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First Doppelbock

Hello Everyone,

I’m looking at brewing my first Doppelbock (the NB kit) in a couple of weeks and had a few questions about process. I’ve brewed a few lagers before, but this will be the biggest beer I’ve brewed to date, with the kit OG figured at 1.083, although I’ve been getting around 85% efficiency pretty regularly, which might bump things up to around 1.090. My plan for a 5 gallon recipe is:

Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager – 2 packs of yeast with a 1.8L stir plate starter, decanted & stepped up with another 1.8L (thanks to Sean Terrill for his advice

on tweaking Mr. Malty to help estimate step up starters)

Batch sparge – striking with 6 gallons of water at 1.5 qt/lb (there are 16 lbs of grain), which would somehow give me my exact volume of first runnings (this is the first time this has happened – I’ve always needed to add additional water). Mash at 152 for an hour, per instructions.

I’m estimating 3 weeks or so for primary fermentation at 50* and a diacetyl rest, and will then lager until January 1, at which time I’ll bottle with some additional yeast. I hope to open the first bottle in February of next year (typically our coldest month here in SE Minnesota).

Does anyone have any words of wisdom for a beer of this size? I think I remember reading that efficiency starts to drop off as the OG gets closer to 1.1 – is this anything to worry about or take precautions for? Most of my beers come in between 1.045 – 1.070, and I’m just wondering if there are any “big beer rules” that I may not have heard about…

It looks like you have everything down pretty good. Normally for “big beer rules” I just say make sure to get enough yeast, watch your temp control like a hawk and give it plenty of time and it looks like you have all of those covered. I often suggest blowoff tube right from the start but not sure if that is necessary for a lager because I don’t do lagers as of now.

If you really wanted to get all up in your big beer you could always do a decoction mash for your doppelbock. I’ve done it once and it was a ton of extra work but kind of fun also.

and lots of oxygen, you can even repeat the aeration up to 24 hours

Thanks to you both.

Mplsbrewer: I (very) briefly thought about going the decoction route, but am just too lazy. Did you notice an improvement in the final product?

TG - I’ve just been oxygenating with an aquarium pump & aeration stone prior to pitching, but may well re-aerate, now that you mention it.

I think it tastes better than an average beer but that’s probably just because I know that I did it. It was fun to try and I probably will do it again but I doubt it did much. Beersmith’s instructions were spot on though.

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