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A newbie here.

I've brewed thousands of litres of good, bright tasty wine over the years, but this year I've turned my hand to beer. I brewed a Yorkshire bitter already, and am currently brewing a stout. Both from kits. But I like to experiment. I've gathered the following ingredients for a blond beer.

  • 1.5 kg extra light spray malt,
  • 1 kg of Polenta (ground dried sweetcorn)
  • Bottom fermenting lager yeast,
  • East Kent Golding hop pellets,
  • Yeast nutrient for a lively must,
  • A little amylase to pre-treat the polentas remaining starch,
  • Dextrose if required.

I am also pondering whether or not to add a little rice flour. I'll be dry-hopping it 5 or so days prior to kegging or lagering, whatever that may be.

I was wondering what more experienced beer brewers think of my planned recipe, and what, if anything, would you change?

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  • What is the size batch? 20L?
    – Philippe
    Jan 20 at 15:29
  • What are you trying to achieve with the Polenta? (I'm not saying, do or don't use it, I'm interested in the why).
    – Kingsley
    Feb 14 at 0:42
  • Well I was brewing a blonde beer and decided to use polenta for its sugars and starches. It also provides some of the colour and provides a surface for bottom-loving lager yeasts to grow on. Feb 15 at 11:53

1 Answer 1

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Which water will you use? Since this is a lager beer, it should not contain too much minerals.

With regards to the polenta and the rice flour, they should best be boiled first, so that they gelatinize. You might need much water for this so that it nots get too thick. Take this into account in your recipe. Let this cool to 65° C and then add the amylase. This will turn the starches of the polenta and the rice into sugars. Let them do their work for at least 30 minutes, the mass of boiled starches will become fluid.

But leave out the rice flour. You have already a beer where 25% of fermentables come from corn (maize). While not unheard of, this will already dilute the taste of the malt extract.

After that, combine this wort with the DME and your water in the boil, then add your hops. Do you have a hop schedule for bittering, flavour and aroma? Do you know how bitter you want your beer? With regards to the fermentables, use some more hops in the last 15 minutes of the boil this will help create body.

Add the yeast nutrient in the last ten minutes of the boil.

Do you have enough yeast? When using dry yeast, it will normally state how much you should use. Since it is a lager (can you ferment in a cool place?) you normally need more yeast.

Ferment first a week or two in a cool place, then give it a week in a bit warmer place (16°-20°C) so that it can clean up.

Lagering is storing your beer for an extended time at a lower temperature so that it can condition. If you keg it, you would wait a couple of weeks before serving from your keg.

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  • Thanks for the very useful info. And yeah, my brew bucket is the 5 gallon size. Jan 22 at 19:20
  • Hi. No I don't have a hop schedule, I was planning to add the hop pellets about 3/4 through the first fermentation. Jan 22 at 19:28
  • Nearly forgot. The yeast is a bottom fermenting lager yeast, dried 5g. I learned in winemaking to use some of the liquor to get the yeast up and multiplying well before I add it to a brew. Jan 22 at 19:33
  • @LouisBrodigan: hop schedule is also adding hop to the boil, not only about dry hopping.
    – chthon
    Jan 22 at 20:06
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    @LouisBrodigan: 5g will not be enough, and you should build a starter at least a week before you need to pitch it into your wort. Beer yeast and fermenting beer does differ from fermenting wine. Normally, you would boil, then cool the wort to ambient temperature, then pitch your starter.
    – chthon
    Jan 22 at 20:11

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