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This beer turned out to be a happy accident. It was intended to be a pretty straightforward lager with a full body and some limey tasting hops, but a surprise wild bacteria infection added some orange funk. This is perhaps one of those rare occasions where it was a welcome addition and the beer actually tastes better, or at least more interesting, because of it. Here's how and why we made the beer the way we did.
Full Mexican Lager Recipe and Brew Day Video
We're brewing 10 gallons (37.9 liters) of beer on Clawhammer's new 20 gallon (75.7 liter), electric, brew in a basket system. We started with 14.25 gallons (53.9 liters) of water and didn't do any water chemistry adjustments. We added the following to the mash:
- 14lbs (6kg 350.3g) of pale malt,
- 7 pounds (3kg 175.1g) of malted corn (flaked maize will be fine)
- and 9.6oz (272.2g) of Munich malt.
We finely crushed all of our grain before mashing with it
We mashed for 60 minutes and checked pH about 10 minutes in. It naturally landed at a pH of 5.48 and we didn't feel like messing with it at that point, so we let it ride.
After the mash we pulled the grains to drain and cranked up the heat. At the top of our 60 minute boil we added 2oz (56.7g) of Hallertau hops. With 15 minutes left in the boil we added 1 whirlfloc tablet (we probably should have added two) and 4 ounces (113.4g) of Motueka hops. We wanted this to be a slightly hoppy lager.
Adding hops to the hop basket
After cooling the wort down to pitching temp, we transferred into fermentation buckets and added 2 packages of white labs wlp800 yeast to each fermenter. The beer was fermented for 20 days then lagered for a few weeks.
As mentioned above, this beer turned out great. It's light and refreshing but has a peppery "wild" finish with a lot of lime and some orange too. It's perfect for summer. We highly recommend brewing it.
Kyle said, "It's really good, it turned out well."