Thursday, January 10, 2008

Copper Lager 2

Lets kick start the new year with a batch of beer...shall we? Not just any beer, but the first lager this winter season. Not just any old lager, it's Copper Lager 2. Last year's was a throw-it-together beer that turned out to be one of my all time bests. This time I'm brewing a full batch, and keeping it copper and true, without any secondary flavor additions.

I think it will become an annual tradition, where I use up old ingredients to make my special "Copper Lager." The main goal is to keep it a deep golden color with orange highlights that make it look copper or slightly amber. Along side color, the other goal is to make it totally balanced with malt sweetness and a perfect hop bitterness. I really like 2-row pale malt as the base, and wheat to increase texture and head retention. Other than that, I think any sweet/color malts can easily be altered, given what is left over at year's end.

Hops are chosen by what is left over. The hops used in last year's batch was literally remnant pellets from various batches (Tettnanger, Challenger, Willamette, Hallertau). This year a blend of Yakima Goldings and Sterling may give it a brighter taste.

Copper Lager 2

8.0 lbs. Organic 2-Row Pale Malt
2.0 lbs. Munich 10L
.65 lbs. Torrified Wheat
.45 lbs. Crystal 60L
.20 lbs. Melanoidin Malt

.90 oz. Sterling, 5.3%aa, pellet, 60+min
.20 oz. Sterling, 5.3%aa, pellet, 30min
.15 oz. Yakima Goldings, 4.6%aa, whole, 30min
.25 oz. Sterling, 5.3%aa, pellet, 15min
.15 oz. Yakima Goldings, 4.6%aa, whole, 15min

Wyeast 2208: Bavarian Lager (decanted, 2 step, 1.5qt starter)

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 1/9/08
Racked: 1/27/08
Bottled: around end of Feb.

Water Adjustment: 1 tsp CaCl & ¾ tsp Gypsum in strike water

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.6
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 152-153°F/50min
Mash Out Water Vol/Temp: 1.53gal/212°F
Mash Out Temp/Time: 165°F/10min
1st Batch SG: 1.064

2nd Batch Sparge Vol/Temp: 3.625gal/182°F
2nd Batch Mash Temp: 170°F
2nd Batch SG: 1.034

Pre-Boil Vol: 7.25 gallons
Pre-Boil SG: 1.046
Boil Time: Kettle-A 90min & Kettle-B 120min.
Post-Boil Vol: 5.8 gallons
Mash Efficiency: 78%

OG: 1.056 on target
IBU: approx. 27
Color/SRM: Deep gold/Orange/8-10
Ferment Temp: 50°F

FG: Around 1.014
ABW: 4.4%
ABV: 5.5%

Cost: $25.25, .43¢/12oz., $2.58/6-pack

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours beautiful deep golden and clear with a good white head.
Aroma: Clean, with minimal scent, a faint malt sweetness, and hops present but embedded in the flavor regions without much fragrance
Taste: Very balanced all the way through, upfront hop bitterness and a malt smoothness, then some hop flavor, then some toasted malt flavor, clean
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation
Aftertaste: Some bitterness, and finishes pretty dry
Drinkability: Superb, definitely has continental lager written all over it, will stand up to most meals light to heavy
Alterations: Wouldn't change much at all. It's become an annual tradition, with a somewhat flexible recipe. It uses up old ingredients, but I think Tettnanger hops throughout might be nice.

I wanted to enter this into the AHA competition, but held out because I wasn't quite sure what category to put it into. It reminds me of the Bavarian Lager put out by Capital Brewery in WI.


Travis said...

Great stats! I like that you have such good order in everything.

What are your thoughts on the organic versus the regular 2-row?

Ted Danyluk said...

Thanks Travis, I use my own code template when writing up the stats here and on a sheet during brewday. I find it interesting to collect gravities at every stage and for each batch, and it may come in handy someday.

Organic vs regular 2-row? I take a look, a good whiff and taste of all the dry malts all the time.

Visually, the organic looks rounder in shape, a little more yellow and shiny, and seems to crush better. The organic kernels are a little more aromatic and taste slightly sweeter. I think I've noticed a sweeter/smoother tastes with organic, and the regular 2-row may be a little flat/grainy.

I also prefer to buy most of my food in organic. I will stick with this organic pale ale malt for a while, and see if I notice a difference with the regular stuff, when I use it again.

Travis said...

I am a big fan of organic coffee. I drink coffee black so you really taste everything. To me, it has a little bolder and "clean" flavor. It's tough to describe, but I notice a difference.

I am not a big organic guy on the basis of whats good for you, from what I have experienced, it's better.

Does your LHBS carry organic or do you have to special order it?

PS- Just finished the 100...AWESOME!!!

Kevin LaVoy said...

I appreciate that you post your stats. It's nice for a new brewer to be able to try and figure out the logistics of how you do things.

Which is where my question is. On the water used you posted, it seems like you actually got more water from your mash/sparge than you put in. Am I reading that right? I was just putting together my first from scratch all grain recipe in Promash, and it's telling me the water needed is something like 10 gallons for a 5 gallon batch. Which seems ridiculous. Also, impossible, as I'll be mashing in a 5 gallon cooler with a false bottom.

Can you speak to how you figure out water needed? It seems like you have a good system for that going.

Also, I too, much to my wife's chagrin, have added my name to the brewing blog rolls. Mainly because my dad and a few friends are getting into it as well, but if you're interested, it's

Ted Danyluk said...

Ah ha! You are reading into the details of my long list of brewday stats. Thanks for taking the time to do that. You aren't reading it wrong, because I leave out the boiling "mash-out" water. Not sure why I do that, but it's sort-of standard procedure for batch sparging. (I'll go back and add it in)

The total water for used to brew this 6 gallon batch was 8.69 gallons. If I were to use a water:grain ratio of 1.5qt/lb, then the total gallons would be much closer to 10.

Familiarize yourself with the generalizations of water usage by following Papazian in the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing on pages 296-297. I've been using the calculators on for some time now. The calculators on Promash are just as accurate. What you see is what you get, if you type in all the right data.

You should be able to squeeze in all the grain and water into a 5gal tun, but fly sparging might be the best option.

Kevin, thanks for visiting. I'll be sure to check out your blog as I make my rounds.

Adam said...

You know I'm a big fan of fly by the seat of your pants brewing! I love using the left over stuff to make a beer.

Seems like you're starting a tradition :-)

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