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Old 12-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #1
jeff62217
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Default First lager question

I've been looking for a good starting lager recipe and stumbled across this on the briess website:

http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Recipes/beer/display/amaze-ake-me-japanese-pilsner

I know, I know.. just go buy a 12 pack of bud right? I've always liked Japanese beers with their subtle flavors and dry clean finish.

Looks like 3 rests, I've only done single infusion before, but looks straight forward.

What kind of issues does it look like 4 lbs of cracked, partially cooked rice will cause with a stuck sparge?



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Old 12-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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jeff: I haven't mashed with rice before, so unfortunately can't address that Q.
But looking at their mash schedule, the 110* rest is a protein rest. I used to do those before Denny, Yooper and a couple other heavyweights convinced me that with modern grains, a protein rest is unnecessary and may even be harmful in the head retention department. So, I would skip that rest. The 142 and 158 rests are fine, although you could probably get away with a 60 minute rest at 147-149.
Other than that, it looks like a fine recipe. If you like that style, go for it!



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Old 12-20-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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If you don't have the ability or desire to step mash, a single infusion around 147-149 should suffice, as mentioned above. I like to do a 90 minute mash for a little extra fermentability in my light beers.

If you're going to use that much rice, I'd use rice hulls to prevent a stuck sparge.

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Old 12-20-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Just throwing it out there: Minute/instant rice is way easier to use, you don't have to cook it before mashing.

I've done the whole cereal mash process and to me it's just not worth the headache when there isn't going to be any flavor contribution from rice

I use instant rice in all my cream ales (my lager chamber is reserved for German styles as of now) and hit my gravity spot on every time

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Old 12-20-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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Jeff. It takes some skill to make the beer. Perhaps, start out with something all malt and get some experience with step or decoction methods. Then, later on, experiment with high adjunct brews....Regardless of what anyone tells you, the 110F rest is needed. It is the low end temp of proteinase, that needs to work in the mash due to the rice in the recipe. The 15 minute rest, regardless of high modified malt being used, won't negatively affect head retention. Besides there is carapils in the recipe. Even though the malt is void of phytin. The rest will allow a slight, natural reduction of pH. It's lager and lager yeast works best in a certain pH band. The 110F rest is used because it works with the temp of the 1st conversion rest of 142F. The lower the protein rest temp, the lower conversion temp should be and vice versa. Depending on how you plan to run the wort off, the mash may stick. For a recipe with that little malt and that much rice, I'd use 6 row because of more husk and enzymes, or a mixture of 6 row and pils. Or as the other brewer mentioned, rice hulls. The saving grace is 2qts/lb, a thin mash, much suitable for lager and conversion. Use iodine to check for conversion. Notice, the recipe calls out to raise the temperature of the mash from 110F to 142F, then to 158F. Since they aren't telling you to infuse boiling water, you'll need to fire the mash tun or pull a decoction. Then it mentions, after conversion transfer to the lautertun. So, it looks like you will need a mash tun and a lautertun. Up the yeast with a starter.......... The temp rests are in the recipe for a reason. It's best not to 2nd guess the method or to assume that because someone says that certain rests aren't needed, because of this or that reason. Makes it written in stone or applicable in every method and recipe.

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Old 12-20-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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I disagree that one must follow a recipe so exactly. Sure, the original brewer had their reasoning for specific temp rests and processes, but that doesn't mean you cannot modify a recipe to suit your equipment and personal tastes.

A lot of good info from Vlad, but if you cannot follow the recipe procedures exactly, you should be fine to modify it to suit your needs. I don't know what your equipment setup is, but it's not always necessary, or practical, to mimic another brewer's process. With a good, healthy, fermentation, you'll make a great first lager.

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Old 12-20-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions.. may continue to look for a different recipe as I'd have to mash in my brew kettle to be able to raise mash temps. It's doable, but for my first I'd rather stick to methods I'm more comfortable with.

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Old 12-20-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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Personally, I feel you can modify the recipe you have with good results, but the rice does add some challenges.

There are plenty of good recipes in the recipe forum of HBT, you may want to start there. Here's a German style pilsner I recently brewed that was pretty well received and it's easy to brew:

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.010
IBUs:37 (tinseth formula)
Grains:
German Pilsner Malt - 97%
US Pale Malt (2 row) - 3% (you can increase this percentage somewhat, I will probably replace this with a floor malted pilsner in my next version and increase it's contribution)
Magnum - 26 IBUs (~.5oz. of 15% AAU) @ 60 minutes
Saaz - 7 IBUs (1oz. of 4% AAU) @ 15 minutes
Saaz - 3 IBUs (1 oz. of 4% AAU) @ 5 minutes
Saaz - 1oz. of 4% AAU @ 0 minutes
WLP830 - Pitch enough yeast according to yeastcalc.com, or mrmalty.com; I pitch cold and ferment at 10C/50F.

90 minute boil, 75 minute mash at 148F using a 2:1 water to grist ratio, batch sparge until you reach your pre-boil volume. I used a very low mineral water, I started with RO and added just a touch of CaCL.

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Old 12-21-2013, 03:57 PM   #9
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With a rest temp of 148F, a water to grain ratio of 2:1, beta enzymes are denatured in about 30 minutes. The same temp and 2:1 ratio, alpha is denatured in about an hour or so. It is a time, temp, pH, mash thickness thing. Thinner mash, quicker conversion, quicker enzymes denature. A 75 minute beta rest does very little in converting once enzymes denature. That's kinda why the rice beer recipe method had two short conversion rests. The brewmaster knew what would occur. A one step mash temp of 153F is in the middle of beta optimum and alpha optimum. The temp works well to create a nice balance in fermentable and non fermentables. I whole heartily agree, any recipe or method can be altered. IMO, if someone isn't familiar with something or it is their 1st time doing something. Following directions might be the best route to take the first time. Granted, you can dump hot water on malt and it will produce beer. However, the beer produced might not become what it is originally intended to be. I agree that if equipment limits a brewer from brewing more complex recipes or can't accommodate more complex methods. They should stick with making brews that fit in and makes them happy. Check Weyermanns site. There are a couple of recipes from Ray Daniels using the simple English method. The rest are step or decoction methods......Brew on....

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Old 12-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VladOfTrub View Post
With a rest temp of 148F, a water to grain ratio of 2:1, beta enzymes are denatured in about 30 minutes. The same temp and 2:1 ratio, alpha is denatured in about an hour or so. It is a time, temp, pH, mash thickness thing. Thinner mash, quicker conversion, quicker enzymes denature. A 75 minute beta rest does very little in converting once enzymes denature.
Thank you, I understand very well about the properties of a mash and I was not asking for feedback, rather I was simply trying to post a simple lager recipe for the OP. The idea of the 75 minute mash was simplly to try and get a little extra fermentability out of my wort. Did it work? I am honestly not sure, but big deal it took an extra 15 minutes.


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