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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Brewing Forum --> Recipe Discussion --> Help with a hoppy continental lager

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homebrewdad
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts


So, as I mentioned in my blog post, I'm working on the idea of a hoppy amber lager.  I think that I'm going to step outside of my comfort zone a bit - I'm going to try Brulosopher's fast lager method, for one.

I'm fixated on the idea of using some continental lager ingredients in some slightly unorthodox ways.  I maybe stupid, here - I'd like to know what you think.

I plan to do a decoction mash - probably a double.  I want a deep, malty body... but I want to back it up with way more hoppy presence than the typical German lager.  

So, here's what I have right now:

OG: 1.067  
FG: 1.014  
ABV: 6.97%  
SRM: 10.6 (should be darker than this, but Beersmith doesn't seem to recognize the effects of decoction on color)
IBU: 36.2


Grain bill:
8 lbs Pilsner, floor malted (59.3%)
4 lbs Munich malt  (29.6%)
1 lb Caramunich III (7.4%)
8 oz Carapils (3.7%)


Hops:
.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz for FWH
.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz @ 15 min
.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz @ flameout for 15 min
1.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz for dry hop, 4 days.

Yeast: 
WLP820 (Oktoberfest/Marzen)



Okay, poke some holes.






Posted 34 days ago.

ingoogni
nl
314 Posts


Hey Dad,

first, my congratulations!

For a continental lager there's quite some Cara's in there, the body of Ambers around here is just like Pilsner. To get more colour without the darker Cara you could use dark munich malt. If you like something unorthodox, how about a fair hand of dark wheat malt and no Caras or only a tiny amount of the dark one.






Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


Well, putting aside the fact that decoctions doesn't do anything but waste time, you should Czech out Czech Amber Lager. It's allowed to be as hoppy as a pilsner basically. I think that high gravity is going to work against you here, and yet again, you seem to be hellbent on a high residual sweetness which would definitely be out of place, IMO.

I prefer Caramunich II, I think the flavor is better than III, so you might consider that, especially if you can munch on some before you commit.

You could also consider WLP800 the czech lager strain. The 2015 guidelines mention a plum or berry ester, which sounds really interesting. Not sure if that comes from this yeast strain or another one.

I'd probably increase the late hops and reduce the dry hops, but I've never dry hopped with noble hops before, so maybe just increase the late hops?




Posted 34 days ago.

Necropaw
Charter Member
Central WI
608 Posts


Isnt this sorta similar to an oktoberfest?  I mean, not identical, but similar?

Dont get me wrong, i like the idea...I just wonder if youre modifying/reinventing the wheel here.

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 7:22 AM, testingapril <listpost@homebrewdad.com> wrote:
Well, putting aside the fact that decoctions doesn't do anything but waste time, you should Czech out Czech Amber Lager. It's allowed to be as hoppy as a pilsner basically. I think that high gravity is going to work against you here, and yet again, you seem to be hellbent on a high residual sweetness which would definitely be out of place, IMO.

I prefer Caramunich II, I think the flavor is better than III, so you might consider that, especially if you can munch on some before you commit.

You could also consider WLP800 the czech lager strain. The 2015 guidelines mention a plum or berry ester, which sounds really interesting. Not sure if that comes from this yeast strain or another one.

I'd probably increase the late hops and reduce the dry hops, but I've never dry hopped with noble hops before, so maybe just increase the late hops?









Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


Well, that depends Mike. Oktoberfest isn't a style in the 2015 guidelines. That style has basically been broken down into two categories, Festbier and Marzen. It's going to be closer to Marzen, but Marzen and Vienna lager were always fairly close. Vienna should be heavily malty, but dry and balanced or slightly bitter. Marzen can be very malty, but balanced to slightly sweet. Typically Marzen is going to be a little darker as well.

Now, as far as the hopping goes, Marzen is basically never hoppy, while Vienna can be a little hoppy, but Czech Amber Lager can be substantially hoppy.




Posted 34 days ago.

nickosuave311
Charter Member
Saint Paul, MN
18 Posts


It looks a lot like a Vienna lager to me, just bigger. I might shoot lower in Gravity if it were my brew, it might be thrown out of balance at that ABV.

If you want more malt complexity, use Vienna in place of the Pilsner malt. My Last o-fest was mostly floor malted Bo pils and Munich and was malty, but not rich and complex. I'd also recommend adding aromatic malt in there too, that always makes it into my Amber lagers. 

Not a huge fan of any caramunich malt. I prefer normal caramel malts instead, so c-40 gets my vote. Maybe c-20 for a little less sweetness and caramel flavor. I don't think I'd use Carapils here either, just because you've already got some caramel malt.

On Friday, June 26, 2015, homebrewdad <listpost@homebrewdad.com> wrote:
So, as I mentioned in my blog post, I'm working on the idea of a hoppy amber lager.  I think that I'm going to step outside of my comfort zone a bit - I'm going to try Brulosopher's fast lager method, for one.

I'm fixated on the idea of using some continental lager ingredients in some slightly unorthodox ways.  I maybe stupid, here - I'd like to know what you think.

I plan to do a decoction mash - probably a double.  I want a deep, malty body... but I want to back it up with way more hoppy presence than the typical German lager.  

So, here's what I have right now:

OG: 1.067  
FG: 1.014  
ABV: 6.97%  
SRM: 10.6 (should be darker than this, but Beersmith doesn't seem to recognize the effects of decoction on color)
IBU: 36.2


Grain bill:
8 lbs Pilsner,!
floor malted (59.3%)
4 lbs Munich malt  (29.6%)
1 lb Caramunich III (7.4%)
8 oz Carapils (3.7%)


Hops:
.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz for FWH
.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz @ 15 min
.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz @ flameout for 15 min
1.5 ounce each of Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz for dry hop, 4 days.

Yeast: 
WLP820 (Oktoberfest/Marzen)



Okay, poke some holes.










Posted 34 days ago.

mchrispen
Bastrop, TX
485 Posts


Yeah, I would pull back or eliminate the crystal, maybe replace it with Vienna for another malt note. If you are really going to decoct you will not need the carapils either. I used a bit in a czech pils - took it to my probrewer heroes and they immediately picked it out (about 12 ounces in a 10 g batch). We talked through their method - which is step mashed, grain in at 121F and ramped to a long hold at 146F, ramp and short hold at 159/160F and mash out. That was the step schedule I used and that czech pils has great body. Rebrewing without the carapils when I get back to the house. Also - consider that WLP800 (which I like more than WLP820 - which I am told is weird) throws significant diacetyl... so ferment a bit cooler (under 50F) and an extended D-Rest. I was also told to lager 3-4 days longer once the jungbuket (sulfur) drops before packaging and/or krausen during the D-rest to get a cleaner finish (allegedly the krausen accelerates the sulfur release). The criticisms on my Czech lager were - low diacetyl, too much residual sweetness, and slightly bitter. Folks want no diacetyl, but a little is is appropriate to style.

I tasted the czech amber at NHC and it had a little residual sweetness but otherwise had a medium dryness in the finish. The challenge seems to be to balance the malt forward richness with just a touch of sweet and firm bitterness. I didn't get much in the way of estery, but with the little bit of crystal - I can see that blending with the flowery hops to create the berry/plum thing.

As testingapril mentions - be careful with the dry hopping... I get really strong grassy notes when I have dry hopped with Tett/Hallertau. Saaz seems to work a little better, but taste and pull the hops as soon as you get what you want.




Posted 34 days ago.

rayfound
Charter Member
Riverside, CA
313 Posts


Re decoction: I'd personally suggest no decoction, purely from a standpoint of limiting variables that can fuck things up.


After the first pass at the recipe, if you wanna try again with decoction to see what it adds...


Then again, I brew multiple iterations of most of my beers with only slight variations.






Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


Good points Ray.




Posted 34 days ago.

KidMoxie
Charter Member
San Elijo Hills, CA
405 Posts


I'd ditch like half the caramunich, IMO caramelly sweet lagers are gross. Folks expect a lager to be fairly crisp and dry.


I'd also personally go with 4 oz each of Carapils and Melanoidin for head retention and a dash of decocted character.


You might also want to think about adding like 2 oz of roasted malt for color.






Posted 34 days ago.

brulosopher
Charter Member
Fresno, CA
167 Posts


I use a max of 2 oz Melanoidin per 5 gal batch. I've tried 4 oz and didn't like the character. I hate CaraMunich and tend to shy away from most C-malts in my lagers. Olan, one idea would be to swap the CM for 8 oz Honey Malt... ;)




Posted 34 days ago.

Necropaw
Charter Member
Central WI
608 Posts


Thats an interesting thought, actually.  Honey malt to the rescue again?




Posted 34 days ago.

brulosopher
Charter Member
Fresno, CA
167 Posts


While HM is not melanoidin, it has some similar qualities. For the next iteration of the Vienna I'm working on for NHC 2016, I plan to drop the 2 oz of melanoidin and use something like:

85% Vienna
8% Pils
5% Honey Malt
2% Midnight Wheat (for color)

The Vienna I've got is almost there, so fucking good, just a tad too... melanoidiny. I think the HM will provide a more subtle version while adding a nice round malt character. We'll see!




Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


I hate midnight wheat. It has this really awkward character in low quantities and in high quantities it tastes like green peppers. I'm not sure that 2% would ruin the beer for me, but I've never had a beer with midnight wheat that I liked.




Posted 34 days ago.

KidMoxie
Charter Member
San Elijo Hills, CA
405 Posts


I want to believe Brulo, but I think that honey malt is gonna stick out like a sore thumb in a Vienna. Prove me wrong!




Posted 34 days ago.

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