Thursday, May 5, 2016

Trippe Decoction Bohemian Lager... is this the ultimate home brew geekery?

This is real Budweiser by Budvar
Brewery.  Bohemian Pilsner
So, here at Counterbrew we are blessed to have some great sponsors.  Certainly a lot of the brewing we do would not be possible with out the support and advice of the good people at Fermentis, BSG, Cargill, and Jaded.   One thing we do not do is a lot of experimentation and side by side comparison. There are already sites doing that, and quite frankly they do it damned well.  What we do try to do is show you some easy ways to make great beer at your home, in your garage, or on your kitchen counter.   And certainly this coming weekend, I will be making and posting a very easy recipe for a great, simple blonde ale.   If you have never brewed all grain, this will be a good one to check out.  I'll be making Biermunchers Centennial Blonde.  My fathers favoirite summer beer.

The gold standard of Bohemian Pilsner.
But,  then next weekend.  We will be brewing one of the most desired and complicated brews a home brewer can tackle.  We will be brewing a triple decocted hoppy Bohemian Lager.  And we will be doing it the easy way.   It will be Grand Master Jake and me on the brewing, and John at the computer controls for this one.   His first time taking the reigns of the brew log, and piloting the ship.  (actually he has a broken wing right now and really can't stir a decoction for 15 minutes).   To make it even cooler, we will be using the quick lager method.  Mark Anthony is on assignment in Sao Paulo.

In that session we will be showing you how you can easily incorporate decoction into your brewing routine.  So if you have ever wondered about decoction this will be the post to follow, coming up in about 10 days. If you have ever wanted an illustrated, and partially video guide to decoction this will be your post.  I am posting about this early in hopes that those of you who want to try it have time to get your ingredients together.

Jake stirring a mash
out decoction.
I have written about decoction before.  It is one of my favorite home brew methods.  Basically you remove a portion of the mash, and bring it to a boil for 10-15 minutes then you return it to the mash, raising the temperature to the next rest.  You can do 1, 2, or even 5 decoctions if you want.  But most would tell you returns are diminishing after 3 decoctions. Kai Troester, the Braukaiser has posted fantastic videos, and information on his website.  Braukaiser.  Kai's work is so well respected and his process and techniques are so refined that he is often quoted and referenced by leading journals, blogs, and even the major brewing magazines.  If you are a very detailed, precise person, you may enjoy his approach to decoction.   Or you may find our dump it and don't worry about it approach much easier.  Both produce great beers.   No matter which method you prefer,  I strongly suggest you watch this Brewing TV video before you brew.

Soldier Svejk - Triple Decocted Bohemian Pilsner
The Good Soldier Svejk is a Novel
Beloved  by the Czech People.
If you've never read it, it is worth
your time.  Set in World War 1.
The novel displays the author's frustration
with the war, the ruling class, and the
absurdity of the entire situation through
the incompetence (feigned?) of the Svejk.

5.5 Gallons
OG 1.050
FG  1.015
ABV  4.6%
IBUs  44
SRM  3-4  (your software will not adjust for the decoction, trust me it is burnished gold in color)

8.5 # of Pilsner (we are using EuroPils by Cargil)
.5   # of Carapilsner added after you pull 2nd decotion

(remember saaz very wildly in AA% were using 3.75% here)
2.0  oz of Czech Saaz @  75 Minutes
1.5  oz of Czech Saaz @  30 Minutes
1.2  oz of Czech Saaz @  15 Minutes
1.2  oz of Czech Saaz @  0 Minutes

Whirlflok Tablet at 12 Minutes
Yeast Nutrient at 10 Minutes

Rest at 132 for 10 to 15 minutes, this is the enzyme wash  Pull a thick decoction, about 2/3rds of the grain.  Rest decoction at 150  F for 15 minutes, Boil Decoction for 15 minutes.  Return to mash one scoop at a time until mash is at 146 F.  Let any remaining decoction chill to 146 F.  You can add some of the wort from the mash to help it cool.  Rest entire mash for 10 minutes then Pull 2nd decoction.  Bring decoction to 150 F for 5 minutes, then brng to a boil for 15 minutes.  Return the decoction to the mash one scoop at a time until mash is at 154 F.  Let any remaining decoction chill to 154 F.  You can add some of the wort from the mash to help it cool.  Rest for 10 Minutes.   Pull thin mash decoction adequate to raise the temperature of the main mash to 168 F to 170 F.   Probably around 3.4 Gallons of wort.   Bring to a boil then add back into mash to raise the temperature to 168 F.    Drain into boil kettle.

75 Minute Boil.  Add hops as indicated.

Your cold break may look like egg drop soup,
don't stress, it means you did a good job with
your decoction.  It will all settle out. 
Chill to 53 then pitch 2 packs of Fermentis 34/70 yeast.   (the cold break will be insane, it may look like egg drop soup, do not let this worry you.  It just means you did a good job with your decoction)

We can get pretty close to 53 with the Jaded Hydra, but we have to finish the final couple of degrees in the fermentation chamber.

The quick lager method... Yes it works just fine, so don't argue about it.

7 Days at 53 F
Ramp up 5 F every 12 hours until the beer is between 65 F and 68 F
Allow beer to finish 10 days is a safe plan to follow
Ramp down 5 F ever 12 hours till the beer is at 30 F to 35 F (Add gelatin finings when the beer is at 50 F for super clear beer).
Allow to "lager for 7 to 10 days
Total time  is about 26 to 30 days.
Package as you normally do... for us that means bottling.

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