Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Summer Brewing – American Blonde Ale

The summer months are coming up here in the old Northern Hemisphere and it’s time to brew beers appropriate to the season. Check out this video about brewing an American Blonde Ale for the summertime!

Recipe

Batch Size: 5.5 US gallons

Ingredients

12 pounds of Rahr Pilsner malt
.5 pounds of German Munich Type 1 malt

1 oz Columbus hops added with 30 minutes left to go in the boil
1 oz X09326 Experimental hop added with 10 minutes left to go in the boil

Fermented with Lallamand New England American East Coast Ale

Fermented for 2 weeks – started at 65 degrees and then warmed it up to finish it out.

Tasting Notes

Light, soft body. The color was spot on and the clarity was getting there. This was one of Mike’s best versions of the style. It was light and fruity in the flavor and crisp in the aftertaste.

It went great with tacos.

BREW ON!

Muntons Brewery In A Bag Pale Ale Tasting

Ok – here’s the moment you may or may not have been waiting for. Mike showed you how to brew by just adding water. Then, he did a check-in to show us that the bag hadn’t exploded. Now the beer is ready and it’s time to drink it. Here is the Muntons Brewery In A Bag Pale Ale Tasting!

How Did It Taste?

For starters, we knew the beer would be like a cask-conditioned brew. The carbonation was light and the head was pretty non-existent. The color was a nice dark copper to amber. The aroma had some bready notes but also had some notes of green apple.

The bready notes were in the flavor along with the green apple flavor like a Jolly Rancher candy. We thought that this flavor was coming from Acetaldehyde in the beer, probably because the fermentation was incomplete.

Other than that, the beer was drinkable and would be cool to crush with your friends watching a sporting event (if they ever get back to playing professional sports in these COVID days). It’s simplicity and it all-in-one set up makes it a cool gift for someone trying to brew beer at home.

BREW ON!

Comparing Crystal 40°L & 60°L Malt

Mike got his malt experiments going. Here he brewed three beers to make a video where we get to learn more about the differences between Crystal 40°L and Crystal 60°L malts. Take a look at this video!

Malt Experiment Thoughts

Even though we were comparing two malts, Mike brewed a base beer as a starting off point – a foundation to which we could compare the other two beers. The base beer was just a simple beer using Great Western 2-row malt. Then, he brewed one beer with Crystal 40°L malt and one beer with Crystal 60°L malt.

The tasting between the three beers was an interesting process. I learned what flavors the base malt brought to the beer first. Then, I focused on what each of the Crystal malts taste profiles were.

I expected 40 to be “sweeter” than 60 but that really didn’t play out. I don’t think there was much sweetness to the beers with Crystal malt in them. What I found was a milder caramel, burnt sugar flavor in the 40 beer than the 60 beer. The 60 beer had more notes of toast, more of that Mallard reaction, than the 40.

The difference between the two was really quite subtle. This experiment really nailed home that fact that either of the Crystal malts would bring very similar flavor components to your beer. Yes, they were different but just slightly so.

When we start comparing the darker Crystal malts to the lighter ones, then we will detect bigger differences.

BREW ON!

Cloning Hoegaarden From Bottle Dregs – The Tasting

The process of brewing this beer was discussed a few weeks ago – the cultivating of yeast from a six pack of Hoegaarden. If I believed what I read online, I would have not tried this experiment.

“Probably not the same yeast they use for fermentation.”, they said.

“The brewery pasteurizes the bottles before shipping them out.”, they said.

Sometimes, and for my homebrewing life most times, you just have to see for yourself. That’s why we brewed us this Hoegaarden White Beer using the bottle dregs for fermentation.

How Did It Taste?

It sounds like hyperbole but it’s really a fact: this beer is the best Belgian White Ale I have ever brewed. Without question, the dregs gave my recipe something that the other witbiers just didn’t have. There was a silkiness to the mouthfeel, a rockiness to the head, and a yeast-derived flavor component that I haven’t been able to get from commercial examples of the same yeast profile.

Now the first two components on my mini-review above didn’t come from the dregs. No – it came from the flaked wheat that made up 50% of the grain bill. Never again will I use malted wheat for a witbier. I have seen the light and it is clear that this style needs to use flaked wheat.

Mike says I should try to brew this beer again using the dregs from the keg. That is an idea I’d like to try and instead of coriander and bitter orange peel, I’d like to brew it with some chamomile and fresh orange zest. I don’t have a direct line to fresh oranges but maybe with enough time, I can zest a bunch of oranges while the brew kettle is boiling away.

BREW ON!

Mosaic SMaSH Showdown – Cryo vs. Regular

Here’s something that you haven’t been waiting for but you may still be interested in learning more. This post gives us the showdown between Cryo vs. Regular hop pellets. We brewed two simple beers the same way with the only difference being the hops. Check out this video to see and hear our thoughts:

What Did We Think?

Well, it is clear that Cyro hops are what they claim to be – more intense in terms of flavor and aroma. The Mosaic character seemed fresher and more powerful in every component – the aroma, the flavor, and the aftertaste.

Comparing the Cryo beer to the beer brewed with just regular pellets gave us a good understanding of what this processing allows for homebrewers to do. You can definitely use half the amount of Cryo hops in your recipes.

If you’re really looking for the best application, use Cryo hops late in your brewing process. These types of hops are made for the whirlpool portion of your brew day. Add them after flameout for maximum results and awesome taste.

BREW ON!

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