Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Darkish American Lager No. 2

Every brewer hears about how if you do the same beer with two different yeast, you end up with two completely different beers. I had never done that before, but my last lager of the season gave me the perfect opportunity.

The first version of this was made a month ago with an American Pilsner yeast strain. I did my smoke beer two weeks ago with a Bavarian strain. The American strain is sort of geared toward accentuating hoppiness. The hallmark of a Bavarian Lager is the malts, so this was set up perfectly.

Darkish American Lager No. 2-

German Pilsner Malt- 5 lbs
Vienna Malt- 3 lbs
Crystal 60- 2.5 oz
Cara Vienna- 4.375 oz
Cara Hell- 9.125 oz
Black Patent- 1/2 oz

Nugget- 1 oz- 60 minutes
Vanguard- 1 oz- 8 minutes

Wyeast Bavarian Lager 2206- Yeast cake from the Rauchbier

152 infusion/168 decoction mashout

Gravity target/actual-

I didn't have access to a computer for this beer, so I only sort of remembered what I had done the first time. The malts ended up being close, and the hops slightly closer, but there were some definite changes. The malts, especially the character malts were more geared toward using us what little was left of some stuff that's been sitting around for a while. The Nugget hops are pretty high in alpha acids, and with the slightly higher amounts, the bitterness of this beer are going to really pop. Much more bitter than I usually make.

The brewday went really well, after last time's gas issues. I ended up watching parts of several soccer matches while brewing this one. I was up high on my gravity, which I pin to better mash efficiency. I calculated my numbers based on 75%, but I was probably closer to 80%. Pitching to the yeast cake made it take right off, to the point that I'm going to rack it this weekend. I had a small sample fermenting in a test tube in the kitchen to keep an eye on gravity progress, and I'm thinking it should be ready to rack as soon as this weekend. It smelled very bready. Outside temperatures are starting to get warmer, and I'm anxious to get it to the lagering phase before the weather gets in to the 50's every day.

Up next ale season 2009 kicks off. I hadn't really been thinking much about ales recently, so I'm going to try to make some improvements to some of last years recipes, but there will be some completely new ones too. I'm going to start it off with a one gallon batch as a starter for an update/redo of my rye beer, which was one of my tastier efforts last spring.

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