Botox Lager

A vienna lager recipe, brewed in my mate’s garage. Due to time constraints and the fact I brewed this 40 minutes away from my fermenter I decided to give no-chill brewing a try. The wort was pumped into a 20L plastic cube, and the cube was turned upside-down for a few minutes to sanitise the inside of the cap. The cube sat for a week or so waiting for the fermenter to become free. After reading Chris Colby’s article on Beer & Wine Journal about the dangers Botulism, I actually put the wort into my Grainfather, bought it up to 85°C and then pumped it back into my fermenter via the counter-flow chiller. Not really in the spirit of no-chill brewing, but better to be safe eh?

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG
Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
ABV: 4.8 %
Colour: 20 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.5

Mash water: 20L
Sparge water: 13L

3 kg (50%) German Vienna Malt
1.3 kg (20%) Pilsner Malt
1.6 kg (25%) German Munich Malt
250g (4%) German Melanoiden Malt
70g (1%) Carafa Special II


50g Spalt (21 IBU) @ 60mins
15g Spalt (2.5 IBU with a hop stand) @ 10min
Mash in at 60°C and rest for 20 mins
Raise temperature to 70°C and rest for 40 mins
Raise to 75°C, hold for 10 mins and mash out.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins

Ferment at 9°C with Fermentis S-23 or W-34/70. Use Marshall Schott’s Quick Lager schedule on your upgraded STC-1000, or give it a week and a half (or until a gravity measurement shows that you’re halfway to your final gravity). Slowly raise the temperature over 5 days until you hit 18°C to fix any diacetyl and to finish nice and dry. Leave it for 3 days at 18°C then slowly bring the beer back to 0–1°C and hold for 3 days. This should drop the beer clear and yield a crisp, dry lager with a strong malty flavour.

The lagering process comes from the rather excellent Brulosophy blog. I know it’s not a traditional lagering technique, but it works superbly. I add 1 tsp of gelatine when the beer hits 10°C on it’s way down. This helps to clear to near commercial levels. Carb to 2.5 volumes and enjoy!

The beer came out a lot more bitter than I was planning. I wonder if this is the effect of the spalt hops, which have a reputation for having a harsh, lingering bitterness. Next time I’d like to use tettnang or even kiwi hops like Pacifica or Kohatu. If I was to use the spalt hops, I’d drop the bittering addition by 10g or so.

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