May 19, 2014

Yellow Umbrella Apricot Blonde Recipe

This beer was among my intended brews for 2013 but I never got around to brewing it but I already had the grains so it needs its turn. It's a really light blonde ale with some apricot tossed in, which will make for a nice, tart summer beer. It's based on Dry Dock's apricot blonde but stocked up with Belma hops and a little lighter on the ABV. I thought about subbing in saison yeast over a clean ale strain but with several other saisons for the summer I wanted something a little different in the pipeline. Nothing too exciting here, just a straightforward blonde ale as a backdrop for the apricots.

The name? One of the last few HIMYM references I can pick up since the series ended last month. Blonde=yellow. Yellow umbrella was the visual icon for the mother. Kind of phoning in this name. HIMYM fans: love/hate the finale? Lots of twitter fury about it. I dunno, I thought all the characters ended up where they should. I mean, not the mom, but the main characters. Anyway, let's get to the recipe.

Yellow Umbrella Apricot Blonde Recipe

Batch size: 1 gallon
Est. ABV: 6.5%
Est. OG: 1.065
Est. FG: 1.016
IBUs: 29.6
SRM: 5.5

The Grist

89.6% 2 lb. 4 oz. US 2 Row [2 SRM]
5.2% 2 oz. Crystal 20 [20 SRM]
5.2% 2 oz. Carapils [2 SRM]

The Mash

Single infusion of 3.14 qt. of water at 164F for 60 minutes at 152F
Sparge 0.91 gallons at 180F
Water profile: Yellow malty (Bru'n water)

Mash Water

0.784 gallons

Gypsum 0.2g
Epsom salt 0.2g
Calcium chloride 0.4g

Sparge Water

0.91 gallons

Gypsum 0.2g
Epsom salt 0.2g

Calcium chloride 0.5g
Lactic acid 0.5ml

The Boil

60 minute boil
0.03oz. Belma [12.10% AAU] first wort hop (6.8 IBU)
0.10oz. Belma [12.10% AAU] at 60 minutes (18.7 IBU)
0.10oz. Belma [12.10% AAU] at 5 minutes (4.1 IBU)

The Fermentation

1/2 packet US-05 fermented at 65F for ten days
Add two pounds of apricots for three weeks
Bottle to 2.5 volumes

Brew Notes

Decided to give this beer a sour mash treatment so I mashed half of the grist and water, sparged and brought it to a quick boil. Cooled to 120F and added some uncrushed grain in a half gallon growler. Strapped on the heating belt and set it for 90F. Let it sit for approximately 2.5 days. Sour portion was incredibly tart.

Topped up kettle pre-boil to account for some boil off from sour wort preparation.

5/21/14: Pitched yeast around six p.m. Sunday. Active fermentation began Monday evening with peak activity reached Tuesday evening. Definitely a delayed fermentation due to the inhospitable ph.

5/25/14: Beer is still cloudy with yeast and there is a little airlock activity continuing. Surprised that the massive overpitch wasn't enough to produce a faster fermentation.

5/28/14: Beer cleared up around 5/26. Added 1 lb. apricots to beer. Expect to let ferment and soak up all the apricoty goodness for 3-4 weeks.

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