Dry lager - do I need enzymes?

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AlexKay

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So, I’m thinking a super-dry pale international lager. For a 2.5-gallon batch, the recipe would be something like:
2 lbs. 2-row, 1 lb. Vienna, 1 lb. flaked rice.
~3 g Magnum @ 60 minutes, ~8 g something else (Hallertau? Sorachi Ace? Motueka?) @ 5 minutes.
W34/70

Does this sound reasonable? Add more rice? Which flavor/aroma hops? Add glucoamylase? (Never tried exogenous enzymes, unsure how it would turn out with this recipe.). All advice appreciated.
 

SanPancho

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about 10-15% of dextrose in grain bill will help dry it out alot. you can also pitch your preferred flavor yeast first, then wait 2 days and pitch whichever yeast has highest attenuation in addition to it. enzymes will work, but tend to give you a lite beer kind of result. also dont go crazy with bittering since you'll have no residual sugar to balance it. you'll end up with something like those horrible "session" ipas that are basically just bitterness
 
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friarsmith

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My light lagers generally start at 1.044 to 1.050 and finish at 1.004 just by mashing in at 142* and holding for 75-90 mins. Usually w/o extra enzymes. Then I slowly direct fire to mashout over 20 minutes or so. This is with a blend of pilsner, 6-row and 15-20% rice.

Enzymes can be used for a little extra insurance, but I would suggest using half of the recommended dosage in the mash the first time and let the low mash do the heavy lifting.

As for the hops, using Magnum as a FWH might soften any bitter edge (even though Magnum isn’t bad that way). A pinch of Sorachi would be nice near flameout time.
 

friarsmith

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Yep. 142* will ensure good attenuation, then some quality barley and judicious use of adjuncts will ensure good flavor.

Details are fuzzy, but I recall one of the macros using a long rest in the 142-144 range. Maybe Bud Light. But if you do this and limit the adjuncts to 15-20% max (not 30+) your beer will actually have some flavor.
 
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AlexKay

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For those who do use enzymes, what are the pluses and minuses of using glucoamylase in the mash as opposed to adding it after the boil?
 

balrog

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WY1007 isn't lager, I understand that, but this is what I get with more typical mash temps over the last 36 batches (mostly Altbier/AmberAle recipes):
1648639693695.png
 

Bill Tong

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For those who do use enzymes, what are the pluses and minuses of using glucoamylase in the mash as opposed to adding it after the boil?

I use glucoamylase in the mash for brut IPA's. I've used this in my cooler mash tun, mash in low for 30 mins, then add the enzymes and let it rest for 1 hour. The temp drops slightly during this so the enzymes work well. Mine goes down to 1.003.

The issue with adding enzymes on the cold side is that you would have to clean your fermenter and packaging thoroughly, they stick around and may affect your next brew.
 
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monkeymath

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Yep. 142* will ensure good attenuation, then some quality barley and judicious use of adjuncts will ensure good flavor.

Details are fuzzy, but I recall one of the macros using a long rest in the 142-144 range. Maybe Bud Light. But if you do this and limit the adjuncts to 15-20% max (not 30+) your beer will actually have some flavor.

I find this very surprising, since you might not even reach gelatinisation at that temperature. Odd.
 

monkeymath

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I was skeptical too, but I’ve done this at least 20 times over the last 6-7 years with great success on American Light Lagers. One won an NHC Final medal. Perhaps the slow ramp to mashout completes the process.

Well if your starch was not gelatinized at the time of the mash rest, the enzymes had nothing to work on... and by the time you start heating up to mashout (you mentioned 75-90 minutes mash rest), the beta-amylase is long dead. So if it really works - and it's not simply that your thermometer is off ;) - then I'd assume the starch in your barley actually did gelatinize at that lower temp.

Regarding enzyme activity and temperatures, I've found this article quite interesting:
Optimization of Beer Brewing by Monitoring alpha-amylase and beta-amylase activities during mashing

I'm not too interested in shaving 10 minutes off my mash schedule (it actually just increases the percentage of time spent cleaning), but in the discussion as well as the cited literature it is stated how quickly beta-amylase actually degrades at temperatures above 55 degrees celsius (and how quickly it actually finishes its job, so I think there's no need for beta-amylase rests any longer than 30 minutes). In particular, mashing in at elevated temperatures actually denatures much of your beta-amylase before it can even get to work (starch is gelatinized and starch and enzymes are dissolved in the wort).

I was aware of the general phenomenon, but I assumed 60 degrees celsius was sufficiently low to keep the beta-amylase alive, and had mashed in at 60 celsius instead (and held there for a bit). Apparently, all that did was just murder my precious little beta-amylase all this time :(
 

bracconiere

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For those who do use enzymes, what are the pluses and minuses of using glucoamylase in the mash as opposed to adding it after the boil?


i tried it in the mash once, hoping it would do it's thing quicker and the beer would finish dry quicker....didn't work. i always add it with the yeast pitch.
 

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