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Rose-Cheeked and Blonde

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
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    Posted: 20 July 2018 at 13:10

Last night, I brewed a rose-kissed Belgian Blonde ale from Brooklyn Brew Shop.

Called "Rose-Cheeked and Blonde," this beer is a typical Belgian Blonde with the addition of rose hips and petals, which are added during and at the end of the boil. Brooklyn Brew Shop describes this ale as "a breath of fresh air with a heady swirl of floral-toned aromatics thatíll make you blush.... Rose hips (the dried fruit of the rose plant) add just a touch of fermentable sugar and reddish colour, while the buds leave a heady, floral aroma." At 6.5% AV, I can imagine that it will pretty interesting once finished.

The recipe for this beer can be found in Brooklyn Brew Shop's BEER MAKING BOOK, and is also currently offered as a pre-packaged mix at www.brooklynbrewshop.com:

https://brooklynbrewshop.com/collections/beer-making-mixes/products/beer-making-mix-rose-cheeked-and-blonde

From what I can see, there is a slight difference between the two versions; the pre-packaged version, which I brewed last night, seems to employ torrified wheat, which is not in the recipe that is in the book. The written recipe, however, calls for Carapils. I have written Brooklyn Brew Shop inquiring about this difference, and will share their answer, assuming that I will get one. Aside from that, the beer is comprised mostly of Belgian Pilsner malt - boosted with an addition of clear Belgian candi sugar - with a little Aromatic malt tossed in for some great malty flavour and aroma. As for hops, this beer uses Styrian Golding hops to the tune of a little more than 21 IBUs; most of the hops are added at the beginning of the boil, with a small amount added right near the end for aroma. I am a big fan of Styrian Golding hops, which seem to turn up in of Belgian ales; they have a wonderful aroma that is earthy as well as spicy, and should be a great fit for this beer. Here is a more thorough description of this hop, which has both English and Austrian/Slovenian roots:

https://brooklynbrewshop.com/blogs/themash/hop-profile-styrian-golding

This brew was almost completely hassle-free, with no complications. I basically followed the instructions as outlined here:

https://brooklynbrewshop.com/pages/instructions-rose-cheeked-blonde

As noted, the brew went very well, with mash temperatures holding right about where I wanted them to, and no sticking during the sparge. The additions of hops, rose hips, Belgian candi sugar and rose petals at various points during the boil were all on schedule, and I got a nice cold break while chilling the wort down.

One noteworthy thing about this brew: I didn't have any actual "Belgian" yeast on hand, except some S33 from Fermentis; however, plugging that yeast into my Brewer's Friend app, I kept getting much lower ABV numbers, way off from what the recipe calls for. This, plus an inquiry that I made in the past about a similar beer (West Coast Golden Strong Ale), led me to decide to go ahead and use the "standard" yeast that comes with Brooklyn Brew Shop mixes. I believe that this yeast is from Munton's but do not know for sure. When I plugged Munton's into Brewer's Friend, the ABV numbers went right where they were supposed to be. Another consideration was the ambient temperature in our home this time of year, which is a little higher than I'd prefer. The "stock" yeast seems to do well in warmer temperatures, so I went with it and expect things to end up fine.

I took a peek at my beer this morning and fermentation is ramping up really nicely; soon, there will be a steady blip blip blip coming out of the blow-off tube, but I won't be there to listen to it as we will be out of town most of this weekend, during what will be the most active part of fermentation. When I get home on Sunday, I'll swap the blow-off tube for an air lock, then settle in for the wait until bottling. If anything worthy of note occurs, I'll post it here.

As always, I invite discussion on this beer and this brew; if anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to post them here, and I will do my best to address them.

More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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