This brew used to be served at the original Oktoberfest.  Nowadays it has been replaced with much paler revisions — people want yellow beer, not amber.  Shame it had been replaced and outmoded… because this is a great drink!  The German beer industry is not as quality concious as people might want to believe.  We never had anything like CAMRA, so our beers are not in such good shape.  For great examples of German beer, one needs to go to the small breweries.  The big ones (with the exception of a few) all sacrificed quality for quantity.

And here is how I do it…

Specification:

  • IBU: 24
  • OG: 13.3 Plato
  • ABV: 5%
  • Brewhouse efficiency: 82.5%
  • Batch size: 23 litres
  • Boil time:  90 minutes
  • Mash pH: 5.6

Ingredients:

  • 2800g Munich Malt (light)
  • 1900g Vienna Malt
  • 100g  Acidulated Malt
  • 46g Spalter Select Hops (5.9% AA) , boil for 60 minutes
  • 10g Hallertau Mittelfrueh (4.6% AA), boil for 5 minutes
  • Wyeast 2487-PC

Mash schedule:

  1. Mash in by adding 7 litres of water @ 43C for a target temp of 36C
  2. Rest 10 minutes
  3. Add 7 litres of water and heat to 52C
  4. Rest 30 minutes
  5. Add 6 litres of water and heat to 65C
  6. Rest 30 minutes
  7. Heat to 72C
  8. Rest 30 minutes
  9. Heat to 78C
  10. Rest 20 minutes

The amount of Acidulated Malt varies.  Use just enough to bring the mash pH to 5.6, this is the sweet spot for both the Alpha as well as the Beta Amylase (I should post that graph some day…).

I fermented this one a bit colder than usual at 5C.  That took a bit longer, but it yielded a very elegant malty and clean finish.   Once the fermentation is 97% complete, the temperature is gradually dropped to 1C and then conditioned in a keg (lagered) at 1C for 30 days.  This long conditioning produces much finer CO2 which will mix very well into the beer.  Ensure that the pressure in the keg does not exceed 1Bar (use a “Spundungsapparat” – sorry, I don’t know the English word for this…).

The end-result should look something like this! Unfiltered.  No finings. No force carbonation.  No priming sugars.  Only malt, hops, water and yeast.  That’s Real Lager!

IMG_2291

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