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Old 01-10-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default 1st lager, what the heck??

Ok, so I'm brewing an Oktoberfest this weekend and I put the recipe into beersmith. I'm basically COPYING it out of Brewing Classic Styles. I don't want to futz with coming up with anything new, just want to ferment a nice Oktoberfest, and Jamil and Co. usually know what their doing.

Anyway, I enter the numbers and my OG comes out to 1.070+. The recipe says 1.055. WTH?? I mess with some settings and I get numbers all the way from 1.070 + to 1.066.

So I mash with a bit more water, and give it plenty of sparge. I get 1.40 into the boil and boil for 90 minutes, as I am using Pilsner malt for a bit of the fermentables. I end up with 6.5 gallons of 1.058 wort...

I thought about adding some water to top off, but I didn't have any boiled and sanitized water on hand. I guess it will be ok. Except I forgot the Irish Moss again!!

I had a 1.6L starter ready and in the fridge to acclimatize. Pitched it the next morning cause the wort was still not down to 50. We'll see what happens.

I had about 1.5 gallons of wort extra so I put it in a 3 gallon carboy and added some Notty.

Anyway, how could the numbers be so far off? I've never had beersmith be off more than what a bit of tweaking to match my process would account for!


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Old 01-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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Brewing Classic Styles has all 6 gallon recipes. If you're making 5 gallons, just scale it down. I think it's 70% efficiency or so, also. That could be a factor.


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Old 01-10-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Yooper probably nailed it. Also, in Beersmith, did you check boil-off rate?... Loss To Trub?... Potential Yield of the Pilsner/Munich malts?

Don't worry about the Irish Moss. I never add kettle finings to my lagers and they always come out plenty clear. The lagering process takes care of that. It also helps to have a good hot and cold break during/after the boil.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:46 PM   #4
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It will be better, stronger beer IMHO.

Don't sweat it.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Brewing Classic Styles has all 6 gallon recipes. If you're making 5 gallons, just scale it down. I think it's 70% efficiency or so, also. That could be a factor.
Oh, sht.. I think you are right. I entered it as 5. I did change to 6, but probably had not made all the right adjustments at the same time. Good info to know!

Yeah, it was only a bit stronger than the recipe. Problem is I wanted a lighter beer this time. But it's not THAT strong anyway.

I did not adjust boiloff rate because it had been good where it was before and although it's winter, I thought it would be easier to just plan on a bit more water and keep an eye on it.

I was thinking about adding more water, but I didn't know how much room I needed for headspace. This was going to ferment in the garage and I didn't want a huge mess in the freezer since I can't keep an eye on it. I don't "think" that lagers blow off as much, but then I thought it might be neat to put the extra in a different fermenter and do it up as an Ale.

I pitched yeast about mid-day, and by evening I still saw no signs of bubbles. Not exactly what I had expected, considering the size of the starter, but I am a Revving this one. I bet by the time I get home tonight it's going like crazy.

The Notty got pitched early evening and by bedtime was already starting to chug along!
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #6
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Wait, what? Your first lager, and you pitched Notty? Still not your first lager then.


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Old 01-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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I made a partial mash verision Jamil's Oktoberfest from 'Classic Styles' yesterday as well.

One small change I made was using 14 oz. of sparkling amber DME to cover 1 lb of the Munich LME called for in receipe.

Anyway, I proceeded without realizing it was a 6 gallon recipe so only diluted it out to 5 gallons. My OG ended up being 1.060 rather than the expected 1.055, now I know why.

I pitched my Bavarian Lager yeast at 50 deg. last night. This morning there was only a small bit of action on airlock. Hopefully when I get home tonight it will be rocking.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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Wait, what? Your first lager, and you pitched Notty? Still not your first lager then.


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No, I pitched a White Labs Oktoberfest in the 5 gallons in the garage.

The Notty went into 1.5 gallons in the back bathroom.

This way I can compare the two yeasts.

Next up is a Bo-Pils for my buddies. I tasted one at Herford and Hops last summer and really liked it. So much more flavor than I expected for a beer that light. But I didn't have any of that yeast, so the Oktoberfest got the call-up.

I actually have a pouch of Wyeast American Lager in the fridge and want to build up a starter and brew that next, but I haven't found a recipe yet. Any suggestions? I want to use Corn, I know that much.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
No, I pitched a White Labs Oktoberfest in the 5 gallons in the garage.

The Notty went into 1.5 gallons in the back bathroom.

This way I can compare the two yeasts.
My bad, I missed that part, carry on.


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Old 01-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #10
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Also as a bonus, my mom gave me an old Mirro Pressure Cooker so I can wash my yeast and sterilize the stuff it goes into. I want to try freezing some washed yeast.

She couldn't find the pressure weight though, so now I'm hunting for a deal on Ebay...


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