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Beer & BBQs: it’s not about the brand

Beer & BBQs: it’s not about the brand


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By Jonny Garrett

Is there any greater male cliché than two men stood at the barbecue, beer in one hand and tongs in the other? Sure, in the UK one of them probably has an umbrella too, but it’s a scene that is repeated around the world.

And because few women I know want to spend their summer huddled around an even more powerful heat source – they have too much sense for that – it’s a cliché that will endure. The only part of that image that needs to change is the beer men are drinking.

I’m not even being snobby this time; it’s not about bashing bad beer. It’s just that lager – whether it’s the critically lauded Tipopils or the stubby bottles from Tesco – can’t stand up to barbecued meat. Taste is relative and, faced with a sticky barbecue sauce, within two mouthfuls any lager will taste like fizzy water.

So what should you drink at the barbecue? What is refreshing on a summer’s day but hearty enough to match any meat? Well, here are three styles that, paired with the right dish, will blow the lid off your barbie.

Dark lagers

A brilliant style that, because lager drinkers don’t like dark beers and beer nerds don’t like lager, sadly falls into a gap. But they’re missing out, because dark lagers can be beautiful things – crisp and refreshing, but with the dark fruits and smoothness of a dark ale. The roasted malts add depth and sweetness that match red meats and deal with the burnt edges (or, indeed, cremated sausages). Freedom Dark Lager and Budvar Dark are great, but you could also try a sweet bock like Huber’s or a Vienna lager like Brooklyn – possibly the perfect amber summer beer.

Red ales

Red ales are one of the beers that have evolved the most through the craft beer revolution. Originally a slightly sweeter version of the classic bitter, reds were made with a small amount caramalts, which have a distinctive caramel flavour. But they changed forever when the Americans got hold of them. As with most Americanisms, they went big: big on hops, big on caramalt and big on alcohol. The result was lots of bittersweet, caramel-tinged red ales with hoppy finishes that could cut through anything. Meantime’s Yakima red is great with pork – try it with a caramelised onion sausage – and Bear Racer Red Rocket is incredible with a burger or, better still, a rack of ribs. That’s exactly what we served them with – once we’d brined the ribs in beer and smoked them, of course.

Double IPA

You’d be hard pushed to call this a summery style, but there is something sunny about the double IPA. Essentially it is a hoppy-as-hell India pale ale with roughly twice the amount of malt, which means around twice the amount of alcohol. At around 8-9% ABV you can’t exactly glug one to relieve the heat of the day, but the super-fresh hop notes can give what is otherwise a very sticky beer a fresh finish.

But it’s the stickiness that is key here. They often have a gorgeous sweet mouthfeel that just mixes in with any sweet or spicy marinades, and the hoppiness gets right through the meat. For example, Brewdog’s Hardcore IPA was amazing with our web editor Jim’s smoked-beer chicken wings.

For me, the double IPA isn’t just the perfect barbecue beer, it might just be the perfect beer style. It ticks all the flavour boxes – sweet, bitter, herbal, zingy and sometimes even a little bit pithy.

It’s what I’ll be drinking around the barbecue, and if things get a little bit blurry at least I have these grilling tips to fall back on…

What’s your favourite barbecue beer?


Make Your Best Gratzer

This is a beer you should know how to brew, and the good news is that it's pleasantly simple to brew and sessionably wonderful to drink.

I love a good classic Rauchbier, don't get me wrong: but if I'm at a bar and I see a Piwo Grodziskie (Gratzer, to the Germans), I'm going to pass that Rauchbier right on by.

Gratzer (which we'll call it from now on, because I'm German and writing "Piwo Grodziskie" is time consuming) is another classic, historical style that was all but dead. Craft (and home) brewers have led its comeback, though, and this beer is one that's close to my heart. Gratzer was one of the first beers I had that really hooked my imagination. I'd tasted a small range of "good" beers up to that point, but nothing magical.

Then, one fall afternoon, my brother-in-law pulled out a bottle of this as we were sitting on his back deck, admiring the cool autumn weather and leaves. He opened it up, poured, and I did that thing we beer geeks do when we're surprised and excited with a beer: I took a sip, then looked with widening eyes at the glass, and then went back for more.

This is a beer you should know how to brew, and the good news is that it's pleasantly simple to brew and sessionably wonderful to drink.

STYLE

Gratzer is a low-ABV smoked wheat beer. It has a lot going on, flavor-wise, for so low-alcohol a beer, especially when we consider its recipe (one, maybe two malts, one hops addition, clean ale yeast). The aroma and flavor should both feature noticeable levels of grainy wheat, mild smoke (though you can go higher in darker versions, which we'll touch on below), and a slightly-elevated carbonation level that adds a nice, crisp bite on the palate.

As you might expect given the wheat-centric grist, the beer should have a dense, long-lasting, bright white head atop a pale body (SRM may range as low as 2) do not, though, make a hazy beer. This should be quite clear, despite the wheat. Bittering is modest in absolute terms, but still quite aggressive given the low gravity (20-35 IBUs, or a nearly 1:1 bittering-to-gravity ratio).

One final note on style: since that first Gratzer in the open air with Stan I've consumed a fair few of these beers. It is not monolithic in color, strength, or level of smoke. It is, though, consistently drinkable. Think of English Bitters and how they go down lightly and leave a bit of flinty mouthfeel behind, and you'll be well on your way to "getting" the spirit of this style, even if your recipe adds in more color or alcohol or secondary flavors than a "pure" Gratzer might.

RECIPE

This is a simple grist: Oak-smoked wheat malt, as much of it as you want to hit your target gravity (usually not more than 1.040, and I like to shoot for 1.038). That's it, unless you're going for a variation (more on those in a minute).

Hops are also simple: 28 IBUs of Hallertau, added at 20 minutes left in the boil. That's it. Some prefer the more herbal notes of Saaz or Tettnanger, but I like leaning on the floral, which to my palate is a better pairing with the smoke and wheat.

Finally, yeast: pick your favorite clean ale yeast. Mine is Wyeast 1007, German Ale, and if I get to the end of a brew day and have a few pounds of smoked malt leftover, there's a decent chance I'll turn out a quick batch of Gratzer, just because, and pitch 300-400ml of my yeast starter into it. 1007 is a real workhorse, and it can easily ferment this beer, even if underpitched.

Now, a note on variations: this is a great seasonal session beer. The hotter it is, the lighter you brew it the colder it gets, the darker you can go. I recommend three basic variations. The recipe above is your "warm weather" Gratzer: simple, clean, pale. Then you have your "shoulder season" Gratzer, for fall and early spring: replace one pound of your grist with Munich malt, which will add a subtle level of rich toast.

Finally, the "Winter Gratzer": this is a closer cousin to my Rauchbier, with more-assertive smoke, thanks to swapping out a quarter of the Oak-smoked wheat malt for Cherry-smoked malt. Everything else stays the same. Voila: three recipes for the price of one.

PROCESS

Mash with about three-quarters of a pound of rice hulls to prevent sticking, at standard mashing temps (152F, for me). Boil, chill, and pitch as usual, then ferment at a straight 67F for a few days - it'll be fast. Don't rush it off the yeast, though: I had a batch of this with some residual acetaldehyde once, and although it was minimal it completely wrecked the flavor! Let it sit for a week to ten days, then cold crash and carbonate. I wouldn't go as high as I do for Berliner Weisse, but it should definitely be on the high side: 2.6 volumes of CO2 is a good target.

IN CLOSING

This is a beer that's going to make you look like a better brewer than you are. If you're new to this, especially if you're new to all-grain, brew it. Impress your friends and confound your enemies. Na zdorowie!


Beer & BBQs: it’s not about the brand - Recipes

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

TastyMcD wrote: My Janet's Brown Ale recipe is below. I've never made this beer as an extract. I welcome someone to convert this to extract for those who for some reason don't have a copy of Brewing Classic Styles. If you can't get Northern Brewer, I would use either Simcoe, Columbus, or Summit.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Batch Size (Gal): 6.00 Wort Size (Gal): 6.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 16.00
Anticipated OG: 1.066 Plato: 16.20
Anticipated SRM: 19.3
Anticipated IBU: 63.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
75.0 12.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
7.8 1.25 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
7.8 1.25 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40
6.3 1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2
3.1 0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.00 oz. Northern Brewer Pellet 6.50 19.0 Mash H
1.25 oz. Northern Brewer Pellet 6.50 30.8 60 min.
1.00 oz. Northern Brewer Pellet 6.50 6.6 15 min.
1.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.00 6.8 10 min.
1.50 oz. Cascade Pellet 6.00 0.0 0 min.
2.00 oz. Centennial Pellet 9.00 0.0 Dry Hop

Yeast
-----
White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast

Mash Schedule
-------------
Saccharification Rest Temp : 154 Time: 30
Mash-out Rest Temp : 165 Time: 15
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 45

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS- The BN Army: Dirty South Squadron
Proud 2010 Fallen Soldier Winner
Proud 2009 Caller of the Year Nominee

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

On tap - Munich Helles, Janet's Brown, Lagunitas IPA clone
Fermenting - Nelson Sauvin/ Summit IPA
Kegged - Orange/Cascade, Brutal Bitter Clone

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

He does: Ca-110ppm, Mg-18ppm, Na-17ppm, SO4-350ppm, Cl-50ppm

Next up:
JBA Light
Fermenting:
nada
Serving:
Rauchbier (ugh!)

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

Thanks so much for the responses.

Tasty: What's your goal with the water adjustment? Cl/SO4 ratio? Residual Alkalinity? Ca for yeast health?

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

My first goal is to use the exact same water profile I used when the Janet's Brown took first in the 2004 and 2009 nationals. My second goal is to listen to the four-part Brew Strong series (http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong 4/12/09) on water so I can answer your questions.

Except for the beers I brew for the Can You Brew It shows (http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Jamil-Show), I brew all my beers with that same profile. IPAs, Golden Strongs, and Dortmunders. Common sense tells me that my profile can't be optimal for all beers.

Someone once told me that my water profile looked a lot like Randy Mosher's pale ale profile. Thanks Randy. I've had a great run!

Next up:
JBA Light
Fermenting:
nada
Serving:
Rauchbier (ugh!)

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

Tasty - what is your fermentation temps for this? Looked around but did not come across any discussion on fermentation.

Thanks! I had a taste of what I think was your imperial version at GABF 2009 and of course it was yummy!

Private First Class - Philly Division

Drinking:
Tasty APA
DFH 60 Min
CYBI Dad's Little Helper
Black Velveteen - Oatmeal Stout
Fermenting:
Barleywine
Lagering:
Notta
Next up:
brews for NHC
In the Funkhouse:
empty

Re: Tasty's Janet's Brown

atomicpunk wrote: Tasty - what is your fermentation temps for this? Looked around but did not come across any discussion on fermentation.

Thanks! I had a taste of what I think was your imperial version at GABF 2009 and of course it was yummy!

I usually cool-in at 66F and immediately let it rise to 68F where it sits for about 3 days. Then I'll raise it about a degree per day until it's up to 72F.

Yes, that was the Imperial version (http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/JanetsBrownAle) that I brewed at Russian River. A little more chocolate flavor than I wanted but a good example nonetheless. I brewed it again there last week and cut the chocolate malt by 10%.

Next up:
JBA Light
Fermenting:
nada
Serving:
Rauchbier (ugh!)


How to beat the stall and retain more moisture

How can we use this info? As you can see from the last chart, one way to beat the stall and retain more moisture would be to cook at a higher temp, and the fact is that more and more competition cooks are doing just that. They figured it out by trial and error. Many now roast pork shoulder in the 250°F range, and others are baking brisket north of 300°F.

There is a better way to prevent the stall, speed up cooking, and retain moisture. For years, competition cooks have employed a trick called the Texas Crutch. The crutch is a method of wrapping the meat with aluminum foil and adding a splash of liquid like apple juice or beer. The conventional wisdom was that the moisture created a bit of steam that tenderized the meat, and since steam conducts heat faster than air, it speeds cooking. Typically they do the wrapping when the meat hit 170°F or so, deep into the stall.

Blonder says that there is no steaming action inside the foil at 225°F. Foil prevents evaporative cooling and over a period of hours the temperature inside the foil slowly approaches a low simmer. Any moisture that comes out of the meat just pools in the foil along with the liquid the cook adds. "It's like running a marathon in a rain coat. You'll sweat, but it won't cool you off." There is a slight fog inside the foil, but no steam, so there is no steam cooking. But there is a form of braising! Braising is a wet method of cooking similar to stewing or poaching but the food is usually not submerged as they are in those methods. It is more like what happens in a slow cooker.

For his final test, Blonder took a 6 pound pork butt and divided it in two removing the bone. He rubbed them both with a standard pork rub and put them into a 230°F cooker until the stall began. Then he wrapped one in foil and added 1 tablespoon of water. In the chart at right, it is the blue line, labeled "Rub/foil".

The other he left alone, naked except the rub, the red line labeled "Rub". As you can see the wrapped pork climbed to 180°F in about half the time, about 6 hours. He let it go to 190°F, a target I recommend, removed the foil and put it back on to firm up the bark. As you can see, the temp dropped immediately after unwrapping as the moisture evaporated and cooled the meat. After 4 hours the unwrapped butt had still not passed 180°F. The lines end when he got hungry and when the foiled/unfoiled butt hit the same temp as the never foiled butt. He called the foiled butt "Really juicy and nearly perfect." But "When the other hit 180°F the meat was still slightly tough. It needed another hour or so to finish cooking in kitchen oven."

At right are photos of the two pieces of pork. Pretty comparable.

If the stall was caused by conversion of collagen to gelatin, since the transition happens within the foil and there is no stall, the phase change of collagen cannot be the cause. The fact that collagen melts at about the same temp as the stall is a coincidence, not the cause of the stall.

Based on Blonder's data, I now recommend that you wrap pork shoulders and beef briskets at about 150°F, after about 2 hours in the smoke. By then it has absorbed as much smoke as is needed. If you wrap it then, the meat powers right through the stall on a steady curve and takes much less time. It also retains more juice.

Ball says that he is now following a similar protocol in competition. He won't say what temp he cooks at on his MAK pellet smoker, but he is now foiling when his bark is the deep mahogany color he wants, usually somewhere between 140 and 150°F. He leaves it in the foil all the way up to the end, takes it out of the cooker, lets it come down in temp to about 175°F so it stops cooking, and then wraps it in a towel and puts it in an insulated holding box called a cambro for an hour or two to rest (see my article on how you can rig a faux cambro).

There is a problem with this approach for some cooks: The meat does not have a hard chewy bark on the exterior. Ball says that a hard bark is emblematic of overcooked meat. He wants a dark, flavorful, tender bark. But if you want a hard bark, the solution is to pull the meat out of the foil when it hits 180°F or so, and hit it with higher heat to dry the exterior and darken the rub. Or just skip the foil altogether, do things the old fashioned tried and true way, and just be patient. Either way, the results are superb.

If you change the way you cook based on Blonder's work, let us know how you liked the outcome. Click here to go to Blonder's website for more details on his experiments with the stall.

All text and the photo of the brisket are Copyright (c) 2011 By Meathead, and all rights are reserved. Graphs and pork photo are (c) 2011 by Greg Blonder.


Adjusting Hydrometer Readings for Temperature when Beer Brewing

A lot of brewers may not be aware but when you take a hydrometer reading you do need to adjust for the temperature of the sample. Hydrometers are calibrated to work at a certain temperature, and readings taken outside of that range can be low or high depending on the temperature.

Hydrometer Calibration Temperature

Hydrometers are used to measure the density of dissolved solids in our wort or beer. Most brewers use the specific gravity scale which is actually a dimensionless number that is a ratio of the density of the liquid to that of pure water which is defined to have a specific gravity of 1.000. Alcohol has a lower specific gravity than water which is one reason why your gravity goes down as wort ferments.

Hydrometers are calibrated to work at a specific temperature. Most hydrometers are calibrated for a temperature of either 60 F (16C) or 68 F (20 C). The calibration temperature is usually printed on the scale of the hydrometer so it is important to check this when using your hydrometer.

If you measure pure distilled water at the calibration temperature it should give you a reading of precisely 1.000. In fact its not a bad idea to check the calibration of your hydrometer as some inexpensive models are not well calibrated.

Measuring Hot or Cold Liquids

If you measure a sample that is not at the calibration temperature with your hydrometer you will need to make an adjustment of the reading to compensate for the cold or hot temperature. This is particularly important when measuring hot wort like that from the mash, pre-boil or even post-boil. Your “into the boiler” raw measurement for gravity is very far off from the actual value. It can also be important for fermenting lagers.

In BeerSmith (mobile or desktop) you can do this by going to the Hydrometer calculator on the Tools menu. Here you can enter the measurement and temperature as well as set your hydrometer calibration temperature and BeerSmith will give you the corrected gravity. The measured gravity and sample temperature go at the top while the calibration temperature is at the bottom of the dialog. After you enter the values the Corrected Gravity field will show the adjusted reading.

So that is a quick overview of how to measure hot or cold liquids using a hydrometer and BeerSmith. Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Related Beer Brewing Articles from BeerSmith:

Thank you for this post! The other weekend, when my partner and I were trying to measure the gravity of our beer, we were getting a really weird reading. It makes so much sense now knowing that the reading can change with temperatures. For any other tips, let me know!

Thanks, Brad, good, short, easily digested reminder. I’ve had a graph on my brewery wall since the late 󈨞’s, and often need to add 1 or 2 points to my OG & FG.

I appreciate that you bring up here that folks should do a calibration test with distilled water for their hydrometers. I had been using mine for months before I realized it has an offset of about +0.004. The good news there at least is that the offsets are linear, so if you know what it is then you can compensate for it (rather than having to trash the instrument). For example, when I take a reading, I sight the gravity, adjust for temperature and then subtract the 0.004 and boom — that’s my gravity.

Would you be able to share the math equation for this? As much as I’m not a mathmatician, I’d still like to be able to crunch the numbers myself.


The Do's and don'ts for Cooking with Beer


You’ve probably seen a ton of recipes that include beer to make the dish a bit more special. Finding recipes with Beer and following it is not a problem. But what if you want to know why cooking with beer works. When is it right? When is it wrong?

We’ll go over 3 quick Do’s and Don’ts about cooking with Beer. With this information you’ll be able to improve recipes that you’ve already mastered with adding Beer and you’ll feel confident when it comes time to do some experimenting.

First, let’s start with 3 quick Don’ts.

Don’t let your food get drunk
No matter what recipe or tactic you want to try never, ever get your food drunk. Even the weakest of alcohols in big volumes will destroy the meat, vegetables, or desserts you’re working with. Cooking with Beer works because of its nuance. Take things in moderation.

Don’t believe people that say, ‘It cooks off’
You’ve heard this at least a thousand times, I bet. ‘Don’t worry about the alcohol, it will cook right off’. Here’s the deal. Most of it will. You don’t have to cook your roast or cake that long to cook off more than half the alcohol. But you will never cook off all of it. There will always be trace amounts left over.

Don’t think it needs fire
Yeah, we’ve all seen those cool cooks lighting up their sauce pan as their food becomes, for a moment, engulfed in flames. But cooking with beer is not like that. It’s a careful and slow process, one that is not flashy but very, very tasting. Save the theatrics for another time.

Do replace some or all of a recipe with Beer
A lot of times you’ll see a recipe call for water or stock. Some of these are a good time to replace the liquid with a nice craft beer. Water and stock add very little flavor, obviously so using beer in the right way will let you develop another level of flavor.

A soup is obviously a bad idea to replace all of the stock with an equal amount of beer, but most recipes you can replace some of the liquid with a little beer and add a nice new flavor to the party. Remember, don’t get your food drunk.

Example: A good example of this is this Maine Lobster recipe. It steams Lobster in a classic way but uses beer to do the steaming which gives it a flavor to play with the lobster taste. Super simple and very effective.

Do think of the Flavor first
Good ‘ol flavor. A good craft beer has a powerful flavor within. Sometimes this flavor is the only way to create a certain recipe. You need the beer to make this dish. Nothing else will do.

When you’re trying to decide which recipe is a must with which craft beer, don’t just think about how the beer tastes, think about how those flavors evolve while it’s cooked. Sweetness from Malts and bitterness from Hops will change as it’s cooked. 2 different beers will do very different things in a recipe. Usually, the flavors that stand out tend to stay strong while subtle flavors fall away.

Example: This Oaktown Chocolate Sauce needs this Brown Ale to be what it is. The strong bitter and toasty flavors infuse the chocolate with something more. Where other Chocolate sauces can be heavy, this one is heavenly.

Do consider moisture as much as flavor
Marinating meat with a craft beer does something very special. First, it infuses the meat with the moisture that’s needed for cooking. Second, it makes the meat soft to get that melt-in-your-mouth feeling. And third, it allows you to introduce new flavors deep into the meat.

Moisture is as important, sometimes, as the flavor itself. Why? Because moisture allows meat to be enjoyed more, to let the flavor stand up. But not just for meat.

Moisture is important for all kinds of recipes beyond just meat. You can soak cooked cakes in beer so it drinks up flavor and a brand new texture. You can make your vegetables more tender than ever before. One great example of using the moisture of Craft Beer to your advantage is…

/>Example: IPA Pickles. If you have ever made pickles before, you are never going to do it the same way again. And if you haven’t done it before, get ready to find a new hobby. These IPA pickles are beyond good and are so easy to eat and enjoy. People are going to start asking you for these for their birthday, so either learn to make a lot or learn to keep a secret.

Here we have it! The 3 Don’ts and 3 Dos when it comes to cooking with Beer. Take the lessons in these recipes and hold onto them tightly. You’ll soon see some opportunities for you to start baking and cooking with beer on your own accord. And your kitchen will be better for it.

Check out more of our featured recipes, many of which use beer as one of their secret weapons for enhancing flavor!


Blonde Ale Recipes and Beer Style

Blonde Ale is a light, slightly malty beer popularized by the American craft beer movement. This week we take a look at the history of Blonde ale, how to brew it at home and some recipes.

History of Blonde Ales

It is difficult to trace the precise origin of the term “Blonde Ale”, but it is clear that Blonde Ales are a modern style. The American Blonde Ale style is largely an invention of the US craft beer revolution of the early 1990’s. In the UK, John Gilbert of Hop Back Brewery is widely credited with developing a Blonde ale called “Summer Lightning in 1989. Blonde ales are now widely made in Belgium (such as Duval), the UK, US, Brazil, France, and indeed worldwide.

The style itself has heritage back to both Pale ales and light European ales such as Kolsch, both of which have been produced for centuries. Significant variations exist, with West Coast US breweries often pushing the more assertive Pale Ale end of the spectrum,while others explore moderate English summer ales or the light Kolsch end of the flavor spectrum.

The Blonde Ale Style

Blonde ales are light in color and generally have a malty aroma. Some variations have a slight hop aroma as well reflecting the hop variety chosen, but the flavor balance should be towards the malty side. They generally are light yellow to gold in color, clear, and brewed with moderate carbonation. Some variants such as the English may have a slight fruitiness, but they should not have diacytl or harsh bitterness. Some also have a slight toasted malt flavor (biscuit, bread, toast, or wheat) but they should not have any caramel or roasted flavors.

The style is brewed to a moderate alcohol level of 3.8-5.5%, with an original gravity of 1.038-1.054. Color is light – generally 3-6 SRM and the beer is hopped to provide a slightly malty finish – with only 15-28 IBUs. Blonde ales should have a clean finish and be very drinkable.

Brewing a Blonde Ale

Blonde ales are traditionally brewed as an all malt beer, though some examples do use up to 25% wheat malt or sugar adjuncts to lighten the beer. Many are made with 100% pale malt. Cara-Pils/Dextrine malt is often added for head retention. Caramel/Crystal malt is used only to add color, and generally only the lightest variants (10-15L) as a caramel flavor is not desired. Some brewers do add small quantities of Munich, Vienna, Biscuit or lightly toasted malt to enhance either the malty or toasted/biscuit flavor. Fruit variants of Blonde are also popular (Strawberry Blonde for example) since the light palette of a blonde goes well with many fruits.

Just about any hop variety can be used in a Blonde ale. American Blonde’s obviously trend towards American hop varieties, but excellent Blonde ale can be made with English, Continental and New Zealand/Australian hop varieties as well. Some care needs to be taken with stronger/harsher hop varieties to maintain the balance of the beer as it should always tilt slightly towards the malty side without excessive hop flavor or aroma. Some brewers select lower alpha/moderate hop varieties for this reason.

Since a clean finish is desired, most brewers use a well attenuating yeast such as California Ale yeast (WLP001) or American Ale yeast. Some brewers also favor Kolsch ale yeast for its clean light finish. Other possible yeast choices include Belgian Ale yeast or English ale yeast, but care should be taken to maintain a relatively clean finish with no diacytl.

For all grain brewers, a light body mash profile (148F/64C) is appropriate. Extract brewers should pick a light colored malt and take care to avoid carmelization during the boil. Blonde ales are fermented and aged at typical ale temperatures, and sometimes filtered or cold stored for a period to enhance clarity. The beer is moderately carbonated, and should have a long lasting white head.

Blonde Ale Recipes

Here are some of the top rated Blonde Ale recipes from our BeerSmithRecipes.com sharing site:

I hope you enjoy brewing your own Blonde Ale at home. Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Please subscribe to my newsletter for weekly articles on brewing techniques and beer styles, and also check out my podcast on beer brewing which is also available on iTunes.


Beer Braised Short Ribs with Mustard

Mmmmmm. ribs. mustard. beer. slow cooked. I give you Beer Braised Short Ribs with Mustard. All the yummy stuff in one big pot. The meat & veg is all there, just add some mash of your choice and you're good to go. Dinner is done.

We are BIG fans of slow cooking in the house - even in summer! I just love the extra flavour you get from cooking long and slow. If you are like us a love slow cook you'll love my Mushroom Osso Buco recipe. It also contains instructions for making a "cartouche" (a fancy name for a circle of baking/parchment paper you place on top of your meat and stock to keep things moist during cooking)

Back to the ribs. Now let's get in nice and close. See all those veggies? Carrots, mushrooms, celery all coated in a deep-roasted mustard & beer sauce. So Good.

Gotta say I was pretty pleased with myself when I served this up for dinner. The first time we ate it, I think it was about the second bite when it was quickly decided that this was definitely "blog-worthy"!


15 Best Beers to Buy and Drink All Season Long

Whether you like a bitter IPA or a light lager, we've picked the best beer brands for delicious sipping.

Finding the best beer is important for seasonal sipping. Popping a can or cracking open a bottle serves as the perfect refreshing beverage as you grill and chill all summer long and is the ideal partner to game day tailgates in the fall. If you&rsquore looking for a traditional beer that goes with any meal you plan to prepare, or want to buy a funky brew you&rsquove never tried before, we&rsquove collected our favorite beers to appeal to any beer drinker, no matter the season. And the best beer brands, from New Belgium Brewing to Dogfish Head, are killer accompaniments for game day grub, rich burgers, juicy grilled chicken, and cool BBQ salads.

We tasted plenty of cans and bottles to find the best beer to drink no matter the season. Whether you love a sour, a fruit beer, a rich IPA, or a light ale, look no further for complex and refreshing brews to try. If you're ready to celebrate summer pull out your favorite cooler and load it with any of these best beers, plus some summer-ready hard seltzers, and your tastiest rosé wines. If you're looking for a beer to sip while keeping cozy in the cooler months, any of these beers will hit the spot. No matter the time of year, these best beers are sure to satisfy. Get sipping!

This is a juicy treat with flavors of white peach and citrus. It is creamy and smooth with only a touch of bitterness making it both great for sipping solo or with some grub.


Brewmaster Beer Brewing Simulator Coming to Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, & PC

Earlier today on the PlayStation Blog, a brand-new beer brewing simulator was announced by Auroch Digital‘s Marketing & Community Manager, Jemima Crow. Brewmaster gives players their very own home brewing kit and plenty of space to concoct numerous different styles of beer.

The title is being published by the UK-based Sold Out and aims to give players a realistic brewing experience with, according to Crow, “…authentic brewing techniques in the ultimate celebration of craft beer.”

And just judging based on the Brewmaster trailer released alongside this PlayStation Blog post, Auroch Digital appears to be on the right path. The creation of the wort is spot on with boiling hops in water together with malt extract and then adding in yeast at the end after cooling. There’s even a hydrometer you can use to measure the alcohol content of your brew.

It’s no wonder that the process already looks spot-on since, “Lots of people on the Auroch team are foodies and craft beer fans…” Crow continues, “We’d been exploring brewing in our spare time, so making this game made so much sense to us.”

Crow also talked about the team’s vision while working on this project, “Brewmaster is about the process, not just the end result.” They also aim to make the game accessible to people who aren’t into brewing while having enough depth that experienced homebrewers will want to stick around.

No matter what your level of brewing expertise is, Brewmaster seems like a good way to try out new flavor combinations without having to wait the multiple weeks that it usually takes to brew a batch of beer.

There will also be a story mode that will, “…teach you brewing techniques and a growing suite of beer styles as you become acquainted with an ever-expanding array of equipment.” There will also be competitions in this mode that will let you upgrade your brewing equipment if you place well.

But if you just want to let your mind go wild, then Creative mode is what you’ll want to check out. This mode gives you everything you can unlock in story mode and allows you to brew just about anything you can put your mind to.

You can check out the trailer for Brewmaster down below and you can read the official PlayStation Blog post right here. Brewmaster is scheduled for a 2022 release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


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