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Old 02-27-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
Shamrock28
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Whose got the best out there? Also, what are the best hops to use for a lager recipe?

 
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
BigEd
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Lager is a very broad category just like ale. What kind of lager?

 
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:36 PM   #3
DeathBrewer
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Here's a good place to start:

BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines - Index
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:47 PM   #4
Yooper
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I like "bigger" lagers like maibocks. If you're looking for a recipe like that, I have an extract recipe already in the database. I've done it as AG, too, and can post that if you want.

I've never made a pilsner or a lighter lager, though, so I'll defer to someone else if that's the style you have in mind.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
Shamrock28
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Great starting point Death Brewer....My goal is to make a Lite American Lager. However, wouldnt it be better for me to brew a standard to premium lager then dilute it to a lite american lager??

 
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock28 View Post
Great starting point Death Brewer....My goal is to make a Lite American Lager. However, wouldnt it be better for me to brew a standard to premium lager then dilute it to a lite american lager??
Beyond the obvious question, "Why?", first are you and your brewery set up for the cold, controlled temps that are required for lager brewing? Are you an all-grain brewer? These styles of beers, IMO, benefit greatly from the control and ingredient choice available to the all-grain method compared to extracts. If you were to brew a nice premium lager why would you want to dilute it? Do you understand that commercial "Lite" beers are manufactured as much as they are brewed utilizing special enzymes, filtration and other processes?

If your brewing techniques are good and you have lager fermentation capabilities I might suggest brewing something like a CAP or Euro/German pils for a first go. These beers taste better than "Lite" beer but they would allow some practice with the brewing of lighter lagers and the use of adjuncts.

 
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock28 View Post
Great starting point Death Brewer....My goal is to make a Lite American Lager. However, wouldnt it be better for me to brew a standard to premium lager then dilute it to a lite american lager??
No...commercial breweries do that, but from a homebrewer's perspective and as a hobby, it's doesn't really make sense. It's more to save space than for any type of flavor. I've done it myself, brew a heavy beer and then dilute it down...in fact, i have one right here at home (my irish rye stout) that needs 2 gallons of distilled to keg. I've found it doesn't work well with lighter beers.

If you're going to make an american lite lager, I would suggest using a variety of hops. Use very small quantities of multiple hops and use them in many additions. A friend of mine made a wonderful american lite that was continuously hopped, starting with very small quantities of high alpha hops and more additions every 5 minutes or so. ProMash would definitely help straighten everything out and I could give you a hand with a recipe.

BigEd is right, you need to be able to lager...but as long as you have this capability, it doesn't matter what style you brew. Just be ready to let that sucker ferment for a month and then cold condition for another 1-2 months. If you're not that patient, I could help you with a wonderful cream ale recipe. It's an ale, but it's light and crisp like a lager.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
Shamrock28
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Death Brewer, thats interesting..I was under the impression thats what a commercial brewery does...They brew a great tasting lager and then dilute it to make a lite lager...I am very interested in hearing the recipe your friend came up with for his american lite. I dont have the acess to all the lager equipment needed but hopefully with the right advice and guidance I am more then willing to go purchase this equipment and spend the time waiting for the lager to condition...Also, besides wanting to use an all grain recipe to brew this with rice ad an adjunct. I would also like to find the most cost effective way to brew this beer in terms of hops. As minimum as I can make it being a huge taste difference and tasting like crap. My reason for that is because I dont want to start brewing something thats overly hopped and next year prices climb and climb. Then im **** out of luck...


Thank you for your continued support with this topic

 
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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As was already mentioned, patience and temp control is key.

My observation (and I am no expert... 5 pilsners this fall/winter) is to age properly. Although my pilsners were nice after 3 week fermentation and 3 week lagering, I went to 4 weeks in the primary (between 45 and 50F), and then 6 weeks in kegs at mid-30F.

My last batch was the best. We compared all the German/Czech pilsners we could find here, and blind tasted mine with them. Mine was very comparable, and some people actually liked mine best.

I am not quite happy yet, as I think I like a slightly darker pilsner with a little more hop character. I have 2 more batches to try this winter and hope to have something worthy of my recipe database here at HBT.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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Shamrock28, what temp can you ferment? Even a hybrid ale needs a fermentation temp of about 60F (56F or so ambient temp) so if you can't do that, I'd say it's time to get a chest freezer or some other cooling method.

lagers ferment in the high 40s, low 50s...definitely need a fridge, freezer or a cold ass basement.
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