From the HBD Archive
From: unet!mccrae!jimmc@Sun.COM (Jim McCrae)
Subject: Lagering, aging, Irish moss taste (is there any?)
Date: 1989-02-16 17:53:59 GMT

I posted a query on extract lagering recently and received several helpful
replies. Thanks all, particularly the two hour link to North Carolina.
A quick update; others thinking of doing a real lager from extract may
find this helpful. I used Vierka dried lager yeast, 2 packets/5 gallons.
I started the yeast at ~60-65F, pitched at ~55F. Once there were signs of
fermentation at 55F (in one day), I moved the fermenter into a 43F fridge.
Fermentation took ten days to complete. The fridge stayed at 43F the
entire time. There was no thick surface krausen as with ales, just lots of
delicate little bubbles. I racked to a glass secondary last night and
returned it to the fridge for 1-2 months. It tasted great, very clean
for brew right out of a primary. The moral of the story is: it can be done.

Has anyone ever noticed a residual taste from Irish moss?

I added 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss to the boiling wort for the first time.
I did detect a faint taste that I couldn't identify. It tasted like it
might be from the moss. It was something that concerned me when I added it.
The taste may be from the three stage hopping I used, with Tettnanger at
zero minus ten and Saaz at the last minute. Whatever it is it will have
mellowed out by the end of secondary, I'm sure.

Which brings us to aging. My intermediate-level experience is: let that
stuff age for at least two months from primary to first taste. Longer is
better. My brew always improves over time. By the last bottle I usually
wish I had let the entire batch sit for four months. I suspect a lot of
homebrew press is concerned with convincing the novice of how easy and
quick it is to make beer, so they stress that you CAN drink your brew
after some minimum period. But letting beer sit is free, right? One of
my earliest batches was a half corn sugar affair that I was pretty unhappy
with. I gave up brewing after a few of these (I didn't know about all-extract
brewing yet). When I was moving a couple of years later, I found a six
pack that I'd forgotten. The beer had turned into a very tasty ale. So let
it sit. It'll still be there tomorrow.

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