Lager beers are one of the oldest styles of beer. Originating in the Middle Ages, lager beers are brewed with higher fermentation temperatures than ales and with a longer lagering period to allow the alcohol content to dissipate. How to make lager is one of the most searched querry on the net.
These light, easy-drinking beers are made by mixing yeast with cooled lager yeast. The result is a drinkable beer with a clean, citrusy flavor and a low ABV (alcohol by volume). The process of brewing a lager takes approximately 3 weeks. This process is called fermentation, and it’s one of the oldest methods of making alcohol. Fermented drinks have been around for centuries, and they’re still the most popular way to drink beer.
Nowadays, there are several types of lagers, but the most common is Pilsner. Lager beers have a crisp and refreshing taste, while also containing a decent amount of the essential vitamins and minerals found in beer.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about making lager beer at home.
You’ll learn about the different types of lager beer and how to brew them at home. We’ll also look at different terms you should be familiar with when brewing lager and what goes into making a good-tasting lager at home.
What is a lager?
Lager beer is a light-colored, bottom-fermented beer that is characterized by its smooth, clean flavor and malty aroma. It is the most popular style of beer in the world, accounting for over 90% of global beer production.
What’s more, lager brewers are part of an increasingly popular trend of craft brewers. Though lagers are not that different from ales, they are significantly simpler to brew.
This means that they are a good option for beginners as well as advanced beer aficionados alike. If you’ve ever thought about brewing your own lager, this guide is for you. It will show you everything from the basic equipment needed to the different types of lagers you can brew.
Lager beer is a type of beer that’s been fermented at cold temperatures and then stored for months before being served. This step improves the flavor of the beer by slowing down the rate of fermentation and ultimately killing the yeast. It’s also a good way to store beer for the winter. For this reason, lager beer is the most common type of beer in the world. It’s found in a wide range of styles, including Pilsner, Vienna, Oktoberfest, and others.
Types of Lager
Most beers are made from a blend of different yeasts. Lager yeasts are different from ale yeasts because they tend to favor higher temperatures and cooler fermentation temperatures. In fact, they’re usually colder than ale yeasts, which thrive at higher temperatures.
Lager yeasts are actually more closely related to bread yeast than ale yeasts because they like cooler temperatures. They also produce a slightly lower amount of esters (chemicals that give beers their particular flavor), which gives lager beers their clean flavor.
Because lager yeasts prefer cooler temperatures, lagers are typically made in colder countries where refrigeration is more prevalent. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when you’re deciding on the best place to make your lager:
- The higher the altitude, the colder the air.
- The farther from the equator you are, the cooler the air (and the colder your beer will be).
- Lighter colors of beer tend to be cooler, and darker colors tend to be warmer.
- Heavy grain or malt beers tend to be slightly warmer than low-grain or malt beers.
Pros of Brewing Your Own Lager
There are many advantages to making your own lager. For one thing, you get to decide exactly what goes into your beer. Plus, you can use whatever ingredients you prefer, which means no one else will be drinking it but you! The following are just some of the many benefits of brewing your own lager:
- Personalized- You can choose the ingredients that go into your lager and the quantities.
- Convenience- Making your own lager is easy and requires minimal equipment.
- Variety- There are many styles of beer, and most of them use lager yeasts.
- Contemporary- Lager beer is aged for months, giving it a rich and full flavor.
- Cost savings- Making your own beer is cheaper than buying it! You can make several batches for the cost of one bottle.
- Creativity- The best part about brewing your own lager is having complete control over the ingredients and process. If you’re not a big fan of the taste of lager or you want to try something new, you can. If you’re just looking for a traditional, clean-tasting beer, you can’t with commercial beer.
Cons of Brewing Your Own Lager
Despite the many benefits of making your own lager, there are a few cons that you need to be aware of. The first, and most obvious, is that you won’t always get the same results each time. At the end of the day, you’re brewing beer inside your home, so it’s not always going to be perfect.
- You might end up with an off-flavors, or an alcohol content that’s too high. In fact, in the beginning stages of brewing your own lager, you might end up with a few off-flavors. It takes practice.
- Variability- Because you’re brewing your own beer, you can’t always guarantee consistency. It’s possible your batch of lager will be better than your next batch. One of the best things about making your own lager is the personalization option mentioned above, but it does come with a few disadvantages too.
How to Make Lager Beer
Are you ready to make your own lager? It’s not as difficult as you might think! Let’s review the steps first.
There are a few different ways to make lager beer. The first way is to brew a basic lager with standard ingredients. Then, you can add adjuncts like flaked barley, unmalted wheat, or rice to the beer.
These adjuncts can help to make a more rounded, full-bodied beer. They can also add a lot of flavor to the beer, which is why a lot of brewers use adjuncts to add more complexity to their lagers. The last option is to use a hybrid yeast, which can help to make a smoother, creamier beer.
You can get a beer kit to ensure that the brewing process is foolproof.
Step 1: How to Start Your Lager
Begin by buying a lager yeast. There are many different types of yeast out there, and they’re all designed to work best at cold temperatures. The most common type is Saccharomyces pastorianus, and it’s the yeast used in lagers.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when opening the package. Once the yeast is ready to use, you’ll need to add it to your cool-to-cold beer. You can either use cold water from the tap or ice cubes from the freezer.
Make a Starter
A starter is a small amount of yeast that’s used to make a beer. The yeast can be used to pitch the right yeast into your fermentation vessel.
This gives you a head start on the yeast and helps to ensure that the yeast gets going quickly. You can use a house yeast, or buy a yeast repitch if you want to guarantee that you’re using a yeast strain that fits well with your other ingredients.
To make your beer, start by filling your brew kettle with 2.5 gallons of water. As you heat the water, steep your grains for 20 minutes, or until it reaches 170 degrees. When you remove the grains, let the water drip out of the grain bag and into the kettle. Don’t squeeze the grain bag as you don’t want to extract tannins, which may give your beer unwanted flavors.
Boil the ingredients according to your recipe
Once your ingredients (extracts) are dissolved, it’s time to boil your ingredients. This helps to get rid of any RNAs or other sugars that have built up during fermentation.
It also helps to develop flavors from the hops and other ingredients. The length of time you boil the ingredients depends on your recipe and personal preference. For example, if you want a darker beer, you’ll boil it for a shorter period of time.
Bring the kettle to a boil
Once your kettle comes to a rolling boil remove it from heat and add malt extracts. Once the extract is dissolved return to a boil. Hops will now be added at various intervals.
Hops are an essential ingredient in beer brewing, adding flavor and aroma. Hops are used during the boiling process, when they give off their flavors and aromas. The most common hops used in commercial beers are Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Czech Saaz, Tettnanger, or Simcoe hops.
ou can read about each hop below for more information about what flavors/aromas it provides: Hallertauer Mittelfrüh – Herbal and spicy; Czech Saaz – Slightly spicy with some piney notes; Tettnanger – Spicy with a hint of grapefruit; Simcoe – Piney and fruity with hints of citrus
You now have wort
Once your wort comes down to a boil, you need to cool it off quickly. Simply set the pot into a sink filled with ice water or use a wort chiller to bring the temperature of the liquid down. A wort chiller is more effective but either method will do.
Step 2: Primary Fermentation
The first step is primary fermentation. We will describe the process below since this makes the beer!
After the yeast is added, it needs to incubate for about 3-4 days at room temperature (68-72º F). At this point, the yeast has finished its work and you can move on to the next step.
Thus, once you’ve boiled your ingredients, you can transfer them to a fermentation vessel. You’ll usually pour the cooled wort into the fermentation vessel and then pitch your yeast.
You can pitch the yeast right into this vessel, or you can refer to your recipe and get the yeast into the wort in another way. If your recipe calls for a yeast starter, use one, or pitch the yeast “cold”.
Cold pitching is done at a temperature between 65º F and 70º F. If you brew in a basement that’s cooler than 65º F, you can pitch the yeast at a warmer temperature, like 70º F.
If you don’t have a place that’s cooler than 70º F, you can pitch the yeast “cold”. This is done right before the beers are bottled.
Step 3: Secondary Fermentation
Now it’s time to move the brew to the secondary fermentation vessel. This is where the magic happens. The secondary fermentation vessel should be filled one-third to one-half full of cold water. The temperature of the beer should be around 60º F. This is when the yeast takes over and starts to ferment the remaining sugars.
Step 4: Diacetyl Rest
After 1-2 weeks, you can add a diacetyl rest. This simply means you add a few drops of diacetyl rest, a natural compound that occurs during the secondary fermentation. This lowers the levels of esters in the beer and gives it a fresh, clean taste.
Increase temperature to 65º F for diacetyl rest
After pitching the yeast, you’ll need to let it sit and grow for diacetyl rest. This is a resting period that helps to develop some of the esters and other flavors that come from certain ingredients, such as hops and adjuncts.
During this resting period, you can increase the temperature to 65º F. If you’re using the right yeast, this can occur naturally, or you can speed up this process by aerating the beer for a short time.
If you don’t have a place that’s 65º F, you can speed up this process by warming up the room in which you’ll be brewing.
Step 5: True Lagering
Now it’s time to lower the temperature. If you’re lucky, the beer should reach a temperature of 50º F within 3-6 months. If not, move the beer to a refrigerator until the desired temperature is reached. After the desired temperature has been reached, you can now lower the temperature even further. This is called true lagering.
True lagering by lowering the temperature
Once you’ve reached your desired gravity, it’s time to move the beer to a cooler place. This is referred to as true lagering.
While true lagering is the ideal way to make a lager, it’s not always possible. If you can’t “true lag” your beer, then you’ll need to “cold-stabilize” your beer.
This is just a fancy way of saying that you’ll need to cool your beer down to a much lower temperature.
From this temperature, you can store the beer for a longer period of time without affecting the flavor. Once the beer has been cooled, it’s time to move it to its storage location.
Carbonation is achieved by adding priming sugar or malt extract to the fermented wort before bottling it in order to produce CO2 gas inside the bottle.
In general, more sugars will give you more carbonation, but there are other factors that affect this such as temperature during fermentation and aging time after bottling.
This is a way of naturally carbonating your beer without adding priming sugar or malt extract. It’s done by adding a small amount of yeast and fermentable sugars to your beer and allowing it to age at room temperature while being stored on its side so that CO2 bubbles can escape from the bottle neck into the beer itself.
This is only recommended for stronger beers like Barleywines, because storing weaker beers on their side for too long may allow mold or fruit flies to get in them and ruin them completely.
After two weeks or more depending on the beer, transfer beer from fermenter (bottle) into bottling bucket with spigot, then rack beer onto sugar so that it dissolves and mixes with the beer, before bottling away
Why should I make a Starter?
So, what if you want to be able to drink your lager right away? There are a couple options. One option is to make a starter. This is a way to get more yeast into your lager without waiting for it to ferment more. To make a starter, mix a spoonful of yeast with a cup of lager. Your lager should be refrigerated until it ferments. Once it starts to ferment, drink it. Easy!
Boil the ingredients according to your recipe
Okay, so your lager yeast is ready for the boil. It’s time to mix the other ingredients together and add it to your brew kettle. The other ingredients that can be used to make your lager are malt extract and hops. Malt extract is just what it sounds like. It’s a syrup that contains all the natural sugars from the barley and is used as a sweetener. Hops are used to give your lager its bitterness and slightly citrusy flavor.
Primary Fermentation; Pitch, and Keep it Cold
After the boil, it’s time to pitch the yeast. This means you’ll add the yeast to a room-temperature wort and let it go to work. The next step is to place the brew in your cellar or refrigerator.
Why should I brew my own beer?
Brewing your own lager is a great way to enjoy a clean, refreshing beer at home. While lagers are often thought of as a safer way to drink beer, they still have a lot to offer.
Brewing your own lager gives you control over the ingredients, which can help you make a beer you like a lot better.
Some of the benefits of brewing your own lager are that you can use the same ingredients you would use when making an ale; however, you can substitute some of them for different adjuncts. You can also adjust the gravity, which lets you make a lighter lager when you like a lighter beer.
Reasons not to brew your own beer
Brewing your own lager can be a great way to make your favorite beer, but there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to note that not all lagers are created equally.
Some are better suited for brewing than others, and you’ll want to choose ones that work best for your style. This will help you get the best results when it comes to the finished product.
Another thing to keep in mind is that top-fermented lagers have a longer shelf life than bottom-fermented lagers. Top-fermented lagers are often referred to as “top-fermented” or “mild” lagers.
Bottom-fermented lagers are often referred to as “bottom-fermented” or “stout” lagers. This means that the lager will last longer in the bottle.
Lager is a type of beer that is fermented at cooler temperatures and lower fermentation temperatures than ales. During fermentation, the yeast changes from a fast-acting, “wild” strain to a slower-acting, “rested” strain.
These strains produce a very clean flavor and stronger alcohol content. While lagers have a cleaner flavor than ales, they are still fermented so the yeast stays in suspension longer. This means that by the time the beer is bottled and kegged, the yeast is still in suspension.
This helps to protect against infection, as the yeast doesn’t settle as much in the bottle or keg. You can tell a lager from an ale by the CL (clear) or K (cloudy) on the label. A lager should be slightly less cloudy than an ale.
As you do your brewing, ensure that you wear the right attire for brewing beer. This will prevent accidents and contamination for your brew.
What is a starter?
A starter is a small amount of yeast that’s used to make a beer. The yeast can be used to pitch the right yeast into your fermentation vessel. This gives you a head start on the yeast and helps to ensure that the yeast gets going quickly. You can buy a lager yeast or use house yeast.
What are the different types of lager?
There are a few different types of lager that can be brewed. The first is the bottom-fermented lager style. Bottom-fermented lagers are made by fermenting at colder temperatures, which is why they are often referred to as “bottom-fermented” beers. They also have a lower alcohol content than top-fermented lagers. During fermentation, the temperature is lower, which is why it takes longer for the yeast to change from “wild” to “rested”. This yeast is not as clean as the “top-fermented” yeast used in top-fermented lagers. Bottom-fermented lagers are often used for stouts and porters, and they often have a creamier, fuller flavor than top-fermented lagers.
Can I brew my own beer at home?
Yes, you can brew your own beer at home. This can be done by following the steps above including making a starter, boiling the ingredients according to your recipe, primary Fermentation; Pitch, and Keeping it Cold, taking the lager through a diacetyl rest, and finally true lagering by lowering the temperature.
How long does it take to brew my own lager?
The Lager yeasts can be brewed in around 3 weeks. This period is enough for the surgars to be fermented fully to alcohol. Fermenting is the process of converting sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation process typically takes 1-2 weeks, but can take up to 2 months for certain beers