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My first attempt at creating my own recipe

I am getting ready to bravely step away from the pre-packaged recipes and try my hand at creating my own recipe for the first time. I have no idea how this is going to turn out so I would welcome any feedback/critiques/suggestions available. I’d like to do a 5 gallon batch of Vienna Lager, and my recipe is as follows:

  • 8 lbs. German Pils Malt (either Salzgitter or Best Malz Pilsen)

  • 1.5 lbs Gambrinus Honey Malt

  • .5 lb Melanoidin

  • 1 oz. Hersbrucker at 60 min.

  • .5 oz. Czech Saaz at 30 min.

  • .5 oz Czech Saaz at 10 min.

  • Either Wyeast 2002 - PC Gambrinus Lager or Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager (or any other suggestions on a good yeast for a Vienna Lager)

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Honey malt can be really cloying you have about 15% in your recipe at that percent it will make cloying sweet and with the melandoin malt together will make it super cloying and sweet. If your wanting to do a Vienna lager you might try using Vienna malt and plisner malt as you base malts little honey malt 5 to 10 percent and carafa 1 for color.

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I was under the impression you would need to use Vienna malt for a Vienna lager

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You’re so conventional. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yea, I’m a simple guy so I keep it simple. VIenna, about 20% pils if I want it lighter and a little dark munich for color and a bit more malt.

I agree with damian re honey malt. I’d never use it in a Vienna. Don’t really see the need for the melanoidin in a Vienna either. If you want malty body just mash higher.

No one’s mentioned BJCP guidelines but that’s a good refernce point for starting a recipe.

All that being said…it’s YOUR beer.

As the others said honey malt is very cloying. Even at 3-4%. 15%. NO THANKS!
I also agree that a Vienna Lager is going to require Vienna malt. Even consider using 100%, although some research might point you in the direction of a simple yet complex malt bill using a couple different malts.

All good advice, thank you for the feedback! Wasn’t sure about the honey malt, as I’ve never used it before. I was goin strictly off of the description on the NB website, which didn’t allude to it being cloyingly sweet, (i guess I was assuming it would be more of a subtle sweetness).

So, I guess I can nix the honey malt, and perhaps adjust the base malt accordingly. Should I go with a Vienna malt instead of a pils base? I wanted to use a bit of the melanoidin, because I’m familiar with a couple of really good Vienna breweries that use it in their recipes, but I don’t want it to come out too dark or cloyingly sweet (hence my initial urge to use a pils base), but again, I’m shooting in the dark, with this being my first homemade recipe.

You can go 100 percent Vienna malt for your base or As Danny suggested 80 Vienna 20 pilsner and little Munich. Melanoidin malt will add a nice malty addition and aroma similar to the Munich malt but stronger. I would stay under 20 percent with it. Can be over powering and cloying with high amount.

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Some pretty good recommendations above.
Mine uses 60% Vienna malt, 25% Pilsner malt, then 5% carared, 5% Caramunich2, and 2.5% Caramunich3. Plus a touch of chocolate malt to get the color I want.(oh yes there was 2.5% acid malt because of my water. That adds to 100%)
So, instead of the cara malts, using 1/2 lb melanoidin and maybe 4-6 oz. of the Honey malt would work.
Which ever way you go, use an online recipe creator to check things out (I use Brewtoad, but there’s plenty of others).
I’ve used the WY Bohemian lager yeast before with success, although I have to say that the WY Bavarian lager is my favorite. Dry 34/70 is pretty good too. But honestly, I haven’t tried enough different lager yeasts to have a firm preference.
Your hop choices look spot-on to me. I used Tettanger and Hersbrucker as 1stwort hop, and Saaz as the finishing hop.
Good luck, you’re on the right track! :mug:

Okay, so thank you again for all of the advice. I’ve adjusted according to recommendations, and the new recipe is as follows:

  • 6 lbs. Vienna Malt

  • 2 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen

  • 1.5 lbs. Melanoidin

  • 1 oz. Hersbrucker at 60 min.

  • .5 oz. Czech Saaz at 30 min.

  • .5 oz. Czech Saaz at 10 min.

WY 2124 Bohemian Lager (will be making a starter)

I’ll let everybody know how it turns out.

P.S. Is it normal for a smack pack of 2124 to not inflate at all? I tried to activate it about 4 hours ago, and there is no inflation whatsoever. It was manufactured back on 3/7, so I wasn’t sure if it was just a lousy packet.

That yeast is pretty old. DON’T throw it away. Just make a 500mL starter then bump it up to 1L. I would then step it up to at least 2L. It’s a lager so you’ll want plenty of yeast. Also, try pitching it at high krausen.

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