Sweet Mischief Vienna-Mild

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After visiting Bohemian Brewery in Salt Lake City, Charlie Papazian had a hankering for the subtle complexity and thirst-quenching satisfaction of a Vienna-style lager, but already had plans to brew a tried-and-try English mild ale. In true homebrew fashion, Charlie decided to combine the best of both worlds to create Sweet Mischief Vienna-Mild.

Here is what Charlie had to say about the recipe in the May/June 2012 issue of Zymurgy magazine:

“The unique roast character of the brown malt and the caramel sweetness of the crystal m alt along with lower gravity represent mild ale-ness. The generous amount of mellow, toasty Munich malt along with neutral base Pilsner malt heads in the direction of a Vienna lager. Belgian aromatic malt always contributes a great goosing if rich malt aroma and flavor is desired. The small amount of Belgian aromatic malt is subtle and has kind of a catalytic effect, helping emphasize the Munich and Crystal.

Dry hopping with Crystal hops imparts an aromatic character appropriate to both English ales and German lagers. I wanted to give this beer a lager-like emphasis in bitterness and flavor, so I used German Hallertauer in the long bittering boil and American Mt. Hood to contribute a honey and floral-like flavor, though with a 45-minute boil most of that character is minimized. The overall balance of this beer emphasized subtlety yet offers satisfaction in those thirst and sessionable occasions.”

Sweet Mischief Vienna-Mild | Vienna Lager

Ingredients

  • For 5.5 gallons (20.82 L)
    • 4.0 lb (1.82 kg) | 10° L German Munich malt
    • 2.0 lb (0.9 kg) | German Pilsner malt
    • 1.5 lb (680 g) | English Brown Malt
    • 6.0 oz (168 g) | 10° L English crystal malt
    • 4.0 oz (113 g) | Belgian aromatic malt
    • 1.25 oz (35 g) | German Hallertauer whole hops, 4.3% a.a. (60 min)
    • 1.5 oz (42 g) | Mt Hood whole hops, 5.3% a.a. (45 minutes)
    • 0.5 oz (14 g) | Crystal pellet hops (dry hop)
    • 0.25 tsp (1 g) | powdered Irish moss
    • German or Bavarian type lager used (Charlie used White Labs Cry Havoc)
    • 0.75 cup (175 ml) | corn sugar (priming bottles) or 0.33 cup (80 ml) corn sugar for kegging

    Specifications

    • Original Gravity: 1.040 (10° P)
    • Final Gravity: 1.010 (2.5° P)
    • ABV: 3.9%
    • IBU: ~25
    • SRM: 14
    • Boil Time: 60 minutes
    • Efficiency: ~75%
    • Pre-boil Volume: n/a
    • Pre-boil Gravity: n/a

    Directions

    A step infusion mash is employed to mash the grains. Add 8 quarts (7.6 liters) of 140°F (60°C) water to the crushed grain, stir, stabilize and hold the temperature at 132°F (53°C) for 30 minutes.

    Add 4 quarts (3.8 liters) of boiling water and add heat to bring temperature up to 155°F (68°C) and hold for about 30 minutes.

    Raise temperature to 167°F (75°C), lauter and sparge with 3.5 gallons (13.5 liters) of 170°F (77°C) water. Collect about 5.5 gallons (21 liters) of runoff. Add 60-minute hops and bring to a full and vigorous boil.

    The total boil time will be 60 minutes. When 45 minutes remain, add the 45-minute hops. When 10 minutes remain, add the Irish moss.

    After a total wort boil of 60 minutes, turn off the heat and place the pot (with cover on) in a running cold-water bath for 30 minutes.

    Continue to chill in the immersion or use other methods to chill your wort. Strain and sparge the wort into a sanitized fermenter. Bring the total volume to 5.5 gallons (20.82 liters) with additional cold water if necessary*. Aerate the wort very well.

    Pitch the yeast when temperature of wort is about 70°F (21°C). Once visible signs of fermentation are evident, ferment at temperatures of about 55°F (12.5°C) for about one week or until fermentation shows signs of calm and stopping. Rack from your primary to a secondary and add the hop pellets for dry hopping.

    Lager the beer at temperatures between 35-45°F (1.5-7°C) for 3-6 weeks. Prime with sugar and bottle or keg when complete.

    *You can also adjust pre-boil volumes to end with the desired volume.

    Extract/Mini-Mash Version

    For 5.5 gallons (20.82 liters):

    • 4.5 lb (2 kg) | amber malt extract syrup or 3.6 lb (1.6 kg) amber dried malt extract
    • 1.5 lb (680 g) | English Brown malt
    • 4.0 oz (113 g) | 10° L English crystal malt
    • 4.0 oz (113 g) | Belgian aromatic malt
    • 1.5 oz (42 g) | German Hallertauer whole hops, 4.3 % a.a. (60 min)
    • 1.5 oz (42 g) | Mt Hood whole hops, 5.3% a.a. (45 min)
    • 0.5 oz (14 g) | Crystal pellet hops (dry hop)
    • 0.25 tsp (1 g) | powdered Irish moss
    • German or Bavarian type lager yeast (Charlie used White Labs Cry Havoc)
    • 0.75 cup (175 ml) | corn sugar (priming bottles) or 0.33 cup (80 ml) corn sugar for kegging

    Directions

    Heat 2 quarts (2 liters) water to 172° F (77.5° C) and add crushed brown, crystal and aromatic malts to the water. Stir well to distribute heat. Temperature should be stabilized at about 155°F (68°C). Wrap a towel around the pot and set aside for about 45 minutes. Have a homebrew.

    After 45 minutes, add heat to the mini-mash and raise the temperature to 167°F (75°C). Pass the liquid and grains into a strainer and rinse with 170°F (77°C) water. Discard the grains.

    Add more water to the sweet extract you have just produced, bringing the volume up to about 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters). Add malt extract and 60 minute hops and bring to a boil.

    The total boil time will be 60 minutes. When 45 minutes remain, add the 45-minute hops. When 10 minutes remain add Irish moss. After a total wort boil of 60 minutes, turn off the heat. Immerse the covered pot of wort in a cold water bath and let sit for 15-30 minutes or the time it takes to have a couple of homebrews.

    Strain out and sparge hops and direct the hot wort into a sanitized fermenter to which 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) of cold water has been added. If necessary, add cold water to achieve a 5.5-gallon (20.82-liter) batch size. Aerate the wort very well.

    Pitch the yeast when temperature of wort is about 70°F (21°C). Once visible signs of fermentation are evident, ferment at temperatures of about 55°F (12.5°C) for about one week or until fermentation shows signs of calm and stopping.

    Rack from your primary to a secondary and add the hop pellets for dry hopping. Lager the beer at temperatures between 35-45°F (1.5-7°C) for 3-6 weeks. Prime with sugar and bottle or keg when complete.