Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lager season opens! Golden Dortmunder-ish lager

What would these guys drink? Probably not what I just brewed yesterday. It is probably too "heavy", and you might not be able to read a newspaper through it. Never the less, lager season is officially open at Chez Wonton and I felt a hunting image would do it the most justice.

Fredo! Wait, I mean, Stan, you are so melancholy and tragic, I want to dedicate a beer to you. Here it goes: A maltier than usual Dortmunder-ish beer, or whatever. A style free lager that is golden and bready, but balanced with a bitter bite. Let's forget style for a minute, brew a beer, and see how it comes out.

Check it out. I made an insulating jacket for my stainless mash tun, so I can keep it warm outside without constantly reheating it. Maybe a little overkill, but I set it on a heating blanket after I mashed in and it only lost 1-2 degrees over 60 minutes. I'll take that. This is made out of 3 layers of Reflectix and heat resistant tape, and yes, it was more labor than I thought it would be, but it's done! And seemingly working very well.

I wanted to get the Ayinger lager strain for this one (Whitelabs WLP830), but it would have taken 3 weeks just to get through the homebrew store. (Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen is probably in my top 10 favorite beers. I just can't get over that soft, bready and wonderful melanoidin character.) I didn't want to wait, so I went with the Wyeast 2124 Bohemian lager strain. I used the same yeast last year and had some sulfur or DMS issues in the first 2 beers. This yeast seems to kick off a butt-load of sulfur, so I will be monitoring that more closely and making sure it has plenty of time to off-gas and ferment out before capping it. I am also chilling the beers more rapidly to prevent DMS formation after the boil

Here's the recipe. Water is adjusted to emphasize the malts, hopefully giving it a softer overall profile. The bittering hops were 2008 Magnum, which were sealed in mylar. I adjusted the AA% down from 13.6% to 11.5% for age, but in reality this beer might taste like more IBU's than the recipe calculates. I'm still not sure if it is ever really necessary to adjust AA% down for time, if the hops are treated right.

Cazale Lager - Brewed 11/3/10
Recipe is for 6.9 gallons pre-boil, 5.3 gallons post-boil, all grain
O.G. 1.052 F.G. 1.013 ABV 5.2% IBU's 28

All malt is from Weyermann:
4.5 lb. Pils
4 lb. Munich
1 lb. Carahell

10 gr. Magnum pellets (2008, adjusted down to 11.5%) 65 min
28 gr. Sterling whole 7.9% 15 min

Mash: 4 gallons + 3 gr. CaCl + 1 gr. Gypsum
151 for 60 minutes
Sparge: 5 gallons + 3 gr. CaCl + 1 gr. Gypsum
Collect 6.9 gallons at 1.040 = 77% efficiency

Boil 90 minutes
Wyeast nutrient & Whirlfloc at 15 min
Chill to 59 through heat exchanger
oxygen 90 seconds
Pitch 3 liter stirplate starter of Wyeast 2124 (decanted)
chilled to 50 over 12 hours
Ferment at 50 for primary
Seemed to be nearly done after only 7 days!
11/10/10 Moved inside for a D-rest at ambient temp.
11/15/10 Racked to secondary to collect yeast. VERY bready! A good deal of yeast in suspension adds to the breadyness. Some sulfur and acetaldehyde still there. Maybe a week more before I keg and crash it.
12/14/10 Racked to keg. Tastes pretty good so far. Clean lager.

Soon up, a really smokey Rauchbier al la Schlenkerla


Tom E said...

Awesome. Your best bet would be to name it after John Cazale. I figure if he never made a bad movie, a beer named after him can't be bad either.

Lee said...

Do you worry about the reflectix catching some of the flame? It's basically just silvered bubble wrap, isn't it?

Seanywonton said...

Cazale Lager. Done and done!

Lee, I put it on after heating. I wanted ot use some kind of insulation I could leave all the time but I couldn't really find the right thing.

Tom E said...

So that stuff isn't on there permanently? How are you attaching and removing it?

Seanywonton said...

I'll try to post some better pics of the insulation jacket. Basically where you see that green tape in the picture is where I close it up.