Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tiddly Beer Beer Beer

A long time ago, way back in history or more like last weekend, we had a little get together to brew for a friend's birthday. I hastily put together a recipe for a black lager (aka schwarzbier) using a few grains we had laying around. We're still lacking a few pieces of equipment needed to pull off an all-grain recipe so we had to pick up a can of malt extract.

I dub this beer September Black Lager.

2 lbs. American Vienna
2 lbs. American 2-row
1 lb. Roasted Barley

3.5 lbs. Liquid Amber (Muntons)

1 oz. Liberty (60 minute boil)
1 oz. Spaltz (15 minute boil)

Oktoberfest/Märzen Lager Yeast

The main difference between lager and ale is the temperature at which it ferments. While ales ferment at room temperature, the lager yeast we used ferments most comfortably in the 52 to 58 degree range. To keep the lager cool we're using a converted freezer that can maintain higher temperatures (and uses far less electricity) than a standard unit. The bitterness for this recipe may be a little low for the style but we had to substitute Liberty and Spaltz hops for what originally should have been Tettnanger and Hallertau. The shop we get supplies from stocks imported hops and apparently Germany had a bad crop this year. Yet another reason we are making room for hops in our garden this spring.

Check out that bubbling caramel goodness. Only five more weeks until it's ready to bottle!

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