↠ Tips on how to properly brew a good lager

Friday, June 21, 2019
How to easily make a great lager home brew

You might have heard that it's hard to home brew a good lager.

You might have heard beer kit lagers can be unforgiving beers to make and any mistakes will ruin the beer.

It's almost ironic that the world's most popular beer style is apparently too hard to make.

But, is this really the case?

What if I told you it was easy to make a great tasting kit lager brew?

Would you believe me?

The proof is in the tasting of course. Let me show you the secrets and tips of making a delicious lager from a beer kit.

I've made some great lagers and I look back fondly on the batch I called 'J' and just how good it came out. I was basically trying to make a Steinlager clone and it was truly superb.

If this backyard brewer can easily make a great lasting lager, you can too.

Are you ready for the secret of easily making a good lager?

Stop reading all the online nonsense and JUST BREW IT.

That's all you have to do. It's that easy a tip.

brewing lager beer

But just in case you think I'm pulling your leg, here's some tricks and tips for brewing lagers (and hard seltzer brews too).

Don't rush in like a school boy

The key to making a good lager is patience.

Even if you think fermentation is complete, let your lager beer rest a few more days longer in the fermenter.

It's a chemical process after all. 

It's very common for lagers to exhibit sulfur-like characters during fermentation (hence part of the rationale for people saying lagers are hard to brew).

Leaving your beer to sit for a bit longer will allow such characteristics to fade and largely disappear - which leaves you with a great tasting and smelling lager.

In the cold, cold night

In conjunction with time, lagers need the cold to condition and mature.

It's a lesson the Nordic people discovered long ago - they put their beer in cold caves over the winter and found they came out well ... lagered!

Indeed, the word lager actually means storeroom or warehouse so you can see how the cave thing / naming of the style happened.

Ideally, once you have bottled your lager, leave it in a warmish place to carbonate for a few days. If it's TOO cold at this stage, you won't get bubbles in your beer!

Once carbonation takes place, feel free to put your beer bottles in the garden shed for a few weeks where it's nice an cold.

For this reason, it's often considered good timing to make your lager near the end of autumn or the start of winter.

Keeping your lager cold will result in the production of fewer esters and fusel alcohols, giving your beer a better taste balance.

Expert brewers often refrigerate their lager.

Consider using well known lager yeasts 

It's a trait of lager that certain yeasts tend to suit being lagered. Your larger kit will come with a standard yeast - if you're feeling adventurous, you might want to order the Lager Yeast WL833 - it's a popular yeast for lager brewing.

Match your hops to well known lager hops

Saaz hops, in particular, are associated with the brewing of lagers as well as the classic German hop, Hallertauer . We've discovered New Zealand derived Green Bullet hop is also very handy.

Read more on good hop matches to beer.

You need to be  super vigilant with your sanitization

Ales are more forgiving than lagers, it's true.

The taste of an ale can overpower some of the niggles of brewing like unwanted smells.

So, to avoid these happen to your lager beer, the best cure is prevention.

That means being meticulously clean during the brew and ensuring your equipment is sanitized.

The tip here? Sanitize, sanitize and sanitize.

Remember what the word lager means! 

It means basically to store.

So once you have bottled your beer, leave it to store for as long as you can.

Maybe even over the whole of winter, in a cold place.

At a minimum three weeks but it could be worth leaving your lager alone for a couple of months.

Summary - how to easily brew a lager:

  • Leave your brew to ferment a little longer than you would and ale
  • Select a tried and true lager yeast
  • Match with appropriate hops
  • Watch your temperatures, especially post bottling for carbonation and conditioning.
So these have been a few basic tips that will help you easily make a fine tasting lager beer.

Forget the hysteria that it's hard to make a lager and JUST DO IT!


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