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Clint Yeastwood

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Dec 19, 2022
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Back in the days when I was trying to blow my head off with IBU's, I came up with a recipe I thought might be something like Steinlager or Leopard lager, but I wanted to use crystal malt to keep the hops from being so dry my face would turn inside-out. I came up with this:

5.00 gal Marion County Mystery Well Water
10 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)
0.80 oz Nugget [15.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min 39.6 IBUs
1.00 oz Crystal [3.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 15.0 min 2.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Saflager Lager (DCL/Fermentis #W-34/70)

42.4 IBU

I never finished it. I pulled it from the keezer, and it sits in my storage freezer. It just didn't do it for me.

Think I should bail on this one or look for ways to improve it? Maybe I should make the next one with Magnum, all the way, and cut the IBU's to maybe 30. I like the combination of Crystal and Nugget, but maybe this was the wrong beer for it.
Meh, 42.4 wouldn't rustle a mustache here . When I was growing my own Cascade/Chinook/Centennial back during the IBU Wars I brewed a house IPA that on paper was 100 IBUs. And - trust me - by the third year my hops were potent, I'd have put them up against anything you could buy, and my boys and I really enjoyed that beer...

That is a question with a complex answer. I had my water tested, and I got a high iron result, but I've made excellent beer, so I think the levels fluctuate. From now on I'll test before I brew and do whatever has to be done to keep the levels low.

That being said, I think it's just a mediocre recipe.
From now on I'll test before I brew and do whatever has to be done to keep the levels low.
Can you do that test yourself?
Are you using a whole house filter?

Besides, there maybe other unwanted elements in your water, manganese comes to mind, often goes along with iron.

That being said, I think it's just a mediocre recipe.
You may have a point, it looks like butchered Lager... :D
I got some test strips that cover iron and some other things. Manganese didn't come up in my Ward test, and I have other beers that are excellent.
Without knowing the alkalinity of that water, you would really have no idea what your mash pH was (unless you have a meter). With pilsner malt and light caramel, most water would require some acid. On its own, a 42IBU beer is not really that harsh but if it were combined with high mash pH astringency, I could see that being a problem.
The alkalinity came out at 178. The pH of the water, not the mash, was 7.7.

I'm not actually looking for help with the water. The water makes good beer. I'm just wondering if other people see things wrong with the recipe itself. In retrospect, it was a gimmicky effort to begin with. It's not awful, but I never think, "One of those would hit the spot right now."

I don't know if anyone else has gotten anywhere with Crystal and Nugget in a light-colored lager.

I think I'll start over with Magnum for bittering and finishing, with the bitterness more like 30.
I can't help you with seeing what is wrong with the recipe as I don't have enough experience.
But throwing it out seems like a bad idea. Maybe try some as a beer shandy? The sweetness of sprite or 7up should counter balance the bitterness