The Pipeline

The Pipeline

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dave's Dort

I typically don't brew lagers but a few things made me go ahead and make one. For one, I just bought a brand new stir plate and couldn't wait to make a big starter and put it to use. Northern Brewer has their own stir plate on their website for about $62 if anyone is looking for a good one at a decent price. Also, my basement has been sitting right at 49-50* F ambient which will be perfect to get a nice clean lager beer.

Also, I can't be the only one with friends and family who do not like to drink 8% ABV 90 IBU imperial IPAs or vanilla bean imperial stouts. Why? I don't know... but this will be a good beer for those that like an easy drinking smooth malty beer.

I started this project off by making a 1.5L starter of White Labs 838. Going off of the book 'Yeast' by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff this size starter and a fresh vial of yeast will produce about 181 billion cells without a stir plate. And also in that book it says that a stir plate will double to triple the amount of cells produced making this come out to about 262 - 343 billion cells assuming everything is perfect!!! Using Mr. Malty's yeast calculator I need about 364 billion cells so I should be fine. I wanted to make sure the yeast were extremely healthy since I was going to be fermenting at the lower end of the yeast's temperature range.

The brew day got off to a slow start because I undershot my temps when putting the hot water in my mash tun. I had to take some water out and boil it (twice) to get my strike temps where I wanted them. I mashed in at 155* for an hr.

I cooled the wort down to 62*f to give the yeast a head start before it got real cold and set it down in the basement. It was showing activity within 6 hrs and had cooled down to 55*. Since then it has been cruising right at 50* and has been fermenting very steady for 4 days now with a very nice malty smell to the CO2 being released. I plan on keeping it down there for 2 weeks then bringing it upstairs and raising the temps to 68* for a diacetyl rest for two days before racking and lagering for 60 days in the mid 40's.

Dave's Dort
Brewed on 1/9/11

6 gallons All Grain
73% efficiency
OG 1.043
FG 1.012 (anticipated)
IBU 26.4
SRM 4.9

8 lbs Belgian Pilsner
1 lb 12 oz Munich
.75 oz Cascade 60 Min.
.75 Saaz 30 Min.
1 oz Saaz 5 Min.
.5 tsp Irish Moss 10 Min.
.5 Yeast Nutrient 10 Min.
WLP838 1.5L starter on stir plate

1/21/11 Moved upstairs to 68* ambient for a diacytel rest for 2 days. Gravity: 1.010. Could taste some diacytel. (cooked corn flavor) This should all disipate after the rest and lagering time. clear, nice medium straw color.


  1. I've never used a blow-off tube before, and I didn't think it was an option for me because I didn't have a large-diameter length of tubing. I see, in your picture, that you're connecting the blow-off tube to the airlock. Brilliant! I'll keep this in mind, if ever I need a blow-off for a too vigorous fermentation.

  2. Ya when you wake up in the morning to a mess its amazing what you can come up with! I put a blow-off on this time because I was going out of town the following day and wasn't going to be able to monitor it. Better safe than sorry.