The gold standard for Vienna lagers in North America, known for its smooth, malty finish and drinkability. This beer from Devils Backbone (Roseland, Virginia) has won gold at the Great American Beer Festival three times since 2012, plus numerous other accolades.
Devils Backbone Brewing Co.’s Vienna Lager clone
OG = 1.050 FG = 1.011
IBU = 18 SRM = 10 ABV = 5.1%
1.9 kg Pilsner malt
1.9 kg Vienna malt
0.57 kg dark Munich malt
0.57 kg Weyermann Caraamber® malt (26 °L)
14g German Northern Brewer hops 7.5%AA (60 min)
14g Czech Saaz hops 3.5%AA (20 min)
Imperial L17 (Harvest) or Omega Yeast OLY-114 (Bayern Lager) or Mangrove Jack’s M76 (Bavarian Lager) yeast
Step by Step
With a loose 3-to-1 water-to-grist ratio (~1.5 qts./lb.), conduct a protein rest at 125 °F (52 °C), holding for 30 minutes. Raise temperature to 147 °F (64 °C) and hold for 30 minutes for beta amylase rest. Raise temperature to 162 °F (72 °C) for 30 more minutes to convert alpha amylase. Mash out for ten minutes at 170 °F (77 °C). Recirculate until clear, then sparge until you collect about 7 gallons (26.5 L) of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops as indicated. If you choose to add clarifiers such as Whirlfloc or Irish moss, do so with 15 minutes remaining in the boil.
Chill to 52 °F (11 °C) then pitch ample amount of healthy yeast. Oxygenate thoroughly. Allow temperatures to rise to 54–54.5 °F (12 °C) during the main fermentation period. When fermentation is about two-thirds complete, raise temperatures to 56 °F (13 °C) to finish fermenting remaining sugars. At end of fermentation, let rise to 57 °F (14 °C) for diacetyl rest. Seven to 10 days after pitching. Start cooling 2 °F (1 °C) per day until you reach a temperature between 42–44 °F (6–7 °C). Rack off the yeast and transfer to a secondary for aging. Crash cool to lagering temperatures between 28–34 °F (-2 °C to 1 °C). Lager for a minimum of two weeks, but the beer will benefit from a lagering period of four weeks or more. Force carbonate to 2.5 volumes or prime and bottle condition.