Cafe Vienna Lager (coffee cinnamon lager)

Cafe Vienna Lager

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1.047  FG = 1.012
IBU = 35  SRM = 9  ABV = 4.6%

1 lb.  (0.45 kg) Vienna malt
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) dark Munich malt (20° L)
0.25 lb. (113 g) wheat malt
1 lb. (0.45 kg) lager malt
5 lbs. (2.3 kg) unhopped amber liquid malt extract
7.2 AAU Perle hop pellets (60 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 7.2% alpha acids)
2 AAU Hallertauer hop pellets (20 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 4% alpha acids)
1.75 AAU Spalt pellets (20 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 3.5% alpha acids)
2 oz. (57 g) coarsely cracked (not ground) light-roast coffee beans
1 cinnamon stick
Saflager S-23 or Lallemand Diamond lager or Wyeast 2308 (Munich Lager) yeast
3/4 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Heat 1.5 gals. (5.7 L) of water to 132 °F (56 °C), crack and mix in malts and malted wheat. The mash should settle at 121 °F (50 °C). Hold 30 minutes, then remove 3 qts. (2.9 L) of the mash and boil it 15 minutes. Stir heated mash back into the mash tun. This should raise the whole mash to 137 °F (58 °C) or so. Hold another 30 minutes, then remove 3 qts. (2.9 L) again and bring to a boil. Boil this 15 minutes, add it back to the mash tun, raising the whole to about 152 °F (67 °C). Hold here for 40 minutes, then lauter and sparge with 2 gals. (7.6 L) of 168 °F (76 °C) water. To this runoff (about 3 gals./11 L) add the liquid malt extract and bring to a boil. Add Perle hop pellets, boil 40 minutes. Add Hallertauer and Spalt pellets, boil 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and chill the wort down to 180 °F (82 °C) add coffee beans and cinnamon stick. Steep at least 15 minutes, then chill fully and top off to 5.25 gals. (20 L) with water. At 75 °F (24 °C) pitch dry lager yeast or a liquid culture. Seal and ferment for one day at 65 °F (18 °C), then place in a cooler set between 50 to 55 °F (10 to 13 °C) for a week. Rack to secondary and, if possible, place in a cold place (40 °F/4 °C or below) for three more weeks. (Otherwise, maintain at 50 °F/10 °C for two to thee weeks.) Prime with corn sugar and bottle.

Experienced decoction mashers will probably laugh at this primitive partial-decoction-mash recipe. I know it is not quite a usual triple decoction, but it seems to work for this recipe. If you have a better all-grain Vienna recipe, go with it. If you are going to mash at all for this recipe, I strongly encourage you to try it as a decoction, if only for the lovely color you can produce by boiling the mash.

Extract brewers who can’t even partial mash, don’t worry; an additional pound of amber dry malt extract will give you enough body and fermentables to make this work. Briess Goldpils Vienna liquid malt extract mixed with the amber malt extract maybe a good substitute as well.

Dark-roasted coffee should be avoided, because it will darken the beer. You want to give a hint of coffee and cinnamon, not make them the dominant flavors, so don’t steep them in the cooling wort too long, but just long enough to give some brownish color and coffee-cinnamon aroma.


Issue: January 1997

This recipe is for a dark lager with coffee and spices.