Author Topic: First lager!  (Read 8458 times)

Offline santoch

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2016, 02:36:27 PM »
I know that you have decided on a Pils for this first lager, and that's fine.  I'd throw out as alternatives for folks that are contemplating their first lager, try a Vienna Lager, a Marzen, or a Schwarzbier. This is from the standpoint of having a little bit more room for small flaws.  You'll get quick turnaround and a tasty beer, even if there are some small issues.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2016, 03:48:08 PM »
If your switching back and forth that's a good move. I have a stand up freezer for food so it's actually extra refrigeration I could use.

When my chest freezer gave up the ghost I replaced it with a standup as bending over to lift a full carboy out of the old one was getting to be less fun each batch.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2016, 04:32:51 PM »
I'm not committed to any particular type of lager yet, though I'm obviously not doing anything too strong. At the moment, I'd have to say that I'm leaning towards a Dunkel.

Yes, an upright freezer would have been a better option, but they are both more expensive and less useful for beer. Seems like everyone these days is integrating the freezer coils into the shelving, which prevents them from being used for brewing.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline santoch

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2016, 07:51:36 PM »
Dunkels is a great choice too.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2016, 11:15:41 PM »
Seems like everyone these days is integrating the freezer coils into the shelving, which prevents them from being used for brewing.

This is what I found as well.  Went with a classic chest freezer and love it. Checked out my local store during a "scratch-n-dent" sale.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2016, 12:24:12 AM »
i'm actually primarily avangard pils..not best..cant get that here.  But I also like weyermann malts quite a bit. Recently brewed pils with barke pils malt...like it a lot. I'm also fond of blending the malts-adds a little complexity and something different.

I'd go right after a pils with 835 and then go from there. simple and you'll know for sure if you have the process down or not.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2016, 01:07:40 AM »
I love Best Malz, but it is harder for me to get, so I make most of my lagers with Avengard or Weyermann - floor malted is super!  Helles with a floor malted is a wonderful beer.
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Offline tonyccopeland

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2016, 01:47:42 AM »
I just purchased a sack of Best to do my first Lager (95% pils, 5% carahell, saaz, and 34/70) and was pleasantly surprised at the aroma (smelled awesome when I opened it) and flavor when chewing the malt.  I used a sack of avangard pils for Belgian beers over the past year that all turned out great as well.

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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2016, 10:08:00 PM »
Yes, an upright freezer would have been a better option, but they are both more expensive and less useful for beer. Seems like everyone these days is integrating the freezer coils into the shelving, which prevents them from being used for brewing.

I got a good sized one at Sears that had all the coils in the body and I am able to rearrange the shelves however I want. I also use an outside temperature controller to keep it at 48-50: perfect for brewing lagers and storing real ale.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2016, 10:14:12 PM »
After looking over some recipes, I'm leaning towards Kai's Schwarzbier recipe, or a riff on that theme. Already have some of the ingredients, so it should be a good starting point. If all goes well, I might try and repitch into a helles bock of some sort. I am fairly confident in my ability to pull off a decent lager on my first try, so I might go and make a pils. We'll see.

Did some more reading on here, I'm going with Toby's reptile heater option for a heat source.

I ordered a bag of Weyermann pils malt, Best was harder/more expensive to get.

I plan on doing 1L shaken/not stirred starters, but I'm considering keeping them cool, rather than running at room temp. This process has made an incredible difference in lag time/yeast performance for my ales, and I want to try this with lagers.


Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2016, 10:43:55 PM »

I plan on doing 1L shaken/not stirred starters, but I'm considering keeping them cool, rather than running at room temp. This process has made an incredible difference in lag time/yeast performance for my ales, and I want to try this with lagers.

I have not yet attempted a lager starter in this fashion, but can only tell you that I have had awesome results pitching from stir plate starters with a ton of yeast. Then repitching the slurry for best results.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 05:01:55 PM »
I know that S. Cerevisiae was adamant that the same process would work for both ales and lagers.

That being said, I do plan on altering the process slightly, as I mentioned above. I'll keep the starter at whatever my initial fermentation temp will be, and pitch them into same-temperature wort at high krausen.

What I'm also wondering is if I should stick to a 5 gallon batch, or make this also be my inaugural 10-gallon batch. Or maybe do some sort of double brew day, run two lagers in the chest freezer at the same time? Would it even be feasible to tie two separate beers to the same fermentation/lagering schedule?
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 09:58:23 PM »
I know that S. Cerevisiae was adamant that the same process would work for both ales and lagers.

That being said, I do plan on altering the process slightly, as I mentioned above. I'll keep the starter at whatever my initial fermentation temp will be, and pitch them into same-temperature wort at high krausen.

What I'm also wondering is if I should stick to a 5 gallon batch, or make this also be my inaugural 10-gallon batch. Or maybe do some sort of double brew day, run two lagers in the chest freezer at the same time? Would it even be feasible to tie two separate beers to the same fermentation/lagering schedule?
This is the way I do it all the time. Right now I have two 6 gallon batches in the same chest, temp probe on one of them. They are relatively same gravity, one is 1.048 the other 1.055. Both lagers. Both chilled to 48F and oxygenated. Both pitched with 1L oxygenated non-stir active starters. Works like a charm every time.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 11:02:42 PM »
I know that S. Cerevisiae was adamant that the same process would work for both ales and lagers.

That being said, I do plan on altering the process slightly, as I mentioned above. I'll keep the starter at whatever my initial fermentation temp will be, and pitch them into same-temperature wort at high krausen.

What I'm also wondering is if I should stick to a 5 gallon batch, or make this also be my inaugural 10-gallon batch. Or maybe do some sort of double brew day, run two lagers in the chest freezer at the same time? Would it even be feasible to tie two separate beers to the same fermentation/lagering schedule?
This is the way I do it all the time. Right now I have two 6 gallon batches in the same chest, temp probe on one of them. They are relatively same gravity, one is 1.048 the other 1.055. Both lagers. Both chilled to 48F and oxygenated. Both pitched with 1L oxygenated non-stir active starters. Works like a charm every time.
Jim is there a thread where you describe your process in more detail? Do you decant for your lagers or just go ahead and pitch the starter wort since you're not oxygenating it with the "vortex of doom"? I saw a few references to the SnS method but I never got the full run-down and searching for the right thread has lead me down some rabbit holes.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2016, 11:12:16 PM »
Here's the original thread on the subject, I don't know if this is one of the ones you'd mentioned or not:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24460.0
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.