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Old 06-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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Is lagering "necessary"? No, neither is fermenting a lager around 48-50F, or pitching a high amount of yeast. But all these things are necessary to make it the best it can be.
Either lager for a long period, or filter the beer.
The key is to get the yeast out of the beer. Yeast has no place in any pilsner. It will add undesired body and flavor to the beer.

If you want it really crisp, cold crash then filter. You can completely skip lagering if you can filter the beer. I use a plate filter. In fact, I'll be filtering a couple of kegs of pilsner this afternoon. I don't think you can filter if you don't have a kegging system though.

If you don't want to filter, then you will just have to keep it really cold for at least weeks to drop all the yeast.
Do a protein rest to make sure the final beer is "thin" and crisp.
I would never bother with this in an ale, but especially if you are using a German pilsner malt in a lager you should try it. It will break down large proteins that ultimately can make your beer hazy and thicker than you want.

Some pilsner malts really require a protein rest (I use a particularly poorly-modified Weyerman bohemian pilsner malt). It can't hurt to do one every time. Just do a rest at 120F for 30 minutes, then add more hot water to get up to your saccharification temps.
Carbonate properly.
Carbonation will make a beer seem crisper. Good carbonation takes a couple of weeks in my kegs (although I'm often drinking it well before that!). In the bottles, it can also take 2 or 3 weeks to have the CO2 well dissolved into the beer.
Use a ton of yeast and ferment cold from the beginning
Ideally, the yeast gets through the aerobic multiplication phase quickly and jumps into anaerobic fermentation. I believe a ton of the ale-like flavors come during this initial phase.

By using a lot of yeast, the O2 in the beer will get depleted quickly and the yeast will get right into the anaerobic phase of fermentation.

Also, the yeast will throw a lot less off-flavors if they never get a chance to ferment in warm temps. So, make sure to cool your wort to below 50, then pitch that ton of yeast.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #12
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I don't know if I would totally skip lagering by filtering the beer. I feel like it helps precipitate out some of the proteins and tannins that would pass threw the filer. Other wise I agree with the above post. Also I think that is important to use a good German or Czech pilsner malt. American 2 row is too well modified so if you do a protein rest you are going to have a flabby tasting beer.

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Old 06-17-2013, 11:48 PM   #13
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So a month later, or 3 months of total lagering time... And this beer has turned it around, and come out very good. Still not as hoppy as I expected, and the grain isn't as good as the German malt (obviously) but nonetheless good and dramatically better than macro lagers.

Really just needed an extra month to clear those off flavours. Now, Unfortunately, my only problem is that my friends who typically drink bmc are demolishing this keg.

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bloom_198d
So a month later, or 3 months of total lagering time... And this beer has turned it around, and come out very good. Still not as hoppy as I expected, and the grain isn't as good as the German malt (obviously) but nonetheless good and dramatically better than macro lagers.

Really just needed an extra month to clear those off flavours. Now, Unfortunately, my only problem is that my friends who typically drink bmc are demolishing this keg.
Lagers are a labor of love. You almost have to start a new one while you're cleaning up from brewing your last one.

And I know what you mean about your BMC friends. I made a German pils and targeted the low end of the style. I have my neighbor a couple of draws off my tap yesterday and he asked for the key code to my garage
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:15 PM   #15
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Tried Brewing with Wyeast 2124. Wow. Budvar yeast is garbage in comparison, I don't think id ever go back to it.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #16
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Uh oh. I just picked up a couple packs of the Budvar. Does it seem to be the cause of your earlier difficulties?

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Old 08-28-2013, 08:20 PM   #17
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I am still learning and experimenting with lager brews, so it could very well be me screwing up... but I can confidently say it is not as easy to work with as 2124. The yeast doesn't seem to flocculate out as well as I would have hoped, and really needs a long time to mature. I would recommend adding some gelatin to the beer while lagering and really keeping the temperature down to around 9C. Give it a good 3 day D-rest too... one of the lagers was a touch buttery/rich. The yeast actually turned out really good in a wheat lager I did (low IBU?)

Hopefully in a few months you will be laughing at how I possibly struggled with this yeast while you are enjoying some amazing bopils.

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Old 08-29-2013, 01:07 AM   #18
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Hopefully in a few months you will be laughing at how I possibly struggled with this yeast while you are enjoying some amazing bopils.
I hope you're right. I'm sorry to hear of your troubles with it. At least the next batch was better, no? That's all we can really hope for.
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