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Author Topic: Pressure Fermentation - Are lagers brewed at warm temperatures still lager?  (Read 2659 times)

Offline aleman1949

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For the past year I have been pressure fermenting. Using this method, one can use lager yeast at room temperature and get a very good, clean lager in less than two weeks rather than two or more months. My questions is, should these beers still be called "lagers" since technically they haven't been "lagered"? Does anyone know if there is an official position on this at the AHA or BJCP? I haven't been able to find any discussion on this.

Offline allenhuerta

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Unless you really want to open that can, if you serve it to those in the know, tell them it's a lager, and they don't call it out, just let it ride.

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Offline pete b

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I think that any “official” recognition of whether a particular beer fits into a recognized style is based completely on end results and not the process. If it looks like a lager, tastes like a lager, etc. then that’s what it is.
I think if anyone was going to get technical it would be about the yeast, not the fermentation temperature and length.
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Offline tommymorris

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A friend from work who is very literal was kind of perturbed when he saw my pale ale.  He told me it wasn’t pale.

I once served California Common at an event. No one knew what the heck they were getting into with that one.

So, what’s in a name? Call it what you want. Or call it what your audience wants...

Offline RC

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Allow me to be the first to challenge the notion that it takes two or more months to make a good, clean lager. That simply isn't true. It's totally possible to produce an excellent, medal-winning lager, using a "typical" lager yeast, in a grain-to-glass timeframe of 3-4 weeks. High-pressure fermentation not required.

But to your question, the line is blurry and I don't think there's an official position on what officially constitutes a "lager". I personally call a beer a lager if it was fermented with S. pastorianus, regardless of temp/pressure conditions, because it suggests to the drinker certain sensory characteristics that are distinct from ale and Belgian yeasts.

Offline erockrph

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To me, if I ferment a lager recipe with a lager yeast at warm temps under pressure, I get a beer that tastes close enough to the same recipe fermented at cooler temperatures using the same yeast. Whether someone else wants to define it otherwise, I'll call it a lager just the same. If it tastes like a Helles/Pilsner/Bock/etc., then it doesn't matter how you got there.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Ask 100 brewers this question, and you'll get 100 different answers.  Here's mine:

If it tastes like a lager, you can get away with calling it a lager.

That being said, I've tasted many dozens of so-called "lagers" and "lager-like ales", and to my palate........ only once or twice did they truly taste clean enough to be real lagers, IMO.  Sure you can get close, but close enough for one is not close enough for everyone, in my experience.  Maybe I'm just real picky, but it has to be squeaky clean and malty to be a "real lager".  My opinion.

Also, if it's fermented with a lager yeast at cool temperatures, you can definitely call it a lager.  Even if it has flaws, at that point, well you've still made a lager!  Just maybe not a very good one!

Anything else, ANYTHING else, in my opinion, is really an ale, or a hybrid style where lager yeast was fermented warm like a "steam beer" or whatever.

Yeah I know my opinion stinks.  But you'll only get opinions out of us.  There is not any "right" answer on this, except in each of our own eyes.

Or perhaps the one right answer is: pastorianus yeast fermented at about 52 F or less for several weeks.  That's definitely a lager.  Anything else is left to the tastebuds of the beholder.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 06:08:39 am by dmtaylor »
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Offline majorvices

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Theoretically if you use lager yeast it is technically a lager. Also, what Dave said. I have fooled a lot of people with WY1007 before (German Ale strain) ... even a group of Germans at a beer fest once. Course, they may have ben a little drunk. lol

Offline dmtaylor

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Theoretically if you use lager yeast it is technically a lager. Also, what Dave said. I have fooled a lot of people with WY1007 before (German Ale strain) ... even a group of Germans at a beer fest once. Course, they may have ben a little drunk. lol

1007 is the most outstanding lager-like ale yeast there is.  Accept no substitutes.  Except maybe Lutra..... Lutra is very promising.  I've tasted both good and bad examples, but the good ones.... wow.
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Offline Richard

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I make a California Common that I call Schrodinger's Beer because it is a lager and an ale at the same time. It only resolves to one or the other when tasted by someone who responds differently to the two. Otherwise the consumer gets entangled along with the beer. If you don't understand this see the description of Schrodinger's cat, which is dead and alive at the same time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat
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Offline Wilbur

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Theoretically if you use lager yeast it is technically a lager. Also, what Dave said. I have fooled a lot of people with WY1007 before (German Ale strain) ... even a group of Germans at a beer fest once. Course, they may have ben a little drunk. lol

1007 is the most outstanding lager-like ale yeast there is.  Accept no substitutes.  Except maybe Lutra..... Lutra is very promising.  I've tasted both good and bad examples, but the good ones.... wow.

I've got a split batch with part made with Bayern lager and the rest with Lutra, I'm not too sure. Lutra is pretty notable for being clean and not producing esters. I think a fellow club member said it best when he said it  was missing crispness or something else that you can only get from a lager yeast. They both need to settle a bit, but I don't think I'll be using Lutra for a lager. That being said, it cranked a beer out at 67 F in 2-3 days. Not sure if it fits in my yeast bank though.

Offline santoch

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I make a California Common that I call Schrodinger's Beer because it is a lager and an ale at the same time. It only resolves to one or the other when tasted by someone who responds differently to the two. Otherwise the consumer gets entangled along with the beer. If you don't understand this see the description of Schrodinger's cat, which is dead and alive at the same time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat

I love this.
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