Hey good people! I am new to Home Brewing. I did try it about 10 years and it sucked but I was more into partying and no paitence. By the way my name is Noodle and now I am 42 years old and ready to give this another try.
I got my kit last Saturday and instead of coming home and jumping right in I decided to wait a week. Read, read and more reading on the process and get use to the equipment. Tomorrow morining is the day. I am starting with a Brown Ale kit and will see how it turns out (I have high intentions but low expectations).
Just a little more of your time. My question is coming.
I want to brew an American Lager. I want my friends to try it and see their feedback bad or good plus I like it as well. I do have a wider range of beer taste than my Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors Light only friends.
Any suggestions of fermenting your lager beer and mainating temp without a fridge? Limited on space and might have to stick with the Ale’s.
Thanks ya’ll from the Gulf Coast of Alabama! Roll Tide!
I hear you on limited space.
I tried a lager without a fridge this year, but I have a cold basement in WI. On the gulf coast, you could try a swamp cooler, but you’d likely have to change the ice several times a day. Then again the footprint of a swamp cooler, wouldn’t be much less that a little dedicated fridge.
I am sure someone will chime in who brews in the South.
Also, you can consider cream ales, kolsches, Cali Commons and wheat beers if you like the lighter/crisper styles but can’t quite lager.
This is a tough question because as the previous poster noted it can be done with ice bottles and a swamp cooler but it is a huge PITA!!! Trust me, running downstairs three times a day with frozen water bottles to try (and key word is try here) to maintain temperature is annoying at best. That said, it did work for me.
Here’s another thing, making a good American lager is tricky. You might think it’s easy because there’s nothing to it but that is exactly what makes it hard. Anything that goes wrong gets noticed because there is nothing there to hide it. So my advice would be to make some ales first and then start thinking about lagers.
If you really want to do a lager styled beer but don’t have the space for a fermentation chamber or the patients for a swamp cooler you could always fake it. There are some good clean ale yeasts that would be serviceable if fermented at 60*. US-05, Wyeast German Ale, maybe a Kolsch or California Lager Yeast.
I made a great faux Classic American Pils (very different style than BMC Light) using US-05 ale yeast, fermented at 60* (BEER temperature, not ambient temperature), as I wanted to test it out without the time commitments of a lager. Bottled off the last 12 or so last night, and I’m sad to see it go! If you truly have no room for a chest freezer, you might want to try something like the following.
80% pale extract
20% rice syrup
.5oz saaz hops @ 60 min
.5 saaz @ 20
.5 saaz at 10
1oz saaz at 0min
US-05 yeast, put your ale pail in a tub of water with the ambient temp no greater than 60 degrees. For the first 3 days or so of fermentation, you’re going to need to watch it (order a $0.79 temperature strip for your pail). If the fermentation activity starts to raise the temp above 60, you need to add some ice blocks to the water.
Inhouse is right (as always). It is said that BMC basically have some of the best brewing equipment in the world and the best brewers in the world, both utilized to make the cheapest beer possible, consistent every time, every batch, but they want it essentially flavorless so people can drink 4-5 easily they can sell people a $#!+load of it.
I would almost go the other way with your friends. “Do you want club soda, or one of MY BEERS? REAL BEER!” I’ll never forget when I told my girlfriend (now wife) that I was starting homebrewing. She later told the story of how she was worried she was going to need to fake liking my bad version of Miller Lite. When I gave her a full pint of Imperial Blonde from a Brewer’s Best kit, she was blown away because it was so much more flavorful than ML (and @ 7.2% sneaky ABV, it did the work of 3 Miller Lites!)
As mentioned. brewing a lager without a fridge is pretty tough. Best bet would be to brew a cream ale. That’s about the lightest colour and simplest flavor you’d get. The longer you cold condition, either in bottle or keg, the clearer it will get.
I’m a hot weather brewer and it can even be tough to keep beers in the lower 60’s with a swamp cooler. That’s with changing ice 3 times a day. I’ve since upgraded to a temp controlled fridge and couldn’t be happier.
Thanks for your answers! I’m taking it all in and sounds like great advise.
I have never lagered, but if you are trying to please BMC drinkers you will eventually get a flat spot on your forehead from pounding it against the wall. Kolsch is an extremly clean crisp, light in color ale that I really enjoy. Cream Ale, and the Innkeeper are also really nice session beers, but beware they will still have more character than a manufactured light beer.
Thanks ya’ll from the Gulf Coast of Alabama! Roll Tide![/quote]
Alabama huh? Good luck to you and the other homebrewers in your fine state with the Right to Brew legislation this year. Can’t understand why it’s taken so long…in the meantime, your secret hobby is safe with us.
And BTW – War Eagle!! (sorry both my parents went to Auburn)
I’m not going to be much help but I’ll just say that jumping into brewing and going straight to lagering may be tough. I’ve brewed about 40 batches and still just do ales as lager temps are too hard to control and maintain. I don’t want you to have a bum brewing experience and give up, so consider some ales after this batch. Roll Tide!
The trick to using a swamp cooler to lager is to do it in an insulated container.
I used a rectangular cooler to hold my carboy, tipped on the end. I placed square apple/cranberry bottles on the shoulder of the carboy. 2 would last 12+ hours and maintain 50*. So I would change them out in the morning before going to work. Then after I returned home.
4 square bottles and some 20oz on the floor would get down into the 40.
I think there re pics of a cube cooler being used in my signature line.
Here’s another thing, making a good American lager is tricky. You might think it’s easy because there’s nothing to it but that is exactly what makes it hard. Anything that goes wrong gets noticed because there is nothing there to hide it. So my advice would be to make some ales first and then start thinking about lagers. [/quote]
I agree. I’d shoot for a nice middle of the road Amber or APA if it was me. Go easy on the hops and use a nice clean ale yeast to please the masses. On the other hand, I don’t want to discourage you from seizing your dreams so to speak. When starting out it can seem that there is so much to remember and it helps to keep your variables limited. I tried all kinds of crazy crap (not that an Am Lager is crazy) my first year, what I wish I’d done now is picked a style, APA for instance, and just
set about mastering it, making small changes and observations.