It seems that over the years the blonde ale has slipped away from the brewing scene and fallen in the field of battle to IPA’s and piles of hops. The few breweries I know of that venture into the realm of blondes brew strong blondes. These beers are 8% plus and are typical of Belgian triples in character but they use Chico yeast to make them. Clean, bright and face numbing. It can be too much for true enjoyment on these longer, sun filled days. It seems that the craft beer Blonde Ales of the mid 1990’s have ridden into the sunset giving way to a hoppier beer sometimes with a malty bite that is out of balance.
As home brewers there has always been that smooth, refreshing blonde ale that we brew that takes us back to the days when the crisp, refreshing blonde ale at the local brew pub helped the heat from a long summer day seem to slip away.
I have spent some time crafting this beer and I brew it often. The base recipe can be used to make a Belgian Blonde. A Bavarian Hefeweizen. Add 90L Candi sugar and it’s a Dubbel. It can be so many things. Call it lawnmower beer, session summer ale, yellow fizzy stuff or even swill. But here and now it is my 9N20 Blonde Ale. My tribute to the glory days of craft beer in the early 1990’s. I hope somebody brews it and enjoys it.
My water is very soft right out of the tap. You can’t buy bottled water as good as my water is. So use R/O water if you can. My water averages less than 1.9ppm of any given mineral at any given time. Pretty darn soft. If you make my mineral additions to your hard water… don’t blame me for the resulting harsh beer.
In the end, you brew it how you want to brew it.
Strike water for a mash temp of 152*F @ 1.5qt per lb. Sparge to collect 7 gallons+ in the kettle. Boil for 95 min.
Add to the milled grains before mashing:
3g Chalk, 1.5g gypsum, 1g Calcium Chloride, .5g Sodium Chloride(DO NOT USE IODIZED TABLE SALT! I use sea salt.)
I’m shooting for a hardness of 130ppm with an R/A of 30 in the mash. Mash pH is kept at 5.2-5.4
Sorry for all this… water is so important. Actually Not Sorry…
9N20 Blonde Ale
for 5.5 gal at the end of the boil.
OG 1.052 FG 1.011
5.5lb Pilsner Malt (Weyermann)
3.5lb Wheat malt (Weyerman)
1lb Vienna Malt (Weyermann)
8oz Carahell (Weyermann)
5.5oz Acidulated Malt (Weyermann)
24g Perle Hops @ 60 min
34g Tettnanger @ 30 min
28g Hersbrucker @ beginning of cool down
total of 30 IBU
Pitch healthy, decanted starter of Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale.
Start @ 64*F and let rise slowly to 70 over 4 days. When fermentation is complete drop temp and hold at 62 for several days to let the yeast clean up. Chill to 55 for 2 days then drop to 42 for 2 days then drop to 31 for 2 days. Add Finings and keep at 31 for 2 weeks. (I don’t rack to secondary, but you can if you want.) Beer Drops out very clear to brilliant. Keg beer and bring up to 2.2-2.5 volumes of CO2.