Smoke on the Lager (Rauchbier)

Smoke on the Lager (Märzen-style Rauchbier)

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.057  FG = 1.014
IBU = 30  SRM = 14  ABV = 5.5%

9.5 lbs. (4.3 kg) Weyermann rauchmalz
2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) Weyermann Munich Type I malt (~6 °L)
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) Weyermann CaraMunich® III malt (~60 °L)
8 AAU Magnum hops (60 mins) (0.57 oz./16 g of 14% alpha acids)
Wyeast 2206 (Bavarian Lager) or White Labs WLP820 (Oktoberfest/Märzen) yeast (3 qts./3 L yeast starter)

Step by Step
Ferment yeast starter at room temperature, then transfer to lagering fridge at beginning of brewday. Treat brewing water with one Campden tablet the night before brewday. For wort production, use a single decoction mash.

In your kettle, mash in to 131 °F (55 °C) with 17 qts. (16 L) of water. Pull first decoction, roughly the thickest one-third of the mash, and place it in a large kitchen pot. Heat decoction to 158 °F (70 °C) and hold for 5 minutes, then bring decoction to a boil. Boil decoction for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Return decoction to main mash and add heat, if needed, to bring temperature to 152 °F (67 °C).

Hold for 45 minutes. Heat mash to 168 °F (76 °C), then transfer to lauter tun. (Try to minimize any splashing when you transfer it from the kettle to lauter tun.) Let grain bed set up for 5 minutes before you begin recirculating and running off the wort.

Keep sparge water heated so that the top of grain bed remains at 165–168 °F (74–76 °C) while you collect your wort. Collect 6.5 gallons (25 L) and boil for 90 minutes, expecting to yield 5.0 gallons (19 L) of wort after boil.  Cool wort to 54 °F (12 °C) and transfer to fermenter.

Aerate well, pitch chilled yeast from starter and let ferment at 54 °F (12 °C) until rate of fermentation slows greatly (usually after 10–14 days). Let temperature rise to 60 °F (16 °C) to finish off fermentation. Lager beer for 4–6 weeks, then keg.

Issue: December 2008

A Märzen-style rauchbier