Cashmere is one of the newer hops in the brewer's arsenal, so naturally we had to make a recipe kit making it the star of the show. With promising smooth bittering potential and complex fruit and herbal qualities, it is the perfect candidate for a single-hop brew, and Cashmere Blonde Ale is built to show off this new hop's talents. Effortless to brew, it pours with a smooth, golden radiance. Upon sipping, a soft, supple malt body comes to the front, with delicate fruit-forward flavors washing over the palate. Cashmere hops offer a bouquet of lemon and lime citrus, melon, and faint lemongrass notes, which are perfectly supported by this recipe's simple malt underpinnings.
- Style: American Blonde Ale
- Fermentation Range: 65-70 F
- Original Gravity: 1.050
- SRM: 5
- IBUs: 22
- ABV: 4.9%
- Aroma: Bready malt nose with medium-low aromas of lemon candies, lime, ripe melon, and stone fruits.
- Appearance: Deep golden straw color topped with a bright white firm foam head.
- Flavor: Well balanced between malt and hops with medium-low bitterness. Fresh crusty bread malt notes and moderate citrus, melon, and soft herbal hop flavors.
- Mouthfeel: Medium-low body with moderate mouthfeel and a slight creaminess.
It’s always fun to get my hands on new hop varieties and embark on test batches to understand just what the specific hop variety can do. In the case of Cashmere, I found that it stands up very well on its own, especially in a recipe that does not have an overly complex malt bill. A small initial addition of Cashmere adds a bit of bitterness but does so very cleanly thanks to its low co-humulone levels. To amp up the flavor and aroma, a more substantial hop addition is made late in the boil, and then the beer is modestly dry-hopped, again with Cashmere, to provide its unique aroma profile subtly as to not be overwhelming for a relatively delicately flavored beer style.
By keeping the grain bill simple, it allows the Cashmere to be the sensory focus of the beer. A little bit of Caramel 10 is added to add a touch of caramel-esque sweetness and it also serves to add some dextrins to the beer to aid in mouthfeel and foam formation and retention. In these days of IPA dominated beer choices, it is quite refreshing to dial things back a bit and enjoy an easy-drinking, not too in-your-face classic American Blonde Ale.
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