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Ulterior Motive Amber Lager

Brewed: 01/10/2016   Kegged: 02/06/2016

motive.jpgYou may remember that in 2013 the SheppyBrew Brewery made a big effort to make sure we had brewed at least one beer in all 23 categories of the 2008 Style Guidelines.

We accomplished that goal.

Then, the 2015 Style Guidelines came out and there were new styles to brew.

Early in 2016, we decided to check off a couple of categories, the first being Category 2. International Lager. Specifically, I decided to go with an International Amber Lager.

An International Amber Lager is a well-attenuated malty amber lager with with an interesting caramel or toast quality and restrained bitterness. It has a smooth, easily-drinkable lager character, often with an adjunct quality. It has low to moderate malt aroma and flavor which can be grainy, with a very low to moderate caramel-sweet to toasty-malty taste as well.

Think of it as a Vienna Lager Light.... sort of.

The Brew Master came up with a low alcohol, session recipe for a beer that should be enjoyable to drink when we want something simple.

The Brewery also had an Ulterior Motive when it comes to brewing this beer. In addition to getting a beer on tap, the batch is serving as a sort of yeast starter for another of the "new" 2015 Categories: "9. Strong European Beer".

We will be harvesting the yeast from "Ulterior Motive" and using it to provide a big healthy pitch for a Doppelbock.


For more information on this beer see Sheppy's Blog: Ulterior Motive.

Ulterior Motive Amber Lager --- Batch 1

Style International Amber Lager Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   75.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.044 SG Estimated FG 1.009 SG
Recipe Bitterness 19.2 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 4.6 %
BU : GU   0.435        
Recipe Color 9.6 SRM
Measured OG:   1.045    Measured FG:    1.008
ADF:   82%   Measured ABV:    4.8%


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
6 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 69.4 %
2 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 3 22.2 %
10.0 oz Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.9 %
2.0 oz Blackprinz (500.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.4 %
0.250 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.10 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 6 16.2 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 8 -
0.250 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 3.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg German Bock Lager (White Labs #WLP833) [35.49 ml] Yeast 10 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 11.25 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (2.15gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
4g gypsum in the mash water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Brew as directed from recipe.
Cool wort to as close to 50 degrees as possible.
Ferment at 55 for a week, let rise to high 60's for another week.
Keg carbonate.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:  1/10/2015 Strike Temp:   160
Mash Temps:  150 - 145
Pre-boil OG   1.038 (1.036 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   8 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp   154 
Day 2: Only now real signs 55
Day 6: Slowing down around 60 
Day ... 

Brewing Notes:
01/10/2016 esheppy
Brewed today. Everything went well. My Pre-boil gravity was a bit high. I took care of that by diluting. Since I had .25oz Columbus left over, I decided to go ahead and add that in at 10 minutes. Should make the beer a bit more balanced. Still in the IBU range and I don't think the small amount will give enough hop character to put this out of style. Actually, I don't care that much anyway. Fermenting now.
01/11/2016 esheppy
Not much going on in there. Shook up the fermentor. 50 degrees.
01/12/2016 esheppy
Hmmm... Only now getting signs of fermentation in the 56/58 range. Of I didn't know better, I'd think I had accidentally pitched an ale yeast. Wish I would have done a starter. Oh well, I think it is on its way now. We'll have to see how it turns out.
01/16/2016 esheppy
Strong fermentation this week. Now it seems pretty much done. Temp is in the low 60s. Need to prepare for the year harvest.
01/17/2016 esheppy
Took out of cooler and meaured gravity. 1.010. Yeast needs to settle, but it tastes very much like the "Vienna Lager Light" I pictured. Should be a nice pleasant beer to have on tap in a couple of weeks. Preparing water to harvest this yeast.
01/23/2016 esheppy
Racking to secondary. FG is 1.008. Nice flavor. Can use some time for clarification.
02/06/2016 esheppy
Kegged. Really nice clarity. Tastes as I pictured. Vienna Lager Light.
02/09/2016 esheppy
Sample. No carbonation, but tastes good otherwise. Pressurized to 30psi, and rocked a bit. Took off CO2. We'll see how it goes over the next few days.
02/25/2016 esheppy
Had some this past Sunday. Pretty good. About what I would expect. It did remind me of what I remember Yuengling tasting like.
02/29/2016 esheppy
Some more last night. Pretty foamy. Clearing up. Tastes about the same. Easy drinking low alcohol. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon / evening.
03/14/2016 esheppy
Had a few more yesterday. Clarity is awesome. Nice flavor. Easy drinking and visually gorgeous. Yummy.
04/01/2016 esheppy
04/07/2016 esheppy
Keg blew a couple nights ago. Was nice beer to have around.
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