Author Topic: A better light lager?  (Read 732 times)

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4073
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
A better light lager?
« on: July 10, 2014, 08:27:17 AM »
I've decided that the time is approaching in my brewing career to take a stab at an American-style pale lager. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but there is something refreshing about a clean, crisp lager that I can get into every once in a while.

My thought is to bring in the flavor profile that I enjoy from German lagers to amp up the flavor a bit. So I'm planning on German Pils malt, plus Munich and a bit of Aromatic to amp up the malt flavor. I'm going to use a German lager yeast as well.

The question then becomes whether to use corn or rice as my adjunct. I'm thinking corn, but I'm not really familiar with either.

Here's what I was thinking:

Title: Fizzy Yellow

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Premium American Lager
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 4 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.037
Efficiency: 80% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.007
ABV (standard): 5.45%
IBU (tinseth): 25
SRM (morey): 5.82

FERMENTABLES:
1.5 lb - Flaked Corn (31.2%)
2 lb - German - Pilsner (41.6%)
1 lb - German - Munich Light (20.8%)
5 oz - Belgian - Aromatic (6.5%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 25
0.5 oz - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.1, Use: Boil for 0 min

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 145 F, Time: 90 min, Amount: 13 qt, Strike water = 151F
2) Infusion, Temp: 160 F, Time: 10 min, Amount: 4 qt, Mash out

YEAST:
Wyeast - Octoberfest Lager Blend 2633
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline chumley

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 08:38:52 AM »
You will end up with something more like American Oktoberfest with a recipe like that.  If you are after crisp, I would ditch the Munich and Aromatic and stick with the Pilsner malt.  Continental pilsner malt will get you enough malt in the flavor, and the corn will also give some sweetness. I have brewed those types of beers when I am out of six row (continental pils + corn), and they are pretty good.

Offline nbarmbrewer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 09:25:49 AM »
You will end up with something more like American Oktoberfest with a recipe like that.  If you are after crisp, I would ditch the Munich and Aromatic and stick with the Pilsner malt.  Continental pilsner malt will get you enough malt in the flavor, and the corn will also give some sweetness. I have brewed those types of beers when I am out of six row (continental pils + corn), and they are pretty good.

+1.  I like to use rice in my American lagers.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6195
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 09:35:14 AM »
+2 to corn and/or rice and maybe even WY2007 (or similar).
Jon H.

Offline davidgzach

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1659
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 09:38:16 AM »
Eric,

I would leave in the Munich and take out the corn and Aromatic.  Add that % of the grain bill to the Pils malt.  The 2633 produces fine light lagers.

Dave
Dave Zach

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 09:39:12 AM »
ID skip the flaked and go right to Rice solids.  No sticky mash for you!
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3616
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 09:41:10 AM »
I agree. For crisp beer with more flavor, just ditch the adjuncts and go with all pilsner - maybe some light munich.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 10:01:45 AM »
My Munich Helles is 100% Pilsner malt and has a wonderful light maltiness, but it's not as light as an American Light Lager. I recommend corn, rice and Pils malt. Try something along the lines of 60%Pils/20%Corn/20% Rice for a light American Lager.
Ron Price

Offline yso191

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1064
  • Yakima, WA
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 10:51:55 AM »
I'm going to brew essentially the same beer soon.  I'm wondering about late additions.  I'm not concerned about style guidelines, just good beer.  What I'm thinking is 2 oz. of Saaz at flameout for a 10 minute hopstand.  What do you think?

Here's the basics:
8 lbs 12.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)   81.4 %
2 lbs Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM)  18.6 %
1.50 oz Saaz [5.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min    25.5 IBUs
2.00 oz Saaz [5.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min      0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Pilsen Lager (Wyeast Labs #2007)
Steve
All Hands Brewing

Offline chumley

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 01:51:37 PM »
Where are you getting 5.6% Saaz?

Offline 69franx

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1158
  • Hidden Valley Lake, IN: Greater Cincinnati
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 03:39:11 PM »
Good question, the Saaz I used last weekend was 3.3 IIRC


Sent from The Alpine Brewery using Tapatalk
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting: German Themed IPA, Ringler Pilsner
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW, House IPA
In Bottles:
In the works: You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline ajk

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
  • Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 04:39:22 PM »
I agree that if you want it to resemble the most popular examples of American Lager, Pils should be the only malt and you need some adjunct.  I find rice more flavor-neutral than corn. I like your choice of Sterling. I haven't tried that yeast, but I've had success with both Wyeast 2124 and 2035 in this style.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4073
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2014, 06:20:20 AM »
Interesting difference of opinions here. A lot of the suggestions are along the line of brewing a Helles. That's in my plans eventually, but not exactly what I was thinking for this brew.

The American Oktoberfest comment is actually spot-on. I had an Oktoberfest in my first keg as I was trying to dial in my kegging setup. It ended up overcarbonated and too cold (I couldn't figure out the right spot to stick my Johnson.). It went down super easy and led me down this path.

This beer is basically my fest where I swapped the Vienna for adjunct and dropped the CaraMunich.

As far as 2007 goes, I just don't like that super clean Bud-like flavor that much. I like the faint sulfur note from the 2633. Plus, I'm also due to rebrew my Ofest, so I can just make a big starter to split between the two batches.

As far as the rice solids idea goes, I assume that goes right into the boil, right? What's the difference between that and regular sugar as far as the finished beer goes? I like that idea, because then I don't have to worry about converting adjuncts in the mash and can use a step-down mash like I did with my recent barleywine.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline kmccaf

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Kyle (Champaign, Hensley Township, Il)
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 06:32:19 AM »
My Munich Helles is 100% Pilsner malt and has a wonderful light maltiness, but it's not as light as an American Light Lager. I recommend corn, rice and Pils malt. Try something along the lines of 60%Pils/20%Corn/20% Rice for a light American Lager.

This American Light Lager sounds really tasty. Think I'm gonna brew this one next.
Kyle M.

Offline beersk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2217
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: A better light lager?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2014, 07:41:45 AM »
My Munich Helles is 100% Pilsner malt and has a wonderful light maltiness, but it's not as light as an American Light Lager. I recommend corn, rice and Pils malt. Try something along the lines of 60%Pils/20%Corn/20% Rice for a light American Lager.
My last helles was 100% Best pils malt. It turned out almost exactly like Hopfbrau helles. Very clean, light malt character, very easy drinking. Many of the other helles biers I've have much more of a Munich malt presence, whereas the Hopfbrau helles has none of that.

If you're wanting American lager, go with what some others said and do like 80% pils malt, 20% rice or corn. Use your 2633 yeast, hop to 18-20 IBU. The rice solids I think can go in the mash, not the boil.
"What if, that thing I said?" - Philip J. Fry

Jesse