With summer in full swing, I figured it was about time to get a tasty blonde ale on the go. You know, something I can augment with a slice of lime in my beer mug.  So, using my beer recipe software, I designed a very light blonde ale with a minimum of ingredients: Canadian 2-row malt, a touch of Carapils for body and head retention, and a minimum of hops just for bittering and a slight hint of citrus. Should be good!

It’s called “Bridge Blonde” for a good reason: I have ambitions to eventually run a small brewery here in Burnstown, and there’s four beer recipes lined up, one of them being this blonde ale. So, it’s a nod to the famous bridge that spans the Madawaska River here in the heart of our little village. It’s my first attempt, so stay tuned for a tasting review in a couple months.

Part of being a semi-serious home brewer is the gathering of equipment that makes the process easier and fun. So, I fabricated a wort chiller. Wort is what you have after soaking barley grain in water and boiling the liquid… it’s what you ferment to make beer. So, part of the process is to cool down the wort as fast as possible after the 60 to 90 minute boil: hence the requirement for a wort chiller. Up to now, I’ve just been placing the kettle into a wheelbarrow full of ice water. That worked fine, but took a long time – over an hour. Now, I have a coil of copper tubing that I dunk into the wort itself, and run cold water through it. Magic! I can cool off my wort in 15 minutes, which shaves off a lot of time on brewing day.  What’s next equipment-wise? Don’t know, but I’m sure something will tempt me at some point!

Cheers for beers!