American Lager

>> Sunday, January 26, 2020

Today I'm brewing a style I honestly thought I'd never brew, American Lager. I'm not in love with this style, and I'm definitely not a huge fan of the business practices of most of the macro breweries known for producing American Lagers, but I can appreciate the expertise required to brew such a delicate beer. This is a style that definitely tests a homebrewer's skills and attention to detail. The reason being, these are such delicate beers that it's pretty much impossible to hide any flaws. It's the reason that most sensory trainings use American Lager or American Light Lager as the clean slate for dosing the beers with off flavors and/or aromas. So bear with me as I venture into the world of fizzy yellow beer.

6.0# Rahr American 6-row Malt
3oz Briess Crystal 10L
0.4# Rice Syrup Solids (5 min)
0.4# Corn Sugar (5 min)
1.0g BrewTan B (dissolved in warm water, mash)
1ml Hopshot (60 min)
14g Fuggle (1 min)
Wyeast Nutrient
4.66g BCAA (Dissolved in warm water, 5 min)
0.5 Whirlfloc
Wyeast 2007 Pilsen Lager

Protein rest at 122F -130F for 20 min, then raise to 149F for the duration of the mash. Collect 4.5 - 4.75 gallons of wort, then top up to 6.75 gallons total boil volume. 90 minute boil. Ferment at 52F.

Water Profile - To 10 gallons of RO water add:
3.8g Gypsum
3.2g Epsom Salts
4.9g Calcium Chloride

Brewing Notes
I had some problems during the last brew session with the grain bed compacting. I'd tightened up the gap on my grain mill for an earlier batch, and I'd forgotten to open it back up to my normal gap (0.045) and that seems to have been the cause of the problem. There were no issues recirculating the mash today.
  • First running - 17.6 brix (1.070)
  • Pre-boil - 6.0 (1.023) *after topping up, before adding rice and corn sugars
  • Post-boil - 10.0 (1.039, Tilt = 1.042) *after adding rice and corn sugars
I ended up with a little over 5 gallons. I probably boiled a little softer than typical, trying to avoid any extra caramelization in the kettle. 

1st - Pre - Post

Update 1/27/2020
About 24 hours in and gravity has dropped to ~1.037. 

Update 1/28/2019
A little shy of 48 hours in and we're down to ~1.029.

Update 2/10/2020
This was kegged today along with 6ml of Biofine Clear.