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Style of the Week: Golden Ale

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May 12, 2016 by fhsteinbart


golden ale

Typical Golden or Blond Ale served in a Hefeweissen glass.

When most people want a nice easy drinking beer for the warmer days ahead, for some odd reason the Golden or Blond Ale gets relatively no mention. This is a wonderful beer to brew, and inexpensive to boot! The very best examples have a pleasing balance of malt and hops combined with a crisp dry finish. While some folks will complain that it isn’t hoppy enough, or that it doesn’t have a great deal of body, these beers are meant for quaffing by the Imperial (20 oz.) pint. Some may call it lawnmower beer, but I call it delicious on a hot day, and very refreshing, especially when served with seafood, or spice islands style cuisine. So below is a recipe of mine that I brew every Spring, to get ready for the Summer months ahead. You can brew as much of this beer as you want as it’ll disappear faster than popcorn at the theater, so plan for making more than you’d think!

 

Extract:

  • 6 lbs. Extra Light DME
  • 1 oz. Crystal Hops (Bittering)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1056, WLP001, Imperial Flagship, or Safale US-05 yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat 2½ gallons of water to 155°F.
  • Turn off heat and add DME, stirring until fully dissolved, then add water to volume.
  • Return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min., then add bittering hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
  • After boil has finished, turn off heat, and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
  • Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 10 lbs. Pilsner Malt
  • 1 oz. Crystal Hops (Bittering)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the mash and in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1056, WLP001, Imperial Flagship, or Safale US-05 yeast 

    Procedure:

    Infusion mash at 149°F for 1 hour, using a standard (1.33 qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 0 minutes (knockout), 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 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.

    Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 130 gms. corn sugar (approx. 1 cup), or kegged to 30 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 45°~50°F in a tall Pilsner or Hefeweissen glass, 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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