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First Ever Lager!

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jeremys

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My homebrew club is having a German lager competition this October, and I've decided that this is the kick up the bum I needed to brew my first lager. Because of how long it takes to make a good lager, I'm not planning to do a trial batch, just jump straight in and hopefully enter with the first lager I've ever brewed (worked for me before - the first beer I ever entered in competition was a hefe, and also the first wheat beer I've brewed. Averaged 42.6/50 and took out 2nd best of show.).

I'm an extract brewer, simply because I am very time poor and if a brew day took me 7-8 hours, I would be brewing a hell of a lot less. I've decided to brew a Marzen/Octoberfest and do it as traditionally as possible. I'll brew it sometime in March, then lager until September/October.

Below is my recipe, please feel free to comment or critique:

17 litre batch
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.015
IBU: 24
SRM: 12

1.5kg Briess Pilsen LME
1.5kg Briess Munich LME
340g Caramunich II

25g Hallertauer (5.2%AA) 60 mins
10g Hallertauer (5.2%AA) 20 mins

Ferment at 10C with Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

I'm planning on doing no secondary and lagering in bottles. I have no good way of lagering at freezing, other than using my fermentation chamber, but I don't want to give it up for that long. I'm thinking of just keeping the bottles in the fridge for 5 or so months, where they will be around 3-4C. I've never filtered before and don't plan to, I figure the long period of cold storage should leave them pretty damn clear.

A few questions:

- How long should I plan to keep the beer in the fermenter before bottling?
- Having never brewed a lager before, what potential problems am I likely to run into?
- When I make the starter for this batch, how should I treat it differently to an ale starter?
 

jeremys

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My homebrew club is having a German lager competition this October, and I've decided that this is the kick up the bum I needed to brew my first lager. Because of how long it takes to make a good lager, I'm not planning to do a trial batch, just jump straight in and hopefully enter with the first lager I've ever brewed (worked for me before - the first beer I ever entered in competition was a hefe, and also the first wheat beer I've brewed. Averaged 42.6/50 and took out 2nd best of show.).

I'm an extract brewer, simply because I am very time poor and if a brew day took me 7-8 hours, I would be brewing a hell of a lot less. I've decided to brew a Marzen/Octoberfest and do it as traditionally as possible. I'll brew it sometime in March, then lager until September/October.

Below is my recipe, please feel free to comment or critique:

17 litre batch
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.015
IBU: 24
SRM: 12

1.5kg Briess Pilsen LME
1.5kg Briess Munich LME
340g Caramunich II

25g Hallertauer (5.2%AA) 60 mins
10g Hallertauer (5.2%AA) 20 mins

Ferment at 10C with Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

I'm planning on doing no secondary and lagering in bottles. I have no good way of lagering at freezing, other than using my fermentation chamber, but I don't want to give it up for that long. I'm thinking of just keeping the bottles in the fridge for 5 or so months, where they will be around 3-4C. I've never filtered before and don't plan to, I figure the long period of cold storage should leave them pretty damn clear.

A few questions:

- How long should I plan to keep the beer in the fermenter before bottling?
- Having never brewed a lager before, what potential problems am I likely to run into?
- When I make the starter for this batch, how should I treat it differently to an ale starter?
Oh, and should I do a 60 or 90 minute boil?
 

muthead

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My homebrew club is having a German lager competition this October, and I've decided that this is the kick up the bum I needed to brew my first lager. Because of how long it takes to make a good lager, I'm not planning to do a trial batch, just jump straight in and hopefully enter with the first lager I've ever brewed (worked for me before - the first beer I ever entered in competition was a hefe, and also the first wheat beer I've brewed. Averaged 42.6/50 and took out 2nd best of show.).

I'm an extract brewer, simply because I am very time poor and if a brew day took me 7-8 hours, I would be brewing a hell of a lot less. I've decided to brew a Marzen/Octoberfest and do it as traditionally as possible. I'll brew it sometime in March, then lager until September/October.

Below is my recipe, please feel free to comment or critique:

17 litre batch
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.015
IBU: 24
SRM: 12

1.5kg Briess Pilsen LME
1.5kg Briess Munich LME
340g Caramunich II

25g Hallertauer (5.2%AA) 60 mins
10g Hallertauer (5.2%AA) 20 mins

Ferment at 10C with Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

I'm planning on doing no secondary and lagering in bottles. I have no good way of lagering at freezing, other than using my fermentation chamber, but I don't want to give it up for that long. I'm thinking of just keeping the bottles in the fridge for 5 or so months, where they will be around 3-4C. I've never filtered before and don't plan to, I figure the long period of cold storage should leave them pretty damn clear.

A few questions:

- How long should I plan to keep the beer in the fermenter before bottling?
- Having never brewed a lager before, what potential problems am I likely to run into?
- When I make the starter for this batch, how should I treat it differently to an ale starter?
Hi mate I am an extract brewer also and have been doing a number of lagers and pilsners recently. The first thing that stands out for me is that you are very light on hop additions. For example my Lagers tend to have close to 70g of 60 minute additions and around 30g late additions. I have used Hallertau & Tettnang mainly.

I usually leave them in fermenter for around 2 weeks - with 2206 I'd think fermentation would finish after around 10 days, but give it another few days to clean up after itself.

Problems you may face is Diacetyl. You will need to do a Diacetyl rest with this yeast. For the last 2/3 days of in the fermenter after fermentation has finished push the temperature up to around 14/15c to clean up the Diacetyl

I wouldn't make a starter myself, don't see as neccessary.

Good luck!!
 

Nick JD

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The first thing that stands out for me is that you are very light on hop additions. For example my Lagers tend to have close to 70g of 60 minute additions and around 30g late additions. I have used Hallertau & Tettnang mainly.
Notice he has very high AA% versions of these hops and that it's a 17L batch. Sounds like kiwi hallertau - it's usually mid 3s.
 

donburke

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Problems you may face is Diacetyl. You will need to do a Diacetyl rest with this yeast. For the last 2/3 days of in the fermenter after fermentation has finished push the temperature up to around 14/15c to clean up the Diacetyl

I wouldn't make a starter myself, don't see as neccessary.

Good luck!!
17 litres of 1.057 lager needs a starter, (or pitch 3.5 smack packs of the freshest wyeast) make your starter the same way you do with your ales to grow the yeast population to the required numbers using any of the online calculators e.g. http://yeastcalc.com/

after your starter has fermented out, chill it to 10 degrees

make your beer, also chill it to 10 degrees, then decant the liquid off the top of the starter and pitch just the yeast, so both beer and wort are at 10 deg

ferment at 10 degrees until final gravity, (i'd say it will be well and truly done in 2 weeks), you wont need a diacetyl rest if you pitched cold, but it wont hurt to raise temp to 18 for a few days if you want to make sure its finished

crash chill in primary for approx a week or two, then bottle/keg

ready to drink 2 to 4 weeks after that, you wont need 6 months, so why dont you make one now and see how it goes, then you will have time to brew another 2 batches (improving any faults if you found some) before october, so you can choose the best ones to submit to the comp

you may also want to try

Wyeast 2487-PC Hella Bock Yeast
Beer Styles: Lager, Oktoberfest/Marzen, Munich Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Traditional Bock, Maibock/Hellesbock, Dopplebock, Eisbock

Profile: Direct from the Austrian Alps, this strain will produce rich, full-bodied and malty beers with a complex flavor profile and a great mouth feel. Attenuates well while still leaving plenty of malt character and body. Beers fermented with this strain will benefit from a temperature rise for a diacetyl rest at the end of primary fermentation.

Alc. Tolerance 12% ABV

Flocculation medium

Attenuation 70-74%

Temp. Range 48-56F (9-13C)

 

seemax

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Keep it in primary for 2 weeks minimum, then check gravity.

You need yeast and lots of it ... use the calculator but I'd say at least 3L.
 

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