26 August 2006

posted by benjy edwards

This is the time of year to brew an Oktoberfest, so that it’s ready in time for the fall. Rather than mess with brewing a lager, I came up with this hybrid recipe, which is basically the malt and hops for a Vienna-style lager, but fermented with English ale yeast. The grist contained mostly Vienna, with some Munich and Halcyon, plus carapils, aromatic, biscuit, and kiln amber. The hops were all German Tettnanger, around 35 IBU. An hour single infusion mash at 150 degrees was enough time to convert the starch to sugar. The wort was cooled to the low 70’s and racked onto the Dry English and British strains we have running right now. Original gravity was 1.063.

We kegged up the first half of the Alpha King, using Cascade, Columbus, and Chinook for dry hopping that had been removed from the freezer the night before. Sampling right after kegging showed again that it was much less grassy than it would have been if cold hops had been used. I had to recover a SureScreen from the almost-empty keg of Sierra Nevada so that I could use in for the Alpha King. Three ounces of dry hops are too much for a hop bag! I put the last couple of pints of the SNPA into a growler. We also racked the Black Sheep batch fermented with the British yeast from primary to a secondary, and the Dry English half was racked to the pin with half an ounce of Tettnanger. Finally, we vented and tapped the firkin of Hardy Country Bitter, which was incredibly lively. After about 3 hours of venting it was still under serious pressure, so we tap-vented it and got around two gallons of beer and foam.

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