Tag Archives: Blonde

Bottling Summer, in the cold

Sunday was bottling day for the Summer Ale. Was a fairly straight forward affair with just me doing everything, and all done in about an hour. The best thing was that I didn’t stuff the beer by acidently oxygenating it, like I did with the Super Stout.

Summer Ale 1 bottled

Summer Ale 1 all bottled

Given there was 14 litres of beer I decided to bulk prime. First time I’ve done it since making the mistake with the Super Stout. I took my time and planned it out better. The only hiccup I had was when the end if the bottling wand feel off into one of the bottles. Learning from that time that happened, I quickly turned off the tap before losing to much. No other problems.

The sample I took had a gravity reading of 1.005 which is lower that I had hoped. But in a good way. After original reading was so low I wanted the final gravity to be under 1.010, and here we are a bit under that. Happy with the outcome.

Summer Ale 1 sample

Summer Ale 1 sample for tasting after gravity reading

There was a nice tropical and earthy flavour to the sample. The colour was a fair bit darker than I thought it would be. Both those have me thinking that I’m sure if I would call it a Summer time beer. After a couple weeks I’ll crack open one and find out.

On a side note, have found that my hydrometer has a very fine crack in it and some liquid has got in. Not sure if that was before the reading of the original gravity, final gravity or just in clean up. Needless to say, I’ll be using the spare one for next brew and buying (another) new one.

– Mikey

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Summer Citrus Blonde Ale – Review

So the Summer Citrus Blonde Ale that we made a few weeks ago is done!  Once again, this one was from the guys at BrewSmith.

This beer was ready to drink pretty quickly.  Being a blonde, it was OK to drink without letting it condition for too long, although leaving it the bottle for awhile probably wouldn’t hurt it either.  It was a lovely light beer, so conditioning it longer wouldn’t have been of much benefit anyway.

First impressions on the aroma were great, albeit subdued.  The main thing that came out in the smell was citrus with a little bit of alcohol; although it’s possible my nose got a little confused and it was just the citrus.  Hunting for it, there was a bit of a smell of malt, but more of a lager smell than anything (although this beer was an ale).  Going further, there was the slightest hint of caramel, probably still from the malt.20130616_154041

As I mentioned, it was very light in feel, although not thin at all.  There was a good amount of body to it.  The citrus, which was dominant but not overpowering, gave everything a crispness that made the beer refreshing and not heavy at all.  Although lemon zest was used to give these flavours, it was definitively a general citrus feel rather than just lemon.

The citrus really cleared my head with every sip, making it extremely refreshing.  I was surprised at how much the coriander came through as well.  I was also surprised that I enjoyed the coriander!

Although the beer was not overly hopped, there was a slight amount of bitterness that interacted well with the citrus.  The hops gave no fruit or spice.  Some fruit would have been welcome (although not needed), although spice would have been inappropriate.

Being such a light beer, I’m sure this would be highly sessionable.  I didn’t get the alcohol content from Mikey, but maybe he’ll enlighten us in the comments.  I suppose the only problem I had with my tasting was that it was done during one of the coldest weeks we’ve had in Melbourne so far this year!  Having one (or five!) of these on a hot summer’s day would be no problem at all.

If I would change anything at all, I would probably add a little more bitterness to further compliment the citrus.  That, or a little more fruit in the aroma would serve the beer well.

As for food, a light BBQ (chicken perhaps) would be great, or something with a bit of spice.  The main thing I’d recommend though is steamed crab, especially with ample amounts of Old Bay seasoning.  That would be the way!


P.S. I also had one of the malted ciders I made awhile ago.  It turned out great!  My house mate went crazy for it and stole the whole glass when I offered her a taste of what would have been my second bottle…  I’ll give one to Mikey to do a proper review of later.

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