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Old 02-15-2006, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GABrewboy
Just so you guys know, anchor steam is supposedly a LAGER, but it is not fermented nor conditioned like any lager should be. My understanding is it is brewed and conditioned just like an ale, but using lager yeast strains.......
from white labs:
This yeast is used to produce the "California Common" style beer. A unique lager strain which has the ability to ferment up to 65 degrees while retaining lager characteristics. Can also be fermented down to 50 degrees for production of marzens, pilsners

it is a special yeast strain that should still be fermented no higher than 65 and still needs a period of lagering or "cold conditioning". like other true lager yeast, it can be used at higher temps. just be aware that it will not taste like a true cali common if fermented at higher temps.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GABrewboy
Just so you guys know, anchor steam is supposedly a LAGER, but it is not fermented nor conditioned like any lager should be. My understanding is it is brewed and conditioned just like an ale, but using lager yeast strains.......
Never heard anyone call Anchor Steam a 'lager' before, even their own website makes no mention.

Even if someone was using 100% lager ingredients doesn't mean the beer will necessarily be a lager when it's finished. You have to follow the technique too..........
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
Never heard anyone call Anchor Steam a 'lager' before, even their own website makes no mention.

Even if someone was using 100% lager ingredients doesn't mean the beer will necessarily be a lager when it's finished. You have to follow the technique too..........
anchor steam is NOT a lager. it's a "steam" beer (special lager yeast @ ale temperatures), and Anchor Brewing owns the copyright on that term, which is why it's often refered to as the "california common" style of beer.

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Old 02-16-2006, 12:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mikey
Not true at all. It needs to be lagered (stored for extended periods at near freezing temperatures) to be called a lager.
From John Palmers. How to Brew


The lagering temperature and duration are affected by both the primary fermentation temperature and the yeast strain. These are the four primary factors that determine the final character of the beer. Some general guidelines for fermentation times and temperatures are listed below:
  1. Check the yeast package information for recommended fermentation temperature(s).
  2. The temperature difference between the primary phase and the lager phase should be roughly 10°F.
  3. Nominal lagering times are 3 - 4 weeks at 45°F, 5 - 6 weeks at 40°F, or 7 - 8 weeks at 35°F.
  4. Stronger beers need to be lagered longer.
  5. Nothing is absolute. Brewing is both a science and an art
A common question is, "If the beer will lager faster at higher temperatures, why would anyone lager at the low temperature?" Two reasons: first, in the days before refrigeration when lager beers were developed, icehouses were the common storage method - it's tradition. Second, the colder lagering temperatures seem to produce a smoother beer than warmer temperatures. This would seem to be due to the additional precipitation and settling of extraneous proteins (like chill haze) and tannins that occur at lower temperatures.
It would seem that it would make a lager, just not as good a lager as one brewed at lower temps.
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:09 AM   #15
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the extra esters and diacetyl produced are the by-product of fermenting lager yeast at ale temperatures. they can give some funky flavors. therefor defeating the purpose of lagering.

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Old 02-16-2006, 10:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
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the extra esters and diacetyl produced are the by-product of fermenting lager yeast at ale temperatures. they can give some funky flavors. therefor defeating the purpose of lagering.
That's true.
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:10 PM   #17
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Reading Noonan's treatise on lager brewing, as well as this months BYO special on lagers contradicts Palmers views to a large degree.

I've never heard of a supposed 10 degree difference between fermentation and lagering phase and the concept of lagering at higher temperatures to 'speed things up' seems counterproductive. If higher temperatures for shorter periods give the same effect, while not just boil it for 10 secs and have it ready immediately?

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Old 02-16-2006, 03:02 PM   #18
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That article in BYO by Bill Pierce I have just read and can't find anything wrong with what he said. I have read How to Brew and am currently reading Noonans New Brewing Lager Beer and nothing conflicting comes to mind. Could you expand on your comments a little and give some examples. BTW I think you are right in saying that higher temps to speed up lagering is backasswards.

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Old 02-17-2006, 12:14 AM   #19
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Sure, warming up lager speeds up the "lagering" phase. And while I'm giving out advice, the best way to catch a sparrow is to shake a bit of salt on its tail.

My understanding is that almost all of the yeast we have access to is bottom-fermenting, which would at some point have been called lager yeast. But we have strains which are temperature sensitive, and the high temp ones we call ale yeast (even though they aren't top-fermenting ale yeasts of olde) and the lower temp ones we call lager yeast. Get them above their comfort zone, and you get fruity beer.

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Old 02-17-2006, 12:58 AM   #20
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My experience is it all depends on the variety of yeast AND the ingredients. I love making Common/Steam beer using a California Lager yeast but fermenting at higher then normal lager fermenting temps. Likewise I make lots of Cream Ale and do the reverse with an ale yeast. What you call it and how you categorize it doesn't really matter unless you are in a comp. and worried about judges and style. I think a Fest beer with some extra esters could be nice, but watch out for sulfur production. The bottom line rule for me is "Know your yeast"

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