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Heineken or red strip clone non-lager

I am trying to find an extract kit that is not a lager that is similar to Heineken or Red Stripe. My wife wants it for as a coming home gift for a friends son deployed to Afganstan. I see some lager that others suggested but I don’t have the means to probably do cold fermentation or conditioning thus looking for an ale that might pass.

Use a lager kit with a more moderate hopping rate, and substitute a neutral ale yeast like Safale US-05. It might get you close enough to what you’re looking for.

US-05 won’t work – I’ve tried. You might be able to get close with Kolsch ale yeast fermented at 60 F, but it will take 5 weeks. Perhaps the shortest and best answer is, you can’t make a pilsner with an ale yeast. Period. You’ll make something vaguely similar, but it will have very fruity ale-like characteristics no matter what you do that will throw it off of the style.

When you say that it won’t work because you have tried, what do you mean? I’m the first one to say that lager beer can’t really be reproduced with an ale yeast because some of the character you get in a beer like this (granted, Red Stripe doesn’t have much character to begin with) comes directly from the yeast. But I have used a number of neutral ale yeasts with soft water and low fermentation temps and have made some very nice, smooth and dare I say, “Pilsner-like” ales. I have used 1056, WLP001 and even 1028 close to 60° and had pretty believable gold beers. 2112 is an option as well.

When you say moderate hopping rate you more use more hops or add the hops earlier?

Ken, I very recently made a Dortmunder “lager” with US-05. I believe I fermented at about 63 F, which I thought should make a nice clean lager-like ale. Nope. My brother, who knows very little about beer, took one whiff of my finished beer and said, “damn, that stuff is fruity!” And it is. I think it has a certain pineappley thing going on. If I attempt such things in future, I think I might stick with the Kolsch yeast idea and keep it even cooler. The fact of the matter is, it’s super-hard to hide any esters at all whatsoever when you’re making a light yellow beer and using mostly pilsner malt. Any esters just shine like beacons out of it.

I’ve never used the US-05 but in general I certainly agree. Can you make a mild flavored, light colored brew using ale yeast that can be passed off to swill drinkers? Yes, but it is still going to taste like an ale. For the most part it’s not a big deal as the typical swill chugger will probably gladly dump it down their necks anyway. My experience making “mocktoberfests” with “clean” ale yeast parallels dmtaylo2’s experiences. The beer is good but it is immediately recognized that the beer is not a lager. My usual miserable old SOB advice to extract brewers like cyberdiver is to just buy some lager on sale that your friends will like and make some homebrew that you will like. However, if you think they will appreciate your efforts and you know what you are getting into then have a go at it. :cheers:

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