Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Solstice Dunkel

Ahh, lager season. When I try to prove that a world class beer can be brewed in 32 degree weather on a porch. I like to think yes.

Dunkel means dark in German, which is what it is outside by the time I get done brewing. Which tomorrow or the next day being solstice, it made sense that I would brew a dark one.

Munich Malt(dark)- 5 lbs
Munich Malt (light)- 4 lbs
Carafa 2 (400L)- 2 oz
CaraPils- 8 oz
Melanoidin Malt- 8 oz

Perle- .5 oz- 60 minutes
Tradition- 1 oz- 15 minutes

White Labs WLP833 Bock

127/150/166- Double Decoction

Gravity- Projected/Actual/Final/ABV

I cannot account for that high gravity. It could have been the massively stuck lautering process again, which has me designing a new mash tun. I'm thinking something where the false bottom is weighted to about 10 pounds, thereby making it impossible for grain to get under it.

The decoction process was something I've done before, but I had never attempted to do it where I was trying to hit an exact temperature rest. I had always played it safe by doing it at mash out, which is not too tough, since if you miss your temp, as long as you don't miss too high, it's not too big a deal. Today I moved from the first rest to the sacch rest, and I absolutely nailed it. All I can say is to do your calculations (or have Promash do it for you like I do), and pull the exact amounts, and it'll work out okay. I'm interested to see what kind of maltiness I get from this technique.

The recipe is pretty German. I try to stay well within what you'd expect for a style the first time I brew a certain beer, then I can make my adjustments from there. All German malts, all German hops, and a southern Bavarian yeast. I'm a little worried that it might be a little too dark (that Carafa is soooo dark, you really don't need much to make a massive color adjustment), but it should taste like it was brewed in a cave outside of Munich by a guy wearing lederhosen.

I've never repeated anything, but I think this may be my first. I'm doing my first lager a little sooner this year, so I think I may try it at the end to see how the repeatability of the recipe is.