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Old 01-14-2008, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default OK you lagering pro's...

I'm ready to starting largering. I've tried to read alot on this subject. Those of you that have been lagering, what have your experiences been? Have you lagered many beers? Have they met your expectations? What would you do differently?

I enjoy the beer that i make, but it lacks the crispness that i like.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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Just recently sampled my first lager. It is a Helles Munich. It is as crisp and as clear as you could want. It tastes good, but I jumped straight to a Marzen. I guess the Helles just has less flavor than I prefer. It is good, and I am glad I brewed it. It was good experience.

I did not like the extra time a lager takes, and I guess I prefer more "ale-like" characteristics in beer.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:43 PM   #3
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How long did it take? What did you lager your beer in?Would you do it again?

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:45 PM   #4
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I've made a few lagers, and they all turned out very nice.

For me, I'm not so interested in the crispness, as I sometimes like a beer where the main flavor is the malt (ie Dunkel, or Bocks), with no fruitiness, and very mild hops. The Sam Adams Dark Lager is an example of a lager that I like.

I don't use a refrigerator. Instead, I only lager in the winter when my basement is around 50 degrees. I then use lager yeasts that work best around 50 degrees, like the WYeast 2278. I don't use starters, but instead use those WYeast Activator packs. They are really nice!

nick

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:49 PM   #5
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If you're looking for that crispness, then lagering is definitely the way to go. I will say, however, that I wouldn't bother with them unless/until you get a fridge or chest freezer and a temp regulator. Temp is so important, and the last thing you want to do is sit around worrying all the time about it.

I've made 4 lagers to date, and have liked every one of them. They're hard to do right, though, because that crisp, clean palate means that any mistakes are evident, whereas with an ale, imperfections can be covered a little easier.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:50 PM   #6
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Recently, Ive been drinking alot of German lagers. It's what i like. The ales i've made are good, but not the same.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
If you're looking for that crispness, then lagering is definitely the way to go. I will say, however, that I wouldn't bother with them unless/until you get a fridge or chest freezer and a temp regulator. Temp is so important, and the last thing you want to do is sit around worrying all the time about it.

I've made 4 lagers to date, and have liked every one of them. They're hard to do right, though, because that crisp, clean palate means that any mistakes are evident, whereas with an ale, imperfections can be covered a little easier.
I agree. I'm getting a chest freezer w/ temp control soon.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:53 PM   #8
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Well, I wouldn't go into it thinking that lager brewing will necessarily make your beers better.

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.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
Well, I wouldn't go into it thinking that lager brewing will necessarily make your beers better.
Right. I think(hope) it will give me a taste that i'm looking for.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Basically every other batch for me is a lager. Now, that my basement is to cold for ales, I only do lagers.

I have been satisfied with most of them, but don't often get a chance to do a side-by-side to a good commercial example. To this point I'm not completely satisfied with the outcome. I think my process is alright and that I have to work on subtleties like smoothness of the bitterness and hop flavor/aroma. The latter doesn't seem to carry over into the finished beer like it does for my ales.

One thing that I have found very useful when brewing lagers is the idea of the forced ferment test. It takes the guesswork out of determining if a sweet beer is the result of an incomplete fermentation or dextrines left by the mashing process. At this point I wouldn't brew w/o this test, but it's not widely used in the home brewing community and many brewers turn out fine beers w/o it.

If you are really going down the path of making lagers and want to perfect them you will have to invest in temperature control of the fermentation.

Kai

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