Author Topic: First Lager  (Read 2018 times)

Offline 69franx

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First Lager
« on: July 23, 2014, 11:26:19 AM »
As summer winds down, I would like to start planning on brewing my first lager. I have a Johnson controlled chest freezer for ferm temp control and lagering. I guess I would like to know if there is a more forgiving style to start with? I know I should brew what I like, but I have definitely been an ale person since getting away from college days of cheap BMC lagers. What is a good style and recipe to start out with?
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting:
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW, Ringler Pilsner, American Blonde Ale(Blondie's Ale)
In Bottles: House IPA, German Themed IPA
In the works: 2 different Saison's inspired by/created by forum members, You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline beersk

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 12:03:24 PM »
Hmmm, a forgiving style would maybe be a darker style. Maybe a vienna lager or a schwarzbier would be your best bet. Something light and delicate like a helles wouldn't be the best since there is nothing to hide any flaws. Maybe try a 1/3 each of vienna, munich, and pils malt, with maybe 1/2 to 1 pound of caramunich to get you in the 12 SRM range. Hop with noble hops to 20 IBU, and use a clean lager yeast with a big starter or dry yeast of something like Wy2124 or Saflager 34/70.
Or a schwarzbier with mostly pils malt for the base with a little caramunich and dehusked Carafa III to the mid 20's SRM.
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Re: First Lager
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 12:07:27 PM »
my first lager was a marzen. that is a good choice because as beersk points out there is a little more going on so minor flaws won't stick out so much. that attempt went to final round at NHC. didn't win anything there mind you but it went.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 12:08:52 PM »
+1 to Märzen. Also, kolsch is a good option to bridge the gap.

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 12:09:34 PM »
+1 to Märzen. Also, kolsch is a good option to bridge the gap.

oh sure, whip out the umlaut why don't you.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 12:13:34 PM »
Thanks for the tips so far. I was also thinking Marzen. Jonathan, when you are doing these styles are you still going all organic, and as local as possible, or do you source some continental malts as well? Just not sure what my LHBS has besides Briess line, and some Weyerman(not sure which malts though)
As another follow up, when checking the wiki for lager recipes, they all seem to be fairly old: 2008ish with a couple newer ones. Do they still hold up, or are their better techniques and recipes in say "Brewing classic Styles" which i have, but have not opened, or even the new book that Denny worked on, also have but only glanced through. As it will be my first lager, I would prefer a recipe that does not require step mashes or decoctions, as I have not yet done either of those on any of my batches.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 12:17:01 PM by 69franx »
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting:
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW, Ringler Pilsner, American Blonde Ale(Blondie's Ale)
In Bottles: House IPA, German Themed IPA
In the works: 2 different Saison's inspired by/created by forum members, You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 12:18:22 PM »
oh sure, whip out the umlaut why don't you.


iPhone autocorrect. Notice Kolsch is incorrect. Waiting for the lashing.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 12:23:16 PM »
..."Brewing classic Styles" which i have, but have not opened, or even the new book that Denny worked on, also have but only glanced through.


BCS has solid recipes. When I make something from scratch, I compare it to what is in BCS, Designing Great Beers, and reputable experts online. I'm sure the recipes in Denny's book are great too, but I have not had a chance to get it. I have a 10 hour flight coming up soon, maybe I will thumb through it then.

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 12:36:22 PM »
Thanks for the tips so far. I was also thinking Marzen. Jonathan, when you are doing these styles are you still going all organic, and as local as possible, or do you source some continental malts as well? Just not sure what my LHBS has besides Briess line, and some Weyerman(not sure which malts though)
As another follow up, when checking the wiki for lager recipes, they all seem to be fairly old: 2008ish with a couple newer ones. Do they still hold up, or are their better techniques and recipes in say "Brewing classic Styles" which i have, but have not opened, or even the new book that Denny worked on, also have but only glanced through. As it will be my first lager, I would prefer a recipe that does not require step mashes or decoctions, as I have not yet done either of those on any of my batches.

the first batch I used all domestic ingredients, all organic. Yeast was from the local brewery so I suppose it was not grown in organic media but I don't think any of the commercially available yeasts are.

I got a comment from a grandmaster IV judge on that beer that it was spot on BUT he picked up on the domestic malts. this time around I'm still going all organic but I'm using weyermann malts and german Hallertaur hops. My guilt I have wrapped up in soft paper and put in a box for now. I'm trying to knock this one out of the park.
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"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
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Offline denny

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 01:15:14 PM »
..."Brewing classic Styles" which i have, but have not opened, or even the new book that Denny worked on, also have but only glanced through.


BCS has solid recipes. When I make something from scratch, I compare it to what is in BCS, Designing Great Beers, and reputable experts online. I'm sure the recipes in Denny's book are great too, but I have not had a chance to get it. I have a 10 hour flight coming up soon, maybe I will thumb through it then.

I think the book he was referring to is "Craft Beer for the Homebrewer".  There are a couple good pils recipes and a CAP in that.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 01:28:17 PM »
My first lager was a Munich Helles and I event won some awards for it.  If you've been brewing ales for a while, then hopefully temp control and sanitation are second nature.  I say brew what you want.

You should check out the NHC seminar from this year called "Long Live Lagers".  The guys from Devil's Backbone gave some great information on brewing lagers.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 01:31:54 PM by theDarkSide »
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Offline 69franx

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 01:37:22 PM »
..."Brewing classic Styles" which i have, but have not opened, or even the new book that Denny worked on, also have but only glanced through.



BCS has solid recipes. When I make something from scratch, I compare it to what is in BCS, Designing Great Beers, and reputable experts online. I'm sure the recipes in Denny's book are great too, but I have not had a chance to get it. I have a 10 hour flight coming up soon, maybe I will thumb through it then.

I think the book he was referring to is "Craft Beer for the Homebrewer".  There are a couple good pils recipes and a CAP in that.
Thanks Denny. I do have it at home, but did not want to get the name wrong
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting:
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW, Ringler Pilsner, American Blonde Ale(Blondie's Ale)
In Bottles: House IPA, German Themed IPA
In the works: 2 different Saison's inspired by/created by forum members, You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline 69franx

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 01:38:24 PM »
My first lager was a Munich Helles and I event won some awards for it.  If you've been brewing ales for a while, then hopefully temp control and sanitation are second nature.  I say brew what you want.

You should check out the NHC seminar from this year called "Long Live Lagers".  The guys from Devil's Backbone gave some great information on brewing lagers.
Thanks Stephen, I will look into that
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting:
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW, Ringler Pilsner, American Blonde Ale(Blondie's Ale)
In Bottles: House IPA, German Themed IPA
In the works: 2 different Saison's inspired by/created by forum members, You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 02:18:59 PM »
Yes check out the Lager presentation by the Devil's Backbone Brewers. They even had some recipes to try.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First Lager
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 09:44:49 PM »
+1 to Märzen. Also, kolsch is a good option to bridge the gap.

oh sure, whip out the umlaut why don't you.

Im going to brew up an Umlaut this fall