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Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale

Brewed: 07/20/2014   Bottled: 08/06/2014

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.

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 6

Blonde Ale
Batch Size
5.50 gal
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
25.0 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
5.2 %
BU : GU   0.485        
Recipe Color
5.7 SRM
Measured OG:   1.050
  Measured FG:    1.010
ADF:    80   Measured ABV:    5.2


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) [16.30 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 6 17.5 IBUs
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.000 oz Crystal [3.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 2.4 IBUs
1.000 oz Crystal [3.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 2.4 IBUs
1.000 oz Crystal [3.30 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 15.0 min Hop 10 2.6 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:
 158 adjust down 152ish
Pre-boil OG   1.040 (1.042 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   8 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency
Pitch Temp    64
Day 1: 65 nice Kraussen
Day 2: 66 very active 
Day 3: 72 done by end of the day 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
07/16/2014 esheppy
Bought ingredients today. Need to brew this weekend.
07/21/2014 esheppy
Brewed yesterday. Went pretty well. My mash temp was high, but that is probably ok. Collected more wort than usual, so I boiled a bit longer. Used hop sack for the 5 minute hop addition. Pitched at 62. Up to 65ish this morning. Nice kraussen started. Put in blow-off tube just in case.
07/22/2014 esheppy
Still going. 66F. Have not needed the blow-off tube yet.
07/23/2014 esheppy
Hot, heavy fermentation over 72.
07/24/2014 esheppy
Took a sample. 1.010 gravity puts this beer at 5.2 ABV. Nice malt. More bitter than last time. Not sure it is really more hoppy, though. I think this is becoming more of an APA than a blonde.
07/26/2014 esheppy
Moved into secondary so that I would have the bigger carboy available for tomorrow's brew. Nice guild color. Petty clear. Wonderful malt and hops. ABV still the same (5.2)
08/06/2014 esheppy
Kegged tonight. Still 5.2ABV. Crystal clear. Hoppiest Laser Salt ever. Love it. Also filled a growler with some priming sugar.
08/17/2014 esheppy
Really more APA-like than a blonde. Brought up 3 growlers to Breckenridge for our "Gretchen" to try. She claims to have liked it. She sure did drink a lot. Tastes awesome to me too.
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