Brew Day: Vienna Lager and Schwarzbier (Beers #39 & 40)

October 22, 2012 by Jack

About a month ago (September 23rd) I brewed two lagers – Vienna Lager and Schwarzbier.

The recipes came from Brewing Classic Styles. That book actually has two Schwarzbier recipes, and this is not the same one that I brewed about a year ago. This one is supposed to conform more to the BJCP style guideline, whereas the one I brewed last year was overly roasty. The judges notes confirmed that.

After one week of fermentation at 50°F I began the diacetyl rest by allowing them to free-rise to 68°F ambient temperature. At that point one beer was just about fully fermented and the other was about 90%. I would have preferred to start the D-rest at about 75% attenuation, but it got away from me for a day. After three days of rest I couldn’t detect much diacetyl, if any, so I moved the carboys to the fridge to crash cool and four days later (10/7/12) I kegged them up, sealed the kegs with CO2, and put them in the fridge to lager. They’ve only been lagering for 15 days, but I decided to move them to the keezer (40°F) and start carbonating them because I plan to enter them in the Butler Brewfest Homebrew Competition and entries are due next week. I would like to let these beers lager for a couple of months at least, but I don’t have a lot of beer in my pipeline right now. After the competition I might let them sit a while longer before putting them on tap for Thanksgiving.

The yeast for this beer came from the Rauchbier I brewed a month prior to brewing these two lagers. I did not create a starter for these lagers because the re-pitches were fresh (harvested two weeks prior) and half a yeast cake per pitch should have been sufficient for a couple of 1.047 lagers.

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