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MiniYoda

lagering is soooooo long

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Brewed Mad Ludwig Marzen and Austin Pils.

 

Fermentation started on Feb 3rd as true lagers at about 57 degrees.  Bottled Feb 24 and conditioned for three weeks at 65 degrees.  Put the bottles in the conditioning fridge at 65, then slowly lowered the conditioning fridge to 35 degrees  About 2 degrees/day drop in temp. Transferred the bottles (both batches, 18 bottles each) to my regular fridge on 3/10.

They have been lagering in the regular beer fridge at 35ish degrees since March 10th.  Not *quite* true Marzens, but 'bout as close as a first timer could do.

 

Opening this to the public.  First, WHEN DOES OKTOBERFEST START???????  Nevermind that one....I can look it up.....that was out of frustration.

 

  Honestly, when would you start to crack open beers fermented with Lager yeast since February?  And how much hop flavor has been lost, resulting in a malty twang?

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46 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

Honestly, when would you start to crack open beers fermented with Lager yeast since February?  And how much hop flavor has been lost, resulting in a malty twang?

 

I admire your dedication!  If those were my batches, I would have drank them all by Memorial Day.

 

ps. There is no way that you are going to have twang in these tasty lagers!

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I just brewed my Marzen a couple weeks ago. It's not truly for Octoberfest, but my club is doing a 'style of the month'. I signed up for Marzen in October. I also signed up to pour at a charity event in October, so guess what's getting served there... the Marzen.

 

Regarding the times, most modern breweries don't wait that long to serve their lagers. Conditioning times are around a month on average from my understanding. Unless you have a ton of tanks, you can't afford to have tanks tied up with lager sitting in them for months.

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@Creeps McLane, I brewed two batches of Helles this spring. One with the traditional cold ferment and the other with the 'quick lager' method. Both started at 49*F. The quick ferment temperature was raised 5*F when it reached 50% fermentation and another 5*F when it was 75% complete. In both cases when fermentation was almost done the temperature was raised for the diacetyl rest. After fermentation they were both cold crashed by lowering the temp 5*F per day until they were in the low 30sF. The traditional fermentation was made prior to the quick lager so that they would have similar conditioning times. After a little over a month I took them to my club meeting and performed a triangle test. Of the 10 people that participated, 8 correctly picked the different beer. Most commented that the traditional lager fermentation was noticeably smoother, though none of them thought that the quick lager was a bad beer. 

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15 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

I just wanted to see how these recipes would do after 6 or so months of cold lagering.  This year Oktoberfest starts September 22nd, so I'll crack the first ones then.

I'd crack one now for gits and shiggles. Gotta know if it was worth the effort or if you need to distribute to gardeners for slug bait. 😉

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Need two more bottles of beer to finish the 99 Bottles badge on Untappd, so I figured I'll go ahead and crack open one of each of these.

 

First up, Austin Pils.  Probably the most clear beer I've ever made.  Carbonation was a bit high, which is normal for the stuff I brew.  I have no sense of smell, so don't ask me, but I think there were no off-odors.  Taste was very clean and crisp, almost zero hop flavor (which I expected some from a Pilsner, but not if it aged this long).  Very happy with this recipe!  The last swallow was a wee bit hoppier and less carbonated, so I'm guessing my first impression of the flavor was offset by the carbonation.

 

The best way to describe Mad Ludwig's Marzen would require language that would ban me from this forum. Also extremely clear, no haze at all, as expected from a beer in the fridge for about 6 months.  Very low carbonation, which is surprising for my brews.  PERFECT color, and with the understanding that I have no sense of smell, I could smell this one as perfect in malt.  I still get the carbonation mouth feel, but there is no head....interesting.

 

Overall, if you want a great Oktoberfest beer, brew these two in March to true-lager rules, and sit on them in the fridge until late September.  I'm keeping them in the fridge until next month, then sharing them with friends.

 

Yoda

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25 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Ok seriously though, a lager doesn’t have to take soooooooo long. Check out this video 👇🏼 I’m gonna keep posting these until more than two of you subscribe to me

 

You must mean till one more of us subscribes!

 

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Well, I guess it paid off.  A friend who loves German culture and is very particular about her beers opened one of my Austin Pils that I've had lagering in the fridge since about March or April.  She gave it a 4.5 out of 5 on Untappd, and said it was very good.  She will try the Mad Ludwig's Marzen either tonight or tomorrow.

 

Still have a dozen bottles of each in the fridge.  If I go back to making more lagers, I'm going to need another fridge.

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So, I'm planning out this season's brewing schedule.  While I probably won't do any lagers until March (to keep it consistent with the Marzen style), I'm considering to start thinking about buying a new fridge.  The old one I had, normal size and could hold 4 LBKs, died, and I have to replace it.  I'm leaning toward a mini/dorm fridge, one that would hold two LBK's comfortably.  I'm open to suggestions on any brands/models.

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

So, I'm planning out this season's brewing schedule.  While I probably won't do any lagers until March (to keep it consistent with the Marzen style), I'm considering to start thinking about buying a new fridge.  The old one I had, normal size and could hold 4 LBKs, died, and I have to replace it.  I'm leaning toward a mini/dorm fridge, one that would hold two LBK's comfortably.  I'm open to suggestions on any brands/models.

 

A couple of us have this one from Lowe's.  See this thread for discussion.  I haven't had any problems at all with mine.

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