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-   -   Cactus Dopplebock (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f61/cactus-dopplebock-128997/)

cactusgarrett 07-21-2009 10:32 PM

Cactus Dopplebock
A traditional German Dopplebock
Though not exactly what i was shooting for (specifically attenuation) this took 1st place in the lager category of the local Big & Huge contest. I performed a decoction this time around, but basically to say that i've tried it. This can easily be worked around - if you're one that believes decoction cannot be substituted for, you might be well off using some melanoidin malt.

Recipe: Cactus Dopplebock
Brewer: Garrett Shaw
Score: (40.0/50.0) 1st place 2009 Big & Huge - lager category. Slightly too sweet - need better attenuation.

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 7.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.082 SG
Estimated Color: 21.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 61.30 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amount Item %
11 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) 60.44%
6 lbs 4.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) (2.0 SRM) 34.34 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 4.12 %
3.2 oz Chocolate Malt (400.0 SRM) 1.10 %
1.50 oz Hallertauer [4.20 %] (90 min) (First WortHops) 22.4 IBU
Water profile: Munich, Germany

Mash Schedule:
Decoction Mash, Single
Total Grain Weight: 18.20 lb
Step Time Name Step Temp
10 min Mash In 154.0 F (1.4qt/lb)
50 min Decoction 2.08 qt of mash for 30min

Pitch yeast starter into wort at fermentation temps.
Use boiling water in addition to decoction to hit mash out temp of 170F. This was done with a double batch sparge. Fermentation stuck a little high for my (and apparently judges') liking, so in the future i plan on losing the decoction, and possibly pitching onto a cake from a prior brew. One judge noted this is a great base beer for a potential eisbock.

smarek82 08-19-2010 05:33 PM

I figured I would bring my post to this because it is regarding your recipe and instead of holding up my thread you have been replying to, I just thought it would be more appropriate here.

I definitely am on board for not wanting 64% attenuation. What size starter did you use? Did you perform a D-rest?

I do not plan on decoction quite yet, but do you think it could have been the %of munich to pilsner that you used that just didn't have enough diastatic power for full conversion?

Do you have a pic? I'm pumped to brew this, if you couldn't tell, thanks for the advice.


cactusgarrett 08-19-2010 07:51 PM

In retrospect, there probably were a couple factors affecting my low FG, as i was relatively new to AG at that point. I don't think 65% attenuation is horrible, considering most strains are 70-75%; and factoring in high OG, many would say that 65% is ballpark. Some of the heavy hitters are as follows:
  • Low(er) water:grain ratio - my MLT at the time was a 5gal rubbermaid cooler, so i had to sacrifice the ratio in order to fit enough grain in. Thicker mash = less fermentable wort. Some would argue that 1.4qt/lb isn't thick, but in the future i'd probably go thinner based on the estimated OG
  • Starter - it wasn't as small as most people I've read. I typically do a two quart starter, four (decanted) for lagers. IIRC, though, i didn't go big enough for the gravity. If i weren't to pitch on another cake, i would step up the starter at least 3 times at 2 quarts each.

Off the top of my head, i can't remember if i performed a d-rest or not - i'll have to check my records. Usually i research the yeast strain to determine if it needs it prior to sampling.

Regarding the decoction, i don't think i'd ever go through one again, eventhough it was my first and only. Cool to try for the experience. I might have not have had a complete grasp on the process, but in listening to various podcasts (Brewstrong), IIRC triangle tastings weren't able to identify decoction from the use of melanoidin malt. And if so, it was only when the beer were sampled side-by-side. Good enough reason for me to use it instead of decocting.

As i understand it, even a grist of 100% Munich should have enough d-power to fully convert without step mashing, so i don't think i'd look to that as a reason for low attenuation.

No pics other than the ribon it won - unless there's something crazy going on, i'm not a "pic in the fermenter" kinda guy. For what it's worth, my friends called it the "Mind Eraser" and one had to question me as to what his actions actually were the night i served it at a Christmas party.

jgln 08-19-2010 07:53 PM

Needs cactus

cactusgarrett 08-19-2010 08:11 PM

Agave tequila-beer hybrid? Hmmmm....

smarek82 08-20-2010 01:16 AM

It is definitely a solid recipe, you should be trying it again now that you've gotten to know your equipment much better. Thanks for the tips and solidifying the fact that I don't need to do a decoction.

I think I will most definitely use a very big starter for my recipe. I was originally planning on 3L, but now I'm thinking about doubling that.

If I remember I'll have to let you know how it turns out. I have a feeling this is easily going to become one of my favorite styles to brew and enjoy.

cactusgarrett 08-20-2010 12:28 PM

Agreed. Also, once i do get a handle on it through multiple iterations, i would like to try it as an eisbock, as one of the judges suggested.

smarek82 08-20-2010 08:15 PM

What is that? Take your beer, freeze it and whatever you have left is the eisbock???

Who knows what'll be going on at your christmas parties then!

MarsColonist 08-20-2010 08:28 PM

came for the prickly pear addition; left disappointed.

cactusgarrett 08-20-2010 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by smarek82 (Post 2228597)
What is that? Take your beer, freeze it and whatever you have left is the eisbock???

Yeah, in the process of making and "Eisbier" (ice beer) you slowly freeze your batch in the secondary. Don't freeze it solid, though. As the water in the beer freezes, you skim it off over and over again. You're basically concentrating your beer via removing the frozen water.

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