Expertise required! Help me replicate errors for a house beer...

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by AlCaponeJunior, Jan 12, 2013.

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  1. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    This one is really good, Bleach Blonde Ale II. My bro loves it and I am thinking it might wind up being the house beer. IF it can be replicated and/or perfected~!

    Now I know one of the mistakes I made on the first batch was that I mashed at 1.5 q/gal, when I meant to mash at 1.25 q/gal. I want to replicate that mistake! I know I want to pretty much FILL the 5 gal mash tun during the mash (I'm usually perhaps a gallon shy, so the mistake works perfectly with the mash volumes). 8 gallons of water strike and sparge combined* should do the trick perfectly, minus the starter and/or bottling considerations.

    Target temp: 151
    Prior target temp: 152

    First mash probably started at 154 and dropped to 152 by the end of 75 min due to extra stirring. Lowered strike temp by a little for second batch.

    Current strike temp (theoretically) ... I think I have my system dialed in to where the target temp strike water should be about 164 F. Obviously this is my best guess, although anyone super familiar with beersmith, I'm using a 5 gallon igloo cooler converted to mash tun, ambient temp about 60-65F as best guess come brew time.

    Last time I mashed 75 minutes. I should just do the same again. Planned.

    Hops........................................ oh man. I have none of the same hops I had last time. Last time I had NB and willamette, with 0.5 NB at 60, 1oz willamette each at 10, 0 total IBU 19.6.

    This time I was thinking 0.25 oz Belma at 60, 1 oz Cluster 10, 1 oz Cascade at 3, total IBU 22.7.

    wasn't dry hopped. Don't plan to this time.

    Note that this time I was going to alter the grain bill so as to look like this:

    8 lbs 2-row
    1 lb corn, flaked
    8 oz vienna malt
    6 oz caraamber, 30 SRM
    6 oz carafoam, 2.0 SRM

    There was TONS of head, lace, and body. It could lighten and still look damn good in the glass. Thus I upped the corn, and cut the vienna by a half pound from the original.

    Yeast will be US-05 again. Original Bleach Blonde Ale was American Blend. I think the US-05 did just fine though without using liquid yeast. This beer must be simple and replicable. Standard rehydration procedures, minus previous mistakes (LOL).

    And look, don't tell me "use citra, simcoe, and amarillo" because I don't have those!

    This will be brewed with cascade, fuggles, cluster, bravo, and belma, that's what I have and I'm not doing a bulk hop order this week and I'm not buying them by the ounce! :rolleyes:

    Honestly this shouldn't be very hoppy so it shouldn't matter that much!

    Probable targets...

    1.053 OG
    22.7 IBU
    4.7 SRM
    5.6 ABV

    Do tell if you are in the know. If this is too much for ya... :rolleyes:

    Or if you think I'm an idiot, please do elaborate in great detail :eek:

    *yeah, I've kind of moved towards an 8.0 gallon total procedure as a default, because of how this beer came out.
  2. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (339) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    I'm not sure if you are replicating mistakes or just tweaking a recipe to be more to your liking. It is not a mistake to mash at 1.5 or 1.25 (I believe you meant to type q/# and not q/gal). I mash as high as 2.5 q/# for no sparge with no noticeable negative difference. Everything else you mentioned seems to be tweaking, which is great. If your tweaking is meant to enhance an aspect that you wanted improved, go for it. If your tweaking just to change, go for it. You may like the new outcome better. It goes without saying that it should be perfected before replicated. Although house beers are always a work in progress.

    I could have misunderstood your post though. If so disregard the above nonsense.
  3. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Suddenly Ilank is Shakespeare, for I have no clue what your trouble is. My guess is that the Bleach Blond Ale II is pretty good.
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  4. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Ah yes, I meant q/lb.

    I felt the mash at 1.5 was a mistake because it wasn't what I intended to do (I usually mash about 1.25).

    And you may be right, this may be more about tweaking than fixing errors!
  5. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (339) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    You are correct that it was a "mistake" from your perspective. But in reality, it was more of a distinction without a difference.

    Congrats on having a house beer. It's a "level up" move for home brewers.
  6. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I am really surprised that it's going to be a blonde ale. But you gotta go with what works, and what people like. :D
  7. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (339) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Blonde ales are great house beers and a great way to introduce those with undeveloped beer palates an opportunity to wade into deeper water from a safe beer. A different hop...a different yeast...a different malt...but a safe foundation.

    Without a doubt there are exceptions, but I many of us have gone through many of the same milestones in a similar order. I have gone through many of the more extreme beers by IBUs and alchohol. I remember when the forums were full of "How do i get the most flavor in my imperial boisenberry bourbon coffee scallop IPA?" I have settled on a petite Saison as my house beer. It probably would have been one of my the last choices 8 years ago.

    My youngest brother is 24 and a natty light drinker. He drinks and likes shiner bock and dos Equis amber to fit in with the rest of us when we go out. He asked for a shiner bock clone for his wedding reception. I intentionally added a little chocolate malt and used a clean ale yeast instead of lager yeast. When he tasted a sample from the keg he said, and I quote, "Hummmm, it doesn't really taste like shiner bock, but it's really good. What am I tasting?" I told him, "flavor". He smiled and said, "I can't wait to get married."
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,471) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I love me a good blonde. I have one on tap right now.
  9. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I wasn't going to make that one till next weekend. :rolleyes:

    best possible answer! :D

    Well I gotta tell you guys what happened...

    Because of certain concerns, we decided we couldn't brew today (sunday) and thus had to brew yesterday. I had planned to make elderberry wheat II, but didn't get a chance to make the starter, so had to do something else. Enter Bleach Blonde Ale III...

    I stopped at the LHBS and ordered up grains, which they promptly started grinding and packaging. Then I discovered that the day before some people from Mexico had come through and bought up ALL of the US-05 (and about half of the rest of their inventory, because homebrew supplies are not available in Mexico). Dang! So I had to either change to another recipe (again) or make the blonde ale with S-04. I picked the 04. So wrong yeast, but it should still be good.

    First runnings gravity was 1.064, final runnings was 1.010... seems about right (both samples I let cool before checking, BTW). But apparently the 1.010 ran longer than I had thought, because the post-boil OG was only 1.046! 7 points low! And we didn't even use all the water! o_O

    Mash... strike water 166, equalized at 151 almost immediately (ambient temp was about 68F). Probably drifted down to 149 by the end of 75 minutes. I can live with that.

    Cooling... went well post-boil. Hose water temp was 64 so we got it below 70F before pitching yeast.

    Pfffffffffffffft! It's done. We shall see how it comes out. It's far from consistent with the first batch tho! :cool:
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,568) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I hope that your recent Blonde Ale turns out well!

    Please report back your experience with using S-04 for this batch. I have used S-04 a number of times but for English style beers that had a significant amount of dark malts. I have never used S-04 for a pale beer. Some BAs have reported that S-04 will produce a bready flavor. I am interested in hearing whether to have that experience in your beer.

  11. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Yes, I will report back.

    I will report on the next batch too, whenever that gets brewed.
  12. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (339) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Use fresh scallops.

    Good luck on your blonde.
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,307) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I think some of the "mistakes" you mentioned would not matter much, at least on my system with my taste buds. I'm not sure I could detect the difference between beers mashed at 1.25 and 1.5 quarts per pound, I'm not sure I would notice the difference between beers mashed at 154 constantly vs. mashed at 154, with a slow heat loss leading to a final temp of 152. In any event, I don't think these things would stand in the way of enjoying a beer. RDWHAHB
  14. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    This one with S-04 will be bottling this friday or saturday.

    Just having one of the first batch again now. It's plenty well conditioned and presumably in its prime. It's damn good. But not perfect. It's certainly something I want to keep brewing tho, and improve on. I think it needs just a touch more hops, maybe a half ounce more near 5 minutes (the batch I'm drinking now had 0.5 oz NB at 60, 1 oz willamette at 10/0).

    There is also a minor flavor imperfection that I can't quite peg. Probably just tightening up my process is all I can do without identifying the specific flavor imperfection.

    Of course the S-04 batch will be completely different in yeast and hops, so in hindsight, it's a good way to really tweak what characteristics I like about this beer. Maybe I'll do it yet again with Nottingham!

    I have a couple beers now with cluster hops, so let's see where they take us!

    I will be brewing again this weekend and may just brew this one yet again. Either that or it will be the batch after that*. Today's tasting of the very first AG batch was a bit of an eye-opener as to how I'll finally decide on the "house blonde" ale.

    *I also want to do another smash beer. Exactly which combo of grain/hops TBD. I might just grab 12 lbs of 2-row and see which hops I grab first out of the freezer :rolleyes:
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