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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What makes a lager? Yeast, Grain or Cold Ferm?
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default What makes a lager? Yeast, Grain or Cold Ferm?

Hello everyone,

So It's starting to get rather cold in my basement this time of year and I just picked up an older fridge a few weeks back. So with that I'm at the point where I can start lagering.

My question is:

What really makes a lager so crisp and clear? Is it mainly the yeast, cold fermentation and lagering or does the grain bill play a large role?

I ask this because I'd love to make a Stella'ish clone but it’s very expansive for me to get the Pils malts most clones ask for. Could I make a crisp and clean lager using 2 row + crystal malts and using a lager yeast like Safalager 34/70. All while cold fermenting and lagering afterwards?

Any advice or personal expirience would be great!

Thank you!

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Old 11-10-2014, 06:18 PM   #2
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The yeast. Lagers use bottom fermenting yeasts at cooler temps than ales & are "lagered" for a couple months as well. But I do make hybrid lagers with WL029 kolsch yeast & the ingredients typically found in lagers.

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Old 11-10-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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As stated above lager yeasts are what make a lager. Lagering, or cold
Storage, will make for a clear(er) beer.

But that is not really what you are asking is it? You want to know if you can use cheaper ingredients than those listed in the recipe. The answer is no.

Can you use oatmeal and raisins to make a chocolate chip cookie? No. From a distance they may look the same, and they are both (good) cookies, but it will never be a chocolate chip cookie.

Same with beer. You can use different ingredients, but will get a different beer. You can still use 2 row and crystal with later yeast and produce clean crisp beer, but it won't be a stella

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Old 11-10-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_kever_kombi View Post
As stated above lager yeasts are what make a lager. Lagering, or cold
Storage, will make for a clear(er) beer.

But that is not really what you are asking is it? You want to know if you can use cheaper ingredients than those listed in the recipe. The answer is no.

Can you use oatmeal and raisins to make a chocolate chip cookie? No. From a distance they may look the same, and they are both (good) cookies, but it will never be a chocolate chip cookie.

Same with beer. You can use different ingredients, but will get a different beer. You can still use 2 row and crystal with later yeast and produce clean crisp beer, but it won't be a stella
That's a great analogy!

I guess I did not properly phrase my question. Almost all the lager recipes I see ask for Europen malts like Pils and Vienna. I wanted to know if I could still make a crips and clean finishing lager using 2 row with cold fermentation and lagering afterwards. As you said I can but it wont be the same.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDeepDarkDerp View Post
That's a great analogy!

I guess I did not properly phrase my question. Almost all the lager recipes I see ask for Europen malts like Pils and Vienna. I wanted to know if I could still make a crips and clean finishing lager using 2 row with cold fermentation and lagering afterwards. As you said I can but it wont be the same.

Thanks for the info.
Yeah, use American ingredients and make a premium American lager.
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