critique my lager

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blackwaterbrewer

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here is a german-belgian lager i am working on. i want light mouthfeel with a medium body. subtle hop background, with focus on the barley and flavor from the lager yeast. i used as much belgian ingredients as i could. i would appreciate any advice.

9# Dingemans Pilsner malt
1# belgian aromatic
8oz marris otter
1# munich

1/2oz hallertauer (3.9aa)
3/4oz saaz (5.8)

white labs south German lager yeast

mash grains with 3.5 gallons at 128F for 20 min
decoct
-remove 1/3 of thick mash, add 1 qt water, bring to boil, add to mashtun
stabalize mash at 152F for 50 min.

collect wort.

1/2oz hallertauer for 60 min
1/2oz sazz 20 min
1/4oz sazz 5 min

pitch yeast at 65, lower to 55 after fermentation begins.
after 6 days, lower gradually to 40 for 7 days
move to keg , lager at 38 for 4 weeks
 

brewmasterpa

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lets start with ingredients. replace saaz with tetnang, 1 lbs marris otter, .5 lbs munich. mash at 146, not 152. this will give you the light mouthfeel by drying it a bit. also with munich, when you use a lot, like a pound, you increase the body a bit. if you want medium body with light mouthfeel you can try .75 lbs munich, but id keep it at .5 lbs and definitely lower mash temp to 146-148. as far as your lagering technique, get your wort down to 55, then pitch, then raise to 65 and let it rest at that temp for 48 hours. then lager back down to 55 by dropping 5 degrees per day and hold for 14 days. then go to secondary and let it rest at room temp again for 48 hours (diacetyl rest) then lager down to 46 degrees no more than 5 degrees per day and hold at 46 for 21 days. then transfer to keg and finish lagering under carbonation at 36-38 for 4 weeks. thats just what id do. cheers.
 

944play

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I don't think you'll taste the MO. I'd skip it and up the Munich.

I would get 1.053, 14 IBU, and 6 SRM from your recipe. I would shoot for at least 20 IBU.

A protein rest is probably unnecessary. I like to dough in at about 140F, decoct to 155, and mashout.

With a big enough pitch of yeast, it's better to pitch cold (45F). Don't watch a calendar, let the beer tell you when it's done. DO NOT rack too early or you'll get diacetyl.
 

brewmasterpa

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i think youll definitely be able to taste the marris otter considering it will be 10% of your grist, and if you use too much munich, youll get a sweet aftertaste which really doesnt fit the style much. if you want it that way, do it, nothing wrong with that. but definitely pitch cold and rest at room temp and definitely rest it again once you rack to the secondary to prevent diacetyl. you can either lager it in the secondary, or do a short secondary at same temp as primary and lager in the keg, i prefer the secondary so that when i keg it, its pretty much ready to drink. otherwise, im too damn tempted to drink green beer.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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I think that's a bit much on the Aromatic. I would use 1/2# at most.

I agree that Maris Otter at 1/2# probably won't make much difference (other than the actual gravity points from it). But it certainly won't hurt anything. You could prob use another 1/2# of Pils or Munich instead of the MO. In a beer as light as you want it...Munich will add a touch of sweetness but at the amount you are using it looks good to me.

On the decoction:
I agree with skipping the protein rest but you have to hold it at some temp. Also, don't rest and then pull the decoction...pull the decoction immediately and when you add that water to the decoction, make it boiling water and add heat to get the decoction up to 158 F or so ASAP and rest for 10-15 minutes (that's all it will take at 158 F to convert). You want convert the decoction before you boil it...but if it's not completely converted that's OK...you'll get it all during the main mash sacc rest. I would boil the decoction for 10-12 minutes or so. Don't scorch the decoction!:)
And for the main mash sacc rest...I would rest @ 149-150 F.
 

944play

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I'm not convinced that Munich "adds sweetness." It's a BASE MALT, and Aromatic is nothing but very dark Munich. My 100% Munich beers are just as dry as any others.
 

brewmasterpa

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munich does provide a sweet finish in the profile. i dont really think it matters whether its a base malt or a specialty malt. if you have a chance to take a nut brown recipe that used no munich, brew it, then add 1 lbs of munich and brew that, you will notice a huge difference in the sweet finish that it now will have. ive played with munich quite a bit, i use it in a lot of beers. ive even had a person tell me that one beer i made was too sweet. it tasted damn close to spaten pils, and when i checked the recipe, i was only using .5 lbs more! and this guy grew up in germany drinking spaten brau.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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I think the darker Munich does add a touch of sweetness, but I haven't detected that with Munich Light.

I have used the high AA NZ Hallertau for bittering, combined with Saaz for aroma with very nice results. Considering them for a Pils this weekend.

However, I do have some Tetnang in now and might just try them with the Hallertau (Noble + Noble).

Is Saaz considered a "Noble Hop"?
 

brewmasterpa

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i dont think it is considered a noble. i know the commercial brewers use the crap out of it. but they get a different version than us craftbrewers get. usually the only stuff we can get is czech, they get stuff from oregon. there might be a difference there, but i dont know for sure. the hallertau/tetnang is a fantastic combination especially for a pilsner in my opinion. give it a whirl, youll love it. cheers all!!
 

AnOldUR

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I'm not convinced that Munich "adds sweetness." It's a BASE MALT, and Aromatic is nothing but very dark Munich. My 100% Munich beers are just as dry as any others.
munich does provide a sweet finish in the profile.
Drank 944play's Munich/Tett Lager last night (100% Munich.) There was just a little malty sweetness up front. The taste was a mix of roasted and malt flavors. The finish was dry, with no sweetness present. If this is the result of 100% Munich, I can’t see 1lb making too much of an impact on overall sweetness. Certainly far less than the rest of the brewing process (mash temps, ect.)

 
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blackwaterbrewer

blackwaterbrewer

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thank you all so much for the insight. sometimes it seems like everyone is brewing mostly ale. it is nice to hear some banter about lagers. it seems to be the consensus that the protien rest is unneccessary. i dont have a good dial thermometer on my lagering frige. i am trying to bring the temp down slowly by putting the carboy in a water bath and gradually adding ice. worked pretty well. i'll get a thermometer for the frige and do it right next time. thanks again for the detailed and concise responses. CHEERS!
 

menschmaschine

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If I may make a suggestion... if you're going to decoct... start at 140-ish and decoct up to 158-ish, then mash-out. It's a standard Hochkurz mash schedule. A lot of German breweries use this or something close to it these days (mostly step-mashing, but the temperatures are the same).
 
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blackwaterbrewer

blackwaterbrewer

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as a follow-up, i just kegged this beer a few days ago after 2weeks in secondary at 40F, then a rest at 60 for 2 days. i really am pleased. what a wonderfully balanced flavor. crisp up front, malty pallate, and a fresh, mild hop finish. i can't wait for it to finish lagering!!
 

Mutilated1

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I'm glad it turned out well. I had a feeling it would, the only thing that struck me as odd was that much aromatic seemed worrisome. I've tried as much as a pound before and it was a little too much for my taste.
 
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blackwaterbrewer

blackwaterbrewer

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i can definitely taste the aromatic, but it is a pleasantly unexpected breadiness in an otherwise crisp, balanced lager. it may fade with a few weeks lagering, but it very nice now. thanks for the reply.
 
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