Roggenbier 2020

>> Sunday, August 16, 2020

Today I'm brewing up a style I've never brewed before, a Roggenbier. Roggenbier is a historical style that's essentially a Dunkelweizen brewed with rye rather than wheat. Dunkelweizens typically have prominent yeast-derived flavor and aroma consisting of clove, banana, and/or bubblegum. These flavors and aromas are also common in Roggenbiers. This may seem like sacrilege, but I'm not a huge fan of these kinds of yeast character; one Dunkelweizen every three or four years is plenty for me. Fortunately, it's also very appropriate to do clean lagered versions of Roggenbiers, and that's the goal with this beer.

One thing I'm really excited about is the majority of grain in this batch is from Mecca Grade Estate Malt. I've been wanting to try out their malt for a while. My buddy Chaz at Beer Nut recently won a giveaway from Mecca Grade and he hooked me up with a bunch of their Rimrock Rye Malt. Originally I was planning on doing a re-brew of my Sour Rye beer from 2014, but a Roggenbier will have a much shorter turnaround time and should be a great beer heading into late summer and the fall. Beer Nut also brought in a bunch of the other Mecca Grade malts, so I picked up a full sack of Lamonta. If you've never brewed with rye malt before, it can get really gummy. Rice hulls can help and they're cheap, so save yourself some heartache and use some. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

4.75# Mecca Grade Rimrock Rye
2.06# Mecca Grade Lamonta Pale
2.06# Briess Bonlander Munich
0.25# Simpsons DRC
0.25# Weyermann Caramunich III
1.0g BrewTan B (Mash)
Rice Hulls - a couple handfuls to help with recirculation and lautering
0.25# Carafa Special I (cold steeped overnight, then strained and added to boil)
3ml Hopshot (60 min)
4.66g BCAA (10 min)
10g Saaz (10 min)
10g Saaz (Whirlpool)
Yeast Nutrient
Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

Single infusion mash at 152F. 90 minute boil. Start fermentation at 51F then raise temps a couple degrees over a couple days.

Water Profile
To 10 gallons of RO water, add:
1.72g Epsom Salt
4.57g Baking Soda
10.15g Chalk

Brewing Notes
No issue so far. The color is great in the mash, deep orange approaching copper. After adding the Carafa Special I cold steep, it should be a beautiful deep copper color. No issues the remainder of the brew day. OG ended up at 13 Brix (1.051). My target was 1.050, so pretty dang close. With the summer heat, I was only able to chill down to 70F, so it'll continue to chill in the fermentation chamber before I pitch the yeast.

Update 8/17/2020
I aerated and pitched yeast this morning. When I did my yeast starter, I split a single smack pack in half and stepped them up to a total volume of about 1.5L on stir plates. Both had grown up substantially, so I hope fermentation takes off rather quickly.

Update 8/18/2020
Fermentation is pretty active this morning. The Tilt is showing a drop of five points although it's hard to say if that's really accurate when fermentation is rolling. It's just good seeing minimal lag.

Update 8/19/2020
Tilt is reading ~1.035 today. It started off reading a little high, 1.055 (compared to the refractometer 13 Brix/1.051). Regardless, fermentation is moving right along. I've allowed the temp to free rise to 53F as of today. I'll leave it here until I'm ready to start the diacetyl rest.

Update 8/21/2020
Tilt is reading 1.024 this morning. I'll start raising the temps for the diacetyl rest at about 1.018-1.020, so later today or possibly tomorrow morning. Here's a screen cap showing the progress so far:

Update 8/24/2020

I allowed the fermentation temperature to free rise up to 65F starting 8/22. Tilt is currently reading 65F and 1.012.

Update 9/9/2020
This beer went in the keg today. It finished out right about 1.011/1.012 for an ABV ~5%.