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Getting in on some Sweet Mischief

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A few years ago my path intersected nicely with a wonderful 4% Vienna style lager brewed by the Bohemian Brewing Company in Salt Lake City. It’s a sessionable beer with malt and hop characters coming together to create subtle complexity and thirst quenching satisfaction. I wanted to homebrew something like this. But I’ve also had on my to-do list a desire to brew another English mild ale.

So you’ve heard this before, I relaxed and had a homebrew and my next brew came together. I combined my ideas and techniques for a recipe that would satisfy my desire for a cloned Vienna lager and a favorite homebrewed mild ale.

The unique roast character of brown malt and the caramel of crystal malt along with lower gravity represent mild ale-ness. The generous amount of mellow toasty Munich malt along with neutral base pilsener malt heads in the direction of a Vienna lager. Belgian aromatic malt is always contributes a great goosing if a degree of rich malt aroma and flavor is wanting. The small amount of Belgian aromatic malt is subtle and has kind of a catalytic effect helping emphasize the maltiness of Munich and crystal.

Dry hopping with crystal represents both the characters of English ales and German lagers in aroma. I wanted to give this beer a lager like emphasis in bitterness and flavor so German Hallertauer in the long bittering boil and American Mt. Hood contributes and honey and floral-like flavor, though with a 45 minute boil most of that character is minimized. The overall balance of this beer emphasized subtlety yet offers satisfaction in those thirsty and sessionable occasions.

This could become a regular brew on tap at my home pub. Let’s get on with the some Sweet Mischief.

Sweet Mischief Vienna-Mild

• Target Original gravity 1.040 (10 B)

• Target extraction efficiency: 75%

• Approximate Final gravity 1.010 (2.5 B)

• IBU's - about 25

• Approximate color: 14SRM (28 EBC)

• Alcohol: 3.9% by volume

All Grain Recipe for 5.5 gallons (21 l)

4 lbs. (1.82 kg) German Munich malt (10 L)

2 oz. (56 gm) German Pils malt

1.5 lbs. (680 gm) English Brown malt (20 L)

6 oz. (168 gm) English crystal malt (10 L)

4 oz. (113 gm) Belgian aromatic

1.25 oz. (35 gm) German Hallertauer hops 4.3% alpha (5.4 HBU/150 MBU) – 60 minute boiling

1.5 oz. (42 gm) Mt Hood hops 5.3% alpha (8 HBU/223 MBU) – 45 minute boiling

1/2 oz. (14 gm) Crystal hop pellets– DRY HOPPING

1/4 tsp (1 gm) powdered Irish moss

German or Bavarian type lager yeast. I used White Labs Cry Havoc

3/4 cup (175 ml measure) corn sugar (priming bottles) or 0.33 cups (80 ml) corn sugar for kegging

A step infusion mash is employed to mash the grains. Add 8 quarts (7.6 l) of 140 degree F (60 C) water to the crushed grain, stir, stabilize and hold the temperature at 132 degrees F (53 C) for 30 minutes. Add 4 quarts (3.8 l) of boiling water and add heat to bring temperature up to 155 degrees F (68 C) and hold for about 30 minutes. Then raise temperature to 167 degrees F (75 C), lauter and sparge with 3.5 gallons (13.5 l) of 170 degree F (77 C) water. Collect about 5.5 gallons (21 l) of runoff. Add 60-minute hops and bring to a full and vigorous boil.

The total boil time will be 60 minutes. When 45 minutes remain add the 45-minute hops. When 10 minutes remain add the Irish moss. After a total wort boil of 60 minutes turn off the heat and place the pot (with cover on) in a running cold-water bath for 30 minutes. Continue to chill in the immersion or use other methods to chill your wort. Then strain and sparge the wort into a sanitized fermenter. Bring the total volume to 5 gallons (19 l) with additional cold water if necessary. Aerate the wort very well.

Pitch the yeast when temperature of wort is about 70 degrees F (21 C). Once visible signs of fermentation are evident ferment at temperatures of about 55 degrees F (12.5 C) for about one week or when fermentation shows signs of calm and stopping. Rack from your primary to a secondary and add the hop pellets for dry hopping. Llager the beer at temperatures between 35- 45 degrees F (1.5-7C) for 3-6 weeks.

Prime with sugar and bottle or keg when complete.

Mash/Extract Recipe for 5.5 gallons (21 l)

4.5 lbs. (2 kg) amber malt extract syrup or 3.6 lbs. (1.6 kg) amber DRIED malt extract

1.5 lbs. (680 gm) English Brown malt (20 L)

4 oz. (113 gm) English crystal malt (10 L)

4 oz. (113 gm) Belgian aromatic

1.5 oz. (42 gm) German Hallertauer hops 4.3% alpha (5.4 HBU/150 MBU) – 60 minute boiling

1.5 oz. (42 gm) Mt Hood hops 5.3% alpha (8 HBU/223 MBU) – 45 minute boiling

1/2 oz. (14 gm) Crystal hop pellets– DRY HOPPING

1/4 tsp (1 gm) powdered Irish moss

German or Bavarian type lager yeast. I used White Labs Cry Havoc

3/4 cup (175 ml measure) corn sugar (priming bottles) or 0.33 cups (80 ml) corn sugar for kegging

Heat 2 quarts (2 l) water to 172 degrees F (77.5 C) and then add crushed brown, crystal and aromatic malts to the water. Stir well to distribute heat. Temperature should stabilize at about 155 degrees F (68 C). Wrap a towel around the pot and set aside for about 45 minutes. Have a homebrew.

After 45 minutes add heat to the mini-mash and raise the temperature to 167 degrees F (75 C). Then pass the liquid and grains into a strainer and rinse with 170 degrees F (77 C) water. Discard the grains.

Add to the sweet extract you have just produced more water, bringing the volume up to about 2.5 gallons (9.5 l). Add malt extract and 60 minute hops and bring to a boil.

The total boil time will be 60 minutes. When 45 minutes remain add the 45-minute hops. When 10 minutes remain add Irish moss. After a total wort boil of 60 minutes turn off the heat.

Immerse the covered pot of wort in a cold water bath and let sit for 15-30 minutes or the time it takes to have a couple of homebrews.

Then strain out and sparge hops and direct the hot wort into a sanitized fermenter to which 2.5 gallons (9.5 l) of cold water has been added. If necessary add additional cold water to achieve a 5.5 gallon (21 l) batch size. Aerate the wort very well.

Pitch the yeast when temperature of wort is about 70 degrees F (21 C). Once visible signs of fermentation are evident ferment at temperatures of about 55 degrees F (12.5 C) for about one week or when fermentation shows signs of calm and stopping. Rack from your primary to a secondary and add the hop pellets for dry hopping. Llager the beer at temperatures between 35- 45 degrees F (1.5-7C) for 3-6 weeks.

Prime with sugar and bottle or keg when complete.

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