AHA homebrewer of the year

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Zymurgy, Sept 2021, p 33 (Homebrewer of the Year announcement) and p 44 (recipe: 1B American Lager, SRM 4).

DME (with late addition), rice solids, dry yeast (made a starter for a lager), soft muni water with added CaCl, ...
 

hout17

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Right I knew that, So how would you create a starter with dry yeast?
Here's a good post from @BrewnWKopperKat
Referencing a good PDF.

 

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Right I knew that, So how would you create a starter with dry yeast?
What is your goal with the starter?

With a "vitality" starter with liquid yeast, the primary goal is to 1) ensure the yeast is alive and 2) to provide a friendly environment for the yeast to build up reserves and cell structure. It is not so much about building up yeast cell counts. Based on my limited understanding of how dry yeast is made, it is already in a state similar to a liquid yeast after a vitality starter. So this type of a starter should not have a massive benefit for dry yeast, though I am sure it would reduce lag time.

If you are looking to build up cell counts, then a typical process like a 2L starter on a stir plate that is fermented, crashed, and the spent wort decanted should work fine with dry yeast. In theory dry yeast is cheap enough that spending $4 for a second pack is easier, but more and more I see dry yeast selling in the $8 per pack range.
 

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... from the recipe in #1 (above) is the motivation for making a starter.
If the AHA Homebrewer of the Year is making starters with dry yeast, it cannot be too bad of advice!

Personally, I have made a whopping 2 real lagers in my brewing years. Both times I added 1 pack of dry yeast to a 2.5 gallon batch. The general recommended pitch rate for a cold fermented lager is 2x that for a warm fermented ale. I would be fine with pitching 2 packs of W-34/70 into the published recipe (5 gallons of 1.040 OG wort), but making a 3L starter seems to work fine as well.
 
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Aside: this reply is inspired by @CascadesBrewer 's reply in #15.

There are a number of things in this recipe that are different than a "typical" extract based recipe:
  • starter using 34/70 (mentioned above)
  • 60 min boil with first hop addition "@ 45"
  • four additional items for clarity & yeast health
  • soft (low mineral content) municipal water with additional CaCl
  • a detailed fermentation and packaging plan
 
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CascadesBrewer

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Also, if you are an AHA member (this one is a member exclusive) the recipe is here: Canoe-Chuck Lager

There are a number of things in this recipe that are different than a "typical" extract based recipe:
Something else that might be a little different than one would expect from an award winning lager...the beer was bottle conditioned. The recipe also calls for adding half of the extract at the start of the boil, even though the instructions call for a full volume boil.
 
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The recipe also calls for adding half of the extract at the start of the boil, even though the instructions call for a full volume boil.
A full volume 60 minute boil with half the DME at the end of the boil would reduce the color some (maybe ? 0.5 SRM ?). In the SRM 3-4 range, a 0.5 SRM reduction would be noticeable.

There was a topic earlier this morning ("Diluting wort post boil") in another forum that linked to an experiment on concentrated boils of DME. The experiment was a 1 gal batch with (if I did the math right) a boil of rate of almost 2.5-ish quarts per hour. The associated pictures strongly suggest that concentrated boils will noticeable darken the wort.
 

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Regarding extract brewing, Annie Johnson is a big proponent of using extract.

Of course all of you know who Annie Johnson is.

We have not used extract (LME / DME) for over 3 decades.
 
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Annie won homebrewer of the year in 2013 with a simple non extract beer which was the inspiration for my Last Call piece in the September 2014 BYO.
 

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I have noticed that. I see to recall her being a big proponent of decoction mashing and traditional lagering for making "good" Pilsners. It struck me as odd to see her now advocating for extract based Pilsners.
Yes, me too. Wonder what made her take a deep dive into extract?
 

Oleson M.D.

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Extract is just another ingredient. Most of us experienced better results, with more total,control, after going all-grain. That has been my experience, especially when brewing very light SRM German Lagers.

In Annie’s recent articles and recipes, it is all centered around extract brewing. Nothing wrong with that. A bit of a switch from her decoction / Pilsner Urquell famous days.
 

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It's likely that DME / LME has changed since then.
Perhaps so. The malt we are using is awesome, now brewing with malt from Amarillo, TX. Made a Festbier with it. Might be the best so far. Doubt that that could be done with extract.

Extract has a place in brewing. But we choose to use all grain. The best use of an extract might be in the brewing of a very high OG beer, where you do not have enough kettle capacity to do that volume of mash.
 
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Extract has a place in brewing.
Agreed.

But we choose to use all grain
I respect that decision. And look forward to hearing of your experiences when brewing "all-grain".

Many home brewers choose to use both "all grain" and "extract". Please respect their decision.

[In our opinion ... t]he best use of an extract might be in the brewing of a very high OG beer, where you do not have enough kettle capacity to do that volume of mash.
This is a well known use for fresh DME/LME. I have heard that Brewers Crystals is another ingredient that works well in this situation.

We have not used extract (LME / DME) for over 3 decades.
Good to know.
 
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This developing topic (AHA forums link), on water adjustments for (all-grain) pilsners, may be of interest.

aside: brands (Muntons, Briess) of DME/LME are known to have a different mineral content. Ideas on how to approach this can be found in Brewing Engineering, 2e; or just 'season to taste' / 'dial it in'. Additional information on water adjustments with DME/LME can also be found in How to Brew, 4e and the free version of bru'n water.
 

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I suspect the decent pitching rate was one of the key drivers to this guy's success. Who makes a 3L starter with a pack of dry yeast for a single batch of session strength beer? In most cases, that's likely to translate into a shed load more yeast cells than a 3L starter made with wet yeast. Everyone's New Year's resolution should be to aim to 'over' pitch yeast.
 
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This idea comes from reading across a couple of recent topics.

For those who publish home brewing content, consider doing a series of articles / videos on your effort to recreate this beer. As an alternative, a series on how you brewed a favorite style using extract+steep to a BJCP score of 35+ would be interesting.
 
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