From the HBD Archive
Subject: re: Hey Darryl -- Lager Question
Date: 1992-04-08 00:44:30 GMT

ingate! (Chris Quint) writes:
> I read your interesting post on Lager beers and it seems to make sense,
> but I'm puzzled by one thing. You said Lagering provided a way to produce
> beers in the warm summer months. But I thought Lagers fermented at
> temperatures COLDER than normal - thats why people make Lagers in their
> refridgerators. Am I mistaken? Or did you mean that in the summer the
> beer WAS made in an icehouse or something? Along those same lines, I
> thought a Steam beer was a Lager made at Ale temperatures (i.e. normal
> San Franciso temperatures - especially in the summer!). And how could
> SF's temp.s be warmer than anyone else's unless it was someone else's
> icebox?

Hmmm, I didn't express myself well, did I? Lagering was a means
to being able to consume beer in the warm summer months, not
produce it in that season. It required brewing a full year's
worth of beer in the cold winter and finding some cache that
stayed cold during the summer, like caves in the hills.

San Francisco never gets down to the necessary lagering temps
due to the strong moderating effect of the ocean. Before
widespread mechanical refrigeration (a product from the 1880s,
well after Steam beer was created for the benefit of the
'49ers), there was no way to make a lager beer in SF, regardless
of season. Any attempt to do so would produce a more estery
beer that fermented explosively.

--Darryl Richman

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