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SiriusDG

Snow Drift Lager >> partial grain Munich Dunkel

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I have a Snow Drift Lager coming up on my schedule, and would like to tweak it into a Munich Dunkel, or at least something close enough. Looking for good suggestions on grain additions, hops, anything else it may need. I plan on really lagering this with SafBrew yeast at about 55 degrees. Any suggestions happily recieved.

David

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Well, as for grain additions from a partial mash perspective, you're a bit limited on this style if you want to keep it true to style.

Are you actually planning on a partial mash, or just steeping some grains?

Using the Snow Drift Lager as the base...

If you are planning on a true partial mash, I would probably do something along the lines of:
1 lb. German Munich malt, and
1/8 lb. German Carafa.
1/4 oz. Hallertauer for 5 minute boil
1/4 oz. Spalt for 0 minutes (add at flame out)

If you are planning on just steeping grains, then I would probably consider something like:
1/2 lb. Extra Light DME
1/8 lb. German Carafa.
1/4 oz. Hallertauer for 5 minute boil
1/4 oz. Spalt for 0 minutes (add at flame out)


Which SafBrew yeast are you planning to use?

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If you're willing to take this one down to 55F and keep it there, I would also seriously consider using the Ferments Saflager W-34/70. It is the Weihenstephan strain of yeast in a convenient Fermentis dry yeast form. In the dry yeast realm, it's about as close to a Bavarian Lager strain as you're going to get and will really help kick your recipe into full-on Munich Dunkel gear!

This strain ferments at 54~59F so 55 ought to be real nice.

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Thanx. I have some time before I will get to this, so I am going to find a few good Munich Dunkels to get the real feel for it...I just pulled that out of the style guidelines as something that sounded good, and looked close to my starting point. After I do that, I will know how "True" to style I care to be.

As for temps, I am really impressed this week with how cold I am able to keep the kegs I have going using my new system...in fact, I am having to back off now, having driven them to 60 and still dropping. Not rotating gel packs tonight, gonna see where I land in the morning. But I am now fully confident that I can keep a keg in the mid to lower 50's. So a few true lagers need to be in my future.

Finally, surfing around I also found this combo...any opinions welcome...

Faithful Messenger
------------------
Brewer: David Gilbert
Style: Munich Dunkel
Batch: 2.13 galPartial Mash

Characteristics
---------------
Recipe Gravity: 1.047 OG
Recipe Bitterness: 22 IBU
Recipe Color: 23° SRM
Estimated FG: 1.012
Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
Alcohol by Weight: 3.6%

Ingredients
-----------
CaraMunich 0.25 lb, Grain, Mashed
Crystal 80L 0.25 lb, Grain, Mashed
MrB. Creamy Brown UME 1.21 lb, Extract, Extract
MrB. High Country Canadian Draft1.21 lb, Extract, Extract

Cascade (Argentine) 0.30 oz, Pellet, 1 minutes
MrB. High Country Canadian Draft1.00 oz, Pellet, 5 minutes


Seems a bit weak, but a starting point. As I say, this one needs research.

David

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So while doing a bit of internet research I find that Henry Weinhard's Classic Dark Lager is consider a Munich Dunkel style. Now there is a name from my past, my wife and I loved those when we lived in Seattle -- so, this is now the specific target. Anyone who can craft a partial grain copy of this, based on the Snow Drift Lager recipe, I will owe great thanx to. Game on! B)

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

Thanx. I have some time before I will get to this, so I am going to find a few good Munich Dunkels to get the real feel for it...I just pulled that out of the style guidelines as something that sounded good, and looked close to my starting point. After I do that, I will know how "True" to style I care to be.

As for temps, I am really impressed this week with how cold I am able to keep the kegs I have going using my new system...in fact, I am having to back off now, having driven them to 60 and still dropping. Not rotating gel packs tonight, gonna see where I land in the morning. But I am now fully confident that I can keep a keg in the mid to lower 50's. So a few true lagers need to be in my future.

Finally, surfing around I also found this combo...any opinions welcome...

Faithful Messenger
------------------
Brewer: David Gilbert
Style: Munich Dunkel
Batch: 2.13 galPartial Mash

Characteristics
---------------
Recipe Gravity: 1.047 OG
Recipe Bitterness: 22 IBU
Recipe Color: 23° SRM
Estimated FG: 1.012
Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
Alcohol by Weight: 3.6%

Ingredients
-----------
CaraMunich 0.25 lb, Grain, Mashed
Crystal 80L 0.25 lb, Grain, Mashed
MrB. Creamy Brown UME 1.21 lb, Extract, Extract
MrB. High Country Canadian Draft1.21 lb, Extract, Extract

Cascade (Argentine) 0.30 oz, Pellet, 1 minutes
MrB. High Country Canadian Draft1.00 oz, Pellet, 5 minutes


Seems a bit weak, but a starting point. As I say, this one needs research.

David

This one looks OK... it will certainly give you a plenty tasty beer but I would shy away from the use of much caramel grains in the grain bill. A true Munich Dunkel would use very little caramelized or roasted grains. If using them, the something like the Carafa mentioned in my earlier post or perhaps a touch of the German Dark Crystal would be suitable (mostly for color only). So, if using grains such as the CaraMunich and 120L Crystal you put in your recipe above, I would try and keep them below 5% of the total fermentable bill (if it were my brew ;-)).

Since the Mr. Beer HCCD and Cream Brown will already have a fair amount of crystal and roasted malts in them, I would definitely try to use a true partial mash with mostly German Munich malt (not CaraMunich) and perhaps just a touch of the Carafa or darker crystal for color as desired. The combo of the HCCD and Creamy Brown will already give you plenty of color, so you don't really need any crystal or roasted malts in there at all... go with straight up Munich or, use Extra Light DME to bump the O.G. and call it good.

Also, a Munich Dunkel would more appropriately use noble hop varieties thus my recommendation for the Hallertau and Spalt. Saaz or Tettnang would also be good choices. To me (again, only my opinion), the Cascades would make it seem a bit "ale-like" to me.

Not having tried the Weinhard's before, I'll have to do some research and see what people's tasting notes are... I'm sure coming up with a partial-grain recipe that's close enough for starters won't be too hard (I suspect the recipe suggestions in my first post will get you pretty close ;-))

If you can find some of theHarpoon Munich Dark near you, it's also a great example.

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I also found a site that said Sam Adams Black Lager was a Munich Dunkel style, and that I am VERY familiar with. :) Finding a clone recipe for anything Sam Adams is a snap, and it was (being generic rather than specific) pretty much the same as your recipe, with the addition of more bittering hops, since it was not accounting for the HME. So I am back to your recipe, with a good idea now in my head of where I am really going, and a nod to you for having known in the first place. :cheers:

Yeah, I had already considered the hops thing...darned shame, cuz that is where the name evolves, and I had tied that into my new name, so I will likely have to rename this now. I think I will shift the Cascade hops over to a belgian tripple that will be next in line after this, will post that recipe shortly. I just used all my Saaz, and am all out of Tet, and only 1/2 oz Hallertaur, which leaves me under the needed IBU. While I have checked, and know that none of these is a recomended replacement, these are the hops I have excess of and either need to find a place to use or toss out...so, what do you think, any good matches?

Willamette
Fuggles
Sterling
Golding

I have a spare half ounce of all of them.

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

...so, what do you think, any good matches?

Willamette
Fuggles
Sterling
Golding

I have a spare half ounce of all of them.

David

Sterling is a commonly used substitute for Saaz so that would be on my list for sure! :)

Willamette, Fuggles and Golding (Golding is commonly substituted for Fuggles & vice-versa) are all more suited to ales... especially British-style ales, porters and stouts.

I'll also reiterate my suggestion to use the Fermentis Saflager W-34/70.

Just talking about these Black Lagers has me thinking I need to make one of these soon myself.

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btw... since you have 1/2 oz. of both Sterling and Hallertauer, I would probably do something like 1/4 oz. Hallertauer for 5 minute boil and 1/4 oz. Sterling at flame out. Hops on a Munich Dunkel should offer bitterness and a light aroma... very little "flavor."

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Great, that gives me a good direction.

S-23 is the only SafLager yeast my LHBS carries, but I will see if they can special order for me, I am in no rush on this anyhow. I am in a bit of a renaissance planning phase having now gotten comfortable with the partial mash / steeping grain process, so I have lots of recipes in the pipeline, and time to work it all out.

Thanx for the help, much more to come!!

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

Great, that gives me a good direction.

S-23 is the only SafLager yeast my LHBS carries, but I will see if they can special order for me, I am in no rush on this anyhow. I am in a bit of a renaissance planning phase having now gotten comfortable with the partial mash / steeping grain process, so I have lots of recipes in the pipeline, and time to work it all out.

Thanx for the help, much more to come!!

David

Always glad to help!

I would hope they could special order the W-34/70... if not, there's plenty of places online where you can order... shipping is pretty cheap on just a foil packet (or even a few) of dry yeast.

I know you're not a big fan of liquid yeast (it'll grow on you with time) but if you're willing to go down to those lagering temps being discussed above in this thread, the Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager would be an excellent choice and it is a very forgiving liquid yeast as well with an optimal fermentation temperature of 52~54F. Your LHBS should be able to easily get an activator size pack of this for you (pitches 100 billion viable cells right out of the foil pack) so you don't even need to make a starter!

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Bumping this thread...I just found out that the friend I am making this for actually turns 21 on April 16th. (No comments on the age, she used to be a bartender and just had her first kid...without asking to be arrested, if she finds a beer and drinks it, who am I to complain) But anyway, she asked for a birthday beer, and this was gonna be for her anyway...so now I have a date. Problem is, my calender is kinda full...soooooooo...since this will be a true lager, how long do I need to count on for fermentation, and then how long will this need to age?

Also, JimBob, on the choice between German Munich or Extra Light DME...If I want to go the true Partial Mash route, what do I have to do to be proper and efficient there. In my head right now, I am thinking water to 170 (about 3 quarts?), add the grain, let soak for 45 minutes, sparge with 1 quart at 160. Where do I need to change that?

Thanx all!!

David

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I just did a light german lager. started it on 27 Sept, kegged it 5 Dec.
drinking that puppy now. Doesn that help?

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SiriusDG wrote:


Also, JimBob, on the choice between German Munich or Extra Light DME...If I want to go the true Partial Mash route, what do I have to do to be proper and efficient there. In my head right now, I am thinking water to 170 (about 3 quarts?), add the grain, let soak for 45 minutes, sparge with 1 quart at 160. Where do I need to change that?

Thanx all!!

David

If you use the basic grain bill we discussed at the top of the page, I would use anywhere from 1.5qts~2.0qts. of water for this mash. Also, Munich malt likes to be mashed a little on the cooler side. I would heat the mash water to 154~156F, then mash in the grains. This should bring you down to 150~152F. I would hold it around 152F for 60 minutes, then either batch sparge in 1.5 gallons of 170F water, or "sprinkle sparge" with a gallon of 170F water.

Once you have your ~1.5 gallon wort, you can add DME and/or UME as you wish and do a good 30~45 minute roiling boil, adding the touch of hops as discussed earlier toward the end of the boil, then adding the HMEs after flame out. Probably not a bad idea to use some Irish Moss if you wish to also.

This should give you a pretty respectable efficiency.

For calculation purposes, standard/basic Munich malt has a maximum potential yield efficiency of 80%. so... if you achieve a brewhouse efficiency of 65%, you will only be getting 65% of the 80% potential (for a 52% overall efficiency) from the total amount of Munich grain used. Hopefully this isn't confusing. :unsure:

If you use the basic method herein, I would use 65% for an expected efficiency in QBrew... that's about what I've realized consistently with the quick "batch sparge" method... if I use an actual mash tun and carefully sparge, that efficiency can quickly hit 80% for a total efficiency of 64%.

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I will definitely be using the sprinkle sparge method, as I am equipment impaired. But I am surprised by the amount for the sparge...and concerned. By the time I mash, sparge, boil, and add LME...unless I loose a lot more to the boil than I anticipate...I am gonna be real close to two gallons of lava hot wort. This will really screw with my normal process of adding a gallon of very cold water to the keg and adding the wort to that as a quick cool towards pitching. Do you ice bath it first, or use a wort chiller? If you ice bath it, do you put a lid on the pot? I seem to remember reading that was a bad thing.

For what it is worth, my plan was to get it in the keg, then get the keg into a cooler of ice water to pull the entire thing down to 55-60 for pitching, as has been discussed earlier. My concern here is just getting it into the keg without melting the plastic. ;)

David

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If you do a good, roiling boil on 1.5 gallons for ~45 minutes, you should boil down to 1.35 gallons or so.

Can't see I ever saw anywhere that it's bad to put a lid over the wort when chilling the pot... I've done it since 1994 without any issues... not sure what the theology is there. I cool the pot off in an ice bath... about 15 minutes in the first ice bath, then put it into another fresh ice bath for 20 minutes or so. This usually takes enough of the edge off that I can mix with pre-boiled, ice cold water into the Mr. Beer keg to the desired amount and then put the entire Mr. Beer keg in an ice bath until pitching temperature is reached.

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...not sure what the theology is there.


Excellent choice of words!

I think ancient scripture says that ice-bathing is best done covered up, to avoid getting nasties in your junk. For did the prophet Charlie Papazian not preach unto his people "Thou shalt keep your pot clean, and free from spoilage organisms"?

Edit: Scripture does tells us that BOILING in a covered pot is forbidden. Volatile, unclean, and cabbage-like compounds (DMS) form during the boil and are driven out with the cleansing, righteous steam. The production of kosher beer demands that these compounds be offered a unobstructed path into the heavens, so that you may be left with clean beer. Just for the record: this isn't really a problem when brewing from extract, since it has already been boiled at the factory, and certified kosher by the a Rabbi.

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ericg wrote:

...not sure what the theology is there.


Excellent choice of words!

I think ancient scripture says that ice-bathing is best done covered up, to avoid getting nasties in your junk. For did the prophet Charlie Papazian not preach unto his people "Thou shalt keep your pot clean, and free from spoilage organisms"?


Amen!

:)

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yankeedag wrote:

I just did a light german lager. started it on 27 Sept, kegged it 5 Dec.
drinking that puppy now. Doesn that help?

Whoa...I just double checked this, as my schedule still was not making sense. Are you telling me you fermented this for 70 days? Holy smokes...if that is true, I gotta look at that schedule again!

Please do confirm...thanx.

David

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Okay, follow up on this...dang, I hate to do this, but at this point, there is no way I can do this as a true lager. That being said, for all who have participated, since I will need to do this as a "lager style ale", aiming for temps of 68ish, what yeast would everyone recomend for the most lager like, proper to style end product? I am already committed to my big dopplebock lager, and can't tie both kegs up for that long, and this one has to be done for her birthday in mid March anyway, so...out of choices on this for now.

Thanx all!

David

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Um? More kegs? You could use some water containers (2.5 gallon) from Wal*Mart. Just set those puppies asside in the cold area, leave the lid loose (not too loose) and presto Jiffy Pop, Lager! ;)

BTW... me lager is history. Burp! Grand it was.

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SiriusDG wrote:

Okay, follow up on this...dang, I hate to do this, but at this point, there is no way I can do this as a true lager. That being said, for all who have participated, since I will need to do this as a "lager style ale", aiming for temps of 68ish, what yeast would everyone recomend for the most lager like, proper to style end product? I am already committed to my big dopplebock lager, and can't tie both kegs up for that long, and this one has to be done for her birthday in mid March anyway, so...out of choices on this for now.

Thanx all!

David

You could use the Wyeast California LagerWyeast California Lager at the high end of its range.

You could also use the new White Labs Cry Havoc... it's a strain from Charlie Papazian's stable.

The White Labs German Ale / Kolsch strain is also known for creating "lager like" ales... it would be a suitable choice as well.

Finally, the White Labs Cream Ale Blend is a nice blend of ale and lager yeasts that work in harmony to create many lager characteristics while fermenting at an ale temperature.

My vote would be the Cry Havoc or the Cream Ale Blend if I were doing this one myself.

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Jim Bob -- I like the sound of the Cream Ale, and I like it's attenuation also. Have you used this one yourself? Should I expect the fermentation time (assuming 68') to be still on the order of 3 weeks? Thanx.

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

Jim Bob -- I like the sound of the Cream Ale, and I like it's attenuation also. Have you used this one yourself? Should I expect the fermentation time (assuming 68') to be still on the order of 3 weeks? Thanx.

David

I did use the Cream Ale blend once... I was very pleased with it. I used it on a 15-gallon batch of all-grain that I had split into three separate carboys and used three different strains of yeast, one strain per carboy.

The other two strains I used on that batch were the Wyeast California Lager and the Wyeast Kölsch. All three strains produced phenomenal results; it was an amber hybrid that was brewed. Of the three strains, the WLP080 Cream Ale Blend definitely had the most "lager-esque" taset and finish.

I would expect fermentation to take 18~21 days and it will definitely need a bit of extended aging at colder temps to help minimize the small amount of sulfur generated during fermentation. This is true of most lager yeasts.

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Great.

Hey, "extended aging at cooler temps..." I was reading last night in my "Extreme Brewing" (a Christmas present) and they had a recommendation of aging lagers at 40'. I will have to double check, but I don't think my fridge is warmer than that. SOOOoooooo...extended aging in the fridge gonna get rid of that sulphur? Otherwise, I am gonna have a(nother) problem...keeping them aging at a cool temp.

Oh, and since time is my most crucial consideration here, how long should I plan on aging? Don't want to give her sulfur beer for her birthday! :blink:

David

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Fridge temp is fine... optimally 4 weeks but three will do... the sulfur is pretty low with this yeast so I doubt you'll have too many worries. This was based on my experience with it previously... as always, YMMV.

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Don't forget to bring it up to 70* for a day or so, just to get rid of a few nasty tasting thangs... like sulfur... and then chill again....

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Excellent. Okay, hopefully, last stupid question...I have never done a lager before...do I carb at room temp, or bottle and go straight to fridge.

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

Excellent. Okay, hopefully, last stupid question...I have never done a lager before...do I carb at room temp, or bottle and go straight to fridge.

David

Carb at room temp if you're bottling them up. If you intend to rack it to a secondary fermenter, you could "ferment / age / lager" the brew for 3~4 weeks, then bottle it up and carb it at room temp.

I've always had the best success carbing at room temperatures for a minimum of two weeks.

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Okay, all ingredients are got, and emergency replacement keg (see my thread on infected keg if you care) picked up on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond for 12 bucks, with a WCPA, Booster, and new caps tossed in as well (Schweet). Final bill...

1 HCCD
1 Creamy Brown
1 lb Munich
.25 lb Carafa II (they did not have Cafara I)
1/2 oz Hallertaur 60 min boil
1/4 oz Sterling at flameout
1 vial SafLager Cream Ale Yeast (THEY HAD IT!! WOOO HOO)

Ferment at 60 for ~21 days
Rack to Secondary, ferment in fridge for 28 days
Bottle, condition at room temp 14 days.

Okay, few final questions...this is a real push on my timeline, but I think it will mostly work. Diacetyl rest...should that be the two weeks carbing, or should I do that before putting the secondary in the fridge? Or after secondary, but before bottling?

If I end up having to shave a week off of this, where should I shave it?

Finally, abv on this is coming in about 5.5...if I wanted to bump it up just a bit, what is the concensus on dropping in a MB Booster? The only DME I have right now is Amber...I could do that instead? Or just leave well enough alone?

Thanx for all the help, brewing day is hopefully tomorrow.

David

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brewing party yesyerday, and the birthday girl got to do most of the brewing hands on. It was a great time for all. Brewing went very smooth, and we did drop in a booster at her request. Pitched at 62, and by this morning we had an inch of fine foam, but temp was down to 55, so I am gonna let it moderate up slowly today to 60 and try to hold it there for most of the fermentation. So far so good.


David

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brewing party yesyerday, and the birthday girl got to do most of the brewing hands on. It was a great time for all. Brewing went very smooth, and we did drop in a booster at her request. Pitched at 62, and by this morning we had an inch of fine foam, but temp was down to 55, so I am gonna let it moderate up slowly today to 60 and try to hold it there for most of the fermentation. So far so good.


David

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62 this morning. Still got about an inch, maybe inch and a half, of good foam. While my brain tells me this must be krausen (as opposed to just leftover foam from whisking like mad) I don't really see any active bubbling. I am new to this yeast, and running really cold (for me) temps, so I am a little nervous. However, nice aroma when I opened the cooler this morning, so I am encouraged that fermentation is actually underway.

My plan right now is hold temps around 60 till krausen collapses, then moderate up to 65 until FG; then, rack to secondary, raise temps to 70 for two days, then into the fridge for four weeks.

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

62 this morning. Still got about an inch, maybe inch and a half, of good foam. While my brain tells me this must be krausen (as opposed to just leftover foam from whisking like mad) I don't really see any active bubbling. I am new to this yeast, and running really cold (for me) temps, so I am a little nervous. However, nice aroma when I opened the cooler this morning, so I am encouraged that fermentation is actually underway.

My plan right now is hold temps around 60 till krausen collapses, then moderate up to 65 until FG; then, rack to secondary, raise temps to 70 for two days, then into the fridge for four weeks.

David

No worries David... lager yeasts do not have the same vigorous kick-off qualities that ale yeasts have. Did you in fact use the Wyeast California Common that we discussed a few posts back? If so, you will see a nice head of krausen form on top and the smells will be wonderful. It's a great yeast. Your plan for fermentation sounds great... I believe you are going to be extremely pleased with the outcome of this brew.

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No, I used the Cream Ale yeast, it was the one I really wanted so I was very happy to be able to get it.

Moving along fine so far, not much different this morning than from my last post. And now the waiting...

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

No, I used the Cream Ale yeast, it was the one I really wanted so I was very happy to be able to get it.

Moving along fine so far, not much different this morning than from my last post. And now the waiting...

David

Yep... another great yeast that has many lager-like characteristics to it. We'll get you to liking those liquid yeast strains yet! ;)

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S-05 is the cleanest yeast I know, Dave. But, I have only ever used 5 different dry ale yeasts.
Lager yeasts are supposed to impart very little in the way of esters and of flavors and such. yeah? S-05 is kinda like that for ale...

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Grrrr....why doesn't everyone think of everything in terms of the beer? Long story short, cold snap here, so heater is running...and someone thought closing the brew room door was a good idea. Problem is, the furnace was still putting heat in there, and now it had nowhere to go. When I opened the door this morning, it was 83 in there. Fortunately, the beer was in the cooler with the cold packs, so it only got up to 67...but still, lots warmer than I wanted, I was aiming for 60.

So, any chance the little trip up to 67 did any damage? (Day 5 of fermentation)

David

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Okay, we are now rounding out day 10. Temps have stabilized around 64 in the last few days, which at this point I am okay with. (Is that a problem, anyone?) Now, a crucial question...my schedule got way backed up due to my agreeing to make two very short fuze special birthday beers...now, I have some cracked grains in the fridge that I would really like to use before all the goodness gets old and blah. So, I need to free up a fermentation spot. The key to that is getting this into secondary.

I have not taken a gravity reading yet, and when I checked last night, there was still about a quarter inch of nice creamy foam on top of this. So the crucial question for me is, how do I know when it is okay to transfer to secondary? I would rather loose a bit of the freshness than screw this up, but I don't want to loose anymore than I have to, so help me find the sweetspot. Thanx.

David

PS -- a little new information. I checked taste and gravity tonight. Gravity is currently 1.026, from OG of 1.07, so we are still a long way from done. In addition, I added the dry hops (1/4 oz Halletaur)two days ago...and WOW, what a hoppy flavor this has right now. So, you lager guys, please tell me this is gonna mellow way out...and will it help to switch to secondary sooner, or will that be bad? Thanx All!!

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Don't rush it. Let it get to terminal gravity (or within a couple of points of your anticipated FG), then rack it to secondary. But... you already knew that...

As far as the hops go, you still have a bit of fermentation to go, and with that, a fair bit of CO2 to move through the beer. It'll take some of the hoppiness with it. How much? Err... I dunno. But some, for sure.

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Yeah, I know...don't rush...

Thanx. Hey, all that having been agreed upon, since this is my first "almost lager" are these temps still good with this yeast? 64ish is pretty steady right now; should I try to hold it lower?

David

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If it were my beer, I wouldn't try to lower it at this point. You don't want to give it any reason to clock out early. Plus, 64 should be okay- alright.

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First gravity check tonight, day 19. SG clocked in at 1.021. Target gravity is 1.018, having started from 1.070, so I feel like I am right on schedule. Flavor? HOPPY!! Way strong, and hoppy.

While I am a bit dissappointed, hoppy not being what I was after, my plan at this point is rack to secondary by end of January, spend February in the secondary in my fridge, bottle up and spend March aging at room temp, then back in the fridge for two weeks for the special day. So, there is a lot of age in front of this brew, and time for it to mellow and smooth out, which I truly hop it does.

I will check gravities again this weekend to see if it is moving, and how fast.

Brew On!!

David

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Okay, this has been buggin me all day, and I have thought about it a lot. Here is the idea...

First, having gone back and read Palmer's comments on secondary, I am probably a bit late on racking already, even though I am still a few points above target gravity. In any event, my concern is that if I rack this to secondary and stick it in the fridge to lager, it is basically going to hibernate and maybe mellow a weeeeee bit, but not much. Soo, my alternative idea, transfer to secondary (NOW), and keep at 60 ish degrees; AND...pitch another dose of lager yeast. This will finish attenuating the wort, and do a much better job of scrubbing out the overbearing hoppyness. Since I normally add more yeast at bottling, this is just moving the step up in the much longer process, as I would then NOT do it at bottling.

Comments? Is there any unforeseen danger to doing this?

David

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I'm not sure what Palmer said that made you think you're "a bit late on racking already," but if this were my beer I would give it a few more days and try to get closer to the target gravity before racking. I really don't think there would be any problem with that. Three or four weeks in the primary - especially for such a big beer, and a lager at that - should really be no big deal at all.

But is your real concern that you want to add more yeast because you're hoping some fresh yeast will "[scrub] out the overbearing hoppyness" and you figure that would best be done in the secondary? You could give it a try. I've never really heard of anyone doing that exactly, and I don't know if it will have the effect you're after, but I don't see any "danger" in it. And you won't know unless you try, I guess.

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From chapter 8-4...

The following is a general procedure for using a secondary fermentor.

1. Allow the Primary Fermentation stage to wind down. This will be 2 - 6 days (4 - 10 days for lagers) after pitching when the bubbling rate drops off dramatically to about 1-5 per minute. The krausen will have started to settle back into the beer.
2. Using a sanitized siphon (no sucking or splashing!), rack the beer off the trub into a another clean fermentor and affix an airlock. The beer should still be fairly cloudy with suspended yeast.

Racking from the primary may be done at any time after primary fermentation has more-or-less completed. (Although if it has been more than 3 weeks, you may as well bottle.)

Yeah, you pretty much have the idea right. I really wish I had not tossed in the dry hops, it was great before, and I am stunned at the strong effect 1/4 oz of hops has had here. I have a long time to age still, but absolutely any sane thing I can do to mellow this out a little more and a little faster, I am all for at this point. As long as I do not risk doing more damage than good.

Palmer's comments surprised me as it was not the commmon consensus I was getting. As today is day 21, he seems to be saying I may as well bottle. And since this is a hybrid Ale/Lager, even more so. I know I am out of the box here a bit, but having just read Extreme Brewing (You all really must read this book) where they discuss some of the advantages of late yeast additions, which I had already discussed in a different thread a month or so ago, I feel pretty good about this idea; it may not do exactly what I am hoping, but I don't think it will hurt anything, it should definitely finish attenuating the beer out, it should promote better clean up of byproducts, and it may just pull some of the hoppiness out along the way. Seems I have about nothing to loose. But I would never make so bold a move without running it by the Borg first.

JimBob, Eric, DRock, YankeDag...any comments before I jump? Given my schedule, I am likely looking at this weekend at the earliest, so you have a few more days to chime in.

Thanx!!

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

From chapter 8-4...

(Although if it has been more than 3 weeks, you may as well bottle.)

As today is day 21, he seems to be saying I may as well bottle.
Yep, that's what Palmer is saying, it seems. But I am a bit puzzled as to why. Maybe someone else knows.

Anyway, after having a chance to think a bit more, I do remember reading some stuff a long time back about the advantage of racking to a secondary while there's still a bit of fermentation going on. The theory is that the still-fermenting yeast can do you a great service by getting rid of the oxygen that inevitably gets introduced during racking. In fact, as I recall, I used to do try doing that - at least sort of (never have been able to do my beer making on a particularly rigid schedule.) What changed my mind was a couple of beers that finished at a higher gravity than I had expected. For right or wrong I blamed early racking for the (seemingly) incomplete fermentation. Since then, I tend to rack a little later rather than earlier. And nothing has happened (yet!) that's caused me to rethink that. Obviously, your plan to add fresh yeast would seem to put you in the best of both worlds. Now why didn't I think of that . . . :)

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AND...pitch another dose of lager yeast. This will finish attenuating the wort, and do a much better job of scrubbing out the overbearing hoppyness.


Here's my 2 pennies. I see no problem with racking to secondary now. Pitching another dose of lager yeast? I dunno. Your recipe says "1 vial Saflager Cream ale." I assume you mean White Labs Cream Ale, which they claim will attenuate to 75-80%. What lager yeast did you have in mind? Off the top of my head, I can't think of a lager yeast that is more attenutive than that, but there may be one. But you're at 65% right now, which means that you've got some room for a whole variety of lager yeasts to work with.

I guess, I'm still a little skeptical that it will have the desired effect. I suspect that the lager yeast will get in there, look around and say "nope, shut it down boys, there's nothing we can do here."

But I've been wrong before. And I don't think there is a whole lot of danger in giving it a try.

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Well, I went by the LHBS at lunch just to be prepared in case I decide to go through with it...I picked up the SafLager W-34/70. There notes said it would work at both ale and lager temps, and I really thought I had heard the same thing elsewhere...but when I look at the Fermentis site, that is not what they say. :( I really don't plan on keeping this much cooler than 65 for now, so that may not be a good choice. I could throw in a sachet of S-05...But I don't want to do anything that is gonna change the character of the beer too drastically. On the other hand, S-05 is supposed to be very neutral.

I know it is a roll of the dice. But as long as it wont hurt anything to try, then I am game.

David

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Okay, so when I got home, I checked my Extreme Brewing reference. The advice was that when brewing extreme beers, and wanting to get really good attenuation out of them, you should pitch an additional Wine or Champagne yeast. However, they advise pitching when the gravity drop is halfway to target; also, they advise this for beers between 8 - 18 percent ABV. This beer is going to be 7.18%, and is well past halfway. Sooooo....I don't know. Seems like there may be very little to be gained.

David

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And for all keeping track...this has turned the bend. It is still quite hoppy, especially for me and for this style...but the grainy, nutty, malty goodness has caught up with it, and at this point I would say it is a very flavorful and balanced brew. It has a few more days at 65 ish before I stick the entire secondary into the fridge for a month of lagering; then out for the diacetyl rest, and into bottles. Given how much it has improved in this week, I am fully confident that by the time we drink it, it will be awesome, even if it is still a bit more hoppy than I was aiming for.

Stay Tuned!!

David

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Too hoppy. Not even. I have followed this thread enough and I've learned a bunch. Thanks. The marriage of malt and alphas will only get better...

I'll give you money for the one that you save the longest.

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Yeah....see, now there is a built in problem. I am making this for someone else, as a gift for her 21st birthday. So...when you do such a thing...how much are you obligated to actually give them, and how much, as the brewer, are you legally obligated to keep...ya know, for quality assurance and all?

David

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The giftee would totally understand. I had to test the quality of a wheat for my wife's boss. It just wouldn't be right to not know if you are gifting a dud. I had to be sure 3 times. So, he got 18 beers I knew in my gut were quaffable.

I'm just sayin'...

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If you're doing 16oz bottles, you need to (just for quality control) test 12 bottles. Ergo, a quality 6 pack is considered an appropriate gift.

PS Ann Landers is a Hack

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Quick Update; did the D-rest before lagering based on a comment from Eric, so it has been at room temp since Friday, went into the fridge an hour or so ago. I expect very very little updating and activity on this for the next month. Check back after hibernation.

David

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SiriusDG wrote:

Quick Update; did the D-rest before lagering based on a comment from Eric, so it has been at room temp since Friday, went into the fridge an hour or so ago. I expect very very little updating and activity on this for the next month. Check back after hibernation.

David

Just to put this in perspective for anybody who hasn't been paying attention and/or for those of us who find it difficult to wait out the 2-2-2, David's first post on this was almost two months ago. His "brewing party" was 4 weeks ago.

And he's now saying that it will be a month before there's activity or updating.

Now, that's patience. I hope it pays off.

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And here is the update; Bottled this last night. This is definitely a keeper. Very good. Wife still says too hoppy, you think I am not a hop head. :laugh: It is hoppy, but I think it has aged very well, and is quite nice. A bit high octane, but that is what the beneficiary wanted for her 21st birthday celebratory beer. This goes in the keeper file, but when I make it again, I will leave out the booster and the dry hop addition...ultimately, I think that will make it a bit more mellow and smooth.

This still has a month in the bottle before the big day. Gonna be a heck of a birthday party! :woohoo:

David

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