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First All Grain; B I A B Lager

As my first all grain, I will be trying a BIAB this week. Since my basement floor is cold enough, I decided on a lager. I did a Mr Beer lager 1 year ago, but that seemed pretty simple.

To keep it sort of simple, after talking with my LBS guy, I’ll do a Pilsner.

Here’s what he came up with:

9.5 lbs Pils grain

.5 lb carapils

3.75 gal steep at 150° for 60 minutes

drain and dunk in 2 gallons 160-170° water 10 minutes, drain and add to wort.

1 oz pearle for 60 minute boil

1 oz saaz for last 10 minutes

1 oz saaz for last 5 minutes

Wyeast 2035 American Lager yeast

1 week primary bucket at about 50°

minimum 4 weeks secondary better bottle same temp.

I’ll be picking up the cool temp from the basement floor, in a room that stays 49/52° with the floor being cooler.

How does that look to some experienced brewers? I’m nervous, but pumped up to do it.

Are you planning on a small batch? You’ll only get about 4.5 gallons of wort in the kettle and you need to do a 90-minute boil with the all-Pils grist.

I figured the boil would bring it below 5 gall and I could back fill. Not worried about efficiency. What’s the deal with the 90 minute boil?

Let me know how that “sparging” method works for ya, I haven’t been able to do a BIAB yet, and that was kind of my plan to try.

[quote=“harpdog”]What’s the deal with the 90 minute boil?[/quote]Pils malt needs the longer boil to drive off DMS (think cooked corn).

+1 on the 90min boil when the grist is primarily pils malt.
I’d also use a German or Czech pils yeast. Just my preference.
Also, you want to let that sit in the primary for at least 2-3 weeks.
Then rack to secondary and lager at 35F’ish for as long as you can stand.
I like to lager for 8-10 weeks.

All the pointers above are good ones. The main thing I was going to say is to make sure fermentation is 100% done before you rack to secondary. If you rack too soon, you’re basically taking a huge amount of your wonderfully happy yeast cells that are fermenting so nicely for you and throwing them in the garbage, thus hurting how well your fermentation could be. Don’t worry about leaving the beer in the primary for 2 or 3 weeks or as long as it takes to hit a gravity below 1.015. You won’t pick up any off-flavors in that timeframe and in fact, it will help to minimize off-flavors.

Another thing is to make sure you pitch enough yeast. Unlike ale fermentations, cold fermentations need a ton of yeast to ferment as clean and healthy as possible. I would suggest making a yeast starter of at least 3 quarts size for this recipe. Basically make a small 3-quart batch of extract wort at 1.040 about a week in advance, add your yeast, and let it ferment out. You can then pour off all the liquid and just add the yeast cells from the bottom of your starter.

One other thing is you might need to perform a diacetyl rest. When fermentation has been going strong for 2 or 3 days, check to see if the beer smells at all like buttered popcorn or butterscotch. If it does, you might want to raise the fermentation temperature into the 60s for a couple of days, which will help the yeast eat the diacetyl. Then you can cool back down for lagering as planned. But if there’s no buttery aroma or flavor then this step can be skipped. For me it happens with a little more than half of my lagers, but not all.

Great stuff, none of it too difficult! thanks everybody!

Finally brewed today, thanks for all the advice. The only trouble was judging if the mash temp was right - thermometer seems to give a different reading in different places…but I think it was maintained at about 150. OG was 1.042, about where I figured it would be.

Big bonus today - my son joined me to brew for the first time.

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