Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strawberry Blonde

The main reason I chose to do a Blonde Ale was to make sure the base recipe was the right Ale to add strawberries to. The Blonde Ale was a success, so I brewed it again. The only difference was that I remembered to use a grain sock this time.

After the Blonde spent a week in the primary, it was time to add the strawberries. Most of my research taught me that 4-5 lbs of strawberries is enough. I want to make sure the strawberry taste is there, so I picked up a 6.6 pound bag of frozen strawberries from Costco, halved them and added the full bag to 2L of water for steeping. The temperature was brought up to 160F, and the blonde was dumped over the strawberries. This will spend 7 days in the fermenter before I transfer to a glass carboy, leaving the strawberries behind. The beer will remain in the carboy until everything has dropped and the beer clears. Here are a few shots:

6.6 pounds of strawberries in the pot

All the strawberries were halved

Steeped to 160F

After one week the Blonde ale was transfered

Blonde Ale being added to the strawberries

Secondary fermenter before it was closed up

Other Updates:

Orange Peel ale is bottled - this beer is unbelievably clear and I have found out that two things I did differently caused this. I used a Whirlfloc tablet as a clarifier rather than Irish Moss, and I used a cleaner fermenting Yeast. I think most of my future brews will implement these changes.

Chocolate Stout V2 brewed - V2 has an extra litre of dark extract to boost the alcohol content and I experimented with adding a little extra cocoa.

Cider - The Apfelwein tastes great, so I decided to try another cider. This time I chose to try a Graff which is a malted, slightly hopped cider.

Next Brew - I will be doing a sort of light beer. I will be using Rice extract with malts to give a lighter body. I am also using an Amalyse Enzyme which will help the yeast ferment right down to close to a gravity of 1.000 which will make this a dry light beer. At the same time I will add a homeade lime extract to half of the batch at bottling time.

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