Author Topic: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe  (Read 452 times)

Offline son_of_buncrana

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« on: July 04, 2014, 08:07:06 AM »
I brewed an American Blonde Ale a few weeks ago (recipe designed by my wife)...it is really good but we are looking to add a little more hop (citrusy) flavor without upping the bitterness as it's already at the upper end of the range for the style. Any suggestions?

American Blonde Ale Recipe:
All-grain, 5 gal batch
8 lbs 2 Row
1 lb Cara-Pils
8 oz Biscuit Malt
.5 oz Cascade (7.1% aa) @ 60 min
1 oz Citra (12% aa) @ 10 min
American Ale Yeast (WLP060)
Mash in at 150F
Fly sparge at 168F
ABV 4.3%
IBU (calc) 26.5

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5146
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2014, 08:35:21 AM »
I brewed an American Blonde Ale a few weeks ago (recipe designed by my wife)...it is really good but we are looking to add a little more hop (citrusy) flavor without upping the bitterness as it's already at the upper end of the range for the style. Any suggestions?

American Blonde Ale Recipe:
All-grain, 5 gal batch
8 lbs 2 Row
1 lb Cara-Pils
8 oz Biscuit Malt
.5 oz Cascade (7.1% aa) @ 60 min
1 oz Citra (12% aa) @ 10 min
American Ale Yeast (WLP060)
Mash in at 150F
Fly sparge at 168F
ABV 4.3%
IBU (calc) 26.5


In the future, a cool hop stand would give you nice hop flavor (and some aroma), without noticeably affecting your bittereness.  You would cool your wort to 170F, add maybe an oz or two of hops (for this style) and let steep for 30 minutes, then cool. If you're asking about this current batch and you keg, you can always add some hops in a weighted nylon bag to your keg for some added hop character.
Jon H.

Offline son_of_buncrana

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 08:43:42 AM »
I was thinking about a future batch so your cool hop stand is a good suggestion. Thanks!

Offline stpug

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 02:18:32 PM »
A hopstand would definitely increase the hop presence in the beer and is a good suggestion. I've found it to give noticeable aroma contributions as well.

Alternatively, if I was aiming for more hop flavor without increasing the aroma or bitterness too much, I would move around my hop additions a bit, leaving the citra right where it's at. You say you want CITRUSy flavor (as opposed to CITRAy flavor), in which case I would move around my hop additions to accomplish this. I would move my cascade bittering addition to 30-45min and add an additional cascade (or centennial) addition at 15 minutes, and balance them so they produce the target IBU range you're looking for. I would aim to add at least 0.5 ounce (0.75 oz might be better) at 15 minutes so using cascade might be easier since it's lower alpha, but centennial pack a citrus/grapefruit wallop.

Hope this helps.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3815
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 04:30:49 PM »
+1 to everything said so far. My recommendation would be 1-2 oz of Centennial or Amarillo in a 30 minute hop stand at 170-180F. That would add citrus hop flavor without noticible bitterness.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline chumley

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 481
    • View Profile
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2014, 07:33:00 PM »
Drop the cara-pils and sub in a pound of 10°L Belgian crystal malt.

Offline S. cerevisiae

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1148
  • deus ex machina
    • View Profile
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 05:21:57 AM »
You could also add citrus rind at the end of boil in addition to the hops.  The rind from a couple of navel oranges adds a sweet citrusy character to blonde.  Lemon rind also works very well in this style.

I personally never use American 2-row in a blonde. I use Pils malt because blonde is a malt-foward beer style, and American 2-row is the melba toast of 2-row malts. 

Offline breslinp

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Punching up my Blonde Ale Recipe
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 07:07:11 AM »
You could also add citrus rind at the end of boil in addition to the hops.  The rind from a couple of navel oranges adds a sweet citrusy character to blonde.  Lemon rind also works very well in this style.

I personally never use American 2-row in a blonde. I use Pils malt because blonde is a malt-foward beer style, and American 2-row is the melba toast of 2-row malts.

I've added the juice and zest from oranges/lemons/grapefruits directly into the wort at 170-190F for 20 minutes along with the 0min hops for my IPAs. Works great. For a blonde ale, you could hunt down some meyer lemons and use them.