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Old 06-06-2009, 04:27 AM   #1
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Default Vienna Lager

My new Johnson Controls A419 temperature controller arrived today. So, naturally, I'm thinking of trying my first Lager. Since I really enjoy Dos equis amber and Negra Modelo, I've decided to make a Mexican Lager my first attempt.

After listening to the Basic Brewing podcast about Vienna Lagers here's a recipe I came up with:




Mexican Vienna Lager
(Ver. 1.0)


OG: 1.044
FG: 1.013
IBU’s: 20.1

Batch Size: 11.5 Gal.


Grain:
12.5 Lbs. Vienna malt
3.5 Lbs. Flaked Corn
1.5 Lbs. Munich Malt


Mash:

Step Mash: 121 - 130 deg 15 min
148-150 deg ½ hr
158 – 162 15 min.


Hops:

2.75 Oz. Williamette (4.75%) @ :60



Boil: 90 min.

Cool to 50-55 deg. Then pitch yeast

Lager yeast: Oktoberfest/Bohemian pils./White Labs Old Bavarian lager/Mexican Lager



Questions for the experienced Lager brewers:

  1. Which yeast would you recomend for a Mexican lager?
  2. What fermentation Schedule would you recomend? (days/temps/rests/etc.)
  3. Would you do the step mash or just a single infusion at say 158 deg.?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Kornbread
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:59 AM   #2
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Yay!!!! A fellow Vienna lager-phile and especially someone who based their's off that great podcast..If you haven't I suggest you look at the latest (I think) issue of byo that has a section devoted to brewing that style...

WHen I did mine I used saflager yeast, rather than any of the liquid ones...just your basic dry lager yeast...

I "Ghetto" lagered mine in the high 30- low 40's to a week in my garage for 2-3 weeks, then did a diacetyl rest at room temp for a wek, then racked mine to secondary and took it back int he cold for another month....then bottled..

Here's the link to byo's articles on the lager for the mag...
Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Vienna Lager: Tips from the Pros -

Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Recipes - Cafe Vienna Lager

Tastybrew forum also has a response to the recent article..TastyBrew.com | Forum | Vienna Lager

If there's anything else I can do let me know

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Old 06-06-2009, 05:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornbread View Post
  1. Which yeast would you recomend for a Mexican lager?
  2. What fermentation Schedule would you recomend? (days/temps/rests/etc.)
  3. Would you do the step mash or just a single infusion at say 158 deg.?
Yummy recipe! Except you might want some roasted grain in there to get the color to style.

1. I'm sure WLP940 (Modelo) is the baby for this, but it's a Platinum strain. I'd go with Saflager W-34/70 dry yeast for convenience, but my last Vienna with WLP838/WY2308 was very nice. It doesn't ferment as aggressively, though.
2. Forget days, let the beer tell you when. If you can, buy or build enough yeast so you can pitch cold (~45-48ºF) and ferment at 50 until it starts to slow down, then raise the temp to 60+. When it stops actively fermenting, drop the temp slowly to lager temp (30-40) and rack. Lager for a month or so.
3. Single infusion is just fine, but I like doing decoction mashes. I pretty much have taken to doing the Hochkurz schedule for lagers.
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:36 AM   #4
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Yummy recipe! Except you might want some roasted grain in there to get the color to style.
No Roasted Grain, NO Roasted Grain, No Roasted Grain

My friend, That is a no no in Vienna lagers...we're not making schwartzbiers here....I know I had the same issue...getting it within the SRMs without the fall back on darkk crystal malts

From BJCP

Quote:
Flavor: Soft, elegant malt complexity is in the forefront, with a firm enough hop bitterness to provide a balanced finish. Some toasted character from the use of Vienna malt. No roasted or caramel flavor. Fairly dry finish, with both malt and hop bitterness present in the aftertaste. Noble hop flavor may be low to none.


That's one of the trickiest thing to get...the color without the roasty notes.....

My recipe based on the Chris Colby basic brewing Podcast as well;

8# Vienna
1# Caramunich (56 SRM)
8 ounces of Crystal 60l
1.35 ounces of Hallertauer @ 60...
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:43 AM   #5
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My friend, That is a no no in Vienna lagers...we're not making schwartzbiers here....
Yeah, I guess I should've checked my BS. Grainbill for B3 Vienna is:
9lb Pils
4oz Caramunich 60
2oz Carafa Special II (which is roasted, but dehusked/debittered)

...and it's still light for style.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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Yea, loose the corn. Save it for an American Lager or Cream Ale. Germans don't use it!

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Old 06-06-2009, 01:06 PM   #7
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My Vienna Lager is 100% vienna malt. I think the BJCP is out to lunch on the SRM for this particular style. And Mexican or not, I'd drop the corn as well. Not sure it will add a complimentary flavour to the toasty notes.

To answer your questions, I personally like the White Labs Bavarian lager yeast. Fermentation I'd go between 50-55F for 2 weeks and then a diacetyl rest for a day or so if it's required. Lager it for a month to 6 weeks near freezing and then bring it back to room temperature for bottle conditioning for a further 3 weeks (there should be enough yeast left to carbonate but you can always add 1/4 packet of a dry ale yeast).

Regarding the mash, I would just go single infusion around 150-152F. You'll get a surprising amount of body from the vienna malt.

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Old 06-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
Yea, loose the corn. Save it for an American Lager or Cream Ale. Germans don't use it!
If he is aiming for a "Mexican Vienna", he needs the corn. Maybe cut the amount a bit.

I kegged this one last night:

10lbs Pils
1.0lbs Crystal 60L
1.0lbs Vienna
1.0lbs Flaked Corn

1.0oz Sterling @ 60
0.5oz Sterling @ 5

US-05

Not a lager, but has very lager-like qualities. Fermented at 59*F.

Force carbed a 2 liter and it already tastes nice. A couple of weeks of "lagering" in the kegerator and it will be ready to take camping.

Next time I am going to jump up the Vienna to about half the grain bill and see what it does.

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Old 06-06-2009, 01:55 PM   #9
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If he is aiming for a "Mexican Vienna", he needs the corn. Maybe cut the amount a bit...
Wow I have selective comprehension sometimes.

I agree, keep the corn but definitely reduce it a bit. I think you would want a little bit of corn flavour without it overpowering the vienna malt. And go with the Mexican lager yeast.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Wow I have selective comprehension sometimes.

I agree, keep the corn but definitely reduce it a bit. I think you would want a little bit of corn flavour without it overpowering the vienna malt. And go with the Mexican lager yeast.
Yeah, corn can be overdone, easily. I have a 3 gallon batch of American Lager lagering now. I put 2 pounds of flaked corn in that batch, which was too much. It has an aftertaste like pancake batter. It is smoothing out, though. By camping in a couple of weeks (that is the other keg I'm taking), it should be pretty good.

I just realized, I'm taking corn beer and corn beer camping...
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