Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Sam Adams / Vienna Lager recipe for critique
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-13-2009, 09:39 AM   #1
Bosium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Essex, UK. Formerly Cape Town, ZA
Posts: 97
Default Sam Adams / Vienna Lager recipe for critique

Hi all,

I absolutely love Samuel Adams Boston Lager. For those who have not had it before, is a wonderful, malty, rich beer with incredible depth flavour and balance, and a beautiful colour. It is one of my all-time favourite beers.

So, I am trying to create something similar, and I would appreciate any criticism of my recipe.
I have created essentially a Vienna Lager, but have added a small amount of crystal (I believe crystal 40 is in the SA recipe), and some melanoidin to emulate the decoction mash that is used by the commercial brewery.

I'm not 100% sure on how much bitterness to add, but I know that SA is a very malty and sweet beer yet still is quite bitter, so I'd expect I would need quite a bit of bitterness to balance this. I'm not sure if 34 is too much, but I prefer to err on the side of bitter rather than sweet. I'll be using soft water and FWH'ing, as well as using some of the best hops you can buy, so this should still be a fairly gentle yet firm bitterness (I hope).

I also know that SA uses Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnanger, and the beer has a much more pronounced hop aroma and flavour than a traditional Vienna lager. I am not sure how best to split the additions, so my starting point is simply to add equal portions of Hallertau and Tett for each addition. Again, any advice / suggestions would be very welcome.

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.016
ABV: 4.8%
AA: 70%
IBU: 34

Vienna Malt 40%
Munich Malt 25%
Pils Malt (Ger) 25%
CaraMunich 40 5%
Melanoidin Malt 3%
Flaked Barley 2%

Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfruh 4.3% AA
Tettnang Tettnanger 3.8% AA

Additions:
90min FWH 18 IBU
30min 9 IBU
15min 5 IBU
5min 2 IBU

I will use the Wyeast 2001 Urquell strain, mainly as I have it and I plan to brew a bohemian pilsner next, so I can re-pitch on this one's cake once done. I will grow an enormous starter first though, and pitch the slurry. I plan to pitch cold and ferment at 10.C, with a diacetyl rest near to the end of fermentation. I will use a fast ferment test to determine what my limit of attenuation is with the wort I produce.

I will be lagering this for 4-6 weeks, and then bottling it with krausen beer from the leftover original wort, fermented with a flocculant ale yeast for carbonation, probably Notty.

That's about it. Any comments from those more experienced in lagers (or anyone really) would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

__________________

Last edited by Bosium; 10-13-2009 at 09:44 AM.
Bosium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 11:43 AM   #2
SpanishCastleAle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 4,384
Liked 29 Times on 29 Posts

Default

IIRC I read somewhere that the Tett hops are the late addition hops and are responsible for most if not all of the hop flavor/aroma.

I haven't had SA Boston Lager in a while but based on my memory your predicted FG seems a little high but I'm just guessing. Maybe all the bitterness makes it seem that way. Do you know the SG of a real Boston Lager?

I have an Oktoberfest on tap right now that's in this ballpark and it is mighty tasty. Only difference is I swapped the Munich/Vienna % and used a tiny bit of Carafoam instead of Flaked Barley, Hersbrucker hops...not as bitter as Boston Lager.

I think the malt bill looks good (as far as making a great beer...don't know if it will nail Boston Lager but it can't be too far off).

Do you plan to fine it? I don't really know if 2% Flaked Barley would cause enough haze to detract from it or if that even matters that much to you.

__________________
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate
SpanishCastleAle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 12:07 PM   #3
Bosium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Essex, UK. Formerly Cape Town, ZA
Posts: 97
Default

Hmm, thanks for the reply.

I do not know what the OG is for the real boston lager, but I do know it is fairly chewy (if you know what I mean), so I assumed it was a fairly high OG and FG. I found this, also the sam adams website puts OG at 1.053 (13 plato). It is 4.9% ABV, so it must finish pretty high if that is the case. Would also explain how much bitterness there is in the commercial beer (no figures I can find, but I guess 30-35 IBU).

Interestingly, they list ingredients as only 2-row and caramel 60. I wonder if I may be barking up the wrong tree entirely by using vienna / munich.

I will lager the beer, but don't plan to fine it per se. I've used small amounts of flaked barley before in ales with no problem with haze, but perhaps carapils would be a better option for this beer.

__________________
Bosium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 12:37 PM   #4
SpanishCastleAle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 4,384
Liked 29 Times on 29 Posts

Default

Ah, then it looks like your gravities are on target.

Your grain bill will be different than just 2-row and C60. Maltier obv. But you're right about the Melanoidin and the decoction, not the same but short of an actual decoction it's a good addition imo.

__________________
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate
SpanishCastleAle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
Bosium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Essex, UK. Formerly Cape Town, ZA
Posts: 97
Default

hmm, not sure I want it any maltier than SA, that's a malt-bomb of a beer already.
Maybe I'll dial down the other malts a bit in favour of some more pils, ie swap the pils and vienna malts.

Also the website says they dry hop hallertau mittelfruh (?!), not sure I want to do that. Perhaps I'll shift my 5 min additions to zero mins to enhance the aroma. I'd be worried about how to properly dry hop a lager - surely I'd get no aroma out of dry hops at such low temps. Maybe I could do it when I do the diacetyl rest, right in the primary, before lagering.

__________________
Bosium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
SpanishCastleAle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 4,384
Liked 29 Times on 29 Posts

Default

How about a hop extract/hop tea? Noonan (RIP) suggests hop extract instead of dry-hopping for lagers anyway...says it's cleaner and more appropriate for lagers.

__________________
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate
SpanishCastleAle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 02:59 PM   #7
dfohio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 237
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

After reading the SA website, I would probably use pale 2-row for the base and c-60. It's probably a good idea to keep some munich or vienna and the melanoidin to help mimic the decoction.

For my tastes, I would actually enjoy your original recipe (minus flaked barley) more than trying to clone to the Boston lager.

__________________
"If you do it right, brewing is about ideas. A big impression can be made with brute force, but sometimes a whisper speaks louder than a shout." - Randy Mosher

Primary: Citrus Wheat Experiment/WLP029 & WYEAST 1056
Secondary: Oktoberfest
Bottle: Empty
dfohio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
Bosium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Essex, UK. Formerly Cape Town, ZA
Posts: 97
Default

Thanks for the replies..

I think I'll shelve this recipe for now, maybe brew it another time sans the crystal and with a lower bitterness and general hop character as a true Vienna lager.

As for 'cloning' the SA, I guess I should stick to the 2-row and crystal 60, with a bit of munich and melanoidin. Sounds like an APA actually.

Tell me, I cannot get US 2-row here, is there much difference between it and continental pilsener malt (which is what I use as a base for most of my recipes)?

__________________
Bosium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 10:10 PM   #9
Tmeister
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Valencia CA.
Posts: 52
Default

Your recipe looks well thought out. I like SA too, but your beer will prob. taste more like their oktoberfest beer. Idk as far as using pilsner instead of 2 row, but the taste will be far from an APA if you use the right yeast. Do and experiment and do the same recipe with a APA yeast and a German Lager yeast (then lager of course) at the yeasts appropriate temp, and you have two totally different beers. good luck.

__________________
Tmeister is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-13-2009, 11:03 PM   #10
BigEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,350
Liked 114 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosium View Post

I also know that SA uses Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnanger, and the beer has a much more pronounced hop aroma and flavour than a traditional Vienna lager.
That's because Sam Lager is not a Vienna lager. It's a German pils with crystal malt. There must be some brewing publication that erroneously lists Sam Adams as a Vienna because I have seen the style reference a number of times. The other posts have covered things already so I would agree that your recipe looks tasty but will not yield a Sam Lager type beer. The OG and IBUs look close. I would lean towards the the 35 end of the IBU range. Re Pilsner malt, it's going to give you a better beer than the American 2-row IMO. I think SA just uses it to save money. So if you decide to go with just pils and crystal I do not think you will be disappointed. My guess on the hops is that the recent versions of SA use more Tett than Mittlefruh in the later additions. Go with your own tastes here as far as the blend goes.
__________________
BigEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tuborg Classic (Vienna Lager) Recipe? maho Recipes/Ingredients 4 03-21-2010 11:30 AM
Need input on Vienna Lager recipe maho Recipes/Ingredients 7 04-18-2009 01:37 PM
Sam Adams winter lager recipe Sherpa FE All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 01-17-2008 09:42 PM
Feedback on Vienna Lager recipe JeffNYC Recipes/Ingredients 0 10-22-2007 01:14 PM
vienna lager recipe? jeffg Recipes/Ingredients 3 12-09-2006 02:25 PM