Doppelbock

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FatDragon

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I'm working on a couple recipes and putting together a shopping list right now, so if you have suggestions for my upcoming Quad, I'd love to hear them as well. Many of the questions in both threads focus on working within my somewhat limited ingredient availability, most notably lack of liquid yeast, since I live in China.

I'm hoping to do a Doppelbock for an upcoming brew. The argument against this is that it's probably pretty ambitious for my first lager, but considering that Spaten Optimator and Paulaner Salvator are my favorite bottom-fermented brews, it seems fitting.

It's been suggested that I try ~1.080 with 100% Munich (I'd be using Weyermann Munich II because of availability), healthy aeration, and a healthy pitch of Saflager 34/70, but my other research doesn't turn up 100% Munich Doppelbocks like that. Notably, it's unlikely that I, as a BIABer, will be doing a decoction or multiple-infusion mash unless it's really impossible to make a decent doppelbock without it, not out of stubbornness but because I'm a lot more likely to screw up a more complicated mash schedule than a simple single infusion. I'm leaning towards something like the second recipe in this BYO article in order to avoid a decoction, but I'm also tempted to try an all-base recipe (whether 100% Munich or Munich and Pils) and maybe do some wort concentration on the side during the boil for extra maillards.

I'm limited to dry yeast or the off chance that any common German lagers are bottle conditioned with their primary yeast and I could use them to build up a starter. If the former, would I be better off with S-34/70, S-23, or M54? If the latter, which breweries/beers should I look at for harvestable yeast?

Finally, hops: 22-25 IBU, right? Are any late hops necessary or beneficial, or just a bittering charge? I have some cheap but sub-par domestic Saaz, or I could easily get a couple ounces of Perle, Czech Saaz, Tettnanger, or Hallertau. Suggestions?
 

Bosh

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Good call on the malt. Weyermann light Munich is a wonderful malt but it doesn't have the kind of punch of flavor that you want for a Doppelbock by itself while a lot of American dark Munich is going to be sickly sweet if used in large quantities like the horrible Sam Adam's Oktoberfest.
 

RedlegEd

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It's been suggested that I try ~1.080 with 100% Munich (I'd be using Weyermann Munich II because of availability), healthy aeration, and a healthy pitch of Saflager 34/70, but my other research doesn't turn up 100% Munich Doppelbocks like that.
I'm leaning towards something like the second recipe in this BYO article in order to avoid a decoction, but I'm also tempted to try an all-base recipe (whether 100% Munich or Munich and Pils) and maybe do some wort concentration on the side during the boil for extra maillards.

Finally, hops: 22-25 IBU, right? Are any late hops necessary or beneficial, or just a bittering charge? I have some cheap but sub-par domestic Saaz, or I could easily get a couple ounces of Perle, Czech Saaz, Tettnanger, or Hallertau. Suggestions?
Hi. I agree with the previous poster about Weyemann Munich II, but I would definitely not do 100%. At that point, it becomes a SMaSH (if you use one hop.) I've done a Munich SMaSH and it was very good and malty, but slightly astringent. The recipe you referenced should be very good. I would stick with either Tettnang or Hallertau with a bittering charge then another flavor charge about 30 minutes after the first addition. For the yeast, 34/70 is a good choice (I haven't used with others you mentioned,) but I've heard Saflager S-189 is also a good yeast, but it might attenuate a little dry. Good luck and let us know how it comes out. Ed
:mug:

CMC Munich SMaSH.jpg
 
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FatDragon

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Kai's Optimator clone: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Imperator

I've brewed it, and it's delicious.
Looks promising, though I'm wondering if I could get away with a similar grainbill if I don't do a decoction mash.

Hi. I agree with the previous poster about Weyemann Munich II, but I would definitely not do 100%. At that point, it becomes a SMaSH (if you use one hop.) I've done a Munich SMaSH and it was very good and malty, but slightly astringent. The recipe you referenced should be very good. I would stick with either Tettnang or Hallertau with a bittering charge then another flavor charge about 30 minutes after the first addition. For the yeast, 34/70 is a good choice (I haven't used with others you mentioned,) but I've heard Saflager S-189 is also a good yeast, but it might attenuate a little dry. Good luck and let us know how it comes out. Ed
:mug:
In the 50g increments they sell here, looks like the slightly higher AA% of Hallertau will work a bit better than Tettnang, so that's that. 34/70 sounds solid so I'll stick with it. Looking forward to getting this brew going, although it's going to have to wait a bit longer until I can consistently hold it at lager fermentation temps. In the meantime, it's time to get to work on that Quad and something for more immediate consumption; probably the Old Engine Oil clone I've been working on as we're getting into dark beer weather.
 

RedlegEd

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..., although it's going to have to wait a bit longer until I can consistently hold it at lager fermentation temps.
With a normal bock, or other lager, you can get away with a little warmer ferm temps, but I don't think so with a doppel bock. It's a big beer and if you ferment warm, you risk developing fusel alcohols (hot, boozy, rocket fuel taste.) Remember the beauty of this beer is the big, balanced malty flavor, and the subtle warming of a higher ABV. If it tastes like a shot of malty vodka, you did it wrong. Sometime, just for giggles, you should try Biermuncher's Oktoberfast Ale. It uses dry yeast, warmer ferm temps, and comes out very close to a Märzen style lager. Ed
:mug:
 
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FatDragon

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With a normal bock, or other lager, you can get away with a little warmer ferm temps, but I don't think so with a doppel bock. It's a big beer and if you ferment warm, you risk developing fusel alcohols (hot, boozy, rocket fuel taste.) Remember the beauty of this beer is the big, balanced malty flavor, and the subtle warming of a higher ABV. If it tastes like a shot of malty vodka, you did it wrong. Sometime, just for giggles, you should try Biermuncher's Oktoberfast Ale. It uses dry yeast, warmer ferm temps, and comes out very close to a Märzen style lager. Ed
:mug:
Thanks for the advice. I'll wait until the weather's right before I start the Doppelbock. In the meantime I'll have a few weeks to learn a bit more in advance of brewday.
 
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