I’m getting married in October and I’ve been designated the official brewer of the wedding reception. So this spring I’ve been experimenting with a few homebrew recipes that might appeal to all types of beer drinkers- from the novice to the craft beer aficionado. The first of these wedding series experiments that has gone from grain to glass is the Centennial Blonde- a beer that I wanted to be low in alcohol but high in flavor.
Beer Style: Blonde Ale
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.008
Bitterness: 21.5 IBU
Boiling Time: 60 Minutes
Color: 3.9 SRM
Alcohol: 4.2% ABV
7.00 lbs. Pale Malt (2 Row) US
0.75 lb. Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.50 lb. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L
0.50 lb. Vienna Malt
0.25 oz. Centennial (9.50%) boil for 55 min
0.25 oz. Centennial (9.50%) boil for 35 min
0.25 oz. Cascade (7.80%) boil for 20 min
0.25 oz. Cascade (7.80%) boil for 5 min
Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast
Dry hop- .5 oz Cascade and .5 oz Centennial
Yeast Nutrient – 10 minutes
Whirlfloc- 10 minutes
1.5 grams gypsum
1.5 grams calcium chrloride
Mash at 150 degrees for 60 minutes. Sparge with 175F water to create enough wort to reach 5.5 gallons after the boil. Boil and add hops according to the schedule above. Chill to 68 degrees and pitch the yeast.
The Centennial Blonde is 4.2% with with subtle floral and citrus aromas and taste. Moderate golden pale color with a low hop bitterness, a medium white head, high carbonation with a touch of biscuit flavor from the malt. It has a dry finish that is vaguely reminiscent of some american adjunct beers.This beer is perfect after a long day in the sunshine chopping down trees or pairing with spicy or rich foods. Easy drinking.
I partially succeeded in creating a beer that was low in alcohol, high in flavor, and appealing to all types of beer drinkers. While the beer is 4.2% and easily approachable as an entry level craft beer, it may leave a bit to be desired for those inclined towards more bitter offerings. If I brew this one again I would consider raising the mashing temp a degree or two to make the body a little more malty, and adding an additional ounce of dry hops to give the beer a more pronounced aroma.
Please check back soon to see how the wedding series of beers is coming along. Currently I have a Sour Centennial Blonde in secondary that uses the same base recipe as the Centennial Blonde but also has wild yeast from the dregs of Hill Farmstead Vera Mae, The Bruery/Cigar City Marron Acidlife, and Allagash Coolship Red. Also, a Belgian Blonde is in the keg and carbing, and an all Citra IPA is fermenting away.