Samichlaus Day is aproaching

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Belmont

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I was going to try to brew a Samichlaus beer this year. I read the article in Zymurgy and my homebrewing club has carried this tradition for years. I'm new to the club so I am not familiar with the beer. Is anyone here familiar with the Zurich Lager(WLP885) yeast from White Labs? I'm trying to figure out my fermentation schedule for this beer. What temperature I should start at? How long? Should I "ramp up" the temp? I'd like to free up my fermentation fridge for ales as soon as possible. I could possibly put this in my keezer after most of the activity has slowed down and raise the temp of my keezer to around 50 for a while. Do you guys have any suggestions on how to take care of this beer? Is it possible to bring it out of temp control to room temp after a certain period without negative effects?
 

Suthrncomfrt1884

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haha! This reminds me that the beer store down the road still has Samichlaus from LAST YEAR! The bottles are all dusty and don't look too appetizing.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Hurray! Dec. 6, a day for great beer. I don't brew it but I drink one a year from all the years I have. That would currently be 2007, and 2008.

Suthrn, you should grab those, they age with the best of them and are incredible. I buy a four-pack or two each year and drink one fresh, then one each year until I run out.
 

eulipion2

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I currently have three bottles of each '06, '07, and '08. I'll have some '09 when they become available. I have the same with Three Philosophers and Bigfoot (with '09s). I'm hoping to do a five year parallel tasting of each when I get them all.

I would love to brew a Samichlaus, and whenever I finally gain lagering capabilities it'll definitely be an early batch.
 

lpdb185

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well, did you decide to brew it? i noticed that AHS now carries a samichlaus kit. i thought hard about it, but i think i need to get a little better before i attempt something that big. if you do it, let us know how it goes.
 
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Belmont

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No but I helped some guys in my club brew a batch. We had 5 different years of commercial examples including one 3L bottle and two different years of homebrewed examples one on nitro and the other won the specialty beer category at Houston's largest homebrewing competition. Talk about an awesome brew. I have his recipe.

One of the guys in my club suggested building up the yeast starter. He suggested making about a 2L starter for a 3G batch of a lower gravity lager like a Vienna. Then rinse that yeast and brew a 6G boch of higher gravity. Rinse that yeast and pitch it for the Samiclaus.

Another guy advised against using the Zurich lager yeast on anything but some thing big like a Samiclaus. He just builds up his starter until he's working with several gallons of starter. He claims that the character that this yeast creates is very different and that it needs a LOT of time to age before it's drinkable. Usually about a year.

Anyway, I can tell you that these homebrewed examples blew away the commercial ones. They were some incredible beers and I'm glad our club has a tradition like this. I'll be brewing one next year for sure.
 

Protos

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Happy St. Nicholas Day, you the faithful!
Brewed the thing today.
Ridiculously huge grist, ridiculously low efficiency (even despite decoction) and ridiculously small output. Nevermind, it would be quite enough to sample a bottle each year at December 6 for several years ahead.
Grist idea from MaltoseFalcons, hopping schedule (and some bits of info from the manufacturer) from BYO. S-189 yeast cake from a 1.050 Hürlimann Lager clone specially brewed for a starter.

Holy Nick, never tasted such a sweet and syrupy wort: 1.150 (before dilution to 1.130)!
Now it's a commitment to make these yeasties to go all the way down to 14% alc.
 
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