Equipment Glossary Acknowledgements


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Introduction
Section 1
Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract
Section 2
Brewing Your First Extract and Specialty Grain Beer
Section 3
Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer
Section 4
Formulating Recipes and Solutions
19 Some of My Favorite Beer Styles and Recipes
20 Experiment!
21 Is My Beer Ruined?

 

 

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Chapter 19 - Some of My Favorite Beer Styles and Recipes

19.4 Lager Styles

Pilsner
Beer as the world knew it changed dramatically in 1842 when the brewery in the town of Pilsen (today part of the Czech Republic) produced the first light golden lager. Until that time, beers had been rather dark, varying from amber ("pale"), to deep brown or black. Today Pilsner Urquell is that same beer, "the Original of Pilsen." The original Pilsner beer is a hoppy, dry beer of 1.045 OG. The Pilsner style is imitated more than any other and interpretations run from the light flowery lagers of Germany to the maltier, more herbal versions of the Netherlands, to the increasingly tasteless varieties of Light and Dry from the United States and Japan. Most of these are broadly in the Pilsner style but lack the assertive noble hop bitterness and flavor of the original.

Brewing a true pilsner can be fairly difficult, especially from an all-grain point of view. Pilsen has very soft water, the next closest thing to distilled water and the malt flavors are very clean and fresh. There is no place for an off-flavor to hide. The use of only base malt makes maintaining a proper mash pH difficult, especially during lautering, for brewers using moderately hard water. Water that is high in carbonates has too much buffering capacity for the meager amount of acidity provided by the malt. When brewing an all-grain pilsner, it is often best to use a large proportion of distilled or de-ionized water to provide the right mash conditions and prevent tannin astringency.

OG: 1.045 - 1.055
FG: 1.006 - 1.012
30 - 40 IBUs

Commercial Example: Pilsner Urquell


Zatec Pils
MaltsGravity Contribution

6.5 lbs. of Alexander's Pale LME

78

BG for 3 Gallons

1.078

OG for 5 Gallons

1.047

HopsIBU Contribution

1 oz of Perle (7%) at 60 minutes
1.25 oz of Saaz (4%) at 30 minutes
1 oz of Saaz (4%) at 15 minutes

19
10
5

Total IBUs

34

Yeast Fermentation Schedule

Czech Pils
or Bohemian Lager

Primary Ferment at 50F for 2 weeks, rack and Lager at 40F for 6 weeks. Prime and bottle at room temperature.

Options
All-Extract

(same)

All-Grain

8 lbs. of 2 Row Base Malt
or German Pils (Lager) Malt

Mash Schedule - Multi Rest Mash

Rest

Temperature

Time

Protein (If Pils Malt)
Beta ConversionAlpha Conversion

125F
140F
158F

20 minutes
30 minutes
30 minutes

Pre- Prohibition American Lager
Around the turn of the century in the United States, the Pilsner style was very popular but with a typically American difference. That difference was corn (maize). Its only natural that in the largest corn growing region in the world that some would wind up in beer as a fermentable. In addition, 6 row barley was the most common variety available but its higher protein levels made it difficult to brew with. Adding corn (with almost no protein) to the mash helped dilute the total protein levels and added some flavor complexity as well. Unfortunately, Prohibition and higher brewing costs afterward helped to increase the use of corn and rice in American Pilsner-style beers to the point of blandness.

The beer of our grandfathers was a delicious, malty sweet beer with a balanced hoppiness. No commercially produced beer today adequately represents this beer that started the lager revolution in the United States. The strength of the beer used to fall in the mid 50s with a hopping of 25 - 40 IBUs. The style had become lighter by the time of Prohibition and afterwards tended to have an average gravity in the mid 40s with a correspondingly lower hopping rate of 20 - 30 IBUs. This beer can only be brewed using all-grain techniques due to the use of flaked maize or cooked corn grits which must be mashed. Refined corn sugar just doesn't cut it.

OG: 1.045 - 1.055
FG: 1.006 - 1.012
20 - 40 IBUs


Your Father's Mustache - American Lager
MaltsGravity Contribution

7 lbs. of 6 Row Base Malt
1.75 lbs. of Flaked Maize

37
10
BG for 6 Gallons1.047
OG for 5 Gallons 1.056
HopsIBU Contribution

1 oz of Cluster (7.5%) at 60 minutes
1/4 oz of Styrian Goldings (5%) at 10 min.
1/4 oz of Styrian Goldings (5%) at 0 min.

28
2
0
Total IBUs30
YeastFermentation Schedule

Bavarian Lager

Primary at 50F for 2 weeks, Lager at 34F for 7 weeks.

Mash Schedule - Multi Rest Mash

Rest

Temperature

Time

Protein Rest
Beta Conversion
Alpha Conversion
Mashout

122F
140F
158F
170F

30
15
40
10

(Recipe contributed by Jeff Renner)

California Common (Steam-type)
This is the most well-known historic American beer style; it was developed in the San Francisco Bay area in the mid-1800s. The Steam appellation most likely refers to the high degree of carbonation that the beers were reportedly served with as well as its then high-tech sound. San Francisco has a moderate climate year 'round, typically cool, cloudy and about 60F in the winter months. The new bottom cropping (lager) yeasts did not behave like the ale yeasts brewers were used to working with. So, they hit on using wide shallow vessels, normally used for cooling after boiling, to ferment in which allowed the wort to stay cool during fermentation and provided for faster settling of the yeast after fermentation. Using lager yeast at these relatively high temperatures caused the beer to develop some of the fruity notes of ales while retaining the clean crisp taste of lager beers. American grown hops, like Cluster, were used to the tune of 20 - 40 IBUs. The hop profile of Steam-type beer is predominantly from higher alpha acid hops with a more herbal character. The present day incarnation of California Common Beer, Anchor Steam(tm) beer, uses American grown Northern Brewer exclusively. The beer should be highly carbonated with a medium body and a light caramel color.

OG: 1.040 - 1.055
FG: 1.012 - 1.018
30 - 40 IBUs

Commercial Example: Anchor Steam


No. 4 Shay Steam - California Common Beer
MaltsGravity Contribution

6 lbs. of Pale LME
3/4 lbs. of Crystal 40 Malt
1/4 lbs. of Malto-Dextrin Powder

72
5
3
BG for 3 Gallons1.080
OG for 5 Gallons 1.048
HopsIBU Contribution

1.5 oz No. Brewer (7.5%) at 60 min.
.5 oz No. Brewer (7.5%) at 15 minutes

30
5
Total IBUs35
YeastFermentation Schedule

California Lager (liquid)

Primary at 60F for 2 weeks, Secondary optional for 2 weeks (60F).

Options
All-Extract

6 lbs. of Pale LME
1 lbs. of Amber Malt Extract

All-Grain

7 lbs. of 2 Row Base Malt
3/4 lbs. of Crystal 40 Malt
1/2 lbs. of Dextrin Malt

Mash Schedule - Single Temperature Infusion

Rest

Temperature

Time

Conversion

153F

60

Bock
Bock beer is an old style, most likely introduced in Munich about 1638. The style grew out of the then world-famous beer of Einbeck. It was a strong beer brewed from 1/3 wheat and 2/3 barley with a pale color, and crisp taste with a hint of acidity. (The acidity was a carryover from the sour wheat beers of the day.) It was brewed as an ale, but was stored cold for extended periods. Einbecker beer was widely exported and was the envy of the region.

For years, the nobles of Munich tried to imitate the strong northern beer in their breweries with limited success. Finally in 1612, the brewmaster of Einbeck was persuaded to go south and work on producing a strong beer for Munich. The beer was released in 1638, a strong beer interpretation of the Munich Braunbier, a rich malty brown ale. The classic Munich Bock beer is a lager with an assertive malt character, a warmth from the higher alcohol level and only enough hop bitterness to just balance the sweetness of the malt. Bock and its big monastic brother, Doppelbock, should not have any fusel alcohol character nor any of the fruitiness of ales.

Doppelbock is a descendent of the heavy rich beers of the Paulener Monks, who brewed this beer as liquid bread for their fasts at Lent and Advent. They named their beer, "Salvator" and many breweries brewing in this style have appended -ator to their beer's names. Today, Doppelbock has a higher contribution of roasted malt, yielding hints of chocolate or vanilla. These beers are fermented cold to force the yeast to take their time in consuming the high gravity worts. The beer is lagered for a long period to encourage the yeast to reduce any off flavors that would detract from the malt taste.

OG: 1.060 - 1.070
FG: 1.013 - 1.020
25 - 35 IBUs

Commercial Example: Dock Street Bock, Einbecker Ur-Bock


Einbock

MaltsGravity Contribution

8 lbs. of Pale LME
1.5 lbs. of Crystal 15 Malt
1.5 lbs. of Munich Malt
or 1.5 lbs. of Toasted Base Malt, soaked for an hour and then toasted for 45 minutes at 350F.

84
7
~4
~4
BG for 3 Gallons1.107
OG for 5 Gallons 1.064
HopsIBU Contribution

1.5 oz Perle (9%) at 60 min.
3/4 oz Tettnanger Tettnang (4%) at 10 minutes

28
2
Total IBUs30
Yeast Fermentation Schedule

Bavarian Lager (liquid)

Primary at 50F for 2 weeks, Secondary (lager) for 5 weeks (40F).

Options
All-Extract
(not recommended)

8 lbs. of Pale LME
2 lbs. of Amber LME

All-Grain

5 lbs. of 2 Row Base Malt
5 lbs. of Munich Malt
1 lbs. of Crystal 15 Malt

Mash Schedule - Multi-Step Mash

Rest

Temperature

Time

Liquification
Beta Conversion
Alpha Conversion

104F
140F
158F

20
30
30

Doppelbock Option: Increase the extract to 9 lbs. and change the Crystal Malt from Crystal 15 to Crystal 80. Increase the hop amounts to maintain about 30 IBUs for the batch. Also, use a larger starter, about 1 gallon's worth, but only pitch the slurry.

Vienna
The Vienna style of lager was developed in the mid-1800s in the town of Vienna, naturally. It grew from the Marzen/Oktoberfest styles of Bavaria, but was influenced by the rise of the Pilsener style of Bohemia. Attempts to imitate the Pilsen style had resulted in harsh beers, due to the differences in brewing water between the two regions. The water of Bavaria (Germany) is higher in carbonates than that of Bohemia (Czech Republic). As discussed in Chapter 13, the use of pale malts in alkaline water results in too high a mash pH that extracts tannins from the grain husks. Of course, they didn't know this back then. They did know that they could brew darker beers that didn't have the astringency problems. The sweet amber lager now known as Vienna was the result of their efforts to produce a lighter beer. It became immensely popular and was copied in other brewing countries.

There was a lot of immigration from Central Europe to Texas and Mexico at that time, and of course the people brought their beer and brewing techniques with them. The hot climate were abysmal for lager brewing though, and commercial offerings were poorly regarded. Fortunately by the late 1800s, refrigeration became commercially viable and variations of Old World style lagers became very popular. The principle variation of the Vienna style in the New World is the Graf-Style Vienna, named after the Mexican brewer (Santiago Graf) who developed it. It incorporated a small percentage of heavily roast malt to compensate for the more alkaline water of the region, giving it a deep amber color with hints of red.

OG: 1.045 - 1.055
FG: 1.008 - 1.013
25 - 30 IBUs

Commercial Example: Negra Modelo, Dos Equis


Cold But Not Baroque - Vienna Lager
MaltsGravity Contribution

7 lbs. of Pale LME
1/4 lb. of Crystal 30 Malt
1/4 lbs. of Crystal 80 Malt
1/4 lbs. of Crystal 120 Malt
3 oz of Black Patent Malt (added separately for last 15 minutes of steep)

84
2
1
1
0
BG for 3 Gallons1.088
OG for 5 Gallons 1.053
HopsIBU Contribution

1 oz Liberty (4%) at 45 minutes
2 oz Liberty (4%) at 30 minutes
1 oz Liberty (4%) at 15 minutes

9
15
5
Total IBUs29
YeastFermentation Schedule

Bohemian Lager (liquid)

Primary at 45F for 2 weeks, Secondary for 6 weeks (35F).

Options
All-Extract

6 lbs. of Pale LME
1 lbs. of Amber Malt Extract
1/2 lb. of Dark Extract

All-Grain

7.5 lbs. of 2 Row Lager Malt
1/4 lbs. of Crystal 30 Malt
1/4 lbs. of Crystal 80 Malt
1/4 lbs. of Crystal 120 Malt
3 oz of Black Patent Malt (at Mashout)

Mash Schedule - Multi-Rest Mash

Rest

Temperature

Time

Liquification
Beta Conversion
Alpha Conversion

104F
140F
158F

20
20
40

Oktoberfest
The Marzen and Festival beer were part of the basis of the Vienna style. Whereas the Vienna was intended to the everyday premium drinking beer, the Oktoberfest was made for Festivals. The original festival was a royal wedding sometime around 1500, and they have been celebrating ever since. (Great ideas are timeless.) This rich amber style incorporates quite a bit of variation, from being soft and malty, malty and dry, to malty and balanced, and malty/bitter. Be that as it may, the hallmark of the Oktoberfest/Marzen style is the maltiness and a drier finish to make it less filling. If you plan to Polka for 12 hours straight, then this is your beer.

OG: 1.055 - 1.065
FG: 1.010 - 1.016
25 - 30 IBUs

Commercial Example: Spaten Oktoberfest, Paulener Oktoberfest, Full Sail Oktoberfest


Denkenfreudenburgerbrau - Oktoberfest
MaltsGravity Contribution

7 lbs. of Pale LME
6 oz of Caramunich Malt
6 oz of Crystal 80 Malt
6 oz of Crystal 120 Malt
1/2 lb. of Munich Malt
or 1/2 lbs. of Toasted Base Malt, soaked for an hour and then toasted for 45 minutes at 350F.
84
2
3
3
2
BG for 3 Gallons1.094
OG for 5 Gallons 1.056
HopsIBU Contribution

2 oz Liberty (4%) at 45 minutes
1 oz Liberty (4%) at 30 minutes
1 oz Liberty (4%) at 15 minutes

17
7
4
Total IBUs28
Yeast(s) Fermentation Schedule

Bavarian Lager

Primary at 45F for 2 weeks, Secondary (lager)for 6 weeks (35F).

Options
All-Extract

6 lbs. of Pale LME
2 lbs. of Amber Malt Extract

All-Grain

7 lbs. of 2 Row Lager Malt
6 oz of Caramunich Malt
6 oz of Crystal 80 Malt
6 oz of Crystal 120 Malt
1/2 lb. of Munich Malt

Mash Schedule - Multi-Rest Mash

Rest

Temperature

Time

Liquification
Beta Conversion
Alpha Conversion

104F
140F
158F

20
30
30

So there you have it, the Reader's Digest version of some of the classic beer styles of the world. There are many, many more. If all this talk of different malts and tastes has made you thirsty, zip on down to your local GoodBeer Store, and bring back some samples for research and development. Don't be shy - how else can you decide what your want to brew next?

References
Jackson, M, New World Guide to Beer, Courage Books, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, 1988.

Bergen, R., American Wheat Beers, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1993.

Bergen, R., A Stout Companion, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1993.

Bergen, R., California Steaming, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1994.

Bergen, R., Porters - Then and Now, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1993.

Tomlinson, T., India Pale Ale, Part 1: IPA and Empire, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1994.

Tomlinson, T., India Pale Ale, Part 2: The Sun Never Sets, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1994.

Slosberg, P., The Road to an American Brown Ale, Brewing Techniques, New Wine Press, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1995.

Richman, D., Bock, Brewers Publications, Boulder Colorado, 1994.

Lewis, M., Stout, Brewers Publications, Boulder Colorado, 1995.

Foster, T., Porter, Brewers Publications, Boulder Colorado, 1992.

Fix, G., L., Vienna, Marzen, Oktoberfest, Brewers Publications, Boulder Colorado, 1991.

Foster, T., Pale Ale, Brewers Publications, Boulder Colorado, 1990.

Miller, D., Continental Pilsener, Brewers Publications, Boulder Colorado, 1990.

Eckhardt, Fred, The Essentials of Beer Style, Fred Eckhardt Communications, Portland Ore., 1989.

Renner, J., personal communication, November, 1995.

Previous Page Next Page
Some of My Favorite Beer Styles and Recipes
19.0
A Question of Style
19.1
Ales vs. Lagers
19.2
Style Descriptions
19.3
Ale Styles
19.4
Lager Styles
Real Beer Page

Buy the print edition
Appendix A - Using Hydrometers
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
Appendix C - Chillers
Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
Appendix E - Metric Conversions
Appendix F - Recommended Reading

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All material copyright 1999, John Palmer