From the HBD Archive
From: polstra!norm@hplabs.HP.COM (Norm Hardy)
Subject: The Perfect Lager
Date: 1990-01-30 05:01:51 GMT

Ha, ha. I bet the title got your attention. But when lager is mentioned I
pay attention. My homebrewing goal is to make the "perfect lager". Ales are
nice but my two experiences in Germany (84 and 87) forever changed my attitudes
about beer. Currently, here is what goes in to one of my lager beers:

(1) Yeast - I use liquid yeast. WYeast 2007 and 2206 seem to work well. I've
had real good luck using and resusing something called YBL-2 which might be
identical to a WYeast product. I'm on the 6th pitch and so far so good,
but I'll probably have to chuck it or slant it next time.
(2) Ferment - a 45f refrigeration for 4-6 weeks in the primary, following by
racking and 2-3 weeks @ 40f or less. The primary carboy is a 7-gallon with
airlock (fluid level is 5.2 - 5.5 gal). The secondary carboy is a 5-gallon
full up to the neck.
(3) Storage - after bottling I keep the temperature below 50f and wait for 3-4
weeks before trying the beer. Yes, I am a patient man, but the wait is
well worth it. My picky brother, who loves Urquell and dislikes most
homebrew used the words "world class" to describe my last lager. Tempera-
ture control seems very important in getting the smooth clean taste usually
associated with a lager.
(4) Specifics - I usually aim for an original gravity of 1.040 - 1.049. Any
higher and the taste of alcohol becomes too evident for my liking. The
German style hops (Hallertau, Tettnagg, Saaz, Perle, etc) are good because
they are not too bitter (except perhaps for the Perle) and lend a nice
aroma when used in the finish. Priming sugar is 2/3 - 3/4 cup, corn sugar
boiled 10 minutes. I use Knox gelatin occasionally before bottling to
help clear things out. The mashing scheme varies, but it is usually a
step-temperature mash (like 125-150-158-168f). Sparging (rinsing) is slow
at the rate of 1 gallon every 8-12 minutes.

Any other brewers want to comment on their lagers????

Norm Hardy in Seattle

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