I haven't used much melanoidin malt, but I usually put 8 oz of victory in all of my hoppy american beers.
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I don't have any firsthand experience with lager yeast at warmer temps, but I know that the book "Farmhouse Ale" by Phil Markowski talks about it. Apparently it's common for Beires de Garde to use lager yeast at warmer temps. The book mentions particular strains that can be used this way IIRC.
Thanks. I think BJCP is taking three or four months for turnaround now, not terrible.