After brewing ales (and meads) exclusively for 6 years, it was well past time to finally brew a lager. I’ve always wanted to but never had the capability due to my apartment not having room temperature control. However, a few months ago, I got my hands on the BrewJacket Immersion. This is a more compact temp control system (with no Ice Packs!), so doing a lager was a logical next step.
Brewing a Baltic Porter
There might be some easier lagers to brew for your first, but baltic porters are one of my all-time favorite styles. Because of this, I took the plunge on this rich, dark and malty lager style.
39.2% – 6 pounds – Pale Malt
32.8% – 5 Pounds – Bohemian Pilsner Malt
19.6% – 3 Pounds – Bonlander Munich
5% – 0.75 Pounds – Crystal 120L
2% – 0.3 Pounds – Carapils
1.6% – 0.25 Pounds – Black malt
Mash at 152F for 1 hour.
0.2 oz / gal – Magnum @ 60 minutes (37 IBUs)
Bohemian Lager – 2L Starter
• Ferment at 50F – 3 weeks
• Diacetyl Rest – 3 days @65F
• Lager @ 40F – 2.5 Weeks
SG / FG / ABV
1.063 / 1.011 / 6.8%
Lager Brew Day:
Brew day was fairly uneventful. I used some calcium carbonate and a very small amount of chalk to adjust calcium, sulfate and carbonate numbers, and buffer the mash pH some from the darker malts.
calcium: 81 ppm
The mash temp stayed between 152 and 150F. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a boil-over, so cleaning took a little bit longer than it needed to. After the boil, I cooled the beer for 25 minutes with an immersion chiller.
The baltic porter finished fermentation and the gravity was at 1.011. At this time I turned off the fermentation chiller for a three day diacetyl rest. I didn’t detect any diacetyl, but seeing as it was my first lager, I wanted to be careful. After the D-rest, I dropped the temp to 40F and lagered the beer for 2.5 weeks.
Bottling went smoothly. I primed the beer to 2.7 volumes of CO2. Part of this is because I tend to like the carbonation a bit higher than most styles call for. The flat beer has a solid, almost creamy body and very smooth flavor. Hopefully this holds true once the bottles are done conditioning. I also bottled a few larger 500ml bottles to age for a few months to see how it holds up after several months of bottle conditioning.
Up next is a Pale Ale!
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