Bear Down Blonde


I’m about a week and a half behind for this blog!  I’ve had some brew days and tasting notes that I need to catch up on so I’m gonna keep this one short.

I brewed this beer to share with the neighbors on the first Chicago Bears game of the year on September 13th.  I needed a style that would appeal to both craft and BMC drinkers and could go grain to glass in a month.  We’re going to watch the game in our garage on a projector, have a big seafood boil, and drink this beer!

Blondes and Golden Ales don’t usually do a whole lot for me, but I’m a fan of a beer from Half Acre in Chicago called Gossamer.  They’re pretty tight lipped about their recipe so getting inspiration for this beer was a guessing game.  Gossamer has a very grainy and slightly biscuit like malt flavor.  I figured Pilsner Malt and a bit of Victory should get me in the ball park.  The hops have some floral and citrus notes, and also a bit of grassiness.  I figured Amarillo should do the trick for that.  All in all this is a simple recipe to be enjoyed during a game of football and not to be fussed over.

The brew day was really easy, no hop stands to worry about, no huge additions of anything.  I hit all my numbers with the OG coming in at 1.044.  The only difference from my usual was the 90 minute boil to drive off any DMS from the Pilsner malt.  I chilled the beer down in about a half hour and pitched West Coast American Ale yeast.

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 23.5 IBU
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 89.0 %
8.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 2 5.9 %
4.0 oz Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) (28.0 SR Grain 3 3.0 %
3 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.1 %

0.25 oz Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 14.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 8.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 7 0.0 IBUs

1.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 9 0.0 IBUs

1.8 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs 6.9 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 10.54 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Update:  This beer sat on an ounce of Amarillo in the keg for three days and is now carbing up for this Sunday!  The FG for this beer was 1.008, giving me an ABV of 4.7%.  This is right around what I was looking for.  This one should have some nice light flavor, go well with some game day food, and won’t knock you on your ass too hard after drinking it all day.

Tasting 09/13/15:  This beer was tapped yesterday and its gone today!  Sorry for the lower quality pic, I never got around to taking a decent photo of this one.

Appearance: A hazy gold color with a nice white head.  I’m a bit pissed at the lack of clarity on this one.  I cold crashed it, and used gelatin.  It was brilliantly clear in the hydrometer sample.  The problem arose when I realized my Co2 tank had run empty while I was carbing this one.  The beer was still a bit under carbonated the day before the game so I had to shake it and force more Co2 into solution a few times.  The haze never had a chance to settle back out.

Smell:  Pretty mild as a blonde ale should be.  There was a bit of cracker like aroma from the malt.  The Amarillo hops lend some orange citrus and floral aroma, but it was subtle.

Taste:  A very easy drinker!  This beer went down so easily on game day.  There’s not a lot to it, just some light bready malt flavor.  The victory malt provided just a hint of biscuit, but the malt was pretty light.  There was some mild citrus for the Amarillo hops, and it was just enough to keep the beer from being boring.  There was little to no yeast character in this one.

Mouthfeel:  Light without being watery.  The beer was very chuggable and easy drinking.

Overall:  We killed this one in a day.  The beer was perfect for what I needed it to be.  It went well with food and was a people pleaser on game day.  I wouldn’t brew this beer just to drink myself unless I had keg room to spare, but for a party where I need beer on tap that will please a wide variety of people, this is a good recipe! 


1 thought on “Bear Down Blonde

  1. Pingback: Serrated Summer Ale 3.0 – Hoppy Blonde | White Pointer Brewery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s