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Old 03-17-2007, 09:06 PM   #1
kdsarch
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Default Spaten Optimator

I absolutely love Spaten Optimator. I would really like to brew this beer. I know that it is a lager receipe, but as i am not set up for laggering as of yet, does anyone think that this beer could be achieved with an ale yeast?

Just wondering. Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 03-17-2007, 11:51 PM   #2
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No you can't clone Optimator with an Ale yeast... but some sweet stouts can offer a similar flavor profile.

I've never brewed a stout though, so I'm not going to be of much assistance in formulating a recipe...

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:06 AM   #3
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Thanks Toot, that's what I thought.

I think that if I started the brew at the beginning of winter it probably would have been okay since my basement is generally around 57 degrees in the area where I place my fermenters.

I like scotch ale too, except for the smokey undertones, which I think I can develop a recipe around that feature.

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:14 AM   #4
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I am a devotee of optimator. For awhile my SWMBO and I downed a 12 pack a week, at a minimum. Always at room temperature for maximum flavor enjoyment.

I really wish I knew more about stouts and could help you with a recipe. For what it's worth, I would lean towards a lower initial gravity. Optimator is around 7.2%ABV. If you want to ferment something like that and age it till it's smooth, I think you'll be looking at mid-July or so. I don't think that's optimal. Let's start with a lower-attenuating yeast... something malty. I have experience with London Ale yeast and think that that could work well for you. Something British/Scottish/London.. something malty with low attenuation. Shoot for an OG around 1.055 to keep the fermentation period from being too long. Try to get it to finish around 1.015 or so, so keep the mash temps highish, maybe do a decoction to increase the malt profile.

I'd probably also use some candi sugar, that tends to increase the perception of sweetness.

From there? I guess we're talking about recipe forumulation. I can't really help with the malts at all, but we're talking low IBU's, so stick with little hops.. like Tettnang or Hallertauer- those are german hops. Fuggles or Styrian Goldings might not be bad either. Keep it around 20 IBU's or so for the style we're talking about.

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:35 AM   #5
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Spaten Optimator is a Doppelbock, which is a malt forward, dark and strong lager. Though hop flavor and aroma are not common for Doppelbocks, Optimator has a little of that.

The book "Clone Brews" lists a clone recipe for the Optimator, but I don't believe in this recipe. I did brew it and got a nice Doppelbock, but not like the Optimator.

Don't confuse the Bocks with sweet stouts. In stouts the main flavor is roastiness that comes from roasted grains. In Bocks it is maltiness that comes from the use of dark base malts like Muich.

You said, that your problem is being unable to brew lagers. This might be a problem indeed, but you could try a Doppelbock recipe with a clean ale yeast (WY 1056 or WY 1338) the latter is a clean european ale yeast. Though decoction mashing is still used for many Doppelbocks in Germany I don't think it makes enough difference for you to add this complexity to the process. Regarding recipe design here are some ideas:
- use a significant amount of dark Munch in the recipe (80-60%) . This will give you the big maltiness and dark color without any roastiness
- use some pilsner malt as an insurance for starch conversion since dark Munich is on the edge of being able to convert itself.
- add some dark Crystal malts for more color and sweetness (~10 %)
- if you want a touch (> 2%) of roast and more color add some Weyermann Carfa or even better Carafa Special which is less bitter since it doesn't have husks
- for hops use German noble varieties like Hallertauer or Tettnang and keep the targeted IBUs in the lower 20s

Kai

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Old 03-18-2007, 02:13 AM   #6
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By and large, I differ to Kai's greater knowledge. However, if you don't want to wait 6 months for this thing to ferment and age, I would still go for a lower OG. Doing that will result in a cleaner ferment with less maltiness. To make up for this, I would use a maltier yeast.

Kai, wouldn't you agree that using a "cleaner" yeast will lock you into a high starting gravity to end at the proper maltiness for the target beer? And wouldn't this lock you into a longer ferment? Seems like a maltier yeast strain and a lower OG will help keep you from having to wait until the heat of July to enjoy this brew...


Just my $0.02. Feel free to disagree (and I welcome Kai's comments, as always)...

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Old 03-18-2007, 02:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
By and large, I differ to Kai's greater knowledge. However, if you don't want to wait 6 months for this thing to ferment and age, I would still go for a lower OG. Doing that will result in a cleaner ferment with less maltiness. To make up for this, I would use a maltier yeast.

Kai, wouldn't you agree that using a "cleaner" yeast will lock you into a high starting gravity to end at the proper maltiness for the target beer? And wouldn't this lock you into a longer ferment? Seems like a maltier yeast strain and a lower OG will help keep you from having to wait until the heat of July to enjoy this brew...


Just my $0.02. Feel free to disagree (and I welcome Kai's comments, as always)...
Doppelbocks don't take 6 months to ferment and lager though they would certainly benefit from it when fermented with ale or with lager yeast. My current doppeblock is only 3 month old and pretty fine.

With respect to gravity, the same grain bill could give you 3 differnt beers:

11 - 13 *P (1.044 - 1.052) - it's a Munich Dunkel
13 - 16 *P - it's a Munich Dunkel Export
16 - 18 *P - it's a Bock
16 and above it's a Doppelbock.

All these beers are very similar in their malt bill and hopping. Only the gravity makes them different styles.

I may actually tweak my Doppelbock recipe as a Munich Dunkel or Bock before I brew it as a Doppelbock next time.

Kai
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:42 AM   #8
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I love disagreeing with people like Kaiser because it is quite educational.


Kaiser... care to take a stab at a grain bill for a 5 gallon batch of an Optimator clone with an ale yeast?

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Old 03-18-2007, 04:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
Kaiser... care to take a stab at a grain bill for a 5 gallon batch of an Optimator clone with an ale yeast?


I'm not good at cloning beers, though they were good beers they never came out like the original. That's why I stopped trying this. Now I just try to make good examples of the style.

I don't think that you can compensate for the yeast with the grain bill, but this is likely the grain bill I'll be trying next:

70% Munich II
20% Pilsner
5% Caramunich I
5% Caramunich III

Mashed at 54 *C for 20 min and 67 *C for 60 min. Maybe a single decoction to get to mash-out (76 *C). If I brew this at Bock or Export strength I can do the multi step rest with hot water infusions.

douging in below saccrification rest temps (protein rest for instance) helps with malts that have lower diastatic power (especially if you want to go all munich II base malt) beacause it hydrates the starched and enzymes before they are in a temp range where they are quickly denatured (especially the beta amylase which doesn't last long at 67 *C).

A single infusion mash at 66.5 - 67 *C should work to since many other brewers have successfully done it that way. You need to adjust the temp based on your system, but keep in mind that due to the lower enzyme content in dark munich malt, the fermentability of the wort will automatically be lower than what you get from a Pale or Pilsner malt based mash at the same temp. This goes back to the necessity of tweaking a recipe.

Kai
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