I really kind of like winter, but don’t tell anyone that. The countryside turns white, you can drink a bunch of eggnog, and us cheap bastards who rely on ambient tempuratures can lager! This year there will be no fooling around on my part, time to get serious.
Point of discussion, I learn well from mistakes, and there have been a few made in my last few lagers. One thing I found is that an anemic abreviated boil is a bad thing for pilsner malt, I’ve had 5 gallons of dimethyl sulfide infused popcorn beer before. After that I used plain 2-row, which wasn’t really a mistake, but my heart of hearts likes the tinge of sulfer that pils malt brings into play with some nice bottom fermenting yeasts (it’s what makes me think ‘crisp and refreshing’). There are a few more, but I think I’ve embarrased myself enough. Now the plan! –
– 100% floor malted pils, I won’t mess with acid malt or water treatment. This will truly be a SMaSH.
– Speaking of water, the plan is to use water from my brewing friends house, lovely soft creek water.
– Hops: Pacific Hallertau. This is where the tradition stops, Pacific Hallertau, also called Pacifica I do believe, is an interesting hop. It has almost no real Hallerau flavor or aroma, it has a spicy and herbal bittering quality, but in aroma its pretty tropical. Straight out of the bag it smells like gummy bears, but the ammount of fruitiness that remains after fermentation is more on the bitter lime zest/earthy fruit that is the standard for southern hemisphere hops. Two additions-90 minute 4.5% AA to 15 IBUs, 20 minute 4.5% AA to 25 IBUs.
– Mash: Decoction naturally. Dough in at 130*, pull the thick stuff *hehehe*, raise the decoction for a short sacc range tempurature rest, boil, add back to raise the main mash to 148*, pull again and repeat to raise the main mash to 156*, then a simple mashout at 166*.
– Yeast: Budvar. Nice big starter that’s a little over a week old. I know budvar isn’t the most snobby interesting strain, but I still like it. This beer will be pulling double duty as a starter for a doppelbock me thinks (I like the name “don’t mess with gator”…. get it?)
The brew day went fairly decently, the main issue being that this malt (even though fully convered) never did vourlauf very clear, leading me to extend the mash for an extra 40 minutes. Despite the trouble I did get well above the %80 efficiency I was aiming for, so that was nice. Its sitting in the lager garage at 53*, time to play the waiting game…