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SiriusDG

ScapeGoat Lager

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Hi all -- okay, this is my first real lager. It is a mini mash, and I posted the entire process here. I will put the recipe here. I will keep everyone posted on how it goes, first 24 hours and I have kept temps at 55-57, so I am pretty happy so far. Not sure if it is doing anything, as I am not opening the cooler until the thermo tells me I have to rotate frozen gel packs. Anyway, here is the recipe...

Recipe: ScapeGoat Lager
Brewer: David Gilbert
Asst Brewer:
Style: Doppelbock
TYPE: Partial Mash
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 2.13 gal
Boil Size: 1.34 gal
Estimated OG: 1.105 SG
Estimated Color: 41.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
1.75 lb Amber Dry Extract (12.5 SRM)
1.21 lb Creamy Brown (95.0 SRM)
1.21 lb High Country Canadian Draft (3.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)
0.80 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Lager Malt (2.0 SRM)
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (15 min)
0.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (5 min)
Wyeast Bavarian 2206

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 2.30 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
45 min Mash In Add 2.88 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 F

Notes
----------------------------
Pitch at 55 degrees
Ferment 21 days at 55 degrees
Rack to Secondary
Ferment 28 days at 40 degrees
Diacetyl rest for 24 hours at 72 degrees
Batch prime with 7 Tbs Dextrose

Brew On!!

David

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One week update. Things are progressing just fine. Krausen showed up about three days in and is still chuggin right along. The aroma took almost a week to show up, but it is there now as well. Keeping temps in the 54-58 range.

Given the posted recipe, any guesses at how long this should take through the various stages? Right now, in BeerSmith, I have it set for 21 days primary at 58 and 28 days secondary at 68. But that is total SWAG on my part, and I don't think the temp on the secondary is right for crap anyway now that I look at it.

Anyway, any suggestions greatly appreciated. I likely won't even bother with a hydro reading for 21 days.

David

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David,

Thanks for your great posts; I learn so much from you. I do have a couple questions for you. First, do you have any minimash recipes for either the MB West Coast pale ale or Classic american blond ale? If not, where can I look for those? I have those on hand right now and it may be a little easier to keep the temperature constant (should be in the mid 60s to mid 70s).

I also need to know what extra equipment I need. Looks like I'll need that tool that measures gravity-I know i can get that at my LHBS. I'll need a 5 gallon cooler with spigot and a large styrofoam cooler. Need to get some bigger gel freezer packs. I do have a stock pot made for deep frying turkeys, but that dude may be aluminum. Do I have to get stainless steel, or is aluminum OK? Of course I'll need the grain bag. Did you get that at the Winemaker's Pantry in Pinellas Park by any chance?

You mentioned Beersmith. Is that a recipe calculator similar to Qbrew? I can't figure that Qbrew out.

That's enough questions for now. Thanks for your patience and help!

Greg in Lutz

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Okay, simple stuff first; Yes, the Wine and Beer Pantry in Pinellas Park is where I got the grain sack, they are over the cash register.

Your equipment list looks about right. Aluminum should be fine, as far as I know. I might also suggest getting one of the WallyWorld 2.5 gal water bottles, for secondary. This is what I am using, and it seems to work well, and lets me get my keg back into rotation faster.

BeerSmith is a little more advanced than QBrew, and while not absolutely essential, has been a huge help for me moving into mini-mash, and you will see why in a second when I answer one of your other questions. However...you have not yet figured out QBrew...this tells me you are not a computer geek? BeerSmith has LOTS more features than QBrew...but like any other well developed program, you don't have to know or use everything. There is a bit of a learning curve, but figure out the parts you need, and use it to do what you want, and don't sweat the rest. They also have a LOT more built in support than QBrew to get you up and going and push you forward. www.beersmith.com

The two beers you call out are not my faves, and so I don't have any recipes for them yet. But here is what I am doing, and I would recomend the same to you. BeerSmith will convert recipe's from extract, to partial grain, to all grain. It will also scale size. So, think of a commercial beer you like that you think those bases would work for. Lets say for instance Bass Ale. Now, Google Bass Ale Recipe, or Bass Ale Clone. I am guessing you will get a few hundred matches. Look at a few, and pick one you like and feel comfortable with. I recommend, in the beginning, pick on that is mostly LME and a few steeping grains. If you have BeerSmith, plug the recipe in, and scale. If not, and it is a five gallon recipe, just cut it in half and round all the values...it will work fine. May not be a perfect Bass Ale, but it will be danged good beer. Then, just sub in the WCPA as part of the LME or DME the recipe calls for. Now, remember that WCPA is already hopped for a MB size batch, so take the bittering hops out of the recipe; keep the aroma or flavoring hop additions if you like.

Viola.

When you feel more adventurous, you can pick any recipe...even an all grain...and BeerSmith will convert to partial mash for you...then do the same trick.

Good Luck, let us know how it goes.

David

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Thanks, David. I actually am something of a computer geek. I couldn't find where in Qbrew to add the Mr. Beer refills and UME/HMEs. But don't worry about that-the $$ for the beersmith program seem to be well worth it. Hey-dumb question. What is the wally-world 2.5 gallon water bottle you refer to. How will it help me rotate out my MB keg faster. Thanks! -Greg

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WallyWorld -- WalMart. It is their 2.5 gallon clear plastic water jug. Clear plastic, big opening and lid on top, nice tap on the bottom, rectangular. Fits in a fridge shelf wonderfully.

Since it is clear, I would not recommend it for primary...but if you are going to do secondary lagering in the dark fridge, I personally don't worry about that.

So rather than doing secondary in a second MB keg, or letting primary go on and on forever...both of which have issues...I do 3-4 weeks primary, transfer to the wally world jug, and now my keg can get busy on another brew while this one lagers in the water jug in the fridge.

Hey, I am in Tampa this week, at least a couple more days...we should get together for lunch or a brew after. Where are you?

David

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Hey David, Would like to get together for lunch or a brew. I'm in Ft. Myers right now, but will be back tomorrow night. I don't have any appointments on Friday and could work my Pinellas accounts if lunch works for you on Friday! If you want to quaff some home brews, we could perhaps meet up on Thursday after work. I'm in pharma sales and have a flexible schedule. We live in Lutz.

Greg

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Update for the borg; Bottled this up last night. What a wonderful brew; this is absolutely everything I was shooting for. I figure at least another month in the bottles, but I can't wait to compare this head to head with Sam Adams DoppleBock, which I modeled it after. Both are very high octane, very malty, deep dark brews.

Overall, I must say, my lagering experiences have been very positive.

David

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Update for the borg; Popped the first taster tonight. This was the last filled bottle, and only half full, PET. Accordingly, lots of PSSSST when the lid opened, but very little real carb in the brew.

Beyond that...Holy Freakin Cow!!! This is awesome stuff. The essence of dates and plums and raisins is powerful, the most upfront flavor. The nose is deep, dark, sweet as hell, and heady. In the mouth it is liquid black velvet, and it finishes very wet and sweet, with maltiness kicking in at the end, followed by a deliriously subtle alcohol warmth. No hint of hops anywhere...which, for me, for a dopplebock, is just fine.

Honestly, this is absolutely the beer I had in mind when I began. Perhaps a little stronger shift to dates and raisins vs malty and bready than I envisioned, but that is fine...this is kickass stuff.

I have a Sam Adams Imperial Dopplebock in the fridge, which was the inspiration for this beer. I do believe a side by side taste off is in order for this weekend. :cheer:

David

David

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YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY! I just got thirstier even though I just finished a Dogfish Head Imperial IPA. I love Dopplebocks! :chug:

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I'm doing some completely experimental recipes now just to explore different malt and hop profiles. Plan on splitting a five gallon brew into two and using lager yeast in one and ale yeast in another to compare. Can anyone elucidate why one brew is better as a lager and another better as an ale, or does it boil down to subjective perception? In other words, why don't I see an IPA marketed as a lager? There are certainly no lack of blonde or pale ales on the market that compare in a sense to pale lagers. (Yes, I snarfed on a neighbors almost brand new fridge when they put it out on the street to make room for a bigger one).

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We had a long conversation about that a little while ago.

Right now, my opinion is that the distinction, like much of beer history, grew out of regional influences, and became tradition that is now carried forward just because "That is the way it has always been done". I think any recipe can be made either way, and good beer can result. But, having done a few lagers now, I believe that the "Lager" version of a dopplebock would be very different than the "Ale" version of a dopplebock, even if you managed to keep all other variables equal.

David

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And the taste off is complete.

Being partial, although loving both, my opinion is that my Scapegoat Lager is much darker, and a little thicker and more flavorful than the Sam Adams Imperial Dopplebock.

My wife, not being particularly fond of deep dark beers, was a much better objective evaluation. She took two glasses having no idea which was which; and when asked to figure out which one I brewed and which was the Sam Adams, she not only got it wrong, but when I told her, she said mine had better flavor. :)

This is probably my best accomplishment to date. I could not be happier.

Brew On!!

David

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David (and Eric), thanks for your (typically thoughtful) reply. As it happens, I had saved a link to the thread you referenced, but since it dealt with a slightly different aspect of the subject, I was curious about the whole ale recipe as a lager angle of it. With Eric's feedback as well, I've decided that the India Pale will be the recipe that gets the comparison treatment. Of course it will be some time before I can report, but I'll post my results on the other referenced thread.

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Congratulations David on your beer and also being able to hold off until now to drink it.

We started our first lagers around the same time and I'm almost done drinking my 4rd lager. I lagered them in bottles, and the bottles kept calling to me, week after week everytime I open the refrigerator door.

I've totally consumed #1 Bavarian Helles, #2 Czech Pilsner, and #4 American Light Lager and am down to 3 liters of #3 Vienna Lager.

Everyone loves the lagers. They all came out much different than my ales. I love what the whole "cold" process does to the beer.

I'm planning a wheat lager using using Saflager 34/70.

Cheers!

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Okay, so now, based on this thread , I have just made this exact same recipe, but this time I am making it as an ale, using the Califonia Ale yeast WLP001.

Brewing was fairly uneventful, although (and I think someone else had this happen recently) about halfway through the boil, the wort began to foam up. This was NOT a new break...I know this from my Cajun cooking...this was the sugars transitioning to a new, candified state...caramelizing, basically...so I knocked the boil down a bit. No apparent scorching on the bottom of the pot at the end of it all. I think it is all good.

Stay tuned...

David

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Okay, so there is almost never any lack of personal pride for each brewers own work here, which is good...but...

I just had another one of these, and I must say...Oh...My...God...this is one exquisite beer.

If you are in the market for a really good MB based recipe, I am just saying, this is REEEEEEEEEAAAAALLLLLLYYYY good beer.

David

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Okay, the Ale went into secondary last week, and I snuck a taste test tonight...Wow, the ale version of this is also going to be awesome, it will be a real treat to taste the two of them side by side.

Stay Tuned.

David

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This went into cold crashing last night, should be bottled up by the end of the week. Flavor is still awesome, so far I like this yeast, although it has a different fermentation personality.

Seem to be talking to myself here, as well...but stay tuned, if you're out there.

David

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I have been following this post David and I can't wait for some results! :) I know how it feels sometimes I feel that My posts go unnoticed as well. :laugh: How long are you going to cold crash?

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if you look, it shows how many "hits" your post get. Sometimes, it's just a reader with no need to "respond". So don't feel bad. :stout:

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yankeedag wrote:

if you look, it shows how many "hits" your post get. Sometimes, it's just a reader with no need to "respond". So don't feel bad. :stout:


:laugh: I see the hits, I thought the whole point is to communicate? Sometimes on a pic post I will get no comments at all? Not even a "that looks like crap!" :laugh: I don't feel bad, I just want a response so I can get other opinions besides my own. Ya know? Maybe I post too much? I don't know, I just love making beer.
:cheers:

David, what kind of flavors does the yeast put off if any?

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Sometimes it's hard to respond or type when you're wipping the drool off the key board....

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yankeedag wrote:

Sometimes it's hard to respond or type when you're wipping the drool off the key board....

So true. :laugh:

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from my phone...so, the wlp001 is VERY clean, and this is the whoke point of the experiment, so right now I stand corrected, most of the flavor seems to be coming from the grain bill. I am looking to cold vrash for three days, maybe a few more depending in my schedule and when I can bottle. Thanx for jumping in!

david

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When I cold crash, it may take up to 5 days for it to clear up. But then, that's a 5 gallon batch.

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I determine time of cold crash on the clarity. 1 to 3 days usually. I went a little over a week once and the beer didn't carb. So I don't go that long anymore. It was an accident anyway. :ohmy:

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with my 5 gallon batches, they normally get kegged and blasted with C02. So yeast levels don't really matter much then. :stout:

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Hmmm...some bad news today. I had the first taster, 11 days in the bottle. Stone cold flat; and a little cloudy. Flavor was great.

This was bottled the week my Dad went into the hospital, I was exhuasted, and took no notes at all. Obviously, I forgot to add the priming sugar. I will be repriming all the bottles tomorrow, another two weeks conditioning, and will report back. By then, they will have enough age on them to do a proper side by side comparison with the Lager version.

Dang!!

David

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sorry to hear about this misfortune... but remember to be quick on the re-prime... sometimes they foam... just say'n :stout:

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As I try to piece together the history from my online posts, it may only be 8 or 9 days in the bottlel; and under the heading of poetic humor, this is the ONLY batch I have ever done that had absolutely NO plastic, so I was going strictly by date to know when the carbing was complete. While 2 weeks is the standard carb time for a batch, has anyone ever really had 9 days result in total flatness, and then magical fermentation appear in another week? Right now, I am leaning towards doing nothing, and checking in another week. What say ye?

David

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interesting dilema. i can say i've always had some sort of carb by day 7. if you have to re-prime, is it better to chill the batch first or crack them open at room temp?

i guess you could always try one and see if things change.

you can send them to me, i'll drink any brew from your brewery :chug:

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SiriusDG wrote:

As I try to piece together the history from my online posts, it may only be 8 or 9 days in the bottlel; and under the heading of poetic humor, this is the ONLY batch I have ever done that had absolutely NO plastic, so I was going strictly by date to know when the carbing was complete. While 2 weeks is the standard carb time for a batch, has anyone ever really had 9 days result in total flatness, and then magical fermentation appear in another week? Right now, I am leaning towards doing nothing, and checking in another week. What say ye?

David

I had a batch (Cowboy Toasted Wheat) that took a very long time to carb. I bottled it on 1/17 using 57 grams sugar. This batch had S-04 yeast and when I bottled very little transferred. After a week the plastic bottle was still very slack and there was the barest wisp of trub on the bottom. On 2/3 I opened the PET anyway. It had begun to firm up by then but never got tight.

I tried the first glass bottle in 2/25 and it carbed ok although not to the level that 57 grams of sugar usually does for me.

So, I guess a batch can take a long time to carb. I say open one and if you get any hiss at all let the rest age...

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Okay, so the official head to head taste off between the ale and lager is complete.

An interesting note is that both of these beers carbed very lightly, not sure why that is, but it was exactly the same on both, so there has to be some correlation.

Beyond that...they are almost identical. I personally could not perceive a difference that I think I could consistently notice. Around the table, the lager won by just the thinnest of margins, and the two comments were that the licorice flavor in the ale was a little too much, and that the ale seemed a little sweeter.

This makes sense, and I would ascribe it more to the fermentation profile than to the yeast, although you could argue it either way. However, I think for the real question I was seeking to answer, the answer for me is that the difference between an ale and a lager, all other things being as equal as you can make them, is almost non existent.

Now, this is a BIG BIG dopplebock, with tons of extreme flavor; in fact, based on last nights general commentary, am likely gonna back off a bit on the Crystal 120 to get just a touch less licorice, drop it from a pound to half a pound. Comments?

So how this would play out for, say, a pilsner, I cannot say, and I will leave that experiment to someone else. I love both these beers, thy are big, strong, in your face dopplebocks, and I am quite pleased to know that I can make it as an ale and be just as happy with it.

Brew On!!
David

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Very interesting. Thanks for keeping us posted. I agree with you that you can overdo the dark crystal. Not that it makes the beer bad, just that the flavor can overpower some of the beers subtler elements.

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Thanks for the experiment. I suspect that with brews that aren't as big and/or flavorful (like a pilsner) there might be more of a difference, but I don't have a fridge/JC combo, so I brew everything with ale yeast. I don't really taste anything that I can point to as a real ale taste, but I'm not sure I have a very sophisticated palate.

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It sounds like a great tasting was had. Brew Strong.

If you made a lawnmower ale and lager, wouldn't you notice a difference? Doesn't a low gravity lager reveal less of the yeast and more of the malt, if the temps stay mid-range of the yeast' abilities? I always thought that was one of the reasons to use lager yeast, that is, to keep the malt and hops up front and to keep the fruities out.
Regardless, it sounds like your experiment was a boon either way. Congrats, man.

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I believe you are right; I kinda tried to agree with that in my last post. Problem is, I don't make low gravity lawnmower anything, by and large. ;)

That being said, I am slowly dialing back many of my recipes, as I more and more come to realize that hi powered is not always best. To have an Imperial whatever is great, but there is a lot to be said for it's non-imperial brother as well. But I have too many other things going on to take on that experiement as well.

David

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