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How to stop worrying & lager

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matt76

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I spotted this interesting article posted recently by Drew Beechum on Craft Beer & Brewing: "How to stop worrying & lager"

Typical of Drew's style it's quite funny and tongue in cheek so I think it's worth a read anyway.

The actual technique isn't actually revolutionary as such - similar to the Brulosophy fast lager method I think.

Nevertheless you might find it particularly useful, say, if you're a newish brewer looking to try your hand a making a lager for the first time.

Cheers,

Matt 👍🍻
 

H0PM0NSTER

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Thanks Matt - that is a useful article.
Just ordered the ingredients for my first go at a proper AG lager (Greg Hughes' Munich Dunkel recipe). I'm going to follow the fast lager method and hoping that fermenting at slightly higher temps will help the yeast as I've only got a single packet of SafLager W-34/70.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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Thanks - this is really useful and timely, as I've been a bit intimidated by the differences between brewing ale and lager. Bookmarked athumb..

The article is music to my ears, especially as I can cool my FV to a certain extent, but really not down to the 'just above freezing' level...

Love the end quote: "Lager isn’t hard. Lager isn’t scary. Don’t let those who want to make it seem like a lost mystical art fool you into thinking it is."
 
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matt76

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Thanks Matt - that is a useful article.
Just ordered the ingredients for my first go at a proper AG lager (Greg Hughes' Munich Dunkel recipe). I'm going to follow the fast lager method and hoping that fermenting at slightly higher temps will help the yeast as I've only got a single packet of SafLager W-34/70.
As it happens I've got a Munich Dunkel conditioning at the moment, though I used CML Hell for that. I've only used W-34/70 once, in a German Pilsner which is really nice still got a few left), and I'm considering making another Munich Helles with this strain.

Thanks - this is really useful and timely, as I've been a bit intimidated by the differences between brewing ale and lager. Bookmarked athumb..

The article is music to my ears, especially as I can cool my FV to a certain extent, but really not down to the 'just above freezing' level...

Love the end quote: "Lager isn’t hard. Lager isn’t scary. Don’t let those who want to make it seem like a lost mystical art fool you into thinking it is."
It really isn't scary - I think once you've got a few brews under your belt and you've got an idea what you're doing then it really isn't that hard. Case in point, the first lager I did (GH Czech Pilsner) was only my 7th brew and it turned out great. In that case I fermented with WY2278 in the garage in winter when it was cold enough to keep the yeast in the happy zone.

I will also add that you don't need a brew fridge - brew with the seasons as above, and/or pick the right yeast (WY2124; W-34/70 for example) and you can get away with temperatures only a little below room temp. For this I have traditionally sat my FV in a crate of water and just swapped out a few picnic freezer blocks 2-3 times a day to keep the temperature around 16-18degC. Using this method I fermented a Baltic Porter with WY2124 in the middle of summer 2019 and that was a cracking beer.
 

Markk

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As it happens I've got a Munich Dunkel conditioning at the moment, though I used CML Hell for that. I've only used W-34/70 once, in a German Pilsner which is really nice still got a few left), and I'm considering making another Munich Helles with this strain.
I usually use CML Cali Common yeast for my lagers through fear of using a real lager yeast and followIng an unfamiliar process. They have all come out ok but I feel like I’m cheating. I have good temperature control and so I’m looking to make a proper lager using CML Hell this weekend. I have two packs but not sure if I should pitch both or just one?
 

matt76

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I usually use CML Cali Common yeast for my lagers through fear of using a real lager yeast and followIng an unfamiliar process. They have all come out ok but I feel like I’m cheating. I have good temperature control and so I’m looking to make a proper lager using CML Hell this weekend. I have two packs but not sure if I should pitch both or just one?
You're probably fine with one pack but email and ask them...

I asked them about fermenting 10L Baltic Porter (I further the exact OG but it ended at 9% ABV) and they said I'd be fine with one pack (and they were correct).

So for 20L of 5%-ish lager I reckon one pack might be ok.

Edit: that's assuming you don't plan to ferment right down the bottom of the temperature range or lower!
 
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matt76

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On a related topic, I spotted an interesting little tidbit in another Craft Beer & Brewing Article (scroll down the article to "The Building Blocks");

Describing their Czech and German Pilsners, Smith & Lenz say they do a shorter mash and a longer boil for the Czech to try to get some of the effect of a decoction mash (colour and more maltiness or body I presume).

Meanwhile the German pils gets a slightly longer mash but a shorter boil to promote dryness.

This is really interesting - I had read something recently along these lines about longer boils (or alternatively boiling off and concentrating a small portion of the liquor). I'm curious to try something (shorter mash, longer boil) like this in my next Munich Helles for example.
 

pms67

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I thought your post said how to stop worrying a lager
I immediately stopped threatening my pint of Carling that it was going down the drain
 

Brewnaldo

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CML Hell works well all the way up to 20 btw, in my opinion at least.
 

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