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Rose-Cheeked and Blonde

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 July 2018 at 11:55
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 that’ll 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
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 July 2018 at 18:49
Wow, Ron. From the title I thought, "better not let the beautiful Mrs Tas find out."

Who'd a thunk you were talking about beer.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2018 at 04:17
Ron, 

Racy name for a Belgium Beer !

Love it ..  

Sounds like a semi sweet for a dessert !  Perhaps a strawberry or rose wáter prepared dessert  !!!

Good luck with it ..  

Have a lovely weekend ..   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2018 at 08:34
Good morning, Brook and Margi ~

This should be a good one, I think. It is still fermenting, but I have high hopes for it. It is too early to tell for sure, but I believe it will be atypical Belgian Blonde with just a hint of rose accenting the aroma and taste. Should be great for a summer day, along with the lavender version that I will also brew.

More to come!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2018 at 16:15

How is it going  ?  

Keep us posted ..  

I shall be up in Costa Brava and Barcelona during August .. 

Shall keep in touch !!   

Have a lovely summer  Ron ..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2018 at 09:27
Good morning, folks - sorry for my tardy reply; things get pretty busy for me during the last week or so of each month.

Since my last post, I switched my blow-off tube for an airlock after the most active period of fermentation had passed. The beer looked really good, with a nice colour somewhere between butterscotch and toffee; it also smelled very good, and I think we're onto some good progress. The rose element seemed very subtle, as far as the aroma went; I'll wait until I've actually tasted it, but I am guessing that one could bring up the amount of rose hips and rose petals a bit, if they want to. I'll reserve judgment for later, where that is concerned.

I generally let my beers go in primary for 3 weeks before cold-crashing and bottling; however, since we expect to be out of town during that time, I may start the cold-crashing a few days early and bottle on the 3-week mark - we will see.

So far, so good - the base recipe for the Belgian blonde is a winner, for sure; I've found it to be a really special mix of malts that is very tasty and has an enticing aroma. The Styrian Golding hops seem to go perfectly with this grain bill, as well.

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

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2018 at 09:40
Sounds very progressive .. 

Good luck with it ..  

Would you serve this beer with appetisers or desserts or just an "apertif " drinking a beer  ?  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2018 at 09:47
Hi, Margi -

I didn't think of it until you mentioned it, but I think it would do very well as an apertif; there's something about the character of these Belgian blondes that seems to wake things up in the mind and palate.

Having said that, I am quite positive that it would also be a great beer for social drinking; conversation, playing cards etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2018 at 15:49
It was quite a challenge to find an image that I was happy with to use as a label for this beer; in the end, here's what I went with:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 August 2018 at 13:21
I had been doing my best to leave this alone the past week or so, after the most active period of fermentation had slowed down (or so I thought). When I went to cold-crash the beer last night before bottling, I noticed that the fermentation had started up again and was quite active.

I thought to myself, Oh no - infection or wild yeast!

However, I don't see any telltale signs of that, and the beer smells incredibly wonderful; also, I remembered that this has happened before when using Brooklyn Brew Shop's yeast, so my guess (hope) is that this is nothing to be concerned about.

We are going to be gone on a trip next week, so I will "let it ride" and take a look at how it is when I get home.

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

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2018 at 10:01
Please don't ask me why, because I don't know...but this beer has been cold crashing for almost two months. I finally got it bottled last night, so that it can work its carbonation magic while I am in Australia. I added a small amount of yeast, just in case the extended cold-crashing was detrimental to the yeast that was already there.

I'm using European 33cl bottles now, so I was easily able to get 10 bottles from this batch, with just enough left over for a small sample. Even though the beer is not carbonated yet, I was able to get a sense of what is to come, and it is sure going to be good, I think. There is a nice, rich, almost addicting maltiness to the beer, but it is very well-balanced by the hops. The rosehips and rose petals do provide a very slight, reddish tint, and do contribute in a subtle way to the aroma and the taste of the beer, giving it a hint of what seemed to me to be an almost apple-like quality; not much, just a whisper.

I'll know more when the beer has carbonated and conditioned a bit, but I think I will like this.

Ron
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