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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Brewing Forum --> Recipe Discussion --> Vienna Lager

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KidMoxie
Charter Member
San Elijo Hills, CA
405 Posts


Originally posted this on /r/homebrewing recipe critique thread, but I think I'll get better responses here :)


I'm returning to the scene of my first lager (a Vienna) and reworking the recipe now that I know a thing or two. I'm looking for a smooth, nutty maltiness with just a hint of breadiness and toast. I'm on the fence about the Caravienne, but I think a little bit might add some nice complexity.


Fiesta Cumplea±os

Vienna Lager

OG: 1.047
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5%
IBU: 28

Malt

  • 7 lbs Vienna (70%)
  • 2 lbs Munich (20%)
  • 4 oz Carapils (2.5%)
  • 4 oz Caravienne (2.5%)
  • 4 oz Melanoidin (2.5%)
  • 4 oz Pale Chocolate (2.5%)

Hops

  • 1.5 oz Hallertauer @ 60 min
  • 0.5 oz Hallertauer @ 10 min

Yeast

  • WLP940 Mexican Lager




Posted 34 days ago.

homebrewdad
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts


I love pale chocolate, but do you even need it in this beer?  I think the caravienne will be nice, though.

Man, I'd been wanting to do a Vienna lager for at least a year, but I keep overlooking it.




Posted 34 days ago.

KidMoxie
Charter Member
San Elijo Hills, CA
405 Posts


The pale chocolate is mostly to get it into spec for Vienna Lager SRM. Also, I really love the toasty notes it contributes, which fits into the overall theme of the Vienna.



Posted 34 days ago.

homebrewdad
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts


Works for me.  Again, pale chocolate is nice - way better than plain chocolate malt, IMO.




Posted 34 days ago.

uberg33k
Charter Member
The Internet
314 Posts


If you decoct, you'd  have no problem hitting SRM.

You could also get rid of everything specialty at that point (maybe keep the caravienne).

Why Mexican lager yeast?




Posted 34 days ago.

chino_brews
Charter Member
Eden Prairie, MN
301 Posts


Some homebrew club did a huge test of all lager yeasts, and Mexican Lager won out in their tastes tests. It was in Zymurgy, I think.




Posted 34 days ago.

uberg33k
Charter Member
The Internet
314 Posts


I guess it depends what you're looking for.  I always thought of Mexican lager as so clean to the point of being boring.  I like 833 for that bit of malt oomph it adds or ... whatever Stiegl uses as their yeast to give it that tiny bit of fruitiness.  That beer is one of my whales.



Posted 34 days ago.

KidMoxie
Charter Member
San Elijo Hills, CA
405 Posts


Maybe one day I'll decoct, but today is not that day :) 

I like WLP940 Mexican Lager the same reason I like WLP090 San Diego Super: they're clean, monster fermentors. I like a clean, crisp lager and WLP940 gets me there every time. The folks at White Labs consider it one of their best lager strains and I can see why.

Another point of interest: I went to the White Labs Tasting Room when they were doing a lineup of Cal Commons made with different lager strains and the one made with WLP940 had an awesome honey/pear character to it that was really compelling. One of these days I'm going to make my Cal Common (Alta California) with it.




Posted 34 days ago.

zgreenside
Nowhere
34 Posts


Another option (not trying to sway you, but just an option) is to check out the Munich Lager yeast (WYeast 2308). I made a Munich Dunkel with it, and it was extremely clean, very smooth, highly recommend it!



Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


Uberg are you saying that decoction adds color? I thought it was supposed to be color neutral which is why it could be done on a pilsner.



Posted 34 days ago.

homebrewdad
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts


I'd say that decoction absolutely adds color.  If you read some of the more in depth guides to it, it's recommended to keep decoctions short for lighter colored beers for this very reason.



Posted 34 days ago.

ingoogni
nl
314 Posts


Haha, they didn't have the specs when they 'invented' Pilsner, or Vienna for that matter. Colour is secondary to taste and if you want ('malt')taste you'll get colour.




Posted 34 days ago.

uberg33k
Charter Member
The Internet
314 Posts


See, that's the exact opposite of my understanding of Pilsner.  Basically Germans, Austrians, and Bohemians visited England and saw what they were doing with pale malt and thought "Right, we need to do that too".  They developed their own low temperature kilning techniques and pilsner malt was born.  Since lagering was the norm for that area, they just took their dark lagers and tweaked them into light lagers.  It seems it was more the novelty of a light colored beer that captured everyone's attention at first over what it tasted like.  People quickly realized it was also delicious, but that wasn't the initial draw.



Posted 34 days ago.

ingoogni
nl
314 Posts


That's true, but with the kilning of that day and especially with the direct firing of the decoctions and boil the "pale" was a bit less pale than we see now for many Pilsners. Over time industrial lagers have become paler and paler. Current Mild malt could be a fair estimate of the "pale" colour of those days.

There was an even paler malt, "white malt" or "wind malt" and it was known throughout europe from at least the 16th century, but with the cool and moist climate it was something that could only be made occasionally.




Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


Are commercial pilsners decocted or not in the present day?

I don't know about decocting. With the experimentation that indicates no preference by blind tasters for decocted over non-decocted, plus this info. I'm just totally unsure about what it is or isn't doing. I'm inclined to believe it's doing nothing but adding headache and hassle to a brew day, but if it's adding color, then that would indicate to me it's not neutral.




Posted 34 days ago.

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