*Since I decocted, the color calculation is likely wrong. Calculation says 23 SRM, I think it was closer to 30-35. Also, boiling time is arbitrary in this case due to decoction.
Since basement was cold, I figured I'd make my first lager. I cheated and used the California Lager yeast.
5# German Munich
5# German Vienna
0.5# Dark Munich
0.5# 60L Caramel
0.5# Carafa III
1oz Tradition @ 60 mins
1. Strike water to reach a 98F acid rest. Hold just a few minutes.
2. Pull a 50-60% decoction and heat to 125F protein rest for 10-15 minutes.
3. Heat decoction to 155-160 saccarification rest (it dropped to about 152 for a while cuz flame went out).
4. Raise decoction to boil and boil for 10 minutes.
5. Add scoops of decoction to mashtun to increase mash to 133F protein rest for 15-20 minutes while decoction continues to boil.
6. Add remaining decoction to reach saccarification rest of 154, hold for 40 minutes.
7. Pull decoction and mashout water and bring to boil for 10-15 minutes, then add to mashout.
***I was low on some of the mash temps, think it may have been due to 20F daytime temp and a little short on the 1st decoction volume.
Primary fermentation at 55-58F. 800ml starter stepped with another 600ml.
Transferred to secondary on 12/14, moved to cellar. Gravity was 1.019. Added about 1/4 gal of water to top it off at 5 gals
Looks like attenuation was in line with the yeast averages. Huge yeast cake. Still pretty fruity (too portery), so I'll age it hopefully pretty cold to get that to chill out.
Got cellared/lagered at temps down to below 40F. Didn't do a diacetyl rest, not sure if that will matter.
Bottled with 3/4 cup of corn sugar after allowing to warm up. Very slow beer to carbonate. Took more than 3 weeks.
ADDITIONAL TASTING NOTES
Initial tasting: 1/23/09, pint glass
Appearance: Color is much darker than predicted, likely due to the decoction mash. I would say it's closer to SRM 40. Head is light and retention isn't great.
Aroma: Lots of malt aroma, very little hops at all. But in the aroma is a sweet, fruity aroma that isn't all that good. There is a decided "lager" smell to it. Too much roast.
Taste: too fruity, not sure where that came from. And the flavor lacks some maltiness that I expected. It's a little unbalanced, or not quite rounded enough.
The fruitiness is really the killer. Perhaps with time the flavors will flow together nice, but it is 2 months old.
Overall: only ok. For a first lager, I'm not going to complain. Seems like the yeast wasn't the best choice, but it was a cheater yeast.
I really wonder if the yeast choice was a poor one. The fruitiness is unexpected and may have been yeast-choice related. Comments?
Second (well, actually 30th) tasting: 3/23/09
Taste: now that this beer has had time to age and mellow out, I'm much more pleased that I was initially. In hindsight, I don't blame the yeast, I just underhopped it. The flavors I was explaining were really just a lack of bitterness so the sweetness was unbalanced. The maltiness comes through nicely, the body and mouthfeel are quite good, and the beer is extremely drinkable. I got a couple of reviews from brewing friends who's opinions I trust and they pretty well shared these sentiments, and both thought it was solid. With a little more bitterness, I would consider this to be a good jumping off point for another pseudo-lager next winter.
is the fruitiness like apples?
I'm sure the fruitiness is from the malt. You mashed to high...I would have went for 148-150°F for this beer. There is also no reason to do a decoction with those already malty modified grains. I'm suprised it's not overly malty, actually.
Some fruitiness may have came from the yeast, but at those low temperatures, the 2112 should ferment pretty clean. I've used it for a black lager and other "pseudo-lagers" a few times and it always turns out nice and clean.
EDIT: You may wish to ask a mod to move this out of the recipe forum. The recipe forum is supposed to be for tried-and-true recipes and it appears this one didn't come out as you expected.
I was pretty pleased with the FG & body of this beer, so I wouldn't change the mash temp. Plus, the difference between 150 and 154 isn't significant when one considers all variables. A decoction mash can take a lifetime to perfect, so I'm pleased with the result.
You were originally disappointed with the brew before you made your edit, so I offered a suggestion. I disagree that a mash temp difference of 4° will not make a significant difference in a brew, but I am happy that you are pleased with the results and that your process worked out as you had intended.
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