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Old 04-06-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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I want to make a Pilsener but I don't have the equipment/conditions for lagering. I read some articles online but couldn't conclude that Pilsener beers are indeed lagers. If it is a Lager I guess I'm out of luck for now.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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Yep, pilsners are a classic lager. There are several kinds- American pilsners, German and Bohemian pilsners.

You could do a pilsner-style ale, and if you ferment it cool with a clean ale yeast (think pacman at 60 degrees or California lager yeast at 62 degrees), it would be lager-like in finish although not exactly as clean and crisp as a real lager.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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Go yoop!
was about to say, california lager yeast would be your best bet in this case. if you're going for an authentic pilsener from a country, you may not get the profile you're after with the cali lager, but best of luck!
Also... you could always just use a clean ale strain, like yoop said, at the lowest of the temperatures and toward the end of fermentation just ramp up a bit to let the yeast go crazy without much if any off flavors.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Buy a keg pail, use 2L bottles with frozen water, and you have a (high maintenance) lager setup. It isn't that difficult to maintain 50 degrees for fermentation by replacing frozen bottles regularly. Diacetyl rest at 2/3 of fermentation completion by leaving out the frozen bottles. Then, when ferm is done, bottle and "bottle lager" in a fridge.

Lagers are awesome, worth the extra investment.

IMO, a great lager is more interesting than a super hopped IPA. And, harder to do well.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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"IMO, a great lager is more interesting than a super hopped IPA. And, harder to do well"

Llllllllllllllllllllllets get ready to ruuuumblllllllllllllle!!!!

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Old 04-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
Buy a keg pail, use 2L bottles with frozen water, and you have a (high maintenance) lager setup. It isn't that difficult to maintain 50 degrees for fermentation by replacing frozen bottles regularly. Diacetyl rest at 2/3 of fermentation completion by leaving out the frozen bottles. Then, when ferm is done, bottle and "bottle lager" in a fridge.

Lagers are awesome, worth the extra investment.

IMO, a great lager is more interesting than a super hopped IPA. And, harder to do well.
I thought about doing this since I already have a swamp cooler setup for ales. The problem is that I have a unique work schedule and sometimes I am working for several days without coming home. I guess Pilseners are out of the question for me unless I get a fermentation chamber that requires no babysitting. I tasted a pilsener at my LHBS the other day and it was delicious.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
Lagers are awesome, worth the extra investment.
Agreed!

Quote:
IMO, a great lager is more interesting than a super hopped IPA. And, harder to do well.
Agreed 100%!
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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yeah, you'd need a good temp control to do a pilsner worth anything. If you aren't going to be there to change the ice packs, the water tub isn't going to work. If you can keep ales at low 60's though, you could use a clean ale yeast and after bottling leave the bottles in the fridge for a couple months. This is supposed to make a good "psuedo-lager". I read that in a magazine, but haven't done it myself.

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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As Yooper said, if you can't lager, clean Ale yeast is an alternative. Keep looking at homebrewfinds for a cheap temp controller, and craig's list for a cheap deep freezer. It's worth the investment, for all beers.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:59 AM   #10
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I find that pilsen malt when not lagered has a LOT of flavor. I would dial down the pilsen in the recipe if you aren't going to lager.

 
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