Lager - I don't get it?

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
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johnmac
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Lager - I don't get it?

Post by johnmac » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:50 pm

If I want to make a pale ale, I know I need to use some CRS and a few minerals - fine. If I decide to make a stout then I probably don't want the CRS, because of the acidity imparted by the black grains - that makes sense. But if I want to make a lager, I'm told I need to do different water. treatment again.

So the malt is a bit paler, I'll ferment cold and then store cold - those things make it a lager. But why the totally different water treatment?

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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by Jocky » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:24 pm

The historical 'preference' for many pale lagers is water with low ion content.

Honestly though you will make good lager with most water that tastes good out of the tap.

You need to reduce alkalinity as you would for a pale ale.

Anything else is really just adjusting to personal taste.
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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by IPA » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:22 am

As Jocky said it's historical. It's a way of removing any taste =D>
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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by orlando » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:35 am

IPA wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:22 am
As Jocky said it's historical. It's a way of removing any taste =D>

Which is why I don't drink or make it. Must be some good ones though surely?
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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by Hanglow » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:38 am

I don't understand the view that lager lacks taste. It's like drinking John Smiths smoothflow and saying ales are crap. Or drinking Guinness and declaring all stouts rubbish. Or having a ten day old, out of condition pint of Bathams and calling cask bitter pish. It's a silly argument that bares no merit. Go for a lager drinking holiday in upper franconia and taste all the wonderful beers, almost all lagers, from the hundreds of historic breweries that are there. Or the many great lagers in czech. Or even close to home, despite there being a general lack of good lagers in the uk, the likes of Lost and Grounded do a great keller pils

Some lagers do have moderate hardness, but with regards to the soft ones, I don't think noble hops and the flavours and quality of bitterness they give play well with particularly hard water. Also the added carbonic bite you get from increased carbonation can also clash with some harder mineral quality. Plus, if you are lagering, extra calcium isn't needed to aid quick flocculation as time and good process will clear the beer up anyway
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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by Aleman » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:23 am

I find lagers (pilsners) brewed with low levels of calcium do not clear well even with 12 weeks plus of cold lagering, they also taste a bit meh. Add 75mg of calcium (as a 1:1 or 1:2 sulphate to chloride ratio) and all of a sudden the beer shines, same recipe, same method, same hop batch, same yeast ... different mineral profile. I will also add that I have seen Czech Brewers add calcium to their liquor for exactly the same reason. Just because a municipal water profile indicate there is nothing in the water, it doesn't mean the brewer actually uses it ;)

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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by johnmac » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:48 pm

Thanks Aleman - I think you've confirmed what I was thinking - lager malt, water treatment as for pale ale, lager yeast and the job's a good 'un?

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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by Haydnexport » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:11 pm

If you think it's finished fermenting , give it an extra few days

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Re: Lager - I don't get it?

Post by McMullan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:40 pm

orlando wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:35 am
Must be some good ones though surely?
I actually had a very nice few, on Koster Islands, Sweden, last summer. Nothing like the big commercial shite. Sorry, no idea what it was called. It was in a 500ml bottle, cost quite a lot and paired well with the summer sun. That's all I remember.

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