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-   -   Suggestions for an american lager (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/suggestions-american-lager-80896/)

BPD 09-18-2008 12:44 PM

Suggestions for an american lager
 
Only started brewing in May and have 5 brews under my belt. my inlaws (father and brother) like Miller MGD and I thought I would brew something similar. I have researched and know it is difficult to brew this as any off taste etc is readily apparent and the need for consistent lagering. (I do not have a refrig but I do have a root cellar that stays 50'ish). any suggestions for a good extract kit for this style?

Yooper 09-18-2008 12:51 PM

I've heard that austinhomebrew has an American Light lager kit- that may be want you want.

The root cellar might work for you if you can put the fermenter in a cooler or something to keep temperatures consistent. You want to do primary fermentation around 50-52 degrees for about 2-3 weeks. When it's time to lager, though, that's done at near freezing temperatures.

What I do is rack to the carboy and then lower the temperature 5 degrees per day until I'm at 34 degrees for 6-8 weeks. I gave away my lagering fridge (my college kid) so I've been using my "Yooper Lagerator". I took an Igloo Ice Cube cooler, and made a new lid for it out of foam insulation, so that only the airlock pokes out. (there are pictures in my gallery of it). It has wheels, so it's easy to move around. I add water to the cooler and put the carboy in the cooler. This works fine in my basement, which is in the 50 degree range. Then, when I want to lower the temperature, I add one frozen water bottle each day until I'm at 34 degrees. It then stays that cold just by changing out the water bottles every couple of days.

If you don't want to do a lager, you could try a cream ale. That's a lighter ale that MGD drinkers tend to like.

BPD 09-18-2008 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YooperBrew (Post 856302)
I've heard that austinhomebrew has an American Light lager kit- that may be want you want.

The root cellar might work for you if you can put the fermenter in a cooler or something to keep temperatures consistent. You want to do primary fermentation around 50-52 degrees for about 2-3 weeks. When it's time to lager, though, that's done at near freezing temperatures.

If you don't want to do a lager, you could try a cream ale. That's a lighter ale that MGD drinkers tend to like.

Thanks for the quick response. I was thinking of the American light lager from Austinhomebrew as I have ordered from them and it looks to be about what I wanted.

I am in the process of building a box out of 2 inch styrofoam I have around to use as a cooler box in the celler. I'm in Pennsylvania and the nights are getting to the low 40's and I figured by the time I need the lagering it will be very cool at night and I can open the windows in the celler get it cold and in the am close the windows and keep the secondary in the box.

I also did see a cream ale in the midwest supply catalog and thought that might be a good choice as well. maybe both.

Again thanks. After a few months this "hobby" is already starting to become an obsession

Marko73 09-18-2008 01:53 PM

BPD,

Let me know how that Cream Ale turns out. I brewed the kit from Brewers Best and it wasn't very good. . .



+1 to Yooper. . that is a great idea to Lager. I am waiting until the late fall here in Mass to do that for my first lager as well. I think I might use Yooper's idea to try it year round.

Mutilated1 09-18-2008 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BPD (Post 856294)
Only started brewing in May and have 5 brews under my belt. my inlaws (father and brother) like Miller MGD and I thought I would brew something similar. I have researched and know it is difficult to brew this as any off taste etc is readily apparent and the need for consistent lagering. (I do not have a refrig but I do have a root cellar that stays 50'ish). any suggestions for a good extract kit for this style?

This kit ( MakeBeer.net - Order Now ) is very similar to Miller Genuine Draft. It will be better if you can ferment it on the colder side with a real lager yeast, but you don't have to really "lager" it for it to turn out well.

BPD 09-19-2008 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marko73 (Post 856393)
BPD,

Let me know how that Cream Ale turns out. I brewed the kit from Brewers Best and it wasn't very good. . .
I think I might use Yooper's idea to try it year round.

will do. This and the light lager will be the recipes I do after the UFO

Quote:

Originally Posted by YooperBrew (Post 856302)
"Yooper Lagerator". I took an Igloo Ice Cube cooler, and made a new lid for it out of foam insulation, so that only the airlock pokes out. (there are pictures in my gallery of it). It has wheels, so it's easy to move around. I add water to the cooler and put the carboy in the cooler. This works fine in my basement, which is in the 50 degree range. Then, when I want to lower the temperature, I add one frozen water bottle each day until I'm at 34 degrees. It then stays that cold just by changing out the water bottles every couple of days.

Sounds like I may use this instead of the box idea and use the styrofaom for the lid. how do you monitor the temp? the adhesive fermometers do not like water (I learned the first time I tried cooling the secondary.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mutilated1 (Post 856403)
This kit ( MakeBeer.net - Order Now ) is very similar to Miller Genuine Draft. It will be better if you can ferment it on the colder side with a real lager yeast, but you don't have to really "lager" it for it to turn out well.

will also give this a try. do I need to get extra DME besides the yeast or is this a complete kit. also on other sites I saw this extract but with a different label are they the same?


Sorry for all the questions but after reading several books etc this site keeps adding to and refining my education and I am enjoying it! Thanks.

clskinsfan 09-24-2008 01:28 AM

I brewed the Cream Ale kit from AHB. Its been in the bottle 6 weeks and is great. It is by far the lightest brew I have made. I will pour one this weekend and post a picture for you. Looks alot like an american lager. very light color. A little bit on the sweet side but still very good.

golfguy819 09-24-2008 02:23 AM

i'm bottling the american light lager from austin homebrew tomorrow...i'll let you know how it is in 3 weeks (i'm sure that's too long though!)

BPD 09-24-2008 02:45 AM

Thanks for the replies. will be ordering the Cream ale within the week. am going away the first of Oct so hopefully will order it before I go so it arrives right after I get home. will also give the American light lager a try pending your results, will wait to hear. appreciate the reply and the info.

Yooper 09-24-2008 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BPD (Post 858247)


Sounds like I may use this instead of the box idea and use the styrofaom for the lid. how do you monitor the temp? the adhesive fermometers do not like water (I learned the first time I tried cooling the secondary.)

I stick a floating thermometer in the water surrounding the carboy. Not too high-tech, but it works!


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