And Beer Number Two

Last week’s Pilsner production went really well. It’s been fermenting in the garage which has remained a perfect, and constant, 48 degrees. Ready to transfer to a secondary fermenter today.

I’m still in the extract phase of my brewal renewal. Today a Vienna/Oktoberfest hybrid–really another way of saying I want to brew an oktoberfest but with a little more bite to it so that it’s more seasonal for those late spring days. Yea, yea, yea, I know I could brew a Maibock as my seasonally appropriate lager, but truth is I’m not that big on Maibocks. I like my bocks dark and dopply. Hmmmm….. that gets me thinking….

Anyway, today. Here’s the recipe:

1/2 lb Carapils; 1/2 lb Roasted Malt; 1 cup 80 degree crystal; 1 cup Chocolate malt. Steeped at 160 degrees for 1 hour.

6 lb Northern Brewer Gold extract. 1 1/2 lb Munton’s DME. Full 5 gallon boil for 60 minutes.

1 oz Northern Brewer hops, 9.8% in boil for 60 minutes.

1 oz Hallertau hops, 4.2% in boil for 45 minutes.

1/2 oz Hersbrucker hops, 3.3% for 10 minutes.

1/2 oz Hersbrucker hops, 3.3% for final 2 minutes.

Two cups of Wyeast Oktoberfest blend yeast starter.

Ferment at 48 degrees.

It looks really nice but possibly a little too dark for the style. On the other hand, I don’t quite get the obsession with “style.” I guess I’d rather say it’s a little darker than what I intended.  But what I intended doesn’t ultimately fit a style anyway.  It’s what I wanted to drink. In the end,  if it turns out tasty and pretty then I’ll be happy–as always–regardles of what “style” it fits or not.

By the way, I love my King Cooker stove. I don’t know how I did stove-top brewing for my first few years. What a headache. If any new brewers read this, do yourself a favor and get yourself a propane cooker. NOW!! You will save yourself a lot of hassles and less than pleasant brewing experiences. Remember: less time cleaning up (as in when your wort boils over onto your stove) equals more time drinking! You can get a full five gallon batch of wort boiling in almost a quarter of the time it takes on a standard stove. Also, I know that Wyeast yeasts are ready to go from the packet, but I am a big believer in making a two cup starter. I find the difference in fermenting time can be as much as a day depending on the beer. You don’t want to overyeast your beer, but the quicker that fermentation starts the less time for any infections to occur. I’ve found with a starter yeast my fermentation is quite vigorous within twelve hours. Imagine a world without yeast?!

Prost!

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