Friday, June 22, 2012

Quad City Lager

If you're from the midwest, moreso the Chicago area, and you know your Illinois geography, you might have heard of the Quad Cities.  Of course, anyone who has been to the towns of Davenport, Bettendorf (on the Iowa side), Moline, or Rock Island (Illinois) will likely have heard the term "Quad Cities" or "Quad City Area" and understand that this group of cities shares a part of the Mississippi River.

While I went to school in Davenport from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade, and returned to finish my Junior year at Bettendorf High School and then graduated from Davenport North in 1987, the Quad Cities I'm referring to in this lager are not even in this country.  While thinking about the different malts that were named after cities, I came up with the following recipe:

Quad City Lager

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5 
Anticipated OG: 1.055 (13.63)
Anticipated SRM: 5.9
Anticipated IBU: 28.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

3.00 lbs. Bohemian (Moravian) Pilsner
3.00 lbs. Koelsch Malt
3.00 lbs. Munich Malt(light)
3.00 lbs. Vienna Malt 

1.00 oz. Halletauer @ 60 min.
0.50 oz Czech Saaz @ 60 min.
Whirlfloc and Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
1.50 oz. Czech Saaz @ 10 min.

Wyeast 2487 Hellabock Lager

See what I did there?  I was trying to figure out what kind of style this beer would end up being were I to enter it into a competition, and I decided that it was closest to the "Export" style, or "Dortmunder Export".  While the Koelsch, Munich and Vienna malts add a tinge more darkness, as does the 90-minute boil, it still just makes it under the required color style.  I've always brewed a pilsner, but truth be told, when just a lad of 15 and 16 years old in Germany, I had not yet gotten used to the hoppy German pilsners, and since most of the choices I had at the places I drank were "export" or "pils", I went with "export".  Even though I use Czech Saaz hops (a favorite of mine), this is my quintessential "German" beer.

"You like that German beer?"
"Yes. I. DO!"

I gotta admit - I didn't use the Moravian Pilsner.  I had some Franco-Belges left over from a 55-pound bag I bought, so I used that to make this.  You know what?  It's still good.  Smells of clean yeast (I would use the Hellabock yeast for all lagers other than Czech ones if Wyeast made it available year round.  I heard it's the Ayinger yeast, although Wyeast won't tell you where they get their strains from; I am told that the year-round White Labs 0833 is also the Ayinger yeast.  Might need to change yeast companies...) and malt.  No real hop aroma here, although I really wouldn't expect it.  At 28.1 IBU, it's hopped nicely, but again, doesn't punch you in the face like a pilsner.

Quite enjoyable, and tapped just in time for the summer months.

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