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zepbrew

Whiteley series Black Lager

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Hi all!
I've brewed several Mr Beer batches, turned out great. now I'm moving on to 5 gal Black Lager. My question is, the instuctions don't give any specific heating temps, just boil for 35 min, boil 10 min, etc.. If anyone has brewed this recipe and have any tips it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance and Happy Brewing!

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I'm not familiar with your specific recipe, but for a hop boil, boiling is boiling. There isn't much difference in temperature between barely boiling and a vigorous boil. You want enough boiling action to extract and circulate the hop acids, but things shouldn't splatter all over. If you are mashing grains, you want to maintain temperatures between about 150-156 degrees, until you are trying for specific results of sugar extraction vs body, or trying more complex procedures like decoction. For steeping grains, a wider temperature range works.

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Let me add: welcome to the Borg! Please keep asking questions, to take advantage of the knowledge here. If something doesn't sink in right away, it will later as you stay with this great hobby.

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"zepbrew" post=362384 said:

Hi all!
I've brewed several Mr Beer batches, turned out great. now I'm moving on to 5 gal Black Lager. My question is, the instuctions don't give any specific heating temps, just boil for 35 min, boil 10 min, etc.. If anyone has brewed this recipe and have any tips it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance and Happy Brewing!

I not familiar with that brand of mix, but I did a Black Lager recently

Heres a link to the detailed instructions for my kit: Linky

Your's is probably similar.

Is this a true lager?

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Zepbrew, your recipe looks like a tasty brew. The Carafa should have a nice smooth dark malt flavor, but would need to be milled (if not already done) and steeped. If you need to mill the grain, you can put it in a zip-loc bag and roll over it with a rolling pin until the husks are opened. (Not so much as to make flour, but I think that would actually take more effort than you are likely to want to do.)

Steeping the milled grain is not very hard. After struggling to keep small volumes of grain in the right temperature range over my stove, and then learning to do all-grain mashing and seeing that a common type of mash tun is similar to a large beverage cooler, I have started to use a small (about 1/2 gallon) beverage cooler for steeping grain. Based on how mine works out, and for 1 lb of grain, heat 1.5 quarts of water to around 176-178 degrees (takes about 6 minutes per quart in my microwave), put the grain in the beverage cooler, add the hot water, stir well to make sure there are no clumps, note the temperature for future reference, put on the cover, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. When it's done, you can remove the grain bag if you used it, and combine the steeped wort into the rest of the wort. If not using the grain bag, strain the spent grain through a kitchen strainer into the wort. When you master this, it will be a small step to doing partial mash.

S-23 is indeed a lager yeast, although it could also be considered a hybrid in that it works fine at cool room temperatures, as it is used in California Common (steam beer).

Saying all of this is without reading the instructions that Skelly linked to. If those differ, I'm sure those are valid too. There is no single way to make good beer. As you gain experience, you can find what works for you.

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thanks for the info. yes i think it is a true lager, i have to ferment between 45 and 54 degrees. i have a fridge outside that i put on the lowest setting and after 1 day it is up to 45. hoping i can use it. also put a thermometer in the crawl space. i will check it in the morning(i'm in western nc) that may work better. i should have included this before, but here are the instructions. i'm sure it will go fine, i just cringe at the thought of 5 gal of brew going bad. sometimes someones experience is better than the mass produced instructions

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Fermentis's info sheet states S-23's temperature range as 48.2-71.6 degrees, "ideally" 53.6-59. People have had good results up to 75. Personally, I use S-23 during the winter when my work room runs 60-63 degrees, then turn to other yeasts when the temperature gets to mid to high 60s, just because I have made a few lagers (steam beer, schwarzbier, etc) by then. The character is traditional lager at lower temperatures, and like steam beer at the higher range.

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ok, brewed monday morning and everything went fine. have it in crawlspace (56 deg) now it has been 26 hrs, but no action in the airlock yet. anyone know if this is normal? instructions said should see action within the first 24 hrs.

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Guest System Admin

What yeast did you use?

S-23 normally kickes off 24-48 hours later, but if no trub or action by 72 hours then time to start looking into causes

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yes i used the s-23 that came with it. ok, i won't start to think the worst yet! i'll check it tomorrow morning

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I've never done a 5 gallon batch but hope to do my first soon. In the instructions, it mentions to heat till foaming, then turn back the heat till the foam subsides, then repeat until it no longer foams. Is this what is known as the "hot break?" And does the boil time not officially start till after the hot break?

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Yes, the foaming is the "hot break". It's correct that you can get through it by turning down the heat until it subsides, then heat again until it foams again, and repeat until the foaming stops. My practice is to stir most of the time while the wort heats toward boiling, to keep the foaming manageable. Then, it has often stopped foaming by the time the wort boils. You could also spray the foam with water to keep the foaming under control. I have also heard of scooping out the foam, which may have a benefit of taking out proteins that you don't want to keep.

Be alert that the hot break can foam up suddenly, overflowing even a large pot and making a hard-to-clean mess. If I need to step away from the pot, even momentarily, I turn down the heat, and have never ended up with that mess (although I did come running once).

You could put in the hops before the wort boils, but I wouldn't know how to calculate the IBU. So my process is repeatable and predictable, I wait until the wort boils before adding my hops. Then I can count the time from when I add the hops.

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just to update-- has been fermenting 3 weeks. bottled this morning. my first 5 gal brew and first time batch carbing. 49 12 oz bottles- put the last cupfull in the freezer for 30 min while i cleaned up. just finished it-very smooth. can't wait to try finished product-will be patient.
OG 1.05 ( called for 1.05 - 1.054)
FG 1.013 (called for 1.011- 1.015)
seems all went well, which is almost a suprise, because i have only been using b-brite as a sanitizer not knowing it is only a cleaner. did pick up some star san over the weekend, so i used that this morning to sanitize everything.
thanks again to everyone on the board. i am learning alot! and having fun! and within a couple months i can quit spending $ on my wifes expensive craft beer habit, since she seems to like my brews just as much. she really hates my cheap lite beer! unfortunitly, now i'm stating to dislike it myself!
Happy Brewing

gone-American light
drinking-Irish Stout (Ain't my mama's mini collie)
Bewithed Amber Ale ( Doggie drool)
conditioning- Winter Dark Ale ( Sheepdog spit)
Black Lager ( Puppy Poop)
Fermenting Belgian Ale ( un-named for now)

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