Every July 4th, my family gets together on Cape Cod and celebrates in more-or-less traditional New England fashion - with steamed lobsters, clams, corn on the cob, and fresh-caught blue crab. For some inexplicable reason, my grandfather, a first-generation Italian-American, calls this "The Luau", and it is one of my most favorite family events. For this year's luau I want to have a nice, light-colored, crisp beer, so I decided to brew up this relatively simple Blonde Ale. Not too hoppy, not to bitter, but hopefully a nice balance of malts and citrusy hops. I took some inspiration from BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde, but tweaked it a bit to make it my own.
This was my first time using Centennial hops and I must say they smelled amazing going into the kettle. I had wanted to try WLP051 (California Ale V) yeast for this, but my LHBS was out. The good fellas there however suggested I go with WLP061 (American Ale blend), which is (supposedly?) a mix of WLP001 (California Ale), WLP051 (California Ale V), and WLP810 (San Fransisco Lager).
Nothing special about the brew day to report, though I am a little concerned that my mash pH might have been too high given the lack of dark grains in the recipe. I added some brewing salts, but next time I think I may add a few ounces of acidualted malt to get the pH down some more. Regardless, I can't wait to crack one of these open at this year's Luau. Maybe I will be able to convince my grandfather, a Bud drinker, to try at least a taste.
Brewed on 5/20/11
Batch Size: 3.50 gal
Boil Size: 5.00 gal
Estimated Color: 5.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 33.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 74.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
OG: 1.053 SG
5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) - 71.43 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Pale - 14.29 %
8.0 oz Carahell - 7.14 %
8.0 oz Vienna Malt - 7.14 %
10g Centennial [9.20 %] (60 min)
7g Centennial [9.20 %] (30 min)
15g Centennial [9.20 %] (5 min)
American Ale Yeast Blend (White Labs #WLP060)
Single Infusion, 150°F, Batch Sparge