Centennial Blonde – The most famous recipe of all?

5,780 gallons. That’s the current count of just the reported batches for BierMuncher’s Centennial Blonde Ale. Simply an amazing total to me for such a simple recipe – 2 hops, 4 malts and a dry pack of yeast. It’s not a SMASH beer, but compared to many recipes it couldn’t get much easier. The gravity is low enough that you don’t need a starter even with liquid yeasts.  After brewing it I can see why it’s the first all-grain beer many people (rightfully) attempt.

Kolsch

In part thanks to its simple recipe and not too aggressive hop profile it’s often a very accessible beer for the BMC drinking crowd. Which is why it ended up back in my rotation now just before Christmas. We brewed up a quick 5 gallon batch (followed by another 10g after tasting the first batch) to drink with family during the holidays. The plan was to have something appealing to a Bud Light drinker and turn the beer around fairly fast. So true lagers were out of the question.
So inspired by the Brulosophy experiments with WLP-029 I ended up pitching a pure pitch pack of Kölsch yeast into the batch. Active fermentation was easily visible after 24 hours and had basically died off in under 72 hours. Raised the temperature in the fermentation chamber from 61 to around 68 to let the yeast finish cleaning up. Moved to the fridge, cold crashed with gelatin to help it clear up. Kegged after just 10 days in primary and primed to 2.7 volumes. Honestly overall one of my fastest turn arounds for a beer.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 14.2 IBUs 7.1 EBC 1.052 1.011 5.4 %
Actuals 1.046 1.05 -0.5 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Blonde Ale 6 B 1.038 - 1.054 1.008 - 1.013 15 - 28 5.9 - 11.8 2.4 - 2.8 3.8 - 5.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) 7 lbs 81.16
Cara-Pils/Dextrine 10 oz 7.25
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L 8 oz 5.8
Vienna Malt 8 oz 5.8

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Centennial 0.15 oz 55 min Boil Pellet 9.5
Centennial 0.15 oz 35 min Boil Pellet 9.5
Cascade 0.15 oz 20 min Boil Pellet 7.8
Cascade 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 7.8

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Kolsch Yeast (2565) Wyeast Labs 75% 56°F - 64°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 150°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min
centkolsch

First pint from a fresh keg

12/18/2015 – Just tapped it, tasting notes from the first full pint.

  • Aroma – Very faint almost not non-existent, faint grainy malt character.
  • Appearance – Light yellow to gold with a hint of haze still, but for a keg that was transported over 500 miles yesterday, fairly clear.
  • Flavor – Soft malt/grain character, clean finish. Nicely balanced, easy drinker.
  • Mouthfeel – Surprising amount of body for such a small beer.Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out, I feel like the pure lager version I did last spring was ‘crisper’ and more lager like but for a beer that is only about 20 days old now (grain to glass) I’m really happy about how it turned out.  BMC drinker’s assessment TBD. 
  • Update:  BMC Drinker approved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *