Bottling day! Ok, so I got a little anxious/bored and decided to bottle my red lager this past Sunday, six weeks after transferring to secondary to lager out in the garage at about 38 degrees. I had originally planned (in a prior post) to wait a eight weeks to bottle my first lager, but I might be busy on Saturday, 2/12 so I ended up going for it this past weekend.
While bottling, I tasted a bit to see how it had matured. Of course, I couldn’t really tell because I didn’t try it until after adding in the sugar and dry yeast for carbonating this lager. My bad. I would be amiss for judging the batch on this pre-bottle conditioned tasting. It will sit bottled in our office (hottest room in our not so hot house) for the next two or three weeks now as at carbonates. I don’t plan to drink too much of this crisp lager until it gets warmer out. (more…)
Last weekend was the 4 week mark from when I transferred the red lager batch from primary into the secondary fermenter. I’m starting to strategize about when I’ll be able to bottle this beer. The recipe said to let it lager in secondary for 3 to 12 weeks. I feel like I’ve exercised commendable patience thus far, in part because I forgot to use Irish moss (a natural clarifying agent) in the boil of this batch. Since longer, colder lagering of a batch contributes to the final beer’s clarity and since I have plenty of other homebrew to drink, I’m going to try and hold off on bottling this beer for as long as possible (also considering that I’m using ambient Minnesota temps to lager this batch in my garage and/or in a closet next to the garage when it consistently gets too close to zero degrees (F) outside (so it’s not like I can rely on having proper lagering temps available past mid-March… hopefully!!).
In doing a little research about what to do once you’re ready to bottle a lager, I stumbled upon this homebrew forum conversation that essentially tells me I’m going to need to add about 1/4 of a package of rehydrated dry yeast to the batch, as most of the yeast from fermentation will have dropped out of suspension and died during the lagering process. Glad I accidentally found this. (more…)
My Dad and buddy Corey came over for Barking Dog’s first all-grain brew day. We did Midwest Supplies’ Midwest Red Lager recipe:
Base malt: 9 lbs domestic pilsner
Specialty: 8 oz carapils, 12 oz Carmel 40, 2 oz Debittered black (pre-mixed)
Hops: 2 oz Hallertau
Yeast: White Labs German Lager #WL830 (did a yeast starter)
- Started the day at about 9:30am. Cooooold in the garage!!! I think the grain bed got down to 140* during the hour it was in the mash tun. Started off at about 150* or so.
- 90 min. sparge
- OG: 1.045 (11.3 brix) while target is 1.042-1.046 so I’m pretty happy
- Doing a longer boil (75 min.) to promote clarity in the finished product, forgot to buy Irish moss… Recipe said I could go as long as 90 min. in the boil.
- Hallertau in at 60″
- Hallertau in at 2″
- Post boil, came up about a gallon short of volume (longer boil = less final product, whoops, duh). Brix was back up to almost 14 so I didn’t feel bad adding over half a gallon of spring water I had laying around to the fermenter. Got the brix reading back down to 11.9 (1.048) which is just above target. Good to go.
- I had done a yeast starter (one cup dried Pilzen malt extract with four cups water boiled together for 15 min.) on Thursday night prior to this Saturday brew day. I’ve read it can be bad to do them too early, as the yeast could be tired out by the time they’re pitched, but I think I may have done this one a bit too close to pitch time, as there wasn’t a ton of activity in the container — but some. Pitched at about 4:00pm. (more…)