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belgian-blonde-ale-03

Belgian Bobcat Blonde Ale

After going through my dead yeast issues on the previous batch, I wanted to get a second run out of the yeast to cut my losses.  It’s hard to craft a recipe before even sampling your previous effort, but I went ahead and did that anyway.  It’s only time and money, right?

I crafted this recipe based on some of the Blonde Ales I’ve made in the past.  I figured that seemed like a solid base to compliment the Belgian yeast, as it was light and fairly simple.

All-Grain Recipe: Belgian Bobcat Blonde Ale

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Ingredients:

  • 8 lbs. – German Pilsner
  • 1 lb. –  Munich Malt
  • 8 oz. – Carapils/Carafoam
  • 8 oz. – White Table Sugar
  • 8 oz. – Flaked Wheat

Hop Additions / Boil Additions:

  • .4 oz. – Norther Brewer (8.6%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • .7 oz. – Saaz (3.3%) – added during boil, boiled 20 min
  • .5 oz. – Hallertau (8.6%) – added during boil, boiled 20 min
  • 1 Whirlfloc Tablet – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • .8 oz. – Saaz (5%) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • .5 oz. – Hallertau (8.6%) – added during boil, at flame-out
  • .5 oz. – Saaz (5%) – added end of boil, at flame-out

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Yeast:

  • Reused from previous batch: WYeast 1581 Belgian Porter (dead yeast) & WYeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale

Additional Details / Notes

  • OG 1.062 / TG 1.008
  • 7.04% ABV | Color: 4.63 °SRM | 28.8 IBU’s
  • Brewed 07/28/12, Secondary 08/18/12, Bottled 09/02/12
  • Mash Temp: ~152°, Thickness: 1.35 qt/g, Efficiency 80%

Brewing the Belgian Pale Ale

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Everything for this batch went pretty smooth, aside from my super low efficiency.  I’m not entirely sure that my program handles gravity from table sugar correctly.  Otherwise, I must have weighed my grains wrong.  I way way off.

The Mash. Called for 3.4 gal. of strike water at 164°, using 1.35 qt/lb to get the temp to 152°.

The Boil. Nothing too exciting here.  Added the Wort Chiller and Whirlfloc with 15 minutes left in the boil.  Added sugar at flame out.

Cooling. Used the wort chiller hooked up to the outdoor spigot.

Fermenting. Reused yeast from the previous Belgian Pale Ale.  Racked the Pale off the yeast as I was cooling the Blonde, and strained directly on to the same cake.

Racking to Secondary & Bottling. Racked to the secondary 3 weeks after brewing.  Bottled this entire batch, as I had some of the other Belgian already in a keg.

Drinking the Preseason Belgian Blonde Ale

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This one took a while to settle in.  It suffered from most of the same issues as my first Belgian did, too.  It was a little too sweet and full bodied, and the yeast profile didn’t work that well with the grains used.  Both Belgians suffered from a slight green apple flavor at first, that faded for both over time.  Not a recipe I will revisit, and really a second round of discouragement in my Belgian beer experiment.  I’ll likely swing back this way someday… but it’ll be a while.

Overall: The longer it aged, the better it got, but it was never a great beer.  Bad balance of ingredients, and not really even a starting point for future recipes.

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