I’ve brewed this blonde a few times before. First for myself, then for a wedding. Now I’m brewing 10 more gallons for another wedding coming up in July, plus another new recipe (a Belgian Wheat with sweet orange peel). This time, I’m shooting for a more traditional blonde ale, so I’m switching up the aroma hops. The IBUs are staying roughly around 25-30 for this batch.

Brewing a Blonde Ale

As I mentioned before, I was going for a more traditional interpretation of the style, with hops taking a little more of a back seat to clean flavors overall. A beer that’s easy-drinking and smooth (not that the first two renditions weren’t, they just pushed the style a bit).

Malt ( per 5 gallons)
93% – 10 pounds – 2-Row
4.65% – 0.5 Pounds – Crytsal 20L
2.35% – 0.25 Pounds – Carapils

Mash at 156F for 1 hour. I mashed this a bit higher to get a little bit more body in the finished beer.

Hops (per gallon)
0.1 oz / gal – Warrior @ 60 minutes (22 IBUs)
0.2 oz / gal – Saphir @ 10 minutes (4 IBUs)
0.2 oz / gal – Saphir @ 0 minutes (0 IBUs)

Yeast
Safale US-05

• Ferment at 68F – 2 weeks
• Bottle Condition – 2 weeks.

SG / FG / ABV
1.050 / 1.010 / 5.2%

Blonde Ale Brew Day:

This was part of a 3-batch brew day. Since the wedding is coming up and 50 gallons need to be brewed, the groom and myself fired up 3 burners simultaneously to boil 2 batches of this blonde ale plus one batch of the wheat beer.

2 Weeks

We bottled this at two weeks while brewing a 4-batch brew day. We primed this to hit around 2.7 volumes of Co2 when all said and done.

4 Weeks

After another 10 days at 50F (between 47 – 50F), I packaged the beer in bottles for a week or two of conditioning. The cooler second phase of the ferment (still took place in primary), really helped clear the beer out. After another week I’ll check the carbonation and add tasting notes.

6 Weeks & Tasting

blonde ale all grain final wedding

This is a more classic representation of a blonde ale. It has a very light  and clean malt flavor with only a hint of hop aroma and flavor. The saphir hops still provide a nice fruity note, but don’t edge into the pale ale level of perception. This was a crowd favorite at the wedding and ran out very quickly. At this point, I would consider it to be competition ready, so we’ll see how that goes the next time a competition rolls into town.

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