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Old 07-11-2009, 02:56 AM   #1
mtwalsh922
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Default A lager that doesn't get lagered??

I recently purchased a "German Oktoberfest" dry-malt extract ingredient kit online. I have a cream stout just about ready to bottle in a couple more days, and then I was hoping to move on to brew the Oktoberfest.

Though this beer is refered to as a lager, the instructions for it are no different than the ales I've made, and doesn't even make mention of lagering (which I've never tried before anyway.)

Being a relative newb, I'm wondering if it is common for lager kits to not actually require lagering? I'm not passing judgement, just curious for future reference.

Cheers....

Mike

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:01 AM   #2
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IMO as long as you follow the 1,2,3 rule you will be fine... I have brewed several bocks with out lagering them and all have turned out amazing... They may not be as crisp but still good homebrew. Happy brewing!

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:01 AM   #3
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The difference is the yeast (lager yeast) and the fermentation temperature. What type of yeast are you going to use? A lager should be fermented with a lager strain of yeast in the low to mid 50'sf. and then lagered at near freezing temps for over 6 weeks.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:07 AM   #4
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+1 mbird

A lot of kits are tailored to appeal to noobs who are not yet aware of the differences in producing between lagers and ales. They make kits that mimic the beer they are advertising.

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbird View Post
The difference is the yeast (lager yeast) and the fermentation temperature. What type of yeast are you going to use? A lager should be fermented with a lager strain of yeast in the low to mid 50'sf. and then lagered at near freezing temps for over 6 weeks.
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It's a complete kit, and includes Fermentis Saflager S-23 yeast. I'm guessing that the kit assumes a beginner brewer (true in this case) and figures that true lagering is a bit much in that case?
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:13 AM   #6
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+1 mbird

A lot of kits are tailored to appeal to noobs who are not yet aware of the differences in producing between lagers and ales. They make kits that mimic the beer they are advertising.
Precisely what I just surmised in my previous post. I'm okay with a mimicked flavor...just wanted to understand since I am at least aware of what lagering is. I'll try a real one eventually.

Thanks all!

Mike
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:31 AM   #7
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mtwalsh922-

Actually, the process of using lager yeasts at ale temperatures makes a hybrid style called "steam beer." I made a Steam Oktoberfest using a Märzen yeast and it turned out absolutely delicious! Make it, you're sure to enjoy it.

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Old 07-11-2009, 05:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtwalsh922 View Post
Precisely what I just surmised in my previous post. I'm okay with a mimicked flavor...just wanted to understand since I am at least aware of what lagering is. I'll try a real one eventually.
The main thing that a higher fermentation temperature will bring is a maltier or sweeter finished flavor. A good California Common for me is one that has a nice malty profile, but still some crisp notes. You won't ruin a beer if you brew a lager style like an ale. I would make the case that it wouldn't be the ideal of that style....but it still can be a very good and drinkable beer.

The best way to see what you prefer is to just try: this time try what the noob directions say at brewing like an ale. See what it tastes like. Try the kit again, but this time do it at lager temps. See if you like the true lager better or the "hybrid". BTW, S-23 yeast is a lager yeast that does alright with higher temps: it's a common yeast for California Commons.
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