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Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale

Brewed: 12/13/2015   Bottled: 12/28/2015

It has become somewhat of a tradition for the Brew Model to brew on the AHA's Big Brew Day. In 2012, I told her to pick out a style of beer and I would help her come up with a recipe. She told me that she wanted something not-too-hoppy and not-too-dark (aka does not taste like coffee aka not a stout).

We also thought it would be nice to have this in a keg for a group camping trip we would be making to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in June.

She thought she might like a Saison. We found a saison for her to try at a local brew-pub and she decided that saison was not what she wanted to brew.

She looked through brewing books and magazines for ideas.

I posted for ideas on Facebook, Twitter , and the Mr. Beer forum post. I actually got a fair amount of feedback, but it was not all that useful. We needed to narrow things down, whereas the suggestions opened up new possibilities.

One of the styles of beer that the Beer Model was thinking of was an Irish Red. My last batch of Eric's Red had been the only beer in which I had used Maris Otter malt, and I thought I would like to use it again. I thought it might be fun to see what a lighter colored and less caramelly version of the beer would taste like.

I've also used Golden Naked Oats before in FTG, and thought that would be a good lighter substitute for the Cara-Red and Crystal malts I used in Eric's Red. Then, I pretty much simply looked through left-over hops I had in my freezer to get to a malty to balanced session beer.

And this is the recipe I came up with. The name "Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale" comes from a time years ago when my wife had told one of our friends that we were going "Blazer Camping in the Sand". Meaning, we were driving our blazer to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and camping there. The friend thought she had said that we were going "Laser Camping in the Salt".


This beer didn't last long. Everyone seemed to like it, and the gluten-sensitive people of the group loved being able to drink beer without feeling yucky.

Batch 2 was brewed up by the request of "Gretchen". Since GABF was coming up, I thought it would be a good beer to drop off for them taking our kids. It uses just CTZ for bittering and more Hallertauer hops at the end.

Batch 3 is to be brewed again the following year for the Great Sand Dunes trip, and I was our Big Brew Day beer again. I decided to skip the double infusion this time to simplify the brew day, but other than that, it was the same beer as batch 2.

Batch 4 was again brewed for the Great Sand Dunes trip. I lowered my brewhouse efficiency to 70 and bumped up the 2-row in the recipe to get to the same OG.

Batch 5 was pretty much the same as 4.

Batch 6 added some whirlpool hops, just for the fun of it. Batch 7 was the same as 6 except the hops were a bit higher in alpha acid..

For posts about the Sand Dunes on my blog, see the Great Sand Dunes label.

For more information about this beer, you can check out the Laser Salt label on my blog.

Laser Salt Sandy Blonde --- Batch 7

Style Blonde Ale Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.051 SG Estimated FG 1.012 SG
Recipe Bitterness 28.0 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.2 %
BU : GU   0.544        
Recipe Color 5.7 SRM
Measured OG:   1.052    Measured FG:    1.010
ADF:   81    Measured ABV:    5.5


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3.00 g Salt (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
2.00 g Baking Soda (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2 -
1.00 g Chalk (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 3 -
9 lbs 12.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 90.7 %
1 lbs Golden Naked Oats C15 (15.0 SRM) Grain 5 9.3 %
0.250 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.50 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 6 16.7 IBUs
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.000 oz Crystal [5.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 3.5 IBUs
1.000 oz Crystal [5.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 3.5 IBUs
1.000 oz Crystal [5.40 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 15.0 min Hop 10 4.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml] Yeast 11 -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 12 -
5.00 ml Clarity-Ferm (Primary 2.0 weeks) Fining 13 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 13.44 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.81gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
Salt additions to go from Beer Smith's Denver Water profile to Brewing Water Chemistry Calculator ( Pale / Light Profile. Or at least as close as I could come with what I had on hand.

Water Chem totals:
44.7 Ca; 8.5 Mg; 78.4 Na; 50.8 SO4; 85.4 Cl

Add all water additions to the mash.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.042 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: Nice start. Have blow-off tube in 62
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
12/14/2015 esheppy
Brewed yesterday. Everything went well. Pitched at about 64.
12/15/2015 esheppy
Very active. Nothing has gone through the blow-off tube yet. Temp is up to 70.
12/16/2015 esheppy
Main fermentation pretty much done. Never needed blow off tube. Put in airlock tonight.
12/17/2015 esheppy
Gravity sample. 1.012. Tasted great.
12/21/2015 esheppy
The calendar says I am kegging this on the 27th, but I might do it tomorrow night. The fermentation room is becoming a guest bedroom on Wednesday, so my wife wants the carboy out. Wondering if I should dry-hop some crystal hops.
12/23/2015 esheppy
I'm not sure what I was thinking with these salt additions. Salt, Baking Soda, and Chalk? Baking soda and chalk seem more like something I'd add to a dark malty beer. I'm sure I just added the sodium salt because of the name. I think I'll have to reevaluate these mineral additions next time I make it. At the very least, I think I need more calcium to help with clarity. Oh well. Keeping this in mind as I start tasting it.
12/23/2015 esheppy
Playing around with the water chemistry at:
12/28/2015 esheppy
Kegged tonight. Extremely clear beer. Sample FG 1.010. Very nice flavor. Pretty hoppy. Sitting in the beer fridge right now.
01/01/2016 esheppy
Tried some last night. It had not been under pressure, but I had given it a couple shots of 30 psi over the past couple of days. It didn't have much carbonation at all. It is now under pressure. We'll give it another couple days and try it again.
01/02/2016 esheppy
Well, I've had a few tonight. Love this beer. Too hoppy to be called a blonde really. More of a pale ale. So very delicious regardless of what I call the style.
01/10/2016 esheppy
Really tasting fantastic. Looking great too. Really clear.
02/29/2016 esheppy
Had some last night. Still delicious. Not sure how much is left.
03/27/2016 esheppy
The beer model killed the keg last night. Good to the last drop.
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