Mexican Gold (via Munich)

This is just another of my German lager beers, really. I have the extra Munich malt and considered a SMASH, but I worry that all that Munich will be too heavy. Maybe someday….

This beer will have some Pilsner to lighten the beer and my small portion of wheat. I want a lawnmower beer, something easy to drink this spring and summer, maybe even have a keg for the Crawfish Boil if there is one, but I plan to bottle 5-10g to pass along to others in the new pandemic paradigm.

One inspiration is the Mexican amber lagers, which were inspired by the Vienna brewers. The Vienna malt wouldn’t make it amber enough, so to me, the Munich malt impart more color. I also did a double decoction, which darkened the beer.

Grain Bill- 35# total

  • 21# Munich malt, DE
  • 10# Pilsner malt, DE
  • 4# wheat malt, DE

Hops- 10 oz of 2.8% Hallertau Mittlefruh 60′

Yeast- Wyeast 2633 Oktoberfest (yeah, I know. I always use it, but it’s the only lager yeast I’ve found that doesn’t skunk, imo)

Water- 30g STL county, treated w/ 1.5 Campden tablets and a splash of phosphoric acid)

  • 10g barley mash
  • 6g bump
  • 10g sparge
  • 3g white kettle sparge

Brew Plan- brew day December 28, 2020.

  • Strike 1.25g of liquor at 132F in 10g kettle on stove
  • Mash in 4# of wheat malt at 125F for 30’
    • 11:26AM 125F
  • Strike 10g of liquor at 158F in big kettle (+6g bump)
  • Mash in 31# of malted barley at 148F for 30’
    • 11:26AM 149F
  • Raise wheat mash to 150F and combine with barley mash
    • 12:00
  • Decoct 5g of mash and raise to 158F, hold 20’ and then raise to boil for 10’
  • Recombine w/ main mash at 158F, hold for 60’
    • Came in at 153F for 30’
  • Decoct 5g and boil for 10’
    • Came in at 155F for 30’
  • Began lauter at 2:50PM
  • Collected 23g in the boil kettle.
    • Added hops for 60′ and Irish moss w/ 15′ left in boil.
  • OG = 1.050

The brew day went well, especially considering I hadn’t run a solo brew like that in a year. The mash tun is leaking at the valve, but it seems to warm up and not leak as much. We really need a new mash tun. Sample tasted right and really this is the same as all my other German lagers, another riff on a Marzen or Oktoberfest, too amber for a Munich Helles perhaps, a Vienna except there’s no Vienna malt this time.

Fermentation-

Had a steady bubble in the fermenter by Sunday morning. Temps have been perfect in the low 50’s in the basement room with a winter window cracked open and keeping things cool.

Jan 16, nearly 3 weeks since brewing- I racked the beer into an new fermenter to get it off the trub. Looks like about 18-19 gallons, a little short. Color looks good. Gravity checked 1.012, which puts this beer right at 5% ABV. Smells good. Temps have been rock solid in the lower 50’s the whole time. The plan is to let it go another 3 weeks min, and maybe use the yeast to start the Oktoberfest.

Feb 15- I bottled 10g (about 3 cases of 500ml Euro bottles). These will condition with the Patersbier Quebecois to make the mixed 4-packs for the spring. I also have one 5g keg. There’s roughly 2-3g of yeasty beer left, which I will use to ferment the Oktoberfest 2021.

March- Opened a bottle to check carbonation. It was well carbonated, but I found the beer surprisingly hoppy and surprisingly dry. There was no residual sugars it seemed. Where did all that Munich malt go? Is the hops overpowering the Munich sweetness? The beer is drinkable but not the prize that I thought it was gonna be. Perhaps another month aging in the bottle will help.

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