Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brewday: Knocktoverfest

So it's at bit late to start a Maerzen for Oktoberfest but hey, Bar Exam, cut me some slack! I find whenever you're talking about a recipe for an Oktoberfest lager it's always:

1) Are you doing it all grain?
2) Are you pulling a triple decoction?
3) Why not, what's wrong with you?

Don't get me wrong, I like decoctions. They're a pain, but I they allow me to give the beer a little sumpin sumpin and more importantly, do step mashes without adding volume to my 10 gallon igloo, meaning I can brew stronger 10 gallon batches. So with this Oktoberfest I compromised. A bit more specialty malts, a single infusion at 153-154 and a decoction to knock it out at the end. Split the batch with half getting Munich Lager, half Bavarian Lager. One liter starters on both.

Nothing went right on brew day. Couldn't find my Stopper Thermowell after the move (even now, angry at my lack of precise control over the lager temps). Record heat meant my groundwater through the plate chiller only cooled it to 75 (!?!). Seventy-five! The last batch cooled to 65 with the same water! Grrr. Still better than Miami though! Forgot to add the whirlfloc until the last 5 minutes so had to boil a bit longer. Put the carboys in the chest freezer (at 38 degrees) overnight, then in the 50 degree lager fridge the next morning. Took off like a shot within a few hours. Still going, will secondary in a few days.

But overall it went ok, got a O.G. of 1.060 and decently correct volume meaning we're on track for a beer in the 5.8% range. After a week in secondary, I'm going to lower it a degree a day to 34 and leave it till the third week of September. Then keg, carb, and serve with homemade sausages and pretzels. It's so nice to be able to ferment ales at room temperature, and use the fridge for lagers. I'm thinking I'll repitch the yeast on a Baltic Porter and maybe a Doppelbock when it's done.
Also had the problem that I haven't used this fridge for beer before. The glass shelf at the bottom was not going to work with that much weight. So popped down to Limback Lumber on Market. They cut me a new wood shelf to fit out of scrap, quickly sanded too, for $5. Sweet. Also, reason for volume discrepancies in the photo: 5.5 gallon carboy and 6.5.


Type: All Grain

Date: 7/17/2009

Batch Size: 10.50 gal

Boil Size: 13.80 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:


Amount Item Type % or IBU
10 lbs Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM) Grain 45.45 %
5 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 22.73 %
5 lbs Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) Grain 22.73 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramunich I (Weyermann) (51.0 SRM) Grain 6.82 %
4.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 1.14 %
4.0 oz Biscuit (Dingemans) (22.5 SRM) Grain 1.14 %
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (90 min) Hops 22.3 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (15 min) Hops 1.7 IBU
2.10 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
10.00 gal Munich, Germany Water
1 Pkgs Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) Yeast-Lager
1 Pkgs Munich Lager (Wyeast Labs #2308) Yeast-Lager

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.059 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.84 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6 %
Bitterness: 23.9 IBU Calories: 269 cal/pint
Est Color: 10.7 SRM Color:

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body Total Grain Weight: 22.00 lb
Sparge Water: 10.37 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 6.88 gal of water at 169.8 F 154.0 F
10 min Mash Out Decoct 2.16 gal of mash and boil it 168.0 F

Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Force Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 7.9 oz Carbonation Used: -
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 34.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 38.0 F


Water: add 1gm Epsom, 2gm Baking Soda, 6gm chalk to mash. PH of mash water should be 7.2, add 0.2ml lactic acid, and 1ml to sparge water for Seattle-Tolt.


South House Brewing said...

I have my Oktoberfest on tap now, and a single infusion still made a great beer!

Have you ever tried Melanoidin to replicate the "maltiness" gained from decoctions? I was thinking about throwing that in there next time

Russell Hews Everett said...

I totally agree, the decoction is more due to my equipment than anything else. I couldn't do an infusion big enough to knock out the mash with the remaining volume in the mash tun.

A couple years back I didn't have the space to do lagers, so I did a Mocktoberfest using Kolsch yeast. As I remember it was a batch sparge mash, using a lot of specialty malts. There was at least a pound of melanoidin in there, and some aromatic and caramunich. It came out pretty good.

Another thing you can do to build up those essential melanoidins is to collect the first half gallon or so of your first runnings, heat up your kettle till nearly scorching, add the first runnings, and then boil down to reduce by half. This kettle caramelization will basically mimic some of the things that happen in a decoction, and will increase the maltiness enormously. Just don't let it burn!

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