Brew Files - Episode 6 - Zen and the Art of Recipe Design

drew's picture

The Brew Is Out There!


On this week's episode of the Brew Files, Drew and Denny tackle a question dropped on Facebook by listener Dan Tomkins. Dan asked just how do we tackle a new recipe - something we've never brewed before? Well, sit back and we'll walk you through just how we do the voodoo that is recipe creation. 

Episode Links:

Greg Noonan's Seven Barrel Brewers Handbook (Drew lied - it's on Amazon!) -

Greg Noonan's New Lager -

Oxford Beer Companion -

100 Years of Brewing (Western Brewer) -

Michael Jackson's Beer Companion -

Brewing Classic Styles -

Scott Janish's Blog -

BJCP Guidelines -

Wood Chipper Red Ale -

This episode is brought to you by: 

Brewers Publications

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Brewing lager recipes with ale yeast?

Couple of questions here. First, I have temperature control and the ability to brew lagers, but I don't have the patience. My brewing philosophy, ommiting the word balance would be to brew the best beer possible as fast as possible. So what do you all think about brewing lager recipes with ale yeast? And if I was able to do so with any success how could I enter the beers into competitions. I have a four month old at home so can't really join any clubs and don't know any home brewers, so the only feedback I can get are through competitions. Thanks for any response and love the podcast. 

drew's picture
Well, the challenge is

Well, the challenge is replicating that lager aroma/flavor. You can totally ferment an ale strain cool, say like how a Kolsch is fermented between 55-60. I suspect as long as you keep it cool during the intiial part of fermentation you'll be somewhat lager like.

waiting4theice's picture
It can be done

I brewed an American Bock, a recipe kit from ( ).  The recipe can be ordered with either lager or ale yeast, depending on what characteristics you want to exemplify more.  

What I did, was used ale yeast, made an extra large starter, and fermented at the higher end of the lager temperature, 55°F.  It fermented faster than a lager would, but slower than a normal ale would, about 3 weeks.  Then I cold crashed and let it sit there for a bit of time, similar to a lager.  The result was faster, but still had a very smooth flavor profile, similar to a lager, but still rather delicious.

If you were to enter it into a competition, you don't have to enter based on ingredients, but rather taste.  In this case, I would send some in as both a lager and an ale and see what feedback you would get.

Thanks for your thoughts on

Thanks for your thoughts on entering competitions. I may give that a shot.