Originally Posted by chalmer9
I'm thinking about attempting my first lager. I have a mini fridge and am going to get a 2nd temp controller for it to lager the carboy. I tried YouTube'ing videos on lagering and didn't find anything that helpful as I did when I first learned how to brew ales.
My largest concerns are the decoction and multi step mashing. Is it necessary for lagers? I have read that it's the traditional method, but it seems like a pain in the ass if single step mashing produces similar results.
So basically I was just wondering if anyone had any tips and/or advice for me for my first lager. I have about 25 ale brews (mostly all grain) under my belt so I really just want to know what differences to expect.
Oh and btw I'm really wanting to brew a Dunkel, so if you know of a great recipe that would be welcome too, thanks.
Few lagers "need" a decoction, although I'd argue that a Bohemian pilsner needs one! That's the only one I can think of that I'd do a decoction with, unless I had lots of time and the inclination to do one. A single infusion mash is fine.
The key to a good lager is pitching a HUGE starter. HUGE. Chill it, decant the spent wort, and pitch it into 48 degree wort and ferment at 50 degrees. That's really about it. It's not hard at all.
You can do a Munich dunkel, no problem. The grist is traditionally 100% Munich malt (or darn near), so it's not hard. Some pilsner malt is good, as is some crystal malt (but not too much crystal malt). A tiny bit of roasted malt gives the color- maybe carafa so you get color but not roasted flavors. Noble hops are expected, and I like tettnanger or hallertauer. That's it! A decoction is traditional, but you can make a very nice dunkel without one!