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Old 01-06-2013, 10:58 PM   #1
Johnnyboy1012
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Default New lager brewer: German Pilsner Recipe

Hey guys,
I want to brew a German Pilsner and I heard the Wyeast Bohemian Lager Yeast 2124 does well at higher temps. I plan on fermenting in my closet which is consistently 58-60 plus I plan on putting the carboy in a shallow tub with 3 inches of water covered with a t-shirt and have a small fan blowing on the carboy to really keep it cold. With all that being said, I would like to get some feed back on my recipe and process because this is my first lager.

Grist is for 5.5 gallons:
10# 9oz Weyermann Pilsner
.5# Weyermann Carafoam

Hops:
1.10oz Perle 33.8 IBUs at 60 mins
.5oz Hallertauer 2 IBUs at 15 mins
.5oz Hallertauer 1.3 IBUs at 1 min

Estimated OG is 1.049
IBUs = 37
SRM = 3.2
Estimated ABV = 5.2%
I plan to make a starter and with the Wyeast Bohemian Lager Yeast 2124 and aerating my wort with a diffusion stone.

I will most likely brew with distilled water and add gypsum and calcium chloride to get my Ca to at least 50ppm. Most likely adding more gypsum then calcium chloride to emphasize the hops. I plan on leaving in my closet in the primary for a month, then kegging and moving to my kegerator to lager for another month. Thoughts?

How does my recipe look? Any suggestions for a first time lager brewer? (besides get a fridge!) I moved to an apartment and the ambient temp of my closet has inspired me to brew a lager. Thanks guys! Cheers!

JH

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #2
wickman6
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Sounds good to me, but I'd have some frozen 2L bottles handy in case ferm temp gets a little warm. I like to ferment lagers right at 50 deg, then perform a diacetyl rest when fermentation winds down.

With your planned set up with the tub of water adding ice should get you to 50 deg rather easily.

Good luck!

Edit: just noticed you plan on 3 inches of water, I would suggest more. I have a plastic tote that I use sometimes for temp control and I put water halfway up the fermentor. It was about $4 at a home improvement store, if you don't have one already.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:15 AM   #3
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Looks like a good recipe. I'm not sure about the expected ABV of 5.2% though..it seems a bit dry coming from an OG of 1.049. How are you going to mash it? I brewed a similar beer with this yeast and a double decoction mash, and I'm still waiting on it to get to 1.014 (OG 1.050)!

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Old 01-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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Ill be sure to keep some frozen water bottles around for sure. I plan on mashing at 147 for 90 minutes single infusion. Hopefully that will help dry it out and create a bunch of fermentables. Thanks for the help!

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsmith View Post
Looks like a good recipe. I'm not sure about the expected ABV of 5.2% though..it seems a bit dry coming from an OG of 1.049. How are you going to mash it? I brewed a similar beer with this yeast and a double decoction mash, and I'm still waiting on it to get to 1.014 (OG 1.050)!
How long has it been fermenting?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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You could ferment it in your keg in the kegorator. That would save you a lot of trouble keeping the temp steady. Use the tap as an airlock.

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybrewer
You could ferment it in your keg in the kegorator. That would save you a lot of trouble keeping the temp steady. Use the tap as an airlock.
Gas line not the tap
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:54 PM   #8
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So if I unhooked the gas line from the regulator, it will act as a blow off tube on the keg?

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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How long has it been fermenting?
For several weeks. I only have a 6 gallon BB carboy for lagering, so instead of finishing fermentation and then transferring after the d-rest like normal, I transferred first before the d-rest, hoping that the left over 25% of fermentation would generate enough CO2 to fill the headspace in the carboy and prevent oxidation on the large surface area of the beer exposed to air. I didn't think that taking it off the yeast cake would make it finish so slowly, but I was wrong. Last I measured it was at 1.018 last week, but is still bubbling ever so slowly though it has dropped bright. It's supposed to finish at 1.014. I'm going to take another reading today and if it hasn't finished I'm going to pitch some dry lager yeast to help it finish up before lagering.

Brewed on 12/14, after 1 week at 53 degrees, gravity dropped to 1.023, transferred to carboy and allowed temperature to reach 70. After another week gravity was only at 1.020. Another week later it was 1.018. It has been doing a diacetyl 'hibernation' ever since.

EDIT: After the 1.020 reading, I tossed in a little bit of the washed yeast from the primary bucket to help it get going as well.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsmith View Post
For several weeks. I only have a 6 gallon BB carboy for lagering, so instead of finishing fermentation and then transferring after the d-rest like normal, I transferred first before the d-rest, hoping that the left over 25% of fermentation would generate enough CO2 to fill the headspace in the carboy and prevent oxidation on the large surface area of the beer exposed to air. I didn't think that taking it off the yeast cake would make it finish so slowly, but I was wrong. Last I measured it was at 1.018 last week, but is still bubbling ever so slowly though it has dropped bright. It's supposed to finish at 1.014. I'm going to take another reading today and if it hasn't finished I'm going to pitch some dry lager yeast to help it finish up before lagering.

Brewed on 12/14, after 1 week at 53 degrees, gravity dropped to 1.023, transferred to carboy and allowed temperature to reach 70. After another week gravity was only at 1.020. Another week later it was 1.018. It has been doing a diacetyl 'hibernation' ever since.
I understand your reasoning to try and prevent oxidation but I will say that I will learn from your mistake. Tanks for the heads up. I was planning on keeping the beer in the primary for 3-4 weeks. Thoughts on that?
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