Category: lager

First Homebrew in almost 3 Frackin’ Years

Great beerWow, have I missed home brewing. Last weekend I brewed for the first time in almost 3 years! I started my journey back into to the brewing world with my go to Ordinary Bitter recipe. I altered the recipe with ingredients that I had on hand. So, Victory Malt instead of Biscuit and used Willamette for the 60 and 30, then Sonnet Golding for the last addition.

The brew day was going so well that I decided to make another batch. So, I went into my recipe database and grabbed my Heinrich Märzen recipe. This is a killer recipe and I have a lot of friends ask me to make it. Seeing as I really have missed this tasty beer, it seemed the right thing to do and a tasty way to do it.

The day didn’t without any glitches though. I brew with propane. I realized that I had no BBQ lighter and only had 3 matches (that I only found after a 15 minute house search). Instead of driving to the store, I lit a candle with one of the  matches I had. It worked, much to the questions from my family as to why there was a candle lit on the stove on a sunny 25C Sunday afternoon.

80L of goodnessAll said, at the end of the brew day, I had 80L of wort ready to ferment and could not wait for the tasting.

Tonight, with a pint of my Ordinary Bitter, I am raising a toast to being back into the fold of creating my own crafted beer.



Lager Time and hops!!!!

I recently received my order from Hops Direct. So I am excited to get some brews going with this fresh hops!!!

1# Mt. Hood
1# Crystal
1# Willamette
1# Sonnet Golding (split with a friend)

I have not made a lager in a while and I came up with these recipes on Saturday. I brewed the helles on Sunday and plan on brewing the pilsner this Friday.

You will notice the grain bill is the same, but mash temp and hops are different.

Strom von Schwartz Pilsner
Earth on Helles

Weekday Brewday

MarzenMy band had a gig Saturday night, and we had a practice Friday evening. So I decided to brew during the week last week as I knew that weekend brewing was going to be out of the question and I had yeast ready to go.

Anyways, I came up with this Marzen (ish) recipe. I mashed in during my lunch break from work and started the first runnings as soon as I got home. I wasn’t rushed and it was all done around 9PM. The wort tasted great, so I am looking forward to some of this around Christmas.

Recipe: Last Minute Lager
Brewer: Tim Gorman
Asst Brewer:
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen (sort of)
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 40.00 L
Boil Size: 46.95 L
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 11.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 23.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.50 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Amount Item
7.00 kg Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM) 75.59 %
1.50 kg Munich II (Weyermann) (8.5 SRM)16.20 %
0.33 kg Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) 3.56 %
0.23 kg Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM) 2.48 %
0.10 kg Carafa I (337.0 SRM) 1.08 %
0.10 kg Special B Malt (220.0 SRM) 1.08 %
42.00 gm Pearle [7.00 %] (60 min) 17.7 IBU
28.30 gm Crystal [3.30 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) 6.2 IBU
0.53 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min)
1 Pkgs Bavarian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2206) Starter

Mash Schedule: Double Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 9.26 kg
Double Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name
Description Step Temp
30 min Protein Rest Add 17.37 L of water at 55.6 C 50.0 C
270 min Saccrification Add 15.41 L of water at 89.3 C 66.7 C

Vacation and Autumn Lager

pilsLast week I was on vacation and seeing as I wasn’t going anywhere I figured it was a good time to brew some beer. For some reason the weather has been quite mild lately, so this made the day even better.

This was my first brew day since early spring and with no distractions, the brew day went off without a hitch. I missed my target mash temp, but that was an easy fix with some cold water. The fermentation took off quickly, 2 hours later and there was a good head of krausen.

Currently, it is fermenting at 10C and I will lager it around 1C until I can’t stand it and need some beer. The brew should come in at just below 4%ABV. More of a lawnmower beer, but also a good ‘sit down and have a few and not get too tipsy’ beer.

Recipe: autumn lager
Brewer: Tim Gorman
Style: Lite American Lager
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 40.00 L
Boil Size: 45.79 L
Estimated OG: 1.040 SG
Estimated Color: 3.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 11.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.50 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item
5.75 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) Canada (2.0 SRM) 79.31 %
1.50 kg Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) 20.69 %
14.00 gm Pearle [7.00 %] (60 min) 6.4 IBU
22.00 gm Crystal [3.30 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) 5.3 IBU
0.53 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min)
2 Pkgs SafLager West European Lager (DCL Yeast #S-23)Yeast-Lager

Mash Schedule: Double Infusion, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 7.25 kg
Double Infusion, Light Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
10 min Protein Rest Add 13.63 L of water at 55.6 C 50.0 C
75 min Saccrification Add 12.11 L of water at 86.7 C 66.7 C

Summer Pils

pilsThursday night I kegged my first beer in almost a year…YIKES!!! It was a German Pils that I made a few weeks earlier. I know, it only lagered for a very short period of time. But I really needed some beer in a keg as the local liquor store was draining my wallet with it’s limited selection and over priced brews.

I made the brew lower in alcohol % from the actual style guidelines, as my goal was to have a nice sharp bitter pils to my liking and be able to drink a few without the alcohol taking over.

My only worry when kegging this brew was that I didn’t do a check list to make sure that I had everything that I need to keg (CO2, dispensing line, clean taps etc). The dispensing line and taps were not a major worry. It was when I put the CO2 line on the keg post that I got worried…nothing or very little was coming out. It turned out it was just one of my valves that wasn’t opened. (Which reminds me to take my CO2 tanks in to get them refilled.)

After a few days in the keg and being fully carbed up to style, to my tastes, it was just what I was looking for. Crisp, dry and a nice hop bitterness bite that isn’t overpowering. Success…



Burning Barrel VMO

MarzenEaster Sunday I had the chance to brew one of my favourite beer styles, a VMO. Well I guess that the style guidelines have change a bit over the last year but for now I will still call it a VMO (Vienna Märzen Octoberfest). I tend stick to the Märzen end of the style. It is a lager which is amber in color and the taste is malty but not sweet and also has a toasty favour.

“In the Middle Ages, brewers had a difficult time brewing good-tasting beers during the hot summer months when the brew could easily become infected with air-born bacteria. To have an ample supply of saleable beer on hand during the summer, brewers worked overtime in March to brew an extra strong and well-hopped beer that would keep for a long time. Märzen is German for March, so the beer came to be known for the month in which it was brewed.

In time, the March beer turned into an October beer. When the summer was over and it was safe to resume brewing again, the brewers needed to empty their kegs to make room for the new brews. That meant that Märzen had to be finished off in a hurry. Throw a little bit of merriment into the mix, and you’ve got an Oktoberfest with a Märzen beer party. Modern Märzen, like Oktoberfestbier, is always well-aged, usually for at least four to eight weeks. It is usually amber in color and has an alcohol content of 5 to 6.2%.”

– German Beer Institute

Brew Day (Helles)

With Christmas fast approaching and my kegs being rather empty, yesterday I brewed a luscious Helles.

I typically try and start my brew days in the morning, however this brew day didn’t start until around 3 in the afternoon. Luckily, I had all the grain and hops weighed out from the night before.

I had been reading up on Denny Conn’s brewing process and thought that I would give it a try. The biggest difference from my previous way to brew is the time it takes to collect the sweet wort. Before, this process took me over an hour. But with the new method, I had my kettle ready to go in 40 minutes. I was worried that my efficiency would take a nose dive. But, what I have read stated that it should go up.

By the time I was mashed in, it was 4pm. I mashed for 75 minutes, then did a mash out for another 10 minutes. I started my run off and started slowly in order to get the filtering working. Once the wort was clear, I recirculated the first runnings and opened the mash tun valve to almost full into my kettle with my first wort hops*. Once the runnings stopped, I then added my sparge water, stirred, let sit for a couple minutes and stirred again. I waited a couple more minutes and started my second running. 40 minutes in total (first and second runnings) and my kettle was ready to go.

I managed to get my wort cooled and in it’s primary fermenters in time to watch the Leafs play the Sens with my son. Oh and my efficiency went from 72.5% to 77%. It was a good day…I can’t wait to taste it.

*First Wort Hops – Hops added to the boiler as the wort is first being sparged. These hops effectively get steeped and then boiled with the main boil. First wort hopping results in a better blending of hops flavor with the wort though it generally reduces hop utilization slightly when compared to traditional boiled hops.



Brew Day

Brewed a Vienna Lager yesterday. The weather was pretty good, however very unpredicable. It was clear one minute, then raining but clear, then cloudy/sun with rain.

Colin K came over and brought a bottle of Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock. So, once we both had pint of Helles we popped the top off the Doppelbock.

I had to build an immersion chiller while I was brewing as my previous one burst.

I have some picture of the day at the Members of Barleyment website here and the recipe here.