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Author Replies
PilsnerPeter
12/15/09 03:41 PM  
New to the site
Hey all. I just signed up for the site. I was recommended to the site by a friend of mine over on ratebeer.com. My user name on ratebeer is also PilsnerPeter (some of you may know me from there). I've been homebrewing a bit more lately and figured this site would be helpful. Just checking in!
brewinhard
12/15/09 07:18 PM  
Re: New to the site
Welcome! A lot of great info here for the taking and sharing. Be sure to search past threads as well for great advice/ideas. There are some real crazy brewers here! I love it!
SteveG
12/16/09 09:55 AM  
Re: New to the site
Hi PilsPete. We don't actually have much lager talk here, though lager brewing can be so unforgiving I think it be nice to see topics arise. It really does bring out the disciplinarian in a brewer. Actually the brewing accomplishment I consider my most valued involved a pilsner. In fact I have a keg of a pale lager in the fridge now.

Hey, anyone have a lager on hand they are proud of?

EugeneB
12/16/09 10:08 AM  
Re: New to the site
hey pete
Al B
12/16/09 11:10 AM  
Lagers
What is your favorite lager yeast strain?

ErikH
12/16/09 11:32 AM  
let your lager linger longer
Now, now, folks . . . let's not judge Pete too quickly from his bottom-fermenting moniker!

I am only a recent explorer of lager brewing myself. Recently used WLP833 (Bock) yeast for a Rauchbier and then a Baltic Porter. I was disappointed that it did not leave as much residual sugar as I expected, despite mashing high and starting fermentation at low temps. I'm looking forward to exploring further though.

But maybe Pete's nick could lead to an interesting thought-experiment . . . in the same way that Baltic Porter can take a full-bodied ale style and give it the benefit of lager smoothness and crispness, is there a Belgian style that could (anathema!) benefit from the same treatment in caring hands?

Rob B
12/16/09 12:05 PM  
Re: New to the site
The obvious would be Biere de garde which falls in the Belgian and French ale category. There is some record of lager yeasts being used traditionally.

I think the issue with using lager yeasts on Belgian styles would be the loss of yeast character expected in a Belgian.

But the great thing about homebrewing is experimentation! Personally I would go with the darker, maltier styles.

Rob B
12/16/09 12:14 PM  
Re: New to the site
Thinking further...I am always looking for ways to increase beer production with my limited time. So I like doubling batches and splitting into two fermenters then using different yeasts. For example I did a belgian pale ale fermenting half with WY3522 and the other half with WY1968.

So, maybe I could double my dubbel recipe and ferment half as a psuedo-doppelbock.

Cheers, Rob

SteveG
12/16/09 01:16 PM  
Re: New to the site
Al, very unlike ale yeasts and brett, there is no single strain that I prefer. Probably because I usually only do 2 lagers a year within a couple weeks of each other. I guess I tend to not remember what I thought of a given lager yeast, so every time I buy I wing it!
JackfromJax
12/16/09 03:39 PM  
Re: New to the site
WLP830 German Lager yeast for my Bohemian Pils and Oktoberfest, although the last time I brewed the Oktoberfest I used the WLP820 with great results. Finished much drier than the 830. For my Dopplebock, definitely WLP833. A club mate used the same for a Helles that was out of this world.

tankdeer
12/16/09 05:46 PM  
Re: New to the site
I used WLP833 on my semi recent (and only) lager run. I did a Schwarzbier, Vienna Lager, and finally a Baltic Porter. Funny, the porter is my least favorite of the three. The first two came out great, whereas I feel the porter is a bit boring. Perhaps it needs more age. In general, I was happy with that yeast strain though on the two normal gravity lagers.
SteveG
12/16/09 06:20 PM  
Re: New to the site
Did you use dehusked karafe in the porter? Cold mashing krafe Dehusked II has repeatedly resulted in the chocolatiest beers I've ever made.
brewinhard
12/16/09 07:21 PM  
Re: New to the site
My two best lagers I have ever made (usually make at least 4 a year in winter) have been Munich Dunkel and a Peppercorn Ryebock which came out very interesting indeed. The Dunkel was smooth and delicious and the ryebock was an experiment that everyone really enjoyed! :)
PilsnerPeter
12/17/09 10:26 AM  
Re: New to the site
Haha. The name "PilsnerPeter" has been with me for years. Back when I signed up for ratebeer I chose this name when I was a bit naive to the world of beer. Also, I have never in fact lagered anything of my own. I've been in the craft beer community for several years now, and I'm fairly new to brewing.
PilsnerPeter
12/17/09 10:30 AM  
Re: New to the site
Al B,

I don't have a favorite lager yeast strain, probably due to the fact that I've never made a lager of my own. I have heard of you and your bug farm before, which is what attracted me to this site. I look forward to learning more about the brewing process. My friend Paul from ratebeer (Paul the homebrewer that lives in Hoboken) told me about this site, and your awesome yeast culturing. Cheers!

SteveG
12/17/09 12:08 PM  
Re: New to the site
Ha! I guess its true ... what's in a name?! Well, IMO we don't do enough lager talk here, though they can seem pedestrian compared to other types of beer they are brilliant when done well. Hell when not. I think they are a real test of a brewer. Anyway, dig the bug talk!
PilsnerPeter
12/17/09 12:28 PM  
Re: New to the site
I think many beer geeks get lost seeking out new sours, barrel aged whatevers, and huge Impys and IIPAs. I can always go back to a classic, well crafted lager. I think the simple low gravity sessions are underrated, especially solid Golden/Blonde ales and quality pilsners- such as Victory Braumeister Pils.
mrb
12/17/09 12:36 PM  
Re: New to the site
After brewing strictly Belgians (more or less) for a couple years, it's been really fun to get into Lagers. I have a nice Dortmunder that's about to kick in my Kegerator right now (modeled after Two Brothers Dog Days - they sent me the recipe if anyone's interested), and now about to finish in primary is a Dark Buckwheat Honey Lager I did with the Wyeast 2007 Pilsen yeast -- was pretty high gravity at 1.068, so I'm looking forward to see how it does. I pitched a pretty big starter to it, and now that I see that big yeast cake, I'm thinking about doing a gigantic Rachbier with the malt my buddy and I are going to smoke over local applewood on Saturday!

Has anyone ever tried the Beersel Lager from Armand Debelder of Drie Fonteinen?

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/3521/28244

Pretty amazing beer -- kind of a slightly sour Lager. Excellent.

tankdeer
12/17/09 02:12 PM  
Re: New to the site
<<Did you use dehusked karafe in the porter? Cold mashing krafe Dehusked II has repeatedly resulted in the chocolatiest beers I've ever made.>>

It did have a little carafa, and a little chocolate malt. But it was just added to the main mash. I'll have to try that in the future - thanks!

SteveG
12/17/09 03:25 PM  
Re: New to the site
Single best tip I ever got during a swap, cold mashing krafe dehusked II. I don't think there is any other way you could get the resulting effect, I would never brew a baltic without doing that.

Pete, right there with you on the low gravity thing. It is my firm belief that the majority of the beer enthusiast world is 'hard of tasting'.

Al B
12/17/09 04:23 PM  
Re: New to the site
Thanks, Pete. I know Hobo - Paul, great dude (sorta ran into him in AMsterdam: he was ordering a Rodenbach foederbier).

I'm brewing alot of non-sour beers right now - one of which is made from Conistons Bluebird bitter. Great session ale - true top-cropping yeast - looking forward to seeing results in a dry stoudt. Then a bitter.

Also will go for another dk. mild but with WL yorkshire square soon.

But lagers escape me, except Schlenkera Helles. That's why I ask about lager strains....

mrb
12/17/09 05:08 PM  
Re: New to the site
<< But lagers escape me, except Schlenkera Helles. >>

Definitely in my top 5 favorite beers -- amazing that it's not actually made with any smoked malt. I'm dying to go to Bamberg!

Rob B
12/17/09 05:15 PM  
Re: New to the site
I can honestly say that I brew almost an equal number of session beers as non-session beers...my wife and I both love the lighter stuff. I have several Belgian table beers, small scotch ales and british bitters that I brew frequently.

brewinhard
12/18/09 09:46 AM  
Re: New to the site
Hey Mr. B,

Can you post that recipe for the dortmunder? Later this winter I will be doing a run of german pils and dortmunder and was looking for a good recipe to work with. Thanks!

-Rob

mrb
12/18/09 02:08 PM  
Re: New to the site
Here ya go!

Grain:

2 row base malt 88.2%

CaraHell 7.2%

Vienna 2.6%

Munich 2%

Hops

1st Northern Brewer 20IBUís = 0.3 oz

2nd Saaz 6.6IBUís = 0.75 oz

3rd Hallertau 0.25 oz

Target Mash Temp 149F

Mash out Temp 168F

Sparge Temp 164F

Boil 75 minutes

1st hop addition at start of boil

2nd hop addition with 25 minutes left

3rd hop addition after kettle off

Ferment with White Labs German Lager at 55F

Dryhop with 0.25 oz Saaz

Lager at 38F for 4 weeks.

Target starting gravity 12.9 Plato

Finishing gravity 2.5 Plato

tankdeer
12/18/09 02:20 PM  
Re: New to the site
<<Single best tip I ever got during a swap, cold mashing krafe dehusked II. I don't think there is any other way you could get the resulting effect, I would never brew a baltic without doing that. >>

Thanks Steve. I'll have to try that.

Another +1 on the love of session beers.

Scott J
12/18/09 03:47 PM  
Re: New to the site
My single favorite lager yeast is the White Labs Coppenhagen lager. It was out of their lineup this year but they are putting in back in next year as a seasonal just for me!

Actually I have a buddy that works in thier Colorado office and I have been raving about the yeast for so long that he got them to include in for next year.

SteveG
12/18/09 04:31 PM  
Re: New to the site
Tank, to be sure there are no misperceptions, "cold mashing" is like "cold fusion" in that it isn't really cold, just cold compared to the normal approach. Cold mashing is actually done at room temperature. I have heard people say they've stuck the mash in the fridge over night. Sitting out on the counter is really whay you want. It extracts all the dark chocolateiness of the karafe but leaves all the harshness behind. And never squeeze the grains! Be emotionally prepared to toss grains you know contain over a quart of liqour.
Ross
12/19/09 01:25 AM  
Re: New to the site
Steve;

How long should one allow the mash to sit at room temp?

SteveG
12/19/09 12:18 PM  
Re: New to the site
As I recall it was an overnight thing. What's important here is that despite what the technique is called you are not really mashing. That is to say its not about starch conversion, its about flavor extraction. Well, and flavor exclusion in that the rough edge of the grains are left behind.
Ross
12/19/09 05:11 PM  
Re: New to the site
Steve; Got it! Thanks!
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