Lager Learning: 11 Seminars on Brewing Lagers

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With advances in our understanding of lager yeast fermentation and the plethora of new equipment available to homebrewers nowadays, brewing lager at home is easier than it has ever been. Once considered “the last frontier” for homebrewers, many people find that brewing lagers is just as manageable as making ales!

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1. Craft Lager: What’s Old Is New Again

Joshua Hubner  |  Homebrew Con 2016 (Baltimore, MD)

Florida has seen a renaissance of brewing and beer styles over the past 10 years, though the surprisingly rich history of Prohibition-era lagers has faded away. This seminar is focused on the tradition of brewing in Miami, from business and advertising to process and ingredients. Craft lagers are making a comeback, and we’ll guide you through their brewing from the eyes of the homebrewer.

2. Czech Lagers: History, Brewing, Judging

Bob Hall & Randy Scorby  |  Homebrew Con 2015 (San Diego, CA)

In this seminar, Hall and Scorby describe the four “new” Czech styles in the BJCP style guidelines. Czech lagers are diverse, ranging from delicate, light, and pale to malty, intense, and dark. Hall and Scorby discuss the history of these beers, explain how to brew them, and provide details on evaluating them.

3. Czech Plz! What I Learned Brewing with the Czech Masters

Annie Johnson  |  Homebrew Con 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)

Join 2013 Homebrewer of the Year Annie Johnson as she reveals the secrets of brewing authentic Czech Pilsner at home. You’ll learn about water chemistry, ingredients, decoction mashing, fermentation, and more. Annie has brewed with master brewers Vaclav Berka of the Pilsner Urquell brewery and Votech Holmka of the Gambrinus, Kozel, and Radegast breweries, all located in the Czech Republic.

4. Fast Lager Yeast Fermentations

Mike “Tasty” McDole  |  Homebrew Con 2016 (Baltimore, MD)

Join “Tasty” McDole as he describes shortening the fermentation and maturation time for cold-fermented beers. By increasing the fermentation temperature during primary fermentation, “lager” beers can be produced in periods of time more commonly associated with ales.

5. How and What to Brew with S. eubayanus

Jared Spidel  |  Homebrew Con 2016 (Baltimore, MD)

Discovered in 2011 and responsible for creating modern-day lager yeast via hybridization with ale yeast, Saccharomyces eubayanus has the potential to be a novel brewing yeast. This seminar presents data from 50 beers representing 25 styles that were brewed with S. eubayanus. The diversity of beer styles and brewing conditions generated a vast amount of fermentation data over a wide spectrum of beers.

6. Lager Yeast Strain Selection for Style, Flavor, and Aroma

Kevin Lane  |  Homebrew Con 2017 (Minneapolis, MN)

There are many lager yeast strains available on the market that can be used to ferment a diverse array of lager styles. Selecting the correct lager strain for your goals is the first step towards brewing your best lager ever. This seminar analyzes different lager styles and helps homebrewers learn the yeast selection criteria needed to brew them well.

7. Long Live Lagers

Jason Oliver & Warren Haskell  |  Homebrew Con 2014 (Grand Rapids, MI)

Lagers, more than any other beer style, require the brewer to pay attention to the details, from recipe creation to brewing practices, fermentation time and temperature, and storage practices. This seminar will help you make the leap into lager brewing, offering concise, practical methods and practices for achieving quality lager.

8. Mock Lagers: Cutting Contentious Corners

Sam Burligame  |  Homebrew Con 2016 (Baltimore, MD)

Space and time are major constraints for most things in existence, but they are at a particular premium for homebrewers! Explore the crisp, clean rewards of taking the small risk of applying alternative mash, brew, and fermentation schedules inspired by the lager-like qualities of super clean ales such as alt and steam beers.

9. S. eubayanus: Practical Brewing Knowledge with the Father of Lager Yeast

Bret Baker  |  Homebrew Con 2014 (Grand Rapids, MI)

Have you ever wondered, like many homebrewers, where lager yeast originated and if it can be used to make good beer? Join Bret Baker as he delves into a recent discovery made in Patagonia by Diego Libkind for a lesson in biology, history, and practical brewing applications with the father of lager yeast, Saccharomyces eubayanus.

10. The Most Neutral Lager Strain? Effect of Pitching Rate and Fermentation Temperature on Strain Weihenstephan 34/70

José Pizzaro  |  Homebrew Con 2019 (Providence, RI)

In this seminar you will virtually enter the Research & Development department of a yeast manufacturer and learn the steps and methodology of fermentation trials to demonstrate the neutrality in flavors and aromas, under several fermentation conditions, of a lager yeast strain. Attendees will learn what makes this yeast strain so popular in the beer industry worldwide, as well as the methodology and sensory protocols involved in fermentation trials.

11. Tips on How to Homebrew Lagers

Jason Pratt  |  Homebrew Con 2015 (San Diego, CA)

Jason Pratt of MillerCoors will share tips and tricks to help perfect making an exceptional lager at home. Learn how to apply some large-scale quality processes to your small-batch setup.

Browse through the Homebrew Con Seminars archive for even more explorations on yeast and other topics on beer, mead, and cider!

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