The time has finally come to brew up a lager! Like, a real one with Weihenstephaner Lager yeast, fermented in a temperature controlled fridge and everything. The recipe is super simple, and is a slightly lighter-colored version of a Munich Dunkel. I purchased an entire 55 pound sack of imported Helles Munich grain...so this BETTER be as good as I am hoping ;-) cause I am planning on brewing a lot of this beer.
Münchener Lagerbier (3.5 gallon recipe)
- Best Malz Helles Munich malt - 6 pounds 8 oz - Hallertau Herbsbruker pellets - 1 oz @ 60, 1/8 oz @ 20 - Saflager W-34/70 lager yeast
The anticipated stats @ 75% eff: OG 1.049 - IBU 21-22 - Abv 4.7%
Plan of attack: mash for 50 minutes at 152°, pull a decoction, boil for about 10-15 minutes, add back in to raise to mashout temperature. ferment for 21 days at 50-52° to theoretically eliminate the need for a diacetyl rest. move to a glass carboy (well 3 x 1 gallon ones to be exact!) and lager in the "regular" fridge for 3-4 weeks before kegging.
as a side note, this batch will be fermented in a new vessel...because my MB keg has succumbed to an infection. RIP old friend, you will be missed! going to go with a simple 5 gallon bucket, so the (increased) batch size of 3.5 gallons reflects the need to fill more of the head space, while still leaving plenty of room for blowoff (though I can't imagine this would be an issue with this yeast at such a low temperature). This batch will also serve as propagation of the lager yeast, so I can increase the vitals of this beer for round 2 of this beer by about a half % of alcohol by volume
V1 - brewed 2/2/2013 ended up with 3.25 gallons after the boil, and I did not decoct this attempt. My efficiency was quite high (at 81%), but my volume was lower than anticipated (3.25 gal). So that put the starting gravity at 1.060, and if my refractometer isn't lying to me (I calibrated it) the FG was actually all the way down to 1.007. which is quite crisp and that would increase the alcohol content to 6.9%. wow. it was kegged on the 23rd, so it will be another month before sampling. in the meantime...
V2 - brewed 2/23/2013 my scale (or simply myself!) must be off, because I ended up having to add a lot of extra water during the process to get my gravity DOWN to a more reasonable level. there's a good chance I used an extra pound to pound and a half of grain, but fortunately I was taking gravity readings the whole time, and added a bit more hops to keep the IBU levels around 20 (the bit I sampled after the boil tasted a bit hoppy-er than V1, but, personally, I don't see a little more Hallertaur presence as a "problem"
anyway, I ended up with around 4.75 gallons (waa chaa!) post boil, and the starting gravity of the 4.25-ish gallons I put into the fermenter was still 1.059! the hydro and refrac matched readings perfectly...crazy right? whatever. I washed a bit of the yeast cake (and harvested the rest) from V1, and that got to bubbling within 12 hours in the mid 50s, and then into the wine fridge at 45° where it will sit until kegging time on/around 3/16/13
V2 update 3/19/2013 - gravity was down to 1.014, so it was kegged. this 5.9% ABV lager has a bit more hoppy-ness at the moment, but there is still QUITE some time before this beer hits a tap anyway...V1 is still waiting patiently for a keg to kick (but the IPA and Aventeeni are both getting close by now)
V1 Update 4/20/2013 - an aggressive pour from the tap produces a light amber/burnt orangey colored beer that has a bright fluffy white head (which dissipates relatively quickly, but laces down the glass) that has a distinct aroma that I can only describe as “German lager”. The taste is slightly sweet with a touch of fresh bread crust and an undertone of spiciness from the Hallertau hops. I’d say this beer as a touch too much body, but it did end up bigger than I anticipated. That being said, it is still easy to knock a few down in a row. Looking forward to enjoying this beer for the next few weeks while V2 continues to age, and I’ll probably get a V3 or bock going in the meantime.