Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lagering - Part 1

I took my first step in being able to brew a lager. This weekend I converted my basement fridge into a lagering fridge. No, I say "converted" but all I really did was reinforce the bottom shelf of the firdge with a piece of plywood and braced the shlef to be able to withstand the weight of my carboy. I know, it's not much. But it's a step in the right direction and I can now fit a single keg on one side of the shelf and the carboy on the other.

I've already put together a Munich Dunkle recipe that I'm going to try out. It's second in line now to my Sweet Crystal Ale, which I'm hoping will be close to the Sixpoint Sweet Action I wrote about. Hopefully I'll be able to brew the dunkle before I leave for Red Sox Spring Training in March.

Here are my questions to you....have you ever brewed a lager? Was it difficult? What did you brew?

I'm not set in stone to brewing the Munich Dunkle, so if you have a good recipe, let me know.


1 comment:

Mark Andersen said...

I brew mostly lagers. I'll brew 2 or 3 batches of ale per year just to fill in the gaps because lagers take longer and I've got limited space to hold 3 batches at a time.

It is more difficult than an ale, especially if you use decoction mashing or at least step mashing which you should. I've brewed Bocks that have taken a full 8 hour day to mash and brew so yeah it can be a lot more involved. But I love it.

I've brewed the following lagers:

Altbier and Kolsch (most don't consider these lagers but for me the process is the same so I do)

My specialties are the Rauchbiers.

My guidebook for decoction mashing has been Steve Noonan's "New Brewing Lager Beer" - He goes into a level of detail that is overkill for me but nobody has written as detailed a description of the process as Noonan that I know of.

I'll check to see if I still have my Munich Dunkle recipe. It came out really good. If you ever want a Franconian Rauchbier recipe then let me know.

I learned to lager brew from a friend of mine in Attleboro. It really helped to have someone help me through the decoction mashing process the first couple of times. If you ever want to hang out sometime this year on the Cape when I brew a lager then let me know.