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Old 12-31-2007, 08:03 PM   #1
Rudeboy
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Default First Lager question

OK so I’m about to embark on lagering. I’m going to get a Bock ready for springtime. After a lot of research here is a nice recipe I got from All About Beer:



Pilsener/Two-row 1 lb

Munich Malt 11.5 lbs

Crystal Malt (90-120L) 1.25 lbs

Chocolate Malt 4 oz

About 1 oz of a noble hop

Looks nice, but everyone was hazy on times and temps. So here is the plan with BeerSmith filling in the blanks.

Mash 60 minutes at 154 F.
Bock’s should be malty not dry but this is a lager so I went with a middle ground for Mash temp. Correct? Should I bother with a protein rest first?

Boil 90 minutes.

Cool to 50 F and pitch larger starter.
I’ve got a Munich Lager Wyeast smack pack. Do I let it get to room temp and smack? Do I smack and keep it at pitching temp? Do I pitch into the starter at main pitching temp or room temp?

Ferment at 50 F for about 21 days.

Raise to 65 F for 2 or 3 days.

Reduce temp by 5 F every day down to 40 F and lager there for 2 to 3 months.

Keg and enjoy.

Does that sound right?

One more question. If I can’t wait for the next lagering schedule and want to make a Pil around February if I interrupt the Bock’s lagering after a month or so and raise the temperature to 50 F to ferment the Pil will it screw up the Bock?

Thanks
Rudeboy

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Old 12-31-2007, 09:15 PM   #2
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I'd do a protein rest, then decoct up to saccharification temp. The maltiness from a decoction helps make bocks malty. Decoct the bock! Definitely do a big starter. I've never used Wyeast so I don't know the smacking procedure... whatever their website says should be good. It's best to ferment your starter at primary fermentation temps. That way the yeast get used to it. And go as low as you can go in the range of fermentation temps for that yeast. I'm not sure if you need to lager that long. I would think 6-8 weeks lagering would be long enough, but I'm no bock expert and you've done your research, so maybe you're right. 40 F isn't a bad lagering temp, but I'd go a little lower... maybe 36-38 F.

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Old 12-31-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
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Personally, I would not do a protein rest. I have heard too many people (including myself) complain of loss of body when doing a protein rest. Today's well modified malts do not need this rest. I would only reccomend the protein rest if using large amounts of unmalted grain and none of your bill is unmalted.

By decocting up to the saccharification temp you run the risk of missing it low especially if it is your first decoction (again, this happened to me). If it were me, I would do a single infusion at 154-155 and pull a decoction to reach your mash out tmeperature. This way you gain the benefits of the decoction (Maillard reaction's, etc.) but do not run the risk of under (or over) shooting the saccharification temp. If you miss the mash out temp, it is not a huge deal and can be corrected by adding boiling/cold water without effecting the mash characteristics of the beer.

Let the smack pack warm to room temperature, then smack, then pitch that into an appropriate starter. See Mr Malty for that. If you are pitching the correct amount of yeast, I would drop the wort to 46F then pitch and allow it to warm itself to 50F for the fermentation. Doing this, you should not need a diacetyl rest, but go by taste on this. If you are not pitching enough yeast, pitch at room temp, wait for the fermentation to start and then drop the temp.

You may not need to do the ferementation for 21 days but that won't hurt. You can lager as long or short at whatever temperature you want, so upping it for the primary fermentation of the second lager should be fine.

Some of this is my opinion, some is what I have read elsewhere. Some good links:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter19-1.html
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...menting_Lagers

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Old 12-31-2007, 09:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
If it were me, I would do a single infusion at 154-155 and pull a decoction to reach your mash out tmeperature. This way you gain the benefits of the decoction (Maillard reaction's, etc.) but do not run the risk of under (or over) shooting the saccharification temp.
I've always understood that when decocting to mashout, you'd use a very thin decoction (as little grain as possible). As opposed to decocting up to saccharification temp when you want it relatively thick. I figured you'd get more maltiness out of the thick decoction rather than the thin.
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine
I've always understood that when decocting to mashout, you'd use a very thin decoction (as little grain as possible). As opposed to decocting up to saccharification temp when you want it relatively thick. I figured you'd get more maltiness out of the thick decoction rather than the thin.
Good point. I have heard this to but never given a reason as to why. You could also add 4oz of melanoidin malt and skip the decoction (this is what I would probably do), focus on the lager part first.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
You could also add 4oz of melanoidin malt and skip the decoction (this is what I would probably do), focus on the lager part first.
That's an even better idea. I've decocted once (an Alt). I did the appropriate calculations and pretty much hit my target temp dead on. But I have a direct heat MLT, so fine tuning it is no big deal. I'll probably do it again because my LHBS doesn't carry melanoidin, but it did make the brew day longer and was a bit of a hassle.
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:44 PM   #7
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A method I like for my lagers is to let the wort sit in the boil kettle after the boil for a little while longer, even chill it if you like....then rack it to the fermenter and pitch the yeast there. This will make for a clearer beer and less need for a secondary stage. This was recommended in the book "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer.

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Old 01-02-2008, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
Good point. I have heard this to but never given a reason as to why.
Doing decoction of a thick part will release more starches and if you do it to reach mash out temperature you won't have enough enzymes to work on it hence ending with starch in you final wort. That;s why for mash out yuo better go with thin decoction.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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OK, scheduling a Sunday brew day. Still have a few questions.
When should I smack the lager yeast packs?
What temperature should I have the starter at to start?

Thanks

Rudeboy

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Bottled Aging:
Kegged Aging: Oktoberfest; Kolsch
Kegged Ready: Dry Stout; Vienna Calling; Heffeweizen
Bottled Ready: English Barleywine; Russian Imperial Stout; Wee Heavy; London Porter; Belgium Golden Strong; Westy 12; Arrogant Bastard; Magpie Rye Ale; Leffe

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Old 01-04-2008, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeboy
OK, scheduling a Sunday brew day. Still have a few questions.
When should I smack the lager yeast packs?
What temperature should I have the starter at to start?

Thanks

Rudeboy
A few days ago... your starter should already be ready for a sunday brew. If you smack it now and get the starter going late tonight you might be ok, if the smack pack is fresh.
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