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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: sharg54 on December 04, 2010, 03:41:43 AM

Title: First Lager attempt.
Post by: sharg54 on December 04, 2010, 03:41:43 AM
Ok I may be a bit paranoid or even a bit crazy but why not go for it.  I'm making my first all grain  Pilsner a CAP to be exact. It's only my 3rd all grain batch and I don't want to jack it up. The Irish Red and the Stout came out fine but they were both a single step mash.  The problem I'm having is the mash schedule I should use. I figure it should be a multi step mash to get it right so this is what I have come up with. I know there is zero room for error on this style so all help is welcome.

5 Gallon Batch.
OG target is 1.057
efficiency I figure around 82 Percent on the last two AG.
I"m working with 8 LBS of 6 row and 2 LBS of Flaked maze a 28 Qt cooler and all the fixings. The water is perfect for pilsner here in the Rockies so I figure go for it it's only grain. 

Dough in at 122 Degrees 30 Minuets.
Raise to 155 Degrees for 30 Minuets.
Mash out at 168 Degrees for 10 minuets.
Spurge with  178 Degrees
Should end up with 6 Gallons for the boil when all is said an done.
So am I off base or just crazy or am I close?
Thanks for any help.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: denny on December 04, 2010, 03:47:20 AM
First, ask yourself why you want to do a step mash...especially a protein rest at 122.  Are you using an undermodified malt? 
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: tygo on December 04, 2010, 04:01:03 AM
Yeah, no need to do a step mash on this one with the six row.  Otherwise your recipe looks fine.  I actually go a little higher on the corn % with my CAP but that's personal preference.  I'd do a single infusion at 155F and then mashout if you need to.

Do you have the temp control to ferment at 50F or so for the lager?
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: sharg54 on December 04, 2010, 06:01:59 AM
Thought I was over complicating things. What can you expect form a NOB. I have control over the temp and will do the primary at 52 degrees for 2 weeks in a glass carboy than jump it up to 60 for a 48 hour rest. Using WL pilsner 800 and according to there site that's the best temp for that yeast.  Will chill to 34 on the secondary for another 2 weeks and than bottle finish from there. This whole modified or not modified grain thing is a little mind blowing at times but it's only my 7th batch and 3rd AG. Takes time I guess.  Thanks for the help. Single step at 155 was my first thoughts but I guess it's easy to over think things when your new. Figure the Saaz hops should be a nice touch on this one, if your going to go with a classic you may as well use a noble hop as well. I'm not attempting to win a prize just make outstanding beer.
Thanks again.  :) 
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: beveragebob on December 04, 2010, 06:40:11 AM
Remember, that's the fermenting beer temp which is ideal at 52F. Fermentation generates it's own heat so, I'd go 6-8 degrees lower ambient on your temp controller(unless you are using a thermowell probe right in the beer). Also, at the end of fermentation, I let the temp drift up to 60F to both finish off the fermentation and a D-Rest. I usually let it sit there like that from 4-6 days. Then I rack it to a keg and crash chill at ~34F with C02 reg set at 10PSI. In the past one of my problems if I did'nt put pressure on the keg, the beer sucked in the C02 headspace breaking the seal on the lid. I lager for 6 months. 6 months later, I carbonated it looking forward to Nirvana and all I got was liquid cardboard. It was oxidized to hell. From that point on, I either force carbonate or leave it in the fridge with pressure on it.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: Mikey on December 07, 2010, 02:58:15 PM
I had the same vacuum problem before force carbing. FWIW this doesn't mean just pressurizing the head space. You really need to shake it and get some CO2 absorbed into the beer. I force carb it like I was about to drink it, but that's probably an over kill on my part. The nice thing is that it's ready to serve when the lagering is over.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: beveragebob on December 08, 2010, 09:02:10 AM
Yeah, I either force carb it like I'm going to drink it(32PSI for 2-3 days) or leave the C02 tank in the fridge and set it at 10 PSI and forget about it for 6 months. Always making sure the keg lid has a positive seal. I have a 4 way C02 distributor in my lagering fridge so I can keep 4 kegs on line dedicated.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: oscarvan on December 08, 2010, 02:12:13 PM
Ah, that answers some of my questions..... You can lager in carbonated state! I bought a couple of these.....


Helps you keep an eye on these kegs.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: oceanselv on December 11, 2010, 09:21:07 PM
How many gallons did you get in the fermenter?  Instead of shooting for 6 gallons you may want to try for 6.5 or  7 gallons pre boil.  This should leave you with slightly over 5 gallons in the kettle and a full 5 gallons in the fermenter.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: sharg54 on December 12, 2010, 07:14:01 PM
Went with the step mash due to the 6 row not being fully modified. Worked out quite well. The mash in at 122 was to build up the enzymes ( 113 to 122 is best for this.) for the yeast to thrive at lower temps and it looks like a snow storm in the carboy right now. Pulled off 7 Gallons for the boil at 1.050 and ended up with 5.5 Gallons at 1.057 in the carboy. Sitting at 50 Degrees now for the last 7 days and looking very good indeed with a bubble every 20 seconds out of the air lock.  Another week in the primary and than I'll rack off to the secondary for another two weeks at 36 Degrees and than bottle finish for six weeks at 34.  Should be ready about mid Feb. I figure. Will let you know how it turned out. Thanks for all the keg info but I don't keg as of yet.  ;D
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: denny on December 12, 2010, 08:53:12 PM
Where did you find undermodified 6 row?  I haven't seen any for years.
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: sharg54 on December 13, 2010, 12:27:04 AM
The shop I go to Rocky Mountain Home Brewing Supply has it. Was talking to the store manager about one stepping the mash and he told me his 6 row was not fully modified and I would have to step mash it. Don't know where he gets it from but will ask next time I'm in there. Figured he's the one buying it so he should know what he has. Anyway after rereading the section on mashing in The Joy Of Home Brewing 3rd addition I would have stepped mashed it either way. According to that it's a good way to kick up the enzyme levels for the Yeast and you can control the head retention and body better that way. Wanted a lite body beer with a good frothy head.  ;D
Title: Re: First Lager attempt.
Post by: sharg54 on January 20, 2011, 07:24:23 AM
The CAP came out exactly as planned. Has a nice corn sweetness and the Saaz came through nicely too. By that I mean you can just smell it at first than it's gone and the beer has a nice crisp dry finish.  Ended up with 5.5 gal in the secondary and that gave me 50 12 oz bottles when I finished so I figure I lost just under half a gallon to the left over yeast. Did two weeks at 52 Degrees and than a D rest at 60 for 72 hours and than crashed cooled it to 33 degrees for a week in the secondary. Very clear straw yellow but when I started out it looked more grayish brown so I thought I jacked things up but the WL pilsner 800 came through like a champ and cleaned it up nicely. Think I found my house pilsner yeast, ended up washing six bottles of yeast with about a 1/4 inch in the bottom of each bottle. Has a very nice creamy white head that just wants to sit there for about 5 minuets than you end up with a nice little lace around the glass about an 1/8 inch wide. Wish I had made a 10 gallon batch as my friends love it and so does the wife. FG was 1.014 so I figure around 5.4 ABV. Wish i knew how to add a picture to this thing so you could see it but its a brew well worth making again and stepping the mash was defiantly the way to go on this one. Nice lite body good creamy head, clear as glass and a taste well worth the time also the yeast thrived like crazy with out adding anything to help them along through the long cold ferment and I didn't have to use any finings to clear it up.   ;D