Stella SMASH Clone Recipe Check

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Tetsuo1981

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Hi all.

Back again after long break from brewing, Fancy trying my first BIAB beer and quite fancied this:
I'm starting with a smaller batch due to cost and having never done a grain brew before so have halved the amounts.

I'm going to try and harvest the yeast from 4 bottles of Stella Unfiltered for starter. Going to make 2 litres of mash then start with 500ml or 1ltr then add the rest once it looks like it's doing something. Failing that I'll just get the recommended larger yeast.

12.5 litres water (bottled spring)
2.5kg German pilsner malt
Mash at 66c for half to an hour
Remove and squeeze bag / sparge
Boil for 60 mins
25g saaz hops 60 mins before end
Add protafloc 15mins before end (1/8 tablet)
7.5g saaz hops 5 mins before end
Chill to 12 / 13 degrees (immersion chiller)
Add yeast, yeast nutrient 12.5g , clarity ferm
Ferment 12.7 degrees
Lager at 0C to 4C
Add finings (if needed, Harris Starbrite)
Bottle
Condition

Mini mash for starter,
2ltr water
500g malt
Yeast nutrient 1/4 tsp
Mash as above
Cool and pitch yeast from bottles

Feel free to pick holes in any of the above as this is my first BIAB and while I'm not expecting perfection first time round I don't want an unmitigated disaster either. All comments welcome

Cheers
 

fury_tea

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Were you planning a diacetyl rest?

I always creep my lager up in temp after the first week or so. Usually something like 0.5c a day for a week, or until it's done fermenting. It keeps the yeast activity going and gets it to finish a little quicker and gets the diacetyl rest done at the same time.

You don't have to do it that way but it is recommended you bump the temp for 4c after fermentation is finished.
 

Paul7189

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I always mash for an hour minimum. You might struggle getting down to 12°C with an immersion chiller. With lagers I get them down as cold as I can then leave them in the fermenter fridge until it’s down to fermentation temp. There’s a guide to lagering from grainfather that says it’s best to chill just below target when pitching yeast as it will warm up once fermentation starts. Also when lagering they actually recommended lagering at a slightly higher temp as the yeast activity helps.

This is from the fermenter guides

In any fermentation, a large healthy pitch of yeast is very important, this is especially important for lagers for the reduction of off flavours;
1. It is ideal to pitch at 3°C (4°F) below your target fermentation since there will be a natural rise in temperature over the first stages of fermentation, then ramp up to your fermentation temperature over the first 18-36 hours of fermentation.
2. Conductadiacetylrestwhenthebeeris0.5-1°P(SG:0.002-0.004)abovecalculatedterminalgravity by raising the temperature of fermentation to 18-20°C (65-68°F) until fermentation has finished.


As the fermentation slows and yeast begins to flocculate; the brewer starts to slowly cool the beer at 0.5-1°C (1-2°F) per day until they reach about 4°C (40°F.) Beer is then transferred into lagering tanks where it is held at this temperature for months.
Now that fermentation is complete, including the diacetyl rest, we need to start lowering the temperature. This encourages any remaining yeast in solution to flocculate out. However, this cooling needs to be conducted at a rate that keeps the yeast active for as long as possible, continuing the conditioning process. Rapid (within 6 hours) changes in temperature of more than 3°C (5°F) (up or down) at the end of fermentation can force the yeast to release esters and shock proteins rather than retaining them within the cell. Therefore, slow decreases in temperature of 1-2°C (2-4°F) per day are recommended.
Below 4°C (40°F) there is very little activity from the yeast to clean up the beer. Therefore, the lagering time is much longer. The main benefit of going below 4°C (40°F) is the removal of chill haze, but the availability of well modified malts and fast-acting finings have removed the need for long cold storage.
Traditional lager conditioning times:
• 3-4 weeks at 7°C (45°F)
• 5-6 weeks at 4°C (40°F)
• 7-8weeksat2°C(35°F)–Mostlyunneededduetoandlowyeastactivity.
Note: longer lagering times are needed for higher alcohol lagers.
 

Tetsuo1981

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Were you planning a diacetyl rest?

I always creep my lager up in temp after the first week or so. Usually something like 0.5c a day for a week, or until it's done fermenting. It keeps the yeast activity going and gets it to finish a little quicker and gets the diacetyl rest done at the same time.

You don't have to do it that way but it is recommended you bump the temp for 4c after fermentation is finished.

I knew I was forgetting something!! I remember now the last lager I did (Cooper's Cerveza) and remember doing that before filtering into my layering vessel
 

Tetsuo1981

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...You might struggle getting down to 12°C with an immersion chiller. With lagers I get them down as cold as I can then leave them in the fermenter fridge until it’s down to fermentation temp.

Cheers for that, I was gonna use the ice water and salt method but will use my brew fridge to get down to final temp 👍🏻

In any fermentation a large healthy pitch of yeast is very important, this is especially important for lagers for the reduction of off flavours;
1. It is ideal to pitch at 3°C (4°F) below your target fermentation since there will be a natural rise in temperature over the first stages of fermentation, then ramp up to your fermentation temperature over the first 18-36 hours of fermentation.
2. Conductadiacetylrestwhenthebeeris0.5-1°P(SG:0.002-0.004)abovecalculatedterminalgravity by raising the temperature of fermentation to 18-20°C (65-68°F) until fermentation has finished.


As the fermentation slows and yeast begins to flocculate; the brewer starts to slowly cool the beer at 0.5-1°C (1-2°F) per day until they reach about 4°C (40°F.) Beer is then transferred into lagering tanks where it is held at this temperature for months.
Now that fermentation is complete, including the diacetyl rest, we need to start lowering the temperature. This encourages any remaining yeast in solution to flocculate out. However, this cooling needs to be conducted at a rate that keeps the yeast active for as long as possible, continuing the conditioning process. Rapid (within 6 hours) changes in temperature of more than 3°C (5°F) (up or down) at the end of fermentation can force the yeast to release esters and shock proteins rather than retaining them within the cell. Therefore, slow decreases in temperature of 1-2°C (2-4°F) per day are recommended.
Below 4°C (40°F) there is very little activity from the yeast to clean up the beer. Therefore, the lagering time is much longer. The main benefit of going below 4°C (40°F) is the removal of chill haze, but the availability of well modified malts and fast-acting finings have removed the need for long cold storage.
Traditional lager conditioning times:
• 3-4 weeks at 7°C (45°F)
• 5-6 weeks at 4°C (40°F)
• 7-8weeksat2°C(35°F)–Mostlyunneededduetoandlowyeastactivity.
Note: longer lagering times are needed for higher alcohol lagers.

That all seems pretty reasonable and doable to a certain degree with my little set up. Only snag is my fridge won't go below 4°C so might just hold it for a little bit longer like I did my previous lager can kit 👍🏻
 

fury_tea

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Therefore, slow decreases in temperature of 1-2°C (2-4°F) per day are recommended.

I always wonder about this, I heard that lowering the temperature causes oxygen to flow back into the fermentation vessel, I've done some keg fermenting but didn't have a great time with it myself plus I don't like losing those few pints to trub. I also like using a clear FV for lagers so I can see when it's dropped clear, but then you run the risk of oxidising the beer. Is this a real issue?

I've tried transfering to keg once the diacetyl rest is done but you can never know when it's cleared!
 

Paul7189

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I cold crash everything I brew including NEIPAs which are the most sensitive to oxidation and never had an issue. The oxygen that gets drawn back shouldn’t drop below the co2 blanket anyway just drop the temperature over a few days.
 

fury_tea

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I cold crash everything I brew including NEIPAs which are the most sensitive to oxidation and never had an issue. The oxygen that gets drawn back shouldn’t drop below the co2 blanket anyway just drop the temperature over a few days.
"Co2 blanket" is a myth. But anecdotally I haven't noticed any issues with oxidation either but I just worry because if it does happen with a lager that's 2-4 months down the pan.
 

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