Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Goat's in the Details

Here are some details about my Christmas brew recipe that I promised to post:

Batch #2; October 27, 2007; "Lock, Bock & Barrel"; Lager Style
9# amber malt extract
1/2# chocolate malt
1/2# crystal malt
1/4 #black carafe #I malt
1.5 oz hallertauer hops for flavor
.5 oz hallertauer hops for aroma
.5 oz sweet orange peel
46 g Fermentis S-23 yeast

Two gallons Glen Summit Spring Water
Bring water to 70 deg. C
Steep all grains at 70 deg. C for 30 minutes
Sparge spent grains
Bring to boil, add amber malt and flavor hops
Boil for 45 minutes
Add orange peel and aroma hops
Boil for 15 minutes.

Yeast rehydration
Boil 10 oz. Glen Summit Sprint water
Cool to 26 deg. C
Add two packets yeast
Stir every three minutes for 30 minutes

Primary Fermentation
Add three gal. Glen Summit Spring water to fermentation vessel
Transfer wort to fermentation vessel
Cool wort to 70 deg F.
Take and record original gravity (1.076)
Add yeast cream
Stir for two minutes
Airlock and place in refrigerator

Maintain 40 deg. F for two weeks
Transfer to airlocked secondary fermentation vessel
Take and record final gravity (1.026)

Diacetyl Rest
Move to room temperature for 24 hours ((11/10/2007) 62 deg F.)

Move back to refrigerator and begin lagering
Gradually lower temperature from 41 deg. F (11/11/2007) to 30 deg. F
Maintain at 30 deg. F for 37 days

Transfer to bottling vessel with 5 oz. of priming sugar
Transfer to bottles (12/18/2007) and cap
Condition at room temperature for six days
Transfer back to refrigerator until Christmas

I used twice the dosage of yeast since I was not able to maintain 53-59 deg F. fermentation temperatures in my refrigerator. My primary fermentation was about 40 deg. F. but there was still very good yeast activity at this temperature by visual observation. I basically winged it on this one as it was my first try at a lager. I read up as much as I could before-hand to achieve at least some level of drinkability!

I ended up only labeling a few with front and neck labels as I was having a hard time getting the labels to stick (see other posts). In the future I'm going to experiment before-hand to find the best in terms of ease of labeling, and ease of removal afterwards.

I think my F.G. was probably a bit lower than 1.026 as I didn't take my final reading just before bottling. Next time!

Tasting Notes
Medium brown in color, thin head, minimal lacing. Very little hop essence or flavor in the mouth. Very rounded, full, mouthfeel and it tasted almost wine-like. Gave to my brothers/uncles/father for Christmas gifts. Some of their comments: ``What was the alcohol content in that?'' and ``That was strong!'' and ``That was the best beer I've ever tasted.'' (after drinking a couple). I liked it but wished for a bit more hop flavor althought what I produced was probably fairly accurate for this style. It all went. Prost!

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