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blackberry ginger secondary

Blonde Ale : Blackberry Ginger Blonde

brew pot outsideThis batch all started with a gallon bag of frozen blackberries I’d picked from a friend’s yard.  There needed to be a proper reward for the pain and agony of picking blackberries, and what better way than a delicious batch of beer?

I decided to use my favorite Blonde Ale recipe as a base, and thought ginger would be a cool addition to work with the blackberries.

All-Grain Recipe: Blackberry Ginger Blonde Ale

Ingredients:

chopped ginger

  • 8 lb. – Pilsner Malt
  • 1 lb. – Munich Malt
  • .50 lb. – Carapils
  • .50 lb. – Flaked Wheat

Hop Additions / Boil Additions:

  • .5 oz. – Hallertau (6.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • .2 oz. – Hallertau (6.5%) – added during boil, boiled 20 min
  • 1 oz. – Saaz (5.3%) – added during boil, boiled 20 min
  • 1 – Whirlfloc Tablet & Wort Chiller – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • 2.5 oz. – Fresh Ginger (chopped) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • .2 oz. – Hallertau (6.5%) – added at flame out

Yeast:

blackberry ginger secondary

  • Fermentis Safale US-05

Additional Details / Notes

  • Style based on 6B – Blonde Ale
  • OG 1.050 / TG 1.008
  • 5.3% ABV | Color: 5.5 SRM | ~26 IBU’s
  • Brewed: 11/01/2014, Secondary: 11/15/14, Bottled: 01/03/15
  • Mash Temp: ~151°, Thickness: 1.35 qt/g, Efficiency ~74%, Attenuation ~84%

Brewing the Blackberry Ginger Blonde Ale

First brew day after moving to a new house. It was chaos.  Had two dead thermometers, so used a candy one.

blackberry-ginger-blonde-03The Mash:  The mash ended up cool, used a full 4 gallons to get it to about 150. Temp didn’t hold well, cooled off a lot, but gave it over an hour.  Overflowed first vorlauf, also had loose hose fittings on the mash tun, which leaked. Things didn’t go smoothly.

The Boil. Added yeast at 4:10. Long day… Started about 10am.

Fermenting. Ended up with about 4.5 gallons, didn’t add to it, will let the berries fill it out. FG is decent considering all the issues I had. Boil went well. Cooled pretty quick in the cool fall day. Fermenter says 75°.

steaming brew potSecondary. Racked two weeks later. Ginger blonde base is perfect, would like to try that again. I didn’t weigh berries, but they were most of a gallon plastic bag.  Also, they made a damn mess. Will use a blender next time. Put it in to a 65° fridge.

Sat in secondary for about a month.  Berries floating after a few days, but not much else going on. Probably some secondary fermentation, forgot to look for the first couple of days.

Drinking the Blackberry Ginger Blonde Ale

Cracked a bottle after 5 days, and was GREAT. Really happy with the balance. Could add crystal or wheat to add sweetness or body, but otherwise perfect.  The ginger plays really nice with the berry, and the base is light enough to let the flavors shine.  Overall a little dry, and became more dry as it aged.

I won’t have another chance at the same berries, but this batch turned out really great.  I’ll try the Ginger Blonde as a standalone recipe at some point, but I’d be glad to try this whole recipe again with minor tweaks.

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