Tuesday 21 February 2012


After racking the Munich Dunkel that my brother and I brewed last month, I washed and saved the Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager slurry to use for another lager. I like brewing two lagers back-to-back, since my deep freezer/fermentation chamber has enough room on the bottom for two Better Bottles or other form of carboy. This way, you can ferment one lager, transfer to secondary, brew another style of lager (and possibly reuse the previous yeast, if appropriate), ferment THAT one while the other is sitting in secondary, and then lager both beers at the same time.

Last year I had brewed a Traditional Bock; I've always really enjoyed that style, and the beer turned out pretty faithful, I think. This time I decided to tackle the bigger version, a Doppelbock. Doppels are maltier, with higher ABVs; like Bocks, they have virtually no hop aroma, flavor, or bitterness. The style definitely is wide enough for some wiggle-room on the part of the brewer... the color range is quite spread out (SRM 6-25, although most versions seem to be a dark brown), as is the OG and resulting ABV. A couple of excellent examples that you can find (but not at the NBLC, of course) are the Ayinger Celebrator and Weihenstephaner Korbinian.

As usual with a style I've never brewed before, I first turned to Brewing Classic Styles for some ideas. The Doppelbock recipe in this book is actually very simple... a majority of Munich malt for the malty toastiness, some Pilsner malt, and 2 lbs of Caramunich. I also came across some other, more complex malt bills in other recipes, and decided to use most of the BCS one, except I cut back on the Caramunich (and had to use Caramunich II, as it was what I had on hand), and added a bit of Pale Chocolate and Crystal 80 L for a bit more character (hopefully). I would have liked to have done a mashout, but with the large amount of grains (18.5 lbs), my 10-gallon mashtun wouldn't have been able to accommodate all of that water.

The hop additions are very simple, as expected... with only 20 IBUs (in a 1.086 beer, no less), the couple of adds are really just to prevent the beer from becoming TOO sweet. I decided to pitch about 500 mL(s) of the 2206 slurry... the pitching calculator at mrmalty.com (which I always refer to) called for about 330 mL(s), but I thought I'd err on the side of caution. Otherwise, I'll be following my normal fermentation routine for lagers, and when I rack to secondary and actually begin lagering this beer, it'll be for at least 2-3 months.

Recipe targets: (5.5 gallons, 70% efficiency): OG 1.086, FG 1.020, IBU 20, SRM 20.2

5.68 kg Munich Malt (8 SRM)
1.82 kg Bohemian Pilsner
682 g Caramunich II
113 g Crystal 80 L
113 g Pale Chocolate

Hallertau Mittelfruh - 49 g (3.4 % AA) @ 60 min
Hallertau Mittelfruh - 14 g @ 30 min

1/2 tsp yeast nutrient @ 15 min
1/2 tab Irish Moss @ 5 min

Yeast: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager (~500 mL slurry, cultured on Feb 18/12)
- Brewed Feb 21, 2012, by myself. 60 minute mash with 21.88 L of strike water, mashed in at 156 F (target was 155 F). Sparged with ~4.5 gallons of 170 F water for final volume of 7.25 gallons in the kettle. 90 minute boil.

- Chilled down to ~60 F with immersion chiller. OG came in on target. Poured into Better Bottle, final volume about on target. Set in fermentation chamber with temp set at 45 F. When cooled down more to below 50 F, pitched yeast slurry, aerating by shaking for several minutes before and after. Set back in fermentation chamber with temp set to 48 F.

29/2/12 - Fermentation has been quite steady for the past week... started to visibly slow down today, so I moved the BB to the laundry room to warm up to the mid-60s for a diacetyl rest for a couple of days.

13/3/12 - Racked to secondary and began decreasing temp in fermentation chamber by 1 F every 12 hours or so, to a final lagering temp of 38 F.

25/9/12 - FG 1.023. Bottled with 95 g table sugar (and ~1/4 pack of rehydrated Nottingham yeast), aiming for 2.25 vol CO2 for 5 gallons, with a max temp of 65 F reached.

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