One of the benefits of now having a STC-1000 temperature controller hooked up to my spare fridge is that I can now ferment at any given temperature as I see fit. For the most part this will just allow for consistent fermentation for my ales however it does also mean I can now brew a Lager and ferment it at the optimum temperature for the yeast of 12C. As a result of the cooler fermentation temperatures Lagers need to have significantly more yeast cells pitched than an ale and as just opening the packet and pitching it in wasn’t going to cut it, a yeast starter would be required. This was started two days before brewday and placed on the Stirplate to stimulate the yeast growth from c. 96 billion up to around 175 billion cells. Beersmith suggested I would be better using a 2l starter at nearer to 250 billion cells however as I only have a 1l Erlenmeyer flask it would have to do!
The recipe for the Pilsner is:
- 4.5kg German Pilsner Malt
- 350g Carapils Malt
- 50g Saaz hops @ 60 minutes
- 50g Saaz hops @ 30 minutes
- 20g Saaz hops @ 15 minutes
- 30g Saaz hops @ 0 minutes
- 1 tsp Irish Moss
- 1l yeast starter White Labs WLP800 Pilsner Lager Yeast
This time I am aiming for 4.8% ABV and a clean light bodied lager. Although there are 150g of Hops in the recipe the Alpha Acid (AA) of them is only 3.07% so the end result won’t be too bitter!
The brewday went impressively smoothly, and despite being freezing in the brewery today all target numbers were hit and we ended up with 23l of 1.046 Lager in the fermenter. The yeast was pitched and into the fridge it went! 12C for 14 days to ferment and then two months lagering at 5C.
Bang on target!
Off to a flyer in 2016 with a brewday on the 2nd! Hopefully this will distract that nothing has been brewed since August!!
Anyhow, this recipe was a combination of two of my recipes that had gone before it. The malt bill is loosely based on the Black IPA from brewday 19 but with a couple of small tweaks to fit what I grains I have to hand, and the hops are from my Jaipur clone from brewday 23. A little bit lazy on the design front I suppose but that’s what you get for designing a beer on New Years Day!
The recipe for the Black Jai-P-A:
- 4.5kg Maris Otter Malt
- 400g Rauch Malt
- 150g Roasted Barley Malt
- 200g Chocolate Malt
- 12g Centennial hops @ 60 minutes
- 12g Chinook hops @ 60 minutes
- 10g Ahtanum hops @ 60 minutes
- 12g Centennial hops @ 30 minutes
- 10g Ahtanum hops @ 30 minutes
- 10g Chinook hops @ 30 minutes
- 40g Centennial hops @ 0 minutes
- 40g Chinook hops @ 0 minutes
- 30g Ahtanum hops @ 0 minutes
- 1 tsp Irish Moss
- 1 packet Mangrove Jacks British Ale Yeast
This should come out around 5.5% all things considered, and this time I even had an assistant brewer to help me out on the day, though for some reason this meant I took even less photos than normal!
Obligatory Grain Shot!
During the brewday we hit the mash numbers pretty accurately ending up with 500ml up volume and 2points down on gravity however by the end of the boil it ended up 1l down on volume and 8 points down on OG. Perhaps the boil was particularly vigorous on this one but more likely this seems to be down to my boil data input into Beersmith so I need to investigate this more to try and iron out this issue in the future. Fingers crossed for a good fermentation to hit target ABV!