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Old 01-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #21
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I brew many more ales than lagers, but why wouldn't you brew a lager? Why limit the palette you use, as it were?

Also, lager yeasts aren't totally neutral. They're cleaner and not full of esters, but do a split batch with a couple of lager yeasts and you'll see a difference as one really accentuates a heavy malt character and the other lets some hops shine through, etc etc. The flavors vary otherwise you'd just see one lager yeast. I've had some amazing lagers in Austria that didn't taste like ale at all. They had their own character. And that character is worthy of exploring as a brewer. If you don't have the pipeline to support making them very much, try to sneak one in once in a while and you won't regret it.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth
I brew many more ales than lagers, but why wouldn't you brew a lager? Why limit the palette you use, as it were?

Also, lager yeasts aren't totally neutral. They're cleaner and not full of esters, but do a split batch with a couple of lager yeasts and you'll see a difference as one really accentuates a heavy malt character and the other lets some hops shine through, etc etc. The flavors vary otherwise you'd just see one lager yeast. I've had some amazing lagers in Austria that didn't taste like ale at all. They had their own character. And that character is worthy of exploring as a brewer. If you don't have the pipeline to support making them very much, try to sneak one in once in a while and you won't regret it.
Once I established a good pipeline my lagers really got better; all my beers have improved in quality because they are not rushed to the tap anymore.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #23
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Once I established a good pipeline my lagers really got better; all my beers have improved in quality because they are not rushed to the tap anymore.
Ales also benefit from a little bit of a wait, at least once bottled. I know a lot of newer brewers who don't brew enough, so when they brew, they often finish drinking it before it's even been in the bottle a month. I tell them to brew more and let it sit a little. 6 weeks is good. Of course, if you're kegging you can drink ales faster, but these guys aren't kegging.

With lagers, I never rush them. No point in making a lager if you're not going to take the care to produce one properly.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #24
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i didn't totally get the difference between a "clean ale" and a lager until i tasted them side by side. my clean altbier (ale) fermented at 59 and loved by me and everyone tastes like apple pie if you sip it right after drinking a high-quality lager. drink it alone and you don't necessarily pick up the fruitiness at all.

so to really appreciate the difference, buy a kolsch and a helles and drink them side by side. or a doppelbock and a scotch strong. or a dusseldorf alt and an american amber ale.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:49 PM   #25
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lagers are awesome and worth the wait. i particularly love Helles. It reminds me of the times i've spent in Munich enjoying a liter in the park watching foosball games! ja! A helles is very hard to find. So i brew my own. for $400 bucks you can have a fridge, and all the riggings for 10 gallon setup. I use my fermentation fridge for ales and lagers. i can control the temp to 1 degree and the results are always great. Right now i have a german pilsner on tap and i have a schwarzbier finishing up its primary fermentation (1 month at 50degrees) this weekend. I'll transfer to kegs and lager it for at least a month longer. back to your question: why brew a lager? cause i can. why brew a lager? cause lagers taste great and are different than ales. with a fermentation fridge i can brew anything. and that is why i brew in general so i can make any beer any way that i want.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:57 PM   #26
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Now excuse my ignorance.. but what would one get if they took something as heavy as a Russian Imperial Stout and used Lager years and then fermented at lager temps and lagered it as well..? What style would that then become..?

I love Marzen and Stouts.. and just curious.. Might try it later.

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Old 01-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Huh, I never realized it was til you mentioned it and I googled it. Interesting.

See OP, you learn something new everyday.
Technically Baltic Porter can be either an ale or a lager. Usually it's fermented quite cold and cold conditioned, though, so even if it's an ale yeast it will have a very similar flavor profile.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:14 PM   #28
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Now excuse my ignorance.. but what would one get if they took something as heavy as a Russian Imperial Stout and used Lager years and then fermented at lager temps and lagered it as well..? What style would that then become..?
The quintessential "big" lager is, imo, the doppelbock. The closest lager to an RIS is probably the baltic porter. If you took the same recipe and swapped yeasts and temps, that's probably what you'd have.

The last issue of BYO was all about big, dark lagers. I brewed a Weizen Trippelbock (1.108) recipe from this issue over the weekend.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:25 PM   #29
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Thanks everyone

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDGoin View Post
Now excuse my ignorance.. but what would one get if they took something as heavy as a Russian Imperial Stout and used Lager years and then fermented at lager temps and lagered it as well..? What style would that then become..?

I love Marzen and Stouts.. and just curious.. Might try it later.
Try it as a split batch, if you're curious. Brew the RIS, split and ferment with the ale and lager yeast of your choice.
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