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Old 05-19-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
gecko45
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Default Maerzen-like recipe suggestions please

I'm looking for suggestions for this recipe I came up with for my first lager-type homebrew. It's mostly an attempt to get rid of a small stash of Mr. Beer ingredients in a slightly more drinkable manner than typical. My previous brews have all been ales so I'm working from a blank for this recipe which I assume hope be vaguely Märzen-ish.

*19.4 oz can of Mr. Beer "Oktoberfest" extract
*19.4 oz can of Mr. Beer "High Country Canadian Draft" extract
*2.5 lbs of Munich LME from lhbs
*0.75 lbs Mr. Beer "Booster" (mostly dextrose)
*1 oz Hallertauer pellets @ 60 min
*1 oz Argentine Cascades (0.5 @ 30 min, 0.5 @ 0 min)

4.0 gallon batch, using Windsor yeast. I was thinking of doing a full 60 minute boil of the Munich LME and adding the two cans of Mr. Beer extract within the last 4 or 5 minutes, in order to avoid some of that "extract" flavor as well as maintain the pre-hopping in the canned extracts. Is my hopping schedule fine? Will Argentine Cascades as listed above be acceptable for this combination of ingredients or should I stick with the hallertauer? Is this too much hops or too little? I'm merely a couple of minutes away from my lhbs so I can easily pick up any other ingredients needed.

This will also be my first batch that I try to ferment inside a mini-fridge to maintain lager yeast temperatures (being in Texas isn't otherwise conducive to the style), so any suggestions are welcome. What should be an ideal primary fermentation temperature for this?

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:58 AM   #2
frolickingmonkey
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First, I'd add another 2 lbs of Munich extract. Boost your gravity into the appropriate range for the style, add some more malty goodness.

Second, I'd eliminate the Cascades, and stick with the Hallertauer. Without knowing the AA% of your hops, it's hard to say how much exactly to use, but if I ballpark 4% AA, .75-1oz @ 60 min is probably about right for bittering. Use .25-.5oz of the Hallertauer @ 15 min for finishing, as well.

If you want something Märzen-like, don't use Windsor Ale yeast. If you're set on using an ale yeast, use something like Safale US-05, or Wyeast 1007 German Ale that will ferment very clean at the low end of it's temperature range (upper 50s, low 60s). If you're going to try lagering in your mini fridge, then don't use an ale yeast! Try using something German, such as Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager, 2633 Oktoberfest Lager Blend, or for dry yeast, maybe a Saflager-23.

I hope this helps you get started, but I'm sure that there are other members of HBT that have more experience than I do brewing Märzen-style lagers! Cheers and good luck.

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Old 05-22-2009, 01:24 AM   #3
coffeegod
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Howdy,

I understand the need to purge the mr. beer. I would toss the booster. It adds nothing to the beer and is partially responsiable for the mr. beer "twang" up your lme. Most importantly get some grains and steep the bad boy. It will add flavor and body I used 8 oz Crystal 80 and 12oz Munich Malt steeped at 155-160 for 1/2 hour. Good Luck

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Old 05-22-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
gecko45
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I've decided to eliminate the booster and increase the Munich extract to 4 lbs.

The label on my hallertauer hops says the alpha acids for that batch are at 2.7%, so I'm concerned with getting enough with only 1 oz of that. Should I get a second packet, or will the 1 oz be fine with the small amount of pre-hopped extract I'm going to use? What hopping schedule would I want to use? Is 1.5oz @ 60, and 0.5oz at the end ok Also, the argentine cascades I mentioned apparently only have a name similarity to cascades, but according to this page they're a good substitute for Tettnang or Spalt, so might that combination work for this beer? I'm not trying to be true to style especially, just get a good tasting beer.

I also didn't realize the Windsor was an ale yeast. The lhbs employee gave it to me after I asked for a suggestion, but I hadn't told him I was going to try lagering, so he probably just chose something that would give decent results in our abient Texas temperatures. I'll go by the shop and check what they can suggest for lower temperature fermentation. I believe they carry the wyeast 2308 and saflager-23. Which one will be easier for my purposes?

I am also tempted to take coffeegod's steeping suggestion, but to keep things easier I may just add a small amount of maltodextrin to boost the body. I don't want to add more fermentables since my brewing software (qbrew) is estimating OG at 1.053 and ABV at 5.2% right now, even after increasing things to 4.25 gallons instead of the original 4.0.

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