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Old 08-28-2013, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default First Lager - Have restrictions & need help

Hi guys, need some help with coming up with a recipe for sort of an "Oktoberfest" type beer. I have 8 weeks and need to get another beer done as well and only have 1 temp. controled freezer. I also am restrcited somewhat to using ingredients on hand due to money being tight.
So my basic plan is to brew the lager this weekend, ferment for 2 weeks, transfer to keg and prime and condition for 3 weeks @ 70°F (during this time I will be fermenting the other beer) then throw it back in the freezer to lager. Is the conditioning before lagering going to cause issues?

Now the rough recipe:
95% Pale Ale malt (5.5 SRM)
5% Crystal 55 SRM
Styrian Goldings @ 60 mins - 22 IBUs
Saflager W34/70

This is for a Oktoberfest thing at work - where they have asked any homebrewers to brew some beer and everyone will decide on the best beer that will win a prize (yes I see through their plot to get free beer too ). I'm going to put in a pale ale or english bitter or something else too, but was keen to also do something semi resembling an Oktoberfest.

Please let me know if I am on the right track or if I'm completely off the rails here!
Cheers



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Old 08-28-2013, 01:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
Hi guys, need some help with coming up with a recipe for sort of an "Oktoberfest" type beer. I have 8 weeks and need to get another beer done as well and only have 1 temp. controled freezer. I also am restrcited somewhat to using ingredients on hand due to money being tight.
So my basic plan is to brew the lager this weekend, ferment for 2 weeks, transfer to keg and prime and condition for 3 weeks @ 70°F (during this time I will be fermenting the other beer) then throw it back in the freezer to lager. Is the conditioning before lagering going to cause issues?

Now the rough recipe:
95% Pale Ale malt (5.5 SRM)
5% Crystal 55 SRM
Styrian Goldings @ 60 mins - 22 IBUs
Saflager W34/70

This is for a Oktoberfest thing at work - where they have asked any homebrewers to brew some beer and everyone will decide on the best beer that will win a prize (yes I see through their plot to get free beer too ). I'm going to put in a pale ale or english bitter or something else too, but was keen to also do something semi resembling an Oktoberfest.

Please let me know if I am on the right track or if I'm completely off the rails here!
Cheers
I'd do a moctoberfest beer. I'm sure you can find a recipe using a clean ale yeast. 8 weeks is pushing it with 34/70 in my opinion.


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Lagering/conditioning: German pils, Dortmunder
Lagering:Kolsch, Dusseldorf alt
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Fermenting: German pils
Wheat 1,Wheat 2
All to be kegged and served by May 10

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:52 AM   #3
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Use the San Francisco Lager yeast, or look up Tasty's lager fermentation schedule (brewing network), and give that a shot. He can make a drinkable lager in 2 weeks.

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Old 08-28-2013, 02:03 AM   #4
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I'd do a moctoberfest beer. I'm sure you can find a recipe using a clean ale yeast. 8 weeks is pushing it with 34/70 in my opinion.
Could do it with US05, but was keen to try it with a lager strain. What would be expected out of W34/70 if not given enough time lagering - sulfur?
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Could do it with US05, but was keen to try it with a lager strain. What would be expected out of W34/70 if not given enough time lagering - sulfur?
You could try 34/70 if you pitch 3 packs per carboy and do a ferment where you start as low as possible and raise the temp to 54 for a few days before going to 60 for a diacetal rest. Then condition it warm. That may work. However, I would advise against any lager strain where you don't have a 3 month window. The 34/70 brews I made took about 6 weeks of lagering before they were palletable. They will improve until about 12 or more weeks of cold conditioning. You will hear some places that a great lager can be made in 8 weeks, I beg to differ. If you want to make an authentic tasting lager time is the only method I know of, besides fermenting under pressure or on beachwood...like bud..but those are other topics.

To be honest, I have had lagers that after 8 weeks taste as good as a lot of microbrew lager.....but they don't taste german. That takes time. I love 34/70 but it takes time.

I can tell you what will happen. You will make the beer and think its ok. You will not drink much though. You will forget about it, go back in December and it will be great.

Unfortunaly best process is to give it time. If you want it in 8 weeks time, you should really go Nuetral ale strain or Cali lager etc. I honestly believe that is what American microbrew versions of German lagers use.

I see you are already using American pale malt.......that won't work well in a German style anyway. Look at biermuncher's cream of three crops recipe. It uses ale yeast and people believe this beer is a recreation of bud light.

Take the advice on here and realize that it takes a ton of work to make a good beer. It takes a lot more work, patience and knowledge to make a great beer. It also takes humility...humility in the form of taking advice when it's good advice.

I would also use a little munich malt instead of the crystal. Just my opinion.

All that being said.......I have had very good results from mangrove jacks workhorse.......ferment it low pitch a lot and you can finish primary fast. I believe it is a mixture of ale and lager yeasts. Mash that beer low.....I'd say 148 to get it clean and attenuated. I have had less than stellar attenuation with the stuff but it makes a clean beer. Let me know what you decide.
__________________

BL, CL, Miller etc. is like makin love in a canoe.....
its fkin close to water.
Lagering/conditioning: German pils, Dortmunder
Lagering:Kolsch, Dusseldorf alt
American Amber, Red ale
Double ipa, Rye ipa
Fermenting: German pils
Wheat 1,Wheat 2
All to be kegged and served by May 10

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Old 08-28-2013, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinstone View Post
You could try 34/70 if you pitch 3 packs per carboy and do a ferment where you start as low as possible and raise the temp to 54 for a few days before going to 60 for a diacetal rest. Then condition it warm. That may work. However, I would advise against any lager strain where you don't have a 3 month window. The 34/70 brews I made took about 6 weeks of lagering before they were palletable. They will improve until about 12 or more weeks of cold conditioning. You will hear some places that a great lager can be made in 8 weeks, I beg to differ. If you want to make an authentic tasting lager time is the only method I know of, besides fermenting under pressure or on beachwood...like bud..but those are other topics.

To be honest, I have had lagers that after 8 weeks taste as good as a lot of microbrew lager.....but they don't taste german. That takes time. I love 34/70 but it takes time.

I can tell you what will happen. You will make the beer and think its ok. You will not drink much though. You will forget about it, go back in December and it will be great.

Unfortunaly best process is to give it time. If you want it in 8 weeks time, you should really go Nuetral ale strain or Cali lager etc. I honestly believe that is what American microbrew versions of German lagers use.

I see you are already using American pale malt.......that won't work well in a German style anyway. Look at biermuncher's cream of three crops recipe. It uses ale yeast and people believe this beer is a recreation of bud light.

Take the advice on here and realize that it takes a ton of work to make a good beer. It takes a lot more work, patience and knowledge to make a great beer. It also takes humility...humility in the form of taking advice when it's good advice.

I would also use a little munich malt instead of the crystal. Just my opinion.

All that being said.......I have had very good results from mangrove jacks workhorse.......ferment it low pitch a lot and you can finish primary fast. I believe it is a mixture of ale and lager yeasts. Mash that beer low.....I'd say 148 to get it clean and attenuated. I have had less than stellar attenuation with the stuff but it makes a clean beer. Let me know what you decide.
Thanks for the advice reinstone. It is kind of what I was expecting to hear going into this with 8 weeks to get a lager together. I am definately being swayed to using US05 (my go to yeast) for a fake "lager". I don't have any Munich on hand but might be able to get some by the weekend... might

If I can get the Munich I will probably go at ~2.5kg Pale 5.5 / ~1kg Munich + 30g Styrian Goldings AA4% at 60 mins - I think that would be a few points over 1.050 and approx 21 IBU - it was ~10 SRM with the crystal but don't know how it will look like with the Munich. Ferment with US05 @ 17°C
Sound like a better plan?
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:35 AM   #7
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Take the advice on here and realize that it takes a ton of work to make a good beer. It takes a lot more work, patience and knowledge to make a great beer. It also takes humility...humility in the form of taking advice when it's good advice.
I didn't mean to sound like I was ignoring the advice - more that I was interested to know what the affects of not enough time would be, and you answered that pretty much perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reinstone View Post
I see you are already using American pale malt.......that won't work well in a German style anyway. Look at biermuncher's cream of three crops recipe. It uses ale yeast and people believe this beer is a recreation of bud light.
Nah, it's NZ Pale malt but I get what you are saying. I don't think anyone at the company thing would really call out that it is not to style - to them like most it is beer. A far as our commercial macro beers in NZ most take on the NZ draught style, which is not probably best explained as a slightly more "maltier/darker" version of BMC. Still with ralatively minimal/no malt or hops flavour but at least I don't have as far to reach in terms of bridging the gap between that and what I would like to bring to the table. They are expecting craft beer so should be ready for some flavour.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:09 AM   #8
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I understand. I wasn't being a dick. I was just saying that lager is so hard to master. Everything has to be perfect. I only learned by asking and taking advice. I wouldn't tell you anything but what I know as the truth. It sucks to have your time wasted. I was only talking about humility because you have to be willing to admit you don't know something. Which you did. I'm afraid there are some people who can't admit not knowing everything and don't take advice. You are not that but I wanted to get your attention. I care how your beers turn out. Trust me, I have done my share of experiments and wish I spent my time polishing my brewing practices.

I can tell you this with certainty, a psuedo lager brewed with a clean ale yeast will resemble a true lager more than an 8 week true lager. For someone who asks a question, I say what I know from experience. Not what I hear. Feel free to ask anything via pm as I may not always see the thread.

If you notice, you have been on the forum longer than me. You may be a more versed brewer for that matter. However, I started my brewing hobby brewing lagers. It was a long hard process. I won't steer ya wrong. Neither will others.

As a huge fan of beers from helles to ipa I'd rather drink an octoberfest with us05 at 4 weeks than the same beer with 34/70 at 8. My lagers take some time to round out. Of course, a well lagered true lager is great but at some point it takes a real great palate to tell the difference. Also, do some research on us 05 temps. It's supposedly cleanest at 65 and fruity above or below. I like the mangrove jacks workhorse. It's a New Zealand yeast I believe.

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BL, CL, Miller etc. is like makin love in a canoe.....
its fkin close to water.
Lagering/conditioning: German pils, Dortmunder
Lagering:Kolsch, Dusseldorf alt
American Amber, Red ale
Double ipa, Rye ipa
Fermenting: German pils
Wheat 1,Wheat 2
All to be kegged and served by May 10

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Old 08-29-2013, 01:11 AM   #9
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And I forgot. I love steinlager. Green bullet hops!

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BL, CL, Miller etc. is like makin love in a canoe.....
its fkin close to water.
Lagering/conditioning: German pils, Dortmunder
Lagering:Kolsch, Dusseldorf alt
American Amber, Red ale
Double ipa, Rye ipa
Fermenting: German pils
Wheat 1,Wheat 2
All to be kegged and served by May 10

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Old 08-29-2013, 01:13 AM   #10
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If you get munich mash at 150. If you use the crystal go 148. Sorry I'm in Fahrenheit



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BL, CL, Miller etc. is like makin love in a canoe.....
its fkin close to water.
Lagering/conditioning: German pils, Dortmunder
Lagering:Kolsch, Dusseldorf alt
American Amber, Red ale
Double ipa, Rye ipa
Fermenting: German pils
Wheat 1,Wheat 2
All to be kegged and served by May 10

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