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Style of the Week: Summer Ale!

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July 3, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Now that's what I call a refreshing looking pint of Summer Ale!

Now that’s what I call a refreshing looking pint of Summer Ale!

While there really isn’t a Summer Beer category per se, we often associate the lighter bodied, and less hoppier beers with the warming days of Summer. While some folks lean towards wheat beers like Belgian Style Wits, German Style Hefeweissens, German Style Kolsches, or even Belgian Style Saisons, my preferences are for what has now become a relatively new style. That style is often called Blonde Ale, Extra Pale Ale, or even Summer Ale. Below is a beer recipe of mine that makes a pretty quaffable beer. At 1.048 OG, and 24 IBU’s, it’s a crowd pleaser, and a thirst quencher on a hot Summer’s day that no one would turn down unless they already had a full glass of beer of course!

Extract:

7 lbs. Extra Light LME

¼ lb. Crystal 15 malt

¼ lb. Torrified Wheat

½ oz. Citra Hops (bitterness)

½ oz. Citra hops (flavor)

1 oz.  Citra hops (aroma)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 Ale yeast

Procedure:

  • Heat ¾ gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains, and rinse with 165°F water
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring back to boil.
  • After 10 minutes, add the bittering hop addition.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • At 15 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At knockout, add the aroma hops, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 67°~68°F for 7 to 10 days.
  • Allow to age an additional two to three weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

8 lbs. 2-Row Malt

¼ lb. Crystal 15 Malt

¼ lb. Torrified Wheat

½ oz. Citra hops (bitterness)

½ oz. Citra Hops (flavor)

1 oz.  Citra hops (aroma)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 Ale yeast

¾ gm. Brewing (Calcium Chloride) Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in the mash and in the boil.

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 148°F for 1 hour. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 10 minutes into the boil. Continue boiling for 40 more min. then add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss.  At 45 min. then add flavor hops. At knockout, add the aroma hops, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 67°F to 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 125 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 23 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in a Dimpled Imperial Pint Mug, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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