Ah, to brew lagers. My plan is to brew a few dark lagers first. Maybe because I have the feeling that if I make some mistakes, the dark lagers will better cover up those mistakes.
Once I have the process down though, it’s time to hit some of the traditional light lagers like Munich Helles.
I concocted this recipe from reading the BJCP guidelines and tasting a few commercial examples (Paulaner).
8 lbs. German 2-row Pils
0.25 lbs. Munich Malt
0.75 lbs. Weyermann CaraFoam
0.75 lbs. German Vienna
1 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellets boiled 60 min.
0.5 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellets boiled 15 min.
0.5 oz. Czech Saaz Pellets boiled 1 min.
Yeast: White Labs WLP830 German Lager
Original Gravity 1.048
Terminal Gravity 1.010
Color 3.72 °SRM
Bitterness 19.0 IBU
Alcohol (%volume) 5.0 %
This is an all grain recipe. Extract brewers could mimic the results using Pils -based extract and steeping the Vienna, Munich, and CaraFoam malts. For the all grain process, Mash would be at 154 degrees for one hour. Primary fermentation temperature would be 52 degrees or somewhere between 50-55. I would do a diacetyl rest, which is just bringing the temperature up to let the yeast re-absorb that buttery diacetyl. I would leave it in the primary fermenter for 12 to 14 days depending on how fermentation went. One scenario is letting it ferment for 10 days at the 50 degree mark (probably in my basement) and then bringing the fermenter into a room to raise temperature for a couple of days. That should be exciting stuff. I would then move the beer into a secondary vessel and then lager it at 32 to 34 degrees for a month or 2. I would need a fridge for that…or maybe a swamp cooler rig.