Saturday, 4 August 2012

Brew Day: Dortmunder

While the cold winter weather is here - even if heading into August is a little later than I'd have liked - it's an ideal time to brew some lagers.

Last years winter-brewed batch turned out quite well.  BoPils ...
... Munich Helles ...
... and a Vienna Lager.
... so hopefully the ones brewed this winter will be just as good ... or better.

First up this winter is a Dortmunder, the Style Guidelines suggest a balanced smooth beer, with the malt profile of a Helles and hop character of a Pils. The Guidelines are also very specific in recommending minerally water to accentuate hop bitterness, but current brewing practices in Dortmunder indicate that they treat the water so that it is much softer than the Guidelines suggest.  So I added what will hopefully be just enough brewing salts to make an impression but not enough to go over-board, I also added a fair amount of late kettle and hop-back hops, but since they are home-grown whole hop cones, I don't expect they will be too much.
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 4.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 30.7 IBU
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Pilsner (Best Malz)  70 %
Munich I (Weyermann) 12 %
Vienna Malt (Weyermann) 12 %      
Carapils (Weyermann) 5 %      
Melanoidin (Weyermann) 1 %

Northern Brewer (11)  (60 min)  17.4 IBU
Pearle (HG 12) (60 min)  11.2 IBU
Hallertau (HG 12) (10 min) (0.42g/L)  1.1 IBU
Hersbruker (HG 12) (10 min) (0.42g/L) 1.0 IBU
Hallertau (HG 12) (0 min, hop-back) (0.42g/L)         
Hersbruker (HG 12) (0 min, hop-back) (0.42g/L)

Whirlfloc (Boil 10.0) (0.042g/L)
Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min) (0.042g/L)
Lactic Acid (Mash 60.0 min) (0.042ml/L)
Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min) (0.208g/L)
Calcium Sulfate (Mash 60.0 min) (0.208g/L)
Lactic Acid (Sparge) (0.011 ml/L)
Calcium Carbonate (Boil 90.0 min) (0.042ml/L)

Mash In, Beta glucan Rest (4L/kg)  40.0 C  20 min
Maltase Rest  63.0 C  35 min
Dextrinization Rest  71.0 C  35 min      
Mash Out  77.0 C  10 min

Danish Lager (Wy2042) [Starter]  ( 18.75billion cells/L)

Pitch @ 8 C, Ferment @ 10 C
The mash schedule was taken from information posted on one of the home-brewing forums from a commercial brewer, as was the details about not going too far with the brewing salt additions.  All very light grains given the expected light-golden colour the beer will be:

Pre-boil volume was 32L - the new graduations on the kettle helped get this volume exact - but even with only 1 element turned on the break was almost escaping the 50L keggle:

Testing a slightly different - but still very temporary - configuration for the 'brew stand', placing the HLT on the end and not the middle should make building a permanent stand easier, so I wanted to test it first, but still don't know the best place to put the control-panel.

The disadvantage in using a plate-chiller to cool the wort is that the cold-break material ends up in the fermentor.  In order to help remove this break material to help achieve the cleanest/clearest beer possible and to drop the wort down to lager yeast pitching temperature (8 deg C) the fermentor was stored in the fridge overnight:
In order to minimize any thermal-shock, the yeast was also stored in the fermenting fridge with the cooled wort (both the yeast and break material can be seen settled at the bottom of the two vessels).

The next morning the wort was transferred to a new fermentor, aerated and the yeast pitched:

Leaving most of the break material behind:

About 12 hours later, the yeast had already formed a nice krasuen, which is hopefully a good indication that enough fresh/healthy yeast was pitched.

This is especially important since the temperature will be held at about 8 or 9 deg C for the first couple of days of the fermentation process, before the majority of the fermentation will be at 10 deg C.  After that the beer will be lagered for some weeks at about as cold as the old fridge can go (about 1-2 deg C).

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