Monday, November 30, 2015
This recipe is straight from Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer's book "Brewing Classic Styles". The changes I made were the hops and yeast. I use Ultra hops for all my "noble hop" needs. This one is Ultra hops all the way through. Also I used my favorite lager yeast: White labs WLP833 German Bock lager yeast. This brew was a split (12 gallon) batch with the other half getting WLP830 German Lager yeast but the 833 made the better beer and was used for competitions.
There are several factors that I would point to that I believe contributed to the success of this beer. Temperature control is a must, which goes for any lager. The yeast was pitched below 50* and was raised over a period of 12 days to 68* where it rested for a couple of days (see details below).
Also pitching lots of good, healthy yeast is crucial. For this recipe I re-pitched yeast from a previous batch of lager. I've found that re-pitching yeast makes for better beer. For some reason they just get better acclimated to their surroundings after a few generations. I pitched 500ml of yeast slurry into each 6 gallon batch. Keep in mind one White Labs vial contains 35ml of yeast, so that's a ton of yeast for this beer!
I used a 90 minute mash and a 90 minute boil. When using pilsner malt you always want to do at least a 90 minute boil but I do 90 minutes boils for all my beers now. For the mash, I mashed the base grains for the first 60 minutes then added the roasted grains for the next 30 minutes. Mashing the dark grains for a smaller amount of time help reduce the astringency and acrid flavor of the roasted malt. I also mash thick (usually around 1.1 qts/lb) so a 90 minute mash always helps with conversion of starches.
So without further ado, here is the recipe for "Brunette Lager"!
Batch size: 12 gallons
FG: (est.) 1.015
12 lbs. - Light Munich Malt
9.4 lbs. - Pilsner Malt
12 oz. - Crystal 40
12 oz. - Chocolate malt (350L)
7 oz. - Carafa II
7 oz. - Roasted Barley
Ultra (7.6% AA) - 1.74oz @ 60 mins.
Ultra - .53 oz. @ 20 mins.
Ultra - .53 oz. @ flameout
WLP-833 German Bock - 500ml washed yeast from previous batch.
Treated to obtain (using EZ water calculator):
107 ppm calcium
17 ppm magnesium
8 ppm sodium
51 ppm chloride
92 ppm sulfate
Mash temp: 154*
Mash pH - 5.54
Oxygenated with pure O2 for 1 min (approx. rate: 1L/min)
Pitched yeast @ 47*, let rise to 50* and hold for 3 days.
Raise temp 1* per day until reaching 68* and hold for 2 days and keg.