Author Topic: What makes a lager a lager?  (Read 4908 times)

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2015, 03:50:21 PM »
The German word lager appears to be context sensitive.  However, one of its meanings appears to be to store, as in stockroom store.   I may be wrong, but I believe that this meaning is where its usage in brewing originated.  Unlike ale, lager beer was stored cold for a period of time.  When mixed cultures containing S. pastorianus appeared, brewers had to distinguish between top fermentations and bottom fermentations.  Germanic language speakers do not refer to S. pastorianus as lager yeast. They call it unterhefe, which translates to under or bottom yeast. 

With that said, to throw a monkey wrench into the discussion, there are ale strains that contain S. bayanus genetic admixture.  NCYC 1332 is such a strain.  While I am certain that the strain does not originate from the defunct Stratcona brewery, it was used there to produce ale.  NCYC 1332 was a popular ale strain with home brewers in the nineties because Dan McConnell offered it via his yeast company.

NCYC 1332

Information
  Flocculent
  O3, S.G. 6.3, pH3.7.
  PCR-RFLP analysis has shown that this strain contains both S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus RFLPs,
  suggesting that this strain is a S. cerevisiae/S. bayanus hybid (Pope et al., 1997).
Depositor
  British Brewery
Deposit Name
  Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Month of deposit
  January
Deposit Year
  1974
Habitat
  Ale production strain
Equivalent Strain Designations
  N/A

Now, if we review the paper that was published by G. Pope et al., we discover that two ale production strains in the study turned out to be hybrids genetically and two lager production strains turned out to be S. cerevisiae genetically.   What's an interesting data point is growth at 37C, which is the human body temperature for those of us who are stuck Fahrenheit land.   S. cerevisiae will grow at 98.6F, S. pastorianus generally will not.  Some of the hybrid ale strains exhibit S. cerevisiae growth at 37C. 

The other ale strain from the paper that is actually a hybrid.

NCYC 1187

Information
  Listed as having poor head formation and being slightly flocculent at pH 3.5 & 5.0.
  PCR-RFLP analysis has shown that this strain contains both S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus RFLPs,
  suggesting that this strain is a S. cerevisiae/S. bayanus hybid (Pope et al., 1997).
Depositor
  British Brewery
Deposit Name
  Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Month of deposit
  Unknown
Deposit Year
  1960
Habitat
  Ale production strain


The lager production strains from the paper that are not genetically S. pastorianus.

NCYC 530

Information
  N/A
Depositor
  F. Weinfurtner
Deposit Name
  Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces uvarum, Saccharomyce
Month of deposit
  August
Deposit Year
  1958
Habitat
  Lager production strain
Equivalent Strain Designations
  Strain 7

NCYC 2340

Information
  Belgian lager strain
Depositor
  MUCL
Deposit Name
  Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Month of deposit
  October
Deposit Year
  1989
Habitat
  Lager production strain
Equivalent Strain Designations
  MUCL 20478


MUCL is Belgian's national culture collection.


Offline narvin

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2482
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2015, 03:51:40 PM »
Precisely. Id even add Wyeast 1728 Scottish. Those guys will ferment nice n clean way down low, like 50F, and pretty cleanly.

No true Scotsman will brew or drink a lager.

Clever  ;)

Offline Steve Ruch

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1339
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2015, 03:55:38 PM »
you can call it a Chardonnay, if you like.

Just don't call it Shirley.
Crescent City, CA

I love to go swimmin'
with hairy old women

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2015, 08:58:45 PM »

With that said, to throw a monkey wrench into the discussion, there are ale strains that contain S. bayanus genetic admixture.  NCYC 1332 is such a strain.  While I am certain that the strain does not originate from the defunct Stratcona brewery, it was used there to produce ale.  NCYC 1332 was a popular ale strain with home brewers in the nineties because Dan McConnell offered it via his yeast company.

NCYC 1332

Information
  Flocculent
  O3, S.G. 6.3, pH3.7.
  PCR-RFLP analysis has shown that this strain contains both S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus RFLPs,
  suggesting that this strain is a S. cerevisiae/S. bayanus hybid (Pope et al., 1997).
Depositor
  British Brewery
Deposit Name
  Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Month of deposit
  January
Deposit Year
  1974
Habitat
  Ale production strain
Equivalent Strain Designations
  N/A
Would this be the same as WY1332 ?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4694
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2015, 10:24:37 PM »
Lager fermented at high temperature vs lager fermented at low temperature: no difference discerned.

For p < 0.05. ;)
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2015, 01:47:20 AM »
Would this be the same as WY1332 ?

I do not believe that they are the same strain.  NCYC 1332 is significantly more attenuative than Wyeast 1332. 


Offline brulosopher

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
  • They who drink beer will think beer
    • Brülosophy
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2015, 04:08:48 PM »

My version of an answer to OP's question: perception. If you serve me a beer, tell me it's a Czech Lager, and I perceive it as being such, than in my book it is a Czech Lager.

Seems like my under-developed palate has trouble discerning between lager yeast and a clean ale yeast fermented cool. I guess I need to brew the same recipe with lager yeast using normal fermentation profile and then with a clean ale yeast fermented cool.

Has Marshall done this? I know he makes lagers with WLP029 but has he done a side by side with lager yeast?
I have: http://brulosophy.com/2015/04/13/lager-fermentation-traditional-yeast-vs-hybrid-yeast-exbeeriment-results/

A lager is any beer fermented with a descendant of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharomyces_eubayanus
Interesting.

Lager fermented at high temperature vs lager fermented at low temperature: no difference discerned.

For p < 0.05. ;)
Exactly!

And Mark... BOOK!!!! NOW!

Offline lunitick1976@hotmail.com

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2015, 05:41:50 PM »
I have run into a bit of confusion regarding this lately. What things determine if a beer is a 'lager'. Is it just the yeast? A combination of the yeast, fermentation temperature, and post fermentation storage? If I fermented a batch at 70F with lager yeast would it be considered a lager although probably a quite bad one?

It seems like a lager is just as much (if not more) about the process than the actual yeast. To me, this creates a huge grey area. At the end of the day, I realize it is all about the results but I am just curios about others feedback. 

My buddy was over tasting my beers the other day and was asking about my lager on tap. He was curious if it was a 'real lager' like stored for weeks at close to freezing temps. I said no, I guess not. I fermented this around 52F and it has been in the fridge at 38F for a few weeks. I don't have the ability to truly lager a beer but I can cold condition after it has been kegged.
There is a great book from the Brewers Publications called "Yeast" it will tell you in depth about all this stuff.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk


Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2015, 07:11:10 PM »
Would this be the same as WY1332 ?

I do not believe that they are the same strain.  NCYC 1332 is significantly more attenuative than Wyeast 1332.
I don't know if this is relevant info but 3 weeks ago I brewed a rye ale and used WY1332 (stab in the dark choice).  Turned into the Energizer Bunny.  It kept going and going and after 15 days it finished out at 1.005.  Tastes crisp and dry in early sampling.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2015, 12:36:31 PM »
I am confused...

A lager is a lager because of yeast used(lager). Lagering is to cold store, which can be done to any beer.  What am I missing?

Offline homoeccentricus

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2009
  • A twerp from Antwerp
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2015, 12:59:42 PM »
I am confused...

A lager is a lager because of yeast used(lager). Lagering is to cold store, which can be done to any beer.  What am I missing?

It's a purely semantic discussion. If it looks like a lager, tastes like a lager and quacks like a lager, but has been made with ale yeast, is it a lager?
Frank P.

Staggering on the shoulders of giant dwarfs.

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3513
  • In the night!
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2015, 01:28:40 PM »
I am confused...

A lager is a lager because of yeast used(lager). Lagering is to cold store, which can be done to any beer.  What am I missing?

It's a purely semantic discussion. If it looks like a lager, tastes like a lager and quacks like a lager, but has been made with ale yeast, is it a lager?
In my opinion, no. That's why this whole discussion, as rabeb25 is questioning, seems to be just to kill time. Bet if you ask any German brewer they'll tell you immediately that, no, it's not a lager unless it's made with lager yeast.

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2015, 01:46:18 PM »
I am confused...

A lager is a lager because of yeast used(lager). Lagering is to cold store, which can be done to any beer.  What am I missing?

It's a purely semantic discussion. If it looks like a lager, tastes like a lager and quacks like a lager, but has been made with ale yeast, is it a lager?
No.

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4441
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2015, 03:32:36 PM »
That's why this whole discussion, as rabeb25 is questioning, seems to be just to kill time.

We're on the internet, thus by definition we are killing time, no?
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3513
  • In the night!
Re: What makes a lager a lager?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2015, 06:39:31 PM »
That's why this whole discussion, as rabeb25 is questioning, seems to be just to kill time.

We're on the internet, thus by definition we are killing time, no?
Yes, I suppose so. But we're also here, on this forum especially, to learn and discuss. There are topics worth discussing, then there are those that we discuss just to kill time, I feel. The "flame out/knock out" was an example of frivolity. This one is only slightly less frivolous. I feel like the answer is pretty obvious - a lager is a lager because of the yeast. There are lagers that aren't lagered - zoiglbier, zwicklbier, kellerbier...
It's just one of those things where the yeast defines the beer, regardless of similarity to other beers with different yeasts. As I stated earlier, hefe = hefe yeast, Belgian = Belgian yeast, etc.

But I suppose by that logic, this topic is a learning topic...