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India Pale Lager

16/04/2016

Recently I tried to brew my first lager beer using the 3 week method that brulosophy advocates. As I result I had a nice white yeast cake of lager yeast available and I decided to give it something a bit different to ferment. Usually people use the term “lager” as a synonym for run of the mill tasteless beer offered in countless watering holes all over the world when it of course is a method of brewing. There is a wide range of traditional beer styles made by lagering but there are also some new beers that don’t quite fit in the guidelines. One of these is the “Indian Pale Lager” which is simply an India Pale Ale fermented with a lager yeast and then stored, or lagered for a period of time. The idea is to minimize the taste impact that an ale yeast gives to a beer leaving more room for the hops to shine. To be honest I think that the typical “American” ale strains commonly used to make IPA’s are very neutral to begin with but since I had an opportunity to try it out I thought it might make for an interesting experiment.

Another thing I’m trying out in this beer is the hop schedule. During the last two years I think I’ve learned to make a decent IPA. My usual method has been to use 2 or 3 varieties of hops and then use all of these on both the hot and cold side. (typically I use one bittering addition, a long hop stand and then dry-hop in to the fermentor close to when the fermentation is finished). This has led to decent results but I’ve started to think that a better aroma and taste might be achieved by using different hops in the boil and dry-hopping, aiming to combine the different aromas in to the desired result.

For this beer, I wanted to have a fairly “classical” citrus base aroma overlaid with tropical fruits and a bit of pine. To achieve this I used Centennial and Columbus in the hop-stand and for dry-hopping, mainly Citra with a bit of Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe. I don’t have any science to back this up, just my experiences from the different batches I’ve brewed over the years. I also realize that the quality of hops differ from year to year and I’ve started to pay more attention to the aroma of the packages that I receive. One more thing I’m experimenting on is the amount of hops I use. I think that there probably is a point of diminishing returns with my current hopping method after which throwing more hops in doesn’t achieve much (in a wort of similar gravity, bigger beers can take more bitterness and aroma). I’ll have to pay attention to the result from these experiences, learn from that and then factor in the freshness of the hops to hit that saturation point in future beers.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe
—————-
Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds):  3,9 / 8,6
Anticipated OG: 1,057
Anticipated SRM: 5,4
Anticipated IBU: 43,5 (Without Hop-Stand additions)
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—————–
82,1%       – 3,2 kg / 7,05 lbs Pale Ale malt, Viking
12,8%        – 0,5 kg / 1,1 lbs Munich malt, Weyermann
5,1%        – 0,2 kg / 0,44 lbs Wheat malt, Weyermann
Hops
——–
20g /  0,7 oz. Columbus (15,5 % AA) plug @ 60 minutes for 43,5 IBU

30g / 1,06 oz. Columbus (15,5 % AA) pellet @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes
60g / 2,11 oz.  Centennial (10,0 % AA) pellet @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes

20g /  0,7 oz.  Nelson Sauvin (12,0 % AA) pellet Dry hop for 7 days
20g /  0,7 oz. Simcoe (13,0 % AA) plug Dry hop for 7 days
60g /  2,11 oz.  Citra (14,0 % AA) pellet Dry hop for 7 days

Extras

———-
½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g  Calcium Chloride in the mash
6g / 0,21oz. of Gypsum in the mash

Yeast
———
Mangrove Jack Bohemian Lager M84 Yeast cake from First Lager

Mash
———————–
24,6  Litre BIAB @ 66 Celsius for 60 mins (6,5Gal/151F)

____

Similar fermentation schedule than with the first 3 weeks lager. Added the dry hopping in just when fermentation was slowing down. Cooling the beer will leave the hops in contact for longer that I planned but I don’t think that will be a problem.

 

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