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All Grain Cerveza

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by okie_beer_nerd, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. I am looking to do an all-grain cerveza. The first one we did was with a Mr. Beer HME that turned out really well and we want to see if we can do a superior all grain version. What hops and malts are typically used in a cerveza style brew?
  2. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (315) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

  3. By cerveza you mean light american adjunct lagers? Cause cerveza literally means beer, there is no "cerveza-style" as far as I know.
    rocdoc1 likes this.
  4. i apologize for my wording. mexican style lager may have been more appropriate.
    inchrisin likes this.
  5. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    Honestly if it's your second batch, I'd go with a blonde ale, not a Mexican style lager. Lagers are hard, especially light adjunct lagers*, blonde ales are easy.

    My blonde ales have been coming out great. I like the grain profile as-is (three times with this exact grain profile). The hops are open to debate and according to taste. I never make it "real hoppy" and don't dry hop it either. Except for the one time when I made it with S-04, it's been pretty darn "to style." US-05 makes great blonde ales.

    I would expect a Mexican style lager to have a lot of corn in it, and a lot of 2-row, but that's a guess.

    *which is what a "cerveza" (as you put it) usually is
    PortLargo likes this.
  6. epk

    epk Savant (360) New Jersey Jun 10, 2008 Verified

  7. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (480) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I hate to be sceptical, but are you equiped to do an AG lager? It sounds like this is your second brew....
  8. epk

    epk Savant (360) New Jersey Jun 10, 2008 Verified

    I wasn't sure if he was saying it was his second brew or that the last Mexican lager made was back when he was still using Mr. Beer.
    okie_beer_nerd likes this.
  9. no, i must be much worse at internet than i thought. this isnt our second brew, just our second shot at a mexican style lager. our first was done with a HME
  10. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    in that case... :rolleyes:

    I redact my comments and defer to those who know how to make Cerveza :cool:
    inchrisin likes this.
  11. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (235) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    Random but I was asking a friend at work today for a recipe and he gave me this from the book Clone Brews:

    Negra Modelo

    5 gallons
    OG target - 1.050
    FG target - 1.012
    IBU - 27
    SRM - 21

    7.75 lb - German 2-row pilsner
    1.5 lb - German Vienna malt
    6 oz - C60
    4 oz - Cara-vienne
    2 oz - British chocolate malt

    Mash at 122° for 30 mins. step up to 152° for 60 mins.

    60 mins - 0.75 oz German Hallertau Hersbrucker (3% AA)
    60 mins - 0.75 oz Tettnanger (4% AA)
    10 mins - 0.25 oz Tettnanger

    Wy2124 or Wy2206 (alternate) between 42-52°
    Lager for 1 month starting at 42° and ramping down to 34°
  12. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (235) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    Also from Clone Brews:

    Dos Equis

    5 gallons
    OG target - 1.051
    FG target - 1.013
    IBU - 27
    SRM - 21

    7 lb - German 2-row pilsner
    1.75 lb - German Vienna malt
    6 oz - C10
    6 oz - Cara-vienne
    1 oz - black malt

    Mash at 122° for 30 mins. step up to 152° for 60 mins.

    60 mins - 0.8 oz Tettnanger (5% AA)
    60 mins - 4 oz maltodextrin
    10 mins - 0.25 oz Tettnanger
    10 mins - 0.25 oz Czech-Saaz

    Wy2124 or Wy2206 (alternate) between 42-52°
    Lager for 1 month starting at 42° and ramping down to 34°
  13. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (460) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    Clone Brews recipes pretty much suck. Also recipes are a small aspect of brewing a beer, technique is much more important than a list of ingredients.
  14. Tebuken

    Tebuken Savant (400) Argentina Jun 6, 2009

    Respectfully, there is no good mexican beer style in the world at this moment.You could try to clone a Corona lager beer , but it doesn´t worth a try at all.
  15. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (235) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    The recipes provided the OP with answer to his question unlike your constructive criticism.
  16. wspscott and barfdiggs like this.
  17. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    Maybe thats how he heated the strike water.
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  18. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (800) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

  19. epk

    epk Savant (360) New Jersey Jun 10, 2008 Verified

  20. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    I tried to make a beer with that once, but the whole effort blew up in my face. :rolleyes:

    Not all clone brews suck, BTW. The very first beer I made (along with another, more experienced brewer) was a SN Celebration clone. It was delicious. Of course his processes were pretty damn spot-on, so I learned a lot, and got a great beer out of it. I don't think we used enough hops tho, it wasn't quite a "clone" (but it was still quite good).

    Just remember that trying to clone a Mexican lager... there won't be much of anything to cover up flaws, and thus any imperfections are likely to be quite noticeable.
  21. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (315) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

  22. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poobah (1,030) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I don't think rocdoc1 was saying that cloned brews suck. He was saying that the recipes in the one book called "Clone Brews" suck.
  23. The book had its moment, but that is past. If you look at recipes in the book, the yeast choices are usually wrong. Some recipes look to be close, and some are really far off from what one would do for cloning a certain beer now with what we know.

    I have that book, but do not take it off the shelf these days.
  24. Firstly, thanks to Pegli for posting the link to Ken’s webpage.

    I had Victoria Lager once on draft in Texas. Not a particularly exciting beer but it was OK within the context of an AAL type beer.

    Ken mentions: “My Hacienda Lager recipe (found on the recipe page) is meant to produce a beer that is similar to Victoria Lager, especially when made with White Labs 940, Mexican Lager yeast.”

    I have not brewed with WLP940 but I have heard good things about this lager yeast strain.

    Pegli likes this.
  25. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    To be fair, we got the basics of the "clone" recipe from beer captured. :rolleyes:
  26. I like the looks of Ken Leonard's Mexican beer recipes. Not too much corn. Yes WLP-940 is going to be what one wants. Very clean and crisp.
  27. That is no better.
  28. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (315) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

    Ken is a friend of a friend (both serious lager men) - he posts quite a bit in the NB forums.
  29. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    So I've read. Some books merely are what they are. Few are universally touted as being of top quality, many have skeptics. People should be able to not just read these books, but to critically evaluate and interpret what they are reading, and take it for what it is. When you can read a book (any book) and spot both the useful bits and the flaws, you're well on your way towards a better understanding of the subject.

    To be fair to the book, I think beer captured got the base malts pretty close on the SN celebration clone. I think we followed the hops from the book, and they were clearly off. Lesson learned. The beer was good, but wasn't as hoppy as celebration. If I want to clone celebration again, I will use a similar base recipe, but more hops.

    What I would actually do, now that I've got some experience, is to check on the SN website for the types of hops used, then add them to the extent of most IPAs (to me, celebration is pretty much an IPA). It turns out they use Cascade, Centennial and Chinook (I am sure we didn't use all three of those). Then I would search for clone recipes online and see what people are using, and more importantly, scroll to the bottom and check for posts on how did it come out. After checking both the company website and various online clone recipes, I'd make an informed decision on how to best clone the beer. I might even post a thread and ask about it before finalizing my recipe (I've done it multiple times). I credit BA homebrew forum posters in particular for helping me to make some excellent beer.

    So OP did good in posting a thread asking about how to make his beer. He probably got more opinions than he bargained for, but that is also good. No doubt he learned something, and considered aspects of his plan that he probably hadn't considered, and wouldn't have, except for the thread.

    So remember, any book is just a book, it's not the final word. Some are better than others, but all should be evaluated for both their content and the context in which they are being applied.
  30. I agree with what you are saying. Some are better than others for sure. These books make me wonder if they even brewed these beers, and if they did, did they do taste testing to evaluate if the beers were cloned or not.

    If you want to learn about Celebration Ale, there is a Brewing Network show where they interview Steve Dressler, the head brewer of Sierra Nevada. He gives them the recipe for Celebration at the end. He rattles it off for a 200 bbl batch, but you can figure out how to convert down to your batch size.

    Edit, the Can You Brew It shows on the BN are very good. They interview the brewers and try and get the beer right on a homebrew scale with homebrew equipment and practices. Then they do critical tasting to decide if it is cloned. They sometimes have to re-brew with tweeks to get it right.
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  31. Pegli

    Pegli Savant (315) Rhode Island Aug 30, 2006

    His beer portraits are things of beauty !
  32. Agreed! A high quality website!!

  33. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (460) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    The books Clone Brews and Beer Captured(both on my shelf) do not really reflect the beers they try to clone. Several failed attempts to clone beers using these 2 books convinced me to buy Designing Great Beers and formulate my own recipes. Some ingredients may be right, and maybe these recipes work well on the author's own brewing gear, but the beers I brewed were not even close.
    My main point is that even if Modelo sent you a recipe scaled down for 5 gallons, you still have to brew it exactly right-mash temps, duration, proper yeast pitching rates, fermentation temps, etc. Even then differences in water, hops(age/condition) are variables that make it very hard to truly clone a commercial beer.
  34. JUNCK

    JUNCK Aficionado (135) Washington Jan 7, 2011

    You might want to try brewing the Ska Mexican Lager clone from Can You Brew it. This is what I am brewing next. I didn't find the recipe listed on the site so I listened to it, paused and wrote down the recipe. I haven't formulated it yet but I can post it when I do if you're interested.
  35. i'd definitely like to see how this turns out!
  36. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    That is a tasty Mexican lager. I rather enjoyed it, but then I rather enjoy all of Ska's brews (especially modus hoperandi).

    I agree that truly cloning a beer is pretty difficult, depending on the degree of side-by-side similarity you desire. Not to say there's no value in trying tho. My PtE "clone" doesn't taste like PtE, but it's still real tasty. I knew it wouldn't, as I couldn't get the same hops at the time of brewing. But the attempt left me with a tasty brew, as well as taught me something about making a beer like PtE (and how hard it must be to consistently make it time after time).