Muntons Gold Continental Pilsner, temperatures/times/modifications for lagering?

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Jun 21, 2023
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Hello brewers :-)

I have a Muntons Gold Continental Pilsner kit to get started next week. I am hoping to give it the best possible chance of turning out light, crisp and lager-y and would appreciate any and all advice as I am still a bit of a novice. I am in no hurry, I am hoping to drink it at Christmas/New Year (and will have some ale/IPA/cider options preparing in the meantime!)
  • Yeast: I am swapping out the vaguely labelled "Lager Yeast" included for MJ M74 Bavarian Lager Yeast, and I'll set my Inkbird to 11C for fermentation (Range of yeast states 8-14C).
  • Water: I understand a Pilsner should have a very soft water profile. My tap water is completely unsuitable, with some guesswork I have concocted a plan to use 25% Tesco Ashbeck water and 75% RO/spotless water.
  • I will package into 2 or 3 x 5L party kegs and the remainder into bottles.
I am brand new to "lagering", can you help this idiot with the temperatures and timeframes involved? Can I package when primary fermentation is complete and then leave in fermentation fridge at 11C for carbonation & clearing or should I be looking to gradually reduce this temperature to 1-3C over a few weeks? Any other tips or advice for the best possible outcome?
I know this needs plenty more time in the bottle in the cold before I jump to conclusions but I don't feel this one was worth the effort. Darker than desired, butterscotch flavour suggests diacetyl. There's no harm in keeping it in the fridge for a couple of months and seeing how the flavour improves.

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