HomeBlogRahr Technical Center Brews Experimental Beers for CBC 2024

Rahr Technical Center Brews Experimental Beers for CBC 2024

Good day, Friends and Fermentation Enthusiasts. This year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, is bound to be unforgettable. To ensure the best damn booth experience a beer conference attendee ever encountered, Brewers Jake Thompson and Sean Tynan of the Rahr Technical Center have put together an absolute banger of a beer lineup for the big show.  

Get a load of these styles (scroll to the end for full descriptions): 

  • Helles 
  • Czech Pale Lager 
  • Roggenbier 
  • English Lager 
  • Vienna Lager 
  • Cider 

Before these beers (and our lone cider) head to BSG Booth #2034 for your sampling pleasure, we’ve invited Jake and Sean to walk us through some of the ingredients they worked with in the brewhouse. Grab your safety goggles and keep scrolling for more. 

BSG: Six beers, four lagers, and each lager features Fermentis SafLager™ W-34/70. What makes this strain a great choice for these lager styles?
Jake: Being a German lager strain, 34/70 was a natural fit for the Helles. Also, we just like to use this yeast for a lot of our experiments because it’s really clean. It’s a great showcase for malt and hops, and it’s consistent every time. It also produces subtle esters that we like. Overall, it gives us balanced, highly drinkable beers.
Sean: It’s really going to help differentiate the malt character in each beer, too. 

BSG: A few of these beers pair Weyermann® malts with Noble hops. What happens when these glorious ingredients come together?
Jake [makes a chef’s kiss gesture]: Yeah. We really like it. We use the Enriched Mittelfrüh Pellets a lot. We’ve noticed we never get any stale hop character from it, and the floral character is nice in the aroma. All the Noble varieties have their own distinct profile, but the main thing is they let you know they’re there without distracting from the malt.

BSG: Let’s talk about the Roggenbier y’all brewed with Gambrinus Malted Rye.
Jake: We were discussing what the ideal flavor profile would be, and I wanted this to taste like banana bread. You get that banana flavor and a bit of that caramelization too — that Maillard reaction. Some spiciness from rye should be in there too, a hint of nutmeg or cinnamon perhaps. The rye really comes through in the finish. It’s very obvious this isn’t malted barley.
Sean: We used a ton of Gambrinus Rye per the style guidelines. We also used some Simpsons Crystal Medium, which we love, specifically to bump up the beer’s maltiness those biscuity, caramel, and toffee-type flavors.
Jake: At the forefront, though, this is intended to be a yeast-forward beer. The predominant punch is from Fermentis SafAle™ W-68, which definitely leans toward banana esters in this application, more so than phenols.
Sean: We noticed a lot of the phenol character dropped out with the yeast. We smelled clove at that point, and then the ester started going up after that, which we wanted. Overall, the beer has great complexity.
Jake: We tasted a homebrew Ashton Lewis made [BSG’s Technical Support and Training Manager] with this yeast, and that one had a lot of clove in it. You can finetune your recipes, temperature, and everything else to get what you’re looking for from W-68.

BSG: What can you share about the English Lager?
Jake: Our goal was to showcase the nice malty and biscuity profile you get from a lot of English Malts. We didn’t use any Maris Otter; instead we used Crisp Chevallier® Heritage Malt for its intense biscuity flavors.
Sean: We also used Crisp Torrefied Flaked Maize to keep things light, and Simpsons Crystal again to bump up the maltiness.
Jake: Then we chose all English hops—Fuggle and East Kent Goldings—so really, it’s kind of like an English Ale but we just used a lager yeast to ferment it. Or maybe you could say it’s a German-influenced beer with all English ingredients. It’s a really interesting beer and very drinkable; sessionable with lots of flavor. 

BSG: You made a cider, too, correct?
Jake: Apple-solutely, we used BSG Select CiderBase™. We boiled it for 30 minutes before bringing it in. It’s very easy to use and super flowable. The packaging it comes in is convenient to open.  

BSG: Last one. Tell us how you’re benefitting from using Kerry Biomatex L ALDC and DSM Brewers Clarex® in the brewhouse.
Sean: Well, ALDC saves us a bunch of time and energy running VDK tests, especially with the lagers.
Jake: Just the time savings alone makes a ton of sense. You’re adding just a small amount to save you potentially days in processing. Then the Clarex® is there because we’re about making beer clear again. We want brilliant beers here. It’s going to help you impede any chill haze that you might get.

BSG: Thanks for taking the time to join us on the blog, Jake and Sean! Will you be pouring these beers at CBC in Vegas?
Jake: Yes. It’s snowing in Shakopee and I am looking forward to leaving for Las Vegas. It’s going to be great to see everyone that we don’t get to see every day here at the Tech Center.
Sean: It’s awesome to just work the Rahr Technical Services booth and talk to customers, kind of let them know what we’re able to do and how we can help. 

Remember to stop by BSG Booth #2034 at CBC to say hey to Jake and Sean. Below you’ll find the full lineup of beverages they’ll be slingin’. 

RTC Helles
This gorgeous golden German Lager offers up malty-sweet flavors and aromas from Weyermann® Barke® Pils and Weyermann® Barke® Vienna. Hallertauer Magnum hops and Enriched Mittelfrüh pellets provide clean bitterness and the style’s characteristic herbal spice, while Fermentis SafLager 34/70 ensures a highly drinkable finish. Pairs well with Texas Hold ‘Em and Seven Card Stud.
5.3% ABV / 16.5 IBU / 3 SRM
Brewing Aids: Kerry Biomatex L ALDC, DSM Brewers Clarex® 

RTC Czech Pale Lager
Weyermann® Floor-Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt gives this traditional Czech Pale Lager a satisfying malt flavor alongside notes of biscuit and honey. The addition of Weyermann® Melanoidin kicks the malt aromas into overdrive, while classic Saaz hops cut through with balanced bitterness and spice. Fermentis SafLager 34/70 provides a clean, refreshing finish. Pairs well with pizza buffets and hotel pools.
5.0% ABV / 30 IBU / 4 SRM
Brewing Aids: Kerry Biomatex L ALDC, DSM Brewers Clarex® 

RTC Roggenbier
Jackpot Baby! Behold a beautiful Roggenbier brewed with Gambrinus Malted Rye, Simpsons Crystal Medium, and a trio of Weyermann® specialty malts (Carafa®, Barke® Pils, and Barke® Munich). Featuring subtle malty-sweet aromas of grain, bread, and spice, a slight herbal hop profile from Enriched Mittelfrüh pellets comes through. Fermentis SafAle™ W-68, however, is the star of the stage here. A specialty yeast strain for German-style Wheat beers, W-68 provides a fruit-forward punch of banana-scented esters.
5.5% ABV / 14.5 IBU / 15.5 SRM
Brewing Aids: Kerry Biomatex L ALDC, DSM Brewers Clarex® 

RTC English Lager
Crisp Chevallier forms a flavorful malt foundation with rich marmalade character and lasting sweetness. Buoyed by Crisp Flaked Maise and Simpsons Crystal Light, traces of caramel and toffee mingle with an earthy, floral, and slightly fruity hop presence from Fuggle and East Kent Goldings. Finished with Fermentis SafLager™ 34/70, the RTC English Lager pairs well with the Tournament of Kings and large slot payouts.
4.5% ABV / 24 IBU / 8.5 SRM
Brewing Aids: Kerry Biomatex L ALDC, DSM Brewers Clarex® 

RTC Vienna Lager
Weyermann® Barke® Vienna Malt joins forces with Barke® Pils for smooth, clean malt flavors of toasted bread in this traditional Vienna Lager. With additional color and depth coming from Dingemans Cara 8, Simpsons DRC™, and Weyermann® CARAFA® Special Type 2, the beer finishes dry thanks to the strong and robust Fermentis SafLager™ 34/70. Enriched Mittelfrüh pellets provide classic Noble hop aromas reminiscent of new-mown hay, sweet spices, and dried flowers. Pairs well with blackjack and roulette.
5.0% ABV / 23 IBU / 11.5 SRM
Brewing Aids: Kerry Biomatex L ALDC, DSM Brewers Clarex® 

RTC Cider
Made with apples grown in the Pacific Northwest, BSG Select CiderBase™ is a tangy, all-natural 100% apple juice concentrate ideal for crafting bold, flavorful ciders. Combine it with Ciderferm™, a complex nutrient blend engineered to support fermentation, and you’ll have the start of a beautiful new beverage. This cider is fermented with Fermentis SafCider™ AS‑2, an active dry yeast for low-gravity ciders. It contributes an aromatic profile of citrus and apple that pairs well with baccarat and the Bellagio Fountain.
6.9% ABV 

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