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Old 04-10-2006, 10:04 AM   #1
mysterio
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Default First lager mini-mash questions.

I'm going to attempt my first mini-mash in a couple of days, a Pilsner Urquell clone, which is also my first proper lager. In regards to the starter, should I make it 'bigger' than usual, so that there's more active cells? What kind of size? Maybe two litres and a cup of DME? Also should I let the whole thing ferment out then siphon out the liquid before pitching so as not to add any esters? Or, should I just pitch the whole thing 2 days in?

I'm also undecided whether I should keep it simple with a single temperature infusion (the recipe recommends 150F for 90mins), or maybe try something like 130F for 30mins, 155F for 45mins then 158 for 20mins as Papazian recommends. I understand the science behind it all but I can't decided if the end result would justify the extra risk of me messing up!

Thanks.

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Old 04-10-2006, 10:35 AM   #2
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For a lager I use a gallon starter and let the yeast settle out by putting it in the fridge for a night, then pour off the spent liquid and just pitch the yeast slurrey.
As for #2, only you can decide that.
Cheers

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Old 04-10-2006, 11:16 AM   #3
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What temperature do you do the starter at and how long do you leave it?

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Old 04-10-2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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definitley do a BIG starter. 3 qt. h20 + 1 cup DME will get you around 1.040 og which is what you want for a starter.

as for # 2 do whatever floats your boat, you could do single infusion, multiple step, or dare i say TRIPLE DECOCTION, (just keep THAT a secret)...

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Old 04-10-2006, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterio
I'm going to attempt my first mini-mash in a couple of days, a Pilsner Urquell clone, which is also my first proper lager. In regards to the starter, should I make it 'bigger' than usual, so that there's more active cells? What kind of size? Maybe two litres and a cup of DME? Also should I let the whole thing ferment out then siphon out the liquid before pitching so as not to add any esters? Or, should I just pitch the whole thing 2 days in?
Make a large starter (2-3 qts) and let it ferment out. Then dekant the liquid and pitch the yeast sediment. I tried settling out the yeast in the fridge, but that didn't work for me since lager yeast can handle pretty cold temps. That's why I let the lager starters ferment out.

Quote:
I'm also undecided whether I should keep it simple with a single temperature infusion (the recipe recommends 150F for 90mins), or maybe try something like 130F for 30mins, 155F for 45mins then 158 for 20mins as Papazian recommends. I understand the science behind it all but I can't decided if the end result would justify the extra risk of me messing up!
How much of the extract are you expecting to get from the mash (10%, 20% or more than 50%)

If it is only a small amout, the mash shedule will not have a noticable effect. This means you can keep it simple and just make sure you have conversion in your mini-mash.

But I say, go for the step mash here. It will have great instructional value to do a step mash at a smaller scale. And even if you mess it up, as long as you have conversion you will be just fine.

The most complex mini-mash I ever did was a double decoction with 5.5 lb of grain. It tought me a lot about hitting the rests with decoctions and after that I made my first AG batch as a double decoction.

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Old 04-10-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I'll go for a big starter and the step mash I think. I'm going nowhere near decoction territory just yet.

LME & DME is far too expensive here so hopefully this will give me the confidence to go AG ASAP!

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Old 04-10-2006, 04:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterio
LME & DME is far too expensive here so hopefully this will give me the confidence to go AG ASAP!
And if you keep some left over wort from the AG batches in the freezer, you don't even have to buy DME for starters or for priming

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Old 04-10-2006, 05:22 PM   #8
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Excellent!

Last question - Should I do a Diacetyl rest? Maybe 10 days into the fermentation?

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Old 04-10-2006, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterio
Last question - Should I do a Diacetyl rest? Maybe 10 days into the fermentation?
It's not as easy as that. I suggest doing some research on the diacetyl rest as to when and how it is done. This should also tell you what it happening during this rest. But oftentimes the diacetyl rest is overrated. Then again, there is another thread currently ongoing where someone experienced the buttert taste of diacetyl .

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Old 04-10-2006, 08:16 PM   #10
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I have read it and I can't get to grips with it. I reckon it will just have to come with experience. Thanks anyway!

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