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Old 06-16-2013, 06:15 AM   #1
FatsSchindee
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Hello HBT faithful -

I'm attempting my first recipe on my own (well, based off of other's and the BJCP guidelines, of course!), and would like some feedback/advice, please. I recently built a fermentation chamber (chest freezer with STC-1000 and paint can heater), and would like to take advantage of it by making my first lager (it won't be my first beer in it, though, as I have a stout on deck next - just trying to pre-plan!). I know it's a bit late to brew a Marzen (March) beer... But seeing how I am not at the mercy of ambient temps and caves and such, I figured I'd take advantage of technology and brew one of my favorite lager styles now - tradition be damned! (Still should be able to lager it for long enough to enjoy by October, though, I think...)

Here is my recipe:

4 gal boil; top up to 5.5 gal in fermenter

3 lb light DME (Briess) (33.3%)
5 lb Munich LME (from AHS - says its comprised of 40% Munich malt and 60% two-row) - late addition (55.6%)

Steeping grains (30 min @ 155*):
8 oz Caramunich I (5.6%)
8 oz Carabohemian (5.6%)
4 oz Carapils (maybe? Could leave this one out... Not sure - Seems you may have to mash and not just steep?)

1.25 oz Hallertau @ 60 min (5 AAU)
.5 oz Hallertau @ 15 min (2 AAU)
1 whirlfloc tab @ 15 min

WhiteLabs yeast with starter (per mrmalty for approx lager volume)... Just not sure which one yet - 820, 830, 833, or 838?!

Fermentation schedule TBD also... Still researching. Thinking primary at 50-55 for 2-3 weeks, D-rest at 65 for 2-3 days, then lager at 35ish for 6-10 weeks?

The calculator on the brewersfriend website I've been using puts this beer within the style guideline for a Marzen/O-fest:
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.016 (subject to change based on chosen yeast's attenuation)
ABV: 5.37%
IBU (tinseth): 23.82
SRM: 11.57

The BJCP says this for ingredients:
"Grist varies, although German Vienna malt is often the backbone of the grain bill, with some Munich malt, Pils malt, and possibly some crystal malt. All malt should derive from the finest quality two-row barley. Continental hops, especially noble varieties, are most authentic. Somewhat alkaline water (up to 300 PPM), with significant carbonate content is welcome."

I'm in Austin, and get my supplies from AHS. They don't have any Vienna malt extract (dry or liquid, and neither do NB or MB on their websites)... But they list the grain as 3.5L, and the light DME is listed as 2-6L, so I figured it would be a decent sub (along with the 60% of the Munich LME that is two-row). I know that color isn't the only factor, but the malty flavor of the Vienna should also be approximated by the Caramunich and the Carabohemian, methinks. The Hallertau seem to be a basic noble often used in Marzens (much difference in Hersbrucker instead of regular Hallertau?). For water, I've always used gallon jugs of spring water (filtered RO) from the store... Should I add CaCO3/chalk or NaHCO3/baking soda to up the alkalinity/carbonate content at all?

Thanks for any and all advice or recommendations! Just want to make the best beer I can (with extract - not ready to move up to all-grain or BIAB yet, although could PM if necessary)! Cheers...

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Old 06-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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If the Munich LME is 40% Munich, I would use it exclusively for my extract and ditch the light DME (I make my Maerzen/Ofest 100% Munich..) All you are doing with the light DME is diluting the malt character of the Munich and then having to add it back in through cara malts... that change alone would almost get you there. Using that malt extract exclusively you could cut your caramel malts in half, in which case I would stick to the CaraMunich. Hops look good.

You're right about carapils, it needs to be mashed.

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Old 06-16-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
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Good point... Not sure what I was thinking! Thanks... Will cut the DME (and Carapils), and tinker with the steeping grains to keep the SRM and IBUs and ABV similar/within style.

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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Can you post your final recipe when you are done tweaking it? I also just built a fermentor and am looking for a good first lager to try and this one sounds pretty good

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Old 06-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadDog
Can you post your final recipe when you are done tweaking it? I also just built a fermentor and am looking for a good first lager to try and this one sounds pretty good
Sure... Keep in mind that its my first attempt at a recipe, though! It does fall within the BJCP guidelines, and I didn't get too crazy with ingredients, so it should be pretty good, though, I can only hope to assume...

I figured if I kept it simple on my first try, I could always add a little of this or that later, after I'd tried it and judged if it needed anything else. I guess with the one malt and one hops it would almost be a SMaSH, if not for the steeping grains! Needed/wanted to keep those in there for color and taste, though, and although I could get away with just Caramunich, I've read good things about the Carabohemian and wanted to keep it to add SOME bit of complexity. So there you have it...

Here's the link to the recipe calculator site I used:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebre.../fsoktoberfest

Hopefully that works - if not I can type out the recipe for you. And I'll update if I make any other changes.

I just put a Double Chocolate Stout (and two gallons of cider) into my fermentation chamber for its first real test - holding steady at 18*C (64.4*F)! So I'll probably get this Oktoberfest going in about 3-4 weeks when the stout is done, which should have it done (after 4 wk prim and 6-8 wk lager) mid-October sometime!
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:30 AM   #6
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I finally brewed this Oktoberfest last night, and the final recipe I used is linked in the above post. I also brewed up a one-gallon batch of a Bohemian Pilsener recipe I came up with at the same time (the pot on the left in the pic - the right pot being the O'fest), so I could get some more use of my fermentation chamber while the O'fest is in there at the same time. I thought I could manage them both at the same time by staggering the starts of each, but it still took me almost two hours longer than a single batch usually does... Probably wont be doing that again. Was able to keep all the pots and ingredients separate (and kept the HAHB part of RDWHAHB to a minimum to ensure this!), but it was more work than I thought it would be. Looking forward to trying both after they're done, though, especially since they are my first personal recipes!

image-2134138847.jpg  
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:52 AM   #7
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you can actually do your D-rest at 75% attenuation which may be as little as 10 days after pitching yeast if pitch rate was good. 3 weeks primary may not need a D-rest rather you would just slowly reduce temperature to lager temps then rack to the lagering vessel. There's a few different lager schedules you could potentially use.

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:02 AM   #8
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I have heard that about doing the d-rest around 75% attenuation before... Sounds like good advice (keep the yeast working before they floc out completely!). I pitched a healthy amount of yeast (two-step starter of 1.040 wort into 1.8L, both steps), so it should be fine. But I am on vacation right now, and won't be back home until about 17 days post-pitching, so I'm guessing it'll be done fermenting, or at least past 75%, by then. Is sitting in my ferm chamber at 50*, so I'm hoping its getting a nice, slow, clean fermentation while I'm gone. Maybe I'll taste when I measure the gravity when I get home, and if any sense of diacetyl at all, then do the d-rest... If not, just rack to secondary and lower to layering temps...

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatsSchindee View Post
I have heard that about doing the d-rest around 75% attenuation before... Sounds like good advice (keep the yeast working before they floc out completely!). I pitched a healthy amount of yeast (two-step starter of 1.040 wort into 1.8L, both steps), so it should be fine. But I am on vacation right now, and won't be back home until about 17 days post-pitching, so I'm guessing it'll be done fermenting, or at least past 75%, by then. Is sitting in my ferm chamber at 50*, so I'm hoping its getting a nice, slow, clean fermentation while I'm gone. Maybe I'll taste when I measure the gravity when I get home, and if any sense of diacetyl at all, then do the d-rest... If not, just rack to secondary and lower to layering temps...
This is a good schedule as well. Slowly drop your temperature a few degrees a day until at lagering temp then rack to secondary. Some yeast will remain active during lagering and reduce any diacetyl. Cheers!
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaineT
This is a good schedule as well. Slowly drop your temperature a few degrees a day until at lagering temp then rack to secondary. Some yeast will remain active during lagering and reduce any diacetyl. Cheers!
Good point about lowering the temps first, then racking to secondary. Obviously that makes more sense than racking first, and then lowering to lagering temp (I'm shooting for 34*)... As getting cold first will cause more cold break and yeast to drop out that I can then rack off of... Thanks!
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