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First Time Lager Experience

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micblair

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Hey just wanted to share my recent success with a Lager (NS/Knappstein Clone http://beerrecipes.org/showrecipe.php?recipeid=1144).

This was the maiden brew on the 50L BM, and the first time I'd adjusted water chem with 14g of CaCl2 during the mash, in addition to running the pumps with an immersion chiller to assist the cold-break and with some brewbrite in the kettle. The clarity of the wort was astonishing, largely I believe due to having my mineral content a little harder.
At the time I didn't have any form of wort aeration/oxygentation aside from allowing the wort to freefall a meter or so into the fermenter.

I grew approx 5.5L starter (ideally could have been bigger, but was restrained to glassware size) at 16-18C to inoculate 42L of wort (OG 1057), whilst this would be under-pitching by most standards, I was able to catch the starter and high krausen as the misses turned off the stirrer to run the washing machine, causing it to volcano over when I swirled the flask. I noticed at this stage the temperature had shot up during this phase, which I attempted to control by plunging the connical flask into water.

Splitting the starter (and pitching the whole volume, this diluted my wort from 1.060 to 1.057) evenly across the two fermenters which were at 14-15C, and dropping them into the keezer set to 12C, saw fermentation taking place first thing the next morning (lag <8h), after which 7 days (SG 1.011) the fermentation was complete and both fermenters received a diacetyl rest at 16C for 24-36h. I decided to dry hop one of the fermenters 80% through its fermentation with 7g of NS pellets as I was a little underwhelmed with the hop aroma c.f to Knappstein's. Although now that it has been carbonated and is brightening in a corny with a cut off dip tube I think I would have been better off with some more generous flame out or flavour additions. However the bitterness is pretty spot on.

All in all I was quite surprised how well this turned out given a couple of factors which I would do differently given the right recourses (i.e. larger starter and O2), so for those of you who are apprehensive for trying your hand at a Lager, don't be afraid, the clean low ester profile from the Bohemian wyeast is quite phenomenal!
 

a_quintal

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Cheers really interesting.

I too was impressed with my first lager, doesn't have to be as overwhelming as some think.
 

micblair

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Cheers really interesting.

I too was impressed with my first lager, doesn't have to be as overwhelming as some think.
I've already enjoyed a half a dozen glasses and so far so good. Not quite bright after a week, how long should this take?
 

a_quintal

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I've already enjoyed a half a dozen glasses and so far so good. Not quite bright after a week, how long should this take?
I made a dark lager lol. But how long do your other beers take? Leaving the keg still i assume after 3 weeks it should be pretty good. I guess if its a big deal to you, you could always throw some gelatine in but I've never done that in a keg.

Main thing is the taste anyway.
 

micblair

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I made a dark lager lol. But how long do your other beers take? Leaving the keg still i assume after 3 weeks it should be pretty good. I guess if its a big deal to you, you could always throw some gelatine in but I've never done that in a keg.

Main thing is the taste anyway.
I just purchased a glass carboy to distance myself, soon as the beer is in the keg it quickly gets carbonated the, well the rest is history. Saying that the corny that didn't get dry hopped or carbed will be the control.
 

a_quintal

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I think dry hopping with plugs can help prevent that addition reducing clarity
 

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