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My first lager - recipe critique requested

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Beerontwowheels, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    Hey folks - I'm looking to get some usage out of my chest freezer this winter (too cold for ale fermenation since it sits in the unheated garage) and plan on brewing a lager in the coming weeks.

    I haven't brewed a lager before and I haven't really gotten too deep into recipe design. I am looking for feedback on the following dopplebock recipe:

    Og: 1.076
    Fg: 1.020 - 1.028

    Grain Bill:
    65% euro Munich ~ 10lbs
    21% pilsner ~ 3.25 lbs
    6% crystal 120 ~ 1lb
    5% dextrin ~ .75lb
    3% chocolate ~ .50lb
    100% ------ 15.5 lbs total grain

    xx Hallertau
    xx Tettnanger

    *Would love some suggestions on hop volumes/varieties. I think I want to stay with 60 and 30 minute additions.

    Mash out @ 155
    120 minute boil (longer boil since not decocting)

    At 75% efficiency, this grainbill should net me 1.056 pre-boil OG at 7.5 gallons of wort. A 2 hour boil would eliminate ~2 gallons of wort to hit the 1.076 planned OG.

    3 weeks primary @ 50*
    **will raise temp once 2/3's through ferm for diacetyl rest
    16 weeks at 38*
    I plan on using WLP833 to ferment. It's attenuation is rated for 70 - 76%, so it should hit my target range of 1.020 - 1.028.

    Thoughts, suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Big starter of 833, and plenty of O2 before you pitch.

    I would lager colder, 35F or less.

    Use something like Weyermann dark Munich. No C-120 or dextrin. Use CaraMunich II and III for the crystal.

    Target 25 IBU or so. Either Hallertau or Tettnanger are great choices.
    Beerontwowheels likes this.
  3. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Some more thoughts.

    Use Carafa II instead of Chocolate to keep it German. That is a Weyermann "chocolate" malt.

    Use a low sulfate water.

    You might want to have a mash pH in the 5.5 range for a dark malty beer.

    Have fun brewing this one.
  4. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    Thanks for the advice. I was using C120 and Dextrin based on some stats from Ray Daniel's Designing Great Beers. Curious why you advise against C120 and Dextrin?

    I just looked at MrMalty to get an idea of the starter - holy crap! It says with 2 vials of WLP833, I would need a 9 liter starter! That's huge!!
  5. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2006 Michigan

    I'm brewing a 3 gallon simple dunkel tonight as a starter for a 1.071 bock that I will be brewing in a couple weeks.

    You could consider something like that in lieu of a giant starter that you're just going to decant and dump down the drain.

    I'm doing:
    1L stirplate starter===>Decant===>1.75L Stirplate starter===>decant===>3 Gallon 1.045 Dunkel ===>rack===>10 Gallons of 1.071 Bock
    Beerontwowheels likes this.
  6. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    Sounds like some very good advice!
  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The C-120 would sort of work, but where is it from, Briess? Do you think that the Germans import an American crystal malt for their beers? Dextrin? Why do you want to put sugar in this beer? It is not what they do with the Reinheitsgebot. My guess is that Ray Daniels used it to make the beer drier, which you can do with a proper mash and healthy yeast that will attenuate.
  8. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    Fair enough! I'm not as experienced with lagers as I am ales (drinking them or making them!), so you're advice is very much welcomed!
  9. Soneast

    Soneast Crusader (744) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I agree with using German malt (Weyermann or Best Malz are my favs) as well as getting rid of the sugar. I like the Munich to Pilsner ratio in your recipe, but it's amazing the complexity you can get in these beers using ONLY Munich and Pilsner malt and no specialty grains, even with a single infusion mash.

    I find that if I mash my dopplebocks at 150-152°F, and pitch the proper amount of yeast, with plenty of oxygen (and don't be afraid to oxygenate again after 12 hrs if there is no visible activity after the initial pitch), I can pretty easily get them to attenuate down to under 1.020 and retain very nice body in the final product. My last dopplebock had an OG of 1.090 and FG of 1.018, 79% attenuation which is pretty good for a lager yeast, Wyeast 2206 in this case.

    And yeah, 2 vials of yeast and a 9L starter is pretty ridiculous. You might want to consider starting your starter a week or two ahead of brew day and stepping it up with http://www.yeastcalc.com/. Also, I personally only add a bittering addition for hops, anything more is pretty much a waste in this style, as it should have no hop character. That said, the 30 minute addition won't hurt anything and the beauty of homebrewing is brewing what you like.
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