Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lager season commences

I've gone on a few times about how I'm pretty much bound by the weather around here as to what I brew. With temps dropping down for the winter, it was time to brew a lager.

My dogs are friends with a number of dogs in our hood. One of them happens to belong to the head brewer for a pretty well known local brewery. I won't say who the brewery is, but you can probably guess it if your favorite movie is The Three Amigos, and your favorite band is Pink Floyd (Syd Barret version, of course). To make a long story short, he got a packet of hops a little while back that he couldn't really use. It was a little under three ounces of pellet hops. He gave them to me, with the stipulation that I'd give him a few to see what these hops were like. So, I give you: Three Dogs Lager:

Three Dogs Lager:

Pale Six Row- 7 lbs
Flaked Maize- 2 lbs
Cara Pils- 8 oz

Mt Hood- 1.5 oz- 60 minutes
GR Select Pellets- 2 oz- 15 minutes
GR Select Pellets- 1.875 oz- 5 minutes

Wyeast 2007- Pilsner- 1000 ml starter straight off the stir plate.

149 infusion

Gravity target/actual-

I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do with this. Chris' brewery is known for some pretty hoppy beers (their mild would probably be called a IPA at some places), so I wanted to be sure that I brewed this in a way that would showcase the hops in a flavor/aroma sort of way. There aren't many commercial examples of the classic American Pilsner, so I wasn't too hemmed in by any classic guidelines. This is a style that German brewers started doing when they came to America, and as such they used the ingredients that they had on hand. They found lots of corn here, hence the flaked maize. Six row malt to help covert the corn. Cara pils to add some body and foam.

The brewing went pretty good. I missed my numbers for the first time in a while, but I am chalking that up to the maize. I hadn't used it much before, and never used six row, so I'm not too worried about it. It'll still have a decent amount of punch. The hops are all German in origin. The Mt Hood is a Hallertauer offshoot, and the GR Select is a low alpha acid Tettnanger hybrid. I threw everything I had in on the two final additions, so the hoppiness should jump out of this beer, because the grain is not malty at all.

I have to give an honorable mention to Kerry on this beer with her timely Christmas presents. gave me a really nice digital thermometer, and a refractometer. Really good equipment, easy to calibrate. It definitely made things easier today.

Not so nice was my discovery yesterday that my Altbier had an infection. Every bottle had a nice layer of scum forming on the top. This was a big bummer, as I had some high hopes for that recipe. Needless to say, it was a big time cleaning day today. Pretty much every brewing implement I own got a long soak in some hot PBW, with a long soak in sanitizer after. I tossed my old hoses, so I'm hoping this is a one time thing.

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