+1 - I have done pale, amber, red and black saisons of varying gravities over the years. Have fun with it!
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I have never figured out a way to rinse those strains. I mostly just don't even bother rinsing anymore.
I used to really like crystal (and still do for some applications) but it seems to have gotten more citrusy, or maybe I'm getting more sensitive.
Funny thing with Crystal. I think it fits better with the other "C" hops in an IPA than in a traditional lager. I am not sure how it came to be so citrusy, but I really like it in an IPA.
As with a good doppelbock, the pils is for the enzymes. You want to be sure the beer dries out. Sweet german beers suck. I think a lot of american interpretations totally strike out here.
I agree. I've yet to taste a single American one that comes even close to the imports.
I was in your exact position a few years back. And I have but two words of advice:
(and having done both, I prefer RIMS)