Texas weather is always unpredictable, and the weather where you live could be the same such that you are not quite sure whether you will need a raincoat, a warm jacket or a short sleeved shirt tomorrow. But as we look at the calendar and see it's already March, the mind of the homebrewer begins to turn towards the season of Spring and beers that they would like to brew as patio weather begins to return.
Traditionally, the beers that were brewed for Spring were the Helles Bock (Maibock) or even a Dunkles Bock (Tradional Bock). Those are wonderful styles to brew for this time of year as the strong malty character of these beers lend themselves well to slightly warmer weather, but with the occasional cooler evening that calls for a beer that has the ability to warm you up a bit. Both of these traditional styles have a similar gravity range of 1.064 to 10.072 but the Dunkles Bock has the addition of some darker grains which enhance the malt character of the beer with some rich toasty notes. But don't let that description keep you from trying the Maibock which can still have some of those toasty notes, albeit a bit lighter than the Dunkles Bock and with a little bit of a grainy-sweet malty flavor that is balanced by spicy noble hops.
Unfortunately the Maibock and the Dunkles Bock have begun to fall out of favor among many of the professional breweries as they have often moved to producing the styles that sell better year round such as pilsners and IPA's. But you, as the homebrewer, can brew one of these wonderful styles right now by using our Midland Maibock Kit, which produces a wonderful malty beer that is deceptively smooth and has a bit of a warming finish because of the higher gravity. But, here in Texas with Spring being all of maybe a week long and then it is just plain hot my mind turns to a beer that is a little less malty but with a great malt and hop balance that is easy to drink and very approachable for your friends that have never had a home brewed beer before and that would be a blonde ale.
Today I am brewing a blonde ale that has a nice hop and malt balance and is a great one to have in bottles or on tap as the weather gets warmer. The blonde ale recipe is as follows:
90% Ireks Pale Malt
Willamette Hops at 60 minutes (17 IBUs)
Whirlfloc at 15 minutes
Willamette Hops at 10 minutes (3 IBUs)
Mashing at 148F (64.4C)
Boiling for 90 minutes (to ensure there is no DMS)
Fermenting at 62F (16.6C) and raising after 2 days to 67F (19.4C) for 4 days and 75F (23.8C) until airlock activity ceases or slows down.
This blonde ale is one that I have brewed quite a few times and it always seems to appeal to craft beer aficionados as well as those friends we all have that we are trying to “expand their beer horizons”. Brew this one or perhaps go a little more traditional this Spring with our Midland Maibock and let us know how your beer turned out!