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American lager questions

Evening all,
Going to be making my first American lager this next weekend. I picked up 2 packets of 34 70 yeast and plan on making a recipe using a bit of flaked rice and maize. Does anyone have a proven recipe using this yeast to create an American lager. I do realize that the 34 70 is better suited for pilsners, but who cares!

Ken Lenard has an American bock recipe that includes flaked corn. I brewed it on 5 Jan using 3470. I only used one pack and it worked great. I have used 3470 for several “german” style lagers and each one turned out great. Wyeast 2208 was my previous go-to lager yeast but I’m finding that 3470 works just as well and is quite a bit cheaper. It does start out very slow. I usually get activity at about the 48 hour point so don’t panic if you don’t see activity until then. Watch the temps because the activity will jump up pretty dramatically at 72-96 hours if you don’t watch it closely. :wink:

My og was 1.052 and my sg/fg was 1.010 on 28 Jan. I tasted the fg sample and it is very clean and crisp. The color is medium-dark amber. Also, it does not have a strong malty flavor. Keen modeled it after Shiner Bock and I’d say it is very close based upon the sample I tasted.

I’ll be rechecking the SG today or tomorrow and if done, I’ll put it into lagering stage. But, I’m not waiting for it to keg before I brew another batch. I’ll be picking up the grain for it this week and brew it again on the weekend.

cheers

I made a Classic American Pilsner for my brew club to serve at club night (and social lounge) at NHC in Philly last year. It turned out very well. I really couldn’t have been happier with it and was proud to serve it at NHC. Wish I had entered in the comp for some official feedback.

67% Pils
25% Flaked corn
8% Carapils

.75oz Crystal FWH
2.25oz Hallertauer FWH
2oz Czech Saaz 1min

Budvar Lager yeast from local brewery

152F for 90min. 90min boil.

An American lager I’m not terribly interested in but a CAP on the other hand is fun to make. The recipe posted previously will work great, it’s really is all in the execution. The reason I like CAP’s are because you can jack up the hop rate and get the beer pretty bitter and also add alot of hop flavor. It’s also a fun category to compete with because you are really not just trying to clone some famous commerical example since it’s pretty much still an extinct beer style (although it’s coming back I think). I think it’s fun to make old time American beers, some of Ballentines beers come to mind. :smiley:

I completely agree. It was interesting to make a beer that you can’t buy off the shelf. I also learned a lot while researching. There are two different styles, pre and post prohibition. If memory serves me, the pre-prohibition was stronger. A gravity upwards of 1.060 is acceptable. Post-prohibition gravities were lower. Somewhere under 1.050. I went with the strong pre-prohibition because, well… why not :lol:

That is exactly what I did as well. I usually shoot for an O.G. of about 1.055 (that way I can have more than one without getting stupid). I have also found that once beers get too much bigger than that it becomes very hard to dry them out without adding significant amounts of sugar. It’s not that I have a problem adding sugar to beer but I don’t think you want to do that with this style. My take is that before the “evil experiment”, beers were actually flavorful in this country so I try and honor that when making my CAP.

[quote=“holaday1185”]Evening all,
Going to be making my first American lager this next weekend. I picked up 2 packets of 34 70 yeast and plan on making a recipe using a bit of flaked rice and maize. Does anyone have a proven recipe using this yeast to create an American lager. I do realize that the 34 70 is better suited for pilsners, but who cares![/quote]
I think it’s important for you to say what you want the beer to be. I hear you say American Lager and I hear the rice or maize and the 34/70 yeast, all of which is fine. But what do you envision the beer being like? Very light in color, a good amount of adjunct and a mild, balanced bitterness? Somewhere in there I heard that 34/70 was the dry version of WLP830 which is a great yeast.

Something like 7 lbs of American 2-row (78%) plus 2 lbs of flaked maize (22%) and an ounce of Hallertau pellets 4.3% for 60 mins plus another ounce for 5 minutes gets you a 5% beer with IBUs between 20 and 22 and an SRM of 3-4. This would be a pretty wimpy, clean, clear American Lager. I’m assuming all-grain and if that’s the case then your water would be a critical component of this beer. Soft water with calcium levels of 50ppm, low sulfate, low bicarbonate would be best. if you’re starting with RO or distilled water, a smidge of sulfate is fine, calcium-chloride to 50ppm of Ca and you should be okay. If you haven’t made this style before, I’ll mention that it can be very tough to nail because it’s so simple. Mash, sparge and preboil wort pH come into play here too so you need all the tools in your toolbox. Good luck.

Thanks for all the replies! I’ve done several lagers but am finally ready for the challenge — a beer that can hide no mistakes! Here is what I was thinking for a Standard American Lager:

6 lbs 2row
2 lbs flaked rice
1 lb flaked maize

Bitter and flavor/ aroma with tettnanger, pushing the boundaries of the style with ibus. I know a standard American Lager could be perceived as boring, but I thought it would be something fun to make, as I currently don’t have any pilsner malt. Thinking of the end result (thanks Ken!) I’m looking for something dry (flaked rice here), with a bit of corn sweetness and floral aroma from a late addition of tettnanger. I’ve read that the 34/70 is a rather clean yeast if treated correctly. All in all the brew should be fun, pending, as stated, that my technique is flawless. After all, I don’t want a wimpy butter bomb :slight_smile:

[quote=“holaday1185”]Thanks for all the replies! I’ve done several lagers but am finally ready for the challenge — a beer that can hide no mistakes! Here is what I was thinking for a Standard American Lager:

6 lbs 2row
2 lbs flaked rice
1 lb flaked maize

Bitter and flavor/ aroma with tettnanger, pushing the boundaries of the style with ibus. I know a standard American Lager could be perceived as boring, but I thought it would be something fun to make, as I currently don’t have any pilsner malt. Thinking of the end result (thanks Ken!) I’m looking for something dry (flaked rice here), with a bit of corn sweetness and floral aroma from a late addition of tettnanger. I’ve read that the 34/70 is a rather clean yeast if treated correctly. All in all the brew should be fun, pending, as stated, that my technique is flawless. After all, I don’t want a wimpy butter bomb :slight_smile: [/quote]
Yep, do a d-rest when you’re done with primary and you should not have butter. I think the recipe looks good though I have never used corn & rice together in the same beer. Should be good & Tettnanger would be one of those hops I would have suggested for clean bittering, flavor or aroma. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.

Did some thinking today during my planning period and have decided to switch directions. I got to thinking that a CAP would be a lot more interesting and delicious to make. As a result, here is my rough sketch of a recipe.

70% 2 row
20% flaked rice
10% flaked corn
Haven’t decided on adding any carapils yet. Bitter/flavor/ aroma with tettanger. OG of roughly 1.055. Ferment with 2 packs of 34/70.

Last question. I have 4 lbs of 6row left. Should I go 50/50 with the base malt of 2 row and 6 row? Didn’t know with all those adjuncts if I should!

Thanks!

Good man, I think you’ll like that decision. If you think about it, you can get a six pack of good standard American lager really cheap and yeah; Bud, Coors et al do know how to make that style. On the other hand, a CAP is still a rare thing to find commercially. I have made CAP’s with 6 row, that’s what was used back in the day (and why they added the high % of adjucts). You end up making a more authentic product from an historical perspective. Likely the 2 row malt will be able to take care of the adjucts however the 6 row has more enzematic “power” so you know it will do the job. As Mr. Lenard mentioned, your water chemistry is going to make a difference, if you don’t have fairly soft water you might consider cutting it with distilled water. Finally, after you get a beer you like and you want to really have some fun try doing a cereal mash on some grits rather than using the flaked corn; it’s subtle but I think the beer comes out just a littlle better (haven’t screwed around with mashing rice myself yet). Good luck. :smiley:

I’m beginning to think WY2042 Danish lager would be an excellent yeast for a CAP. “It will ferment crisp and dry with a soft, rounded profile that accentuates hop characteristics” Anybody out there try it?

Quick update on this beer:

The recipe included: 1.051 O.G.

4 lbs 6 row
3 lbs pale
2 lbs flaked rice
1 lb flaked corn

Mashed at 148 for close to 90 min

1.2 oz tettnanger @ 60
1 oz tettnanger @ 15
1 oz tettnanger @ flameout

Total ibus in the 30 range

Boiled for 90 minutes. Chilled wort to 46 degrees. Pitched 2 packets of safale 34/70. Fermented @ 50 degrees for 10 days and then checked the gravity today. Sample was at 1.014 and tasted great. Excellent, and clean with corn sweetness to finish. I’m cranking up the temp to the upper 50s for a few days in an attempt to dry the beer out a bit more, and then off to a keg to lager for a few weeks. Thanks for all the helpful insight. Btw, I did a few minor water modifications, to include gypsum and cacl2. I have pretty soft water.

I entered this beer into a local comp and it scored a 34. The judges liked it and had only a few suggestions. More hop bitterness and aroma were desired and one noted that the beer tasted like it didn’t attenuate well (I got 80%). Still have it on tap and it’s really hitting its prime right now. Thanks for all the help. German pils will be made in the next few weeks. I definitely prefer a good German pils to a CAP.

[quote=“StormyBrew”] It does start out very slow. I usually get activity at about the 48 hour point so don’t panic if you don’t see activity until then. Watch the temps because the activity will jump up pretty dramatically at 72-96 hours if you don’t watch it closely. :wink:
cheers[/quote]

I brewed a three gallon batch of pilsner (O G 1.049) with one pack of 34/70 back in February. I pitched it at 3pm on wednesday and at 7am on thursday I saw some slight signs of foam starting to form. At 10pm on thursday my airlock was burping every 13 seconds and at 7am on friday it was every nine seconds. Over the weekend it was every 4 seconds and started to slow down a bit on monday. At the two week mark the gravity was 1.007.

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