going to go real simple but I was easily talked into doing a partial grain recipe. It takes a little more time on brew day but it should be worth the effort. The grain bill included Vienna Malt, Honey Malt, Biscuit Malt and Cara-Pils Malt for body. The extract is an Amber Malt…. One hitch in the recipe was with the recommended hops, Hallertauer….they were out so we subbed Cascade hops…..when I cut open the package for the hops my nose was hit with an aroma that immediately took me back to my days of drinking Olympia Beer in California…. it was one of those beers that was just a little outside of the taste range for most of the new-rookie beer drinkers. What I realize now is how much the good use of hops influences beer taste. As a young man it was more about cost…..a case of Coors in the bottles was $5.25 – still a hefty sum in 1969 but I couldn’t tolerate Brew 102…the cheapest beer we could get. Yes, the Cascade hops….very nice, the clone recipe for Oly also includes Willamette hops but then again Oly is a lager and I am making an Ale!
I I did my darnedest to keep the cat hair at bay and soaked anything that came near the beer in Star-San!!!!! Mike, I am not going to lose another batch – It is into the fermenter now and it looks like it is off and bubbling. The OG is 1.047 – about what it should be and will wind up in the neighborhood of 4.8% ABV. A nice session beer. Color is a nice amber and a calculated IBU of 23.2 won’t make it real hoppy – that will make the bride happy.
My Amarillo Ale is done and seems to have mellowed out. The Amarillo hops……not from Amarillo, TX, give the beer a definite citrus floral flavor. It has a bit of a grapefruit taste to me and Kathy says her buds pick up a hint of lemon. It slides down very easy. ABV of about 4.9% so it won’t whack you right away and the IBU comes out to about 58. The recipe claims – “somewhat dry ale with a strong floral-citrus accent” – and yes it fits the description.
Thanks goes out to the folks at Backyard Home Brewers and Education Center in Humble TX. A couple of the beer blogs that I follow are written by women brewers…..and guess what, while I was in the store a young woman – I would say most are younger than me now!- she was in to grab some supplies to brew on the weekend. The owners are helpful and easy to work with… if you are thinking about brewing and live in the area check them out. They hold classes on a regular basis and usually have something to sample and rate when you visit.