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Why bother with Lager

I completely recognize it’s my own dumb opinion, but lager is the worst beer (or less tasty, less interesting), and it seems like it’s the most difficult to perfect in a homebrew… so why bother with lagers?

Your “less interesting” could be someone else’s “clean.” Difference of opinion. I happen to agree with you, since I’ve killed my taste buds over the years with too spicy food, too hoppy beer, and too much awesome living.

That being said, a lager, well made, is a challenge (one I haven’t yet taken), and there’s something to be said for a sublimely clean celebration of malty goodness that comes with a good lager.

Also, let’s not discount all lagers with a broad brush stroke… a good Schwartzbier has plenty of interesting flavor. I’ve had some very hoppy lagers that are pretty interesting, as well. A Baltic porter is made with lager yeast, and I’d not call that style boring at all.

I find lagers every bit as interesting as ales… plus, they require more skill to make them well, therefore I might respect a great lager even more than a great ale. Can you make great beers ignoring the whole sector of lagers? Yes, yes you can. In ignoring lagers, would you be missing out on a big part of the the world of beer? Well, yes, I believe you would.

Saying you don’t like lagers is like saying you don’t like food…there’s more than one type of lager. Ever had a bock/maibock/dopplebock? How about a Munich dunkel? As to why to brew them, I not only enjoy the taste, I find the difficulty in brewing them to be an interesting challenge to my skill.

beer and people have one thing in common, sooner or later you will meet one you like.

I have addition fridge space, so 75% of my yearly production are lagers.

While they aren’t as aggressive as many ales, having well made malty or hop forward German or Czech Lagers are a thing of beauty.

If you’re looking for something aggressive, seek out and try a German Smoked Lager (rauchbier) or Firestone Walker’s Czech pils.

[quote=“brewingdan”]I have addition fridge space, so 75% of my yearly production are lagers.

While they aren’t as aggressive as many ales, having well made malty or hop forward German or Czech Lagers are a thing of beauty.

If you’re looking for something aggressive, seek out and try a German Smoked Lager (rauchbier) or Firestone Walker’s Czech pils.[/quote]

I dunno, a good German pils can be pretty aggressive…

I love the challenge of brewing Lagers. My first one came out very bad as I couldnt hold the temp correctly, but the next 3 came out perfect and tasted great.
As a matter of fact, I will be brewing a Lager this weekend. :cheers:

Lager is the worst beer???
It may be true that most of them are somewhat restrained and are not as ‘in your face’ or ‘over the top’ and many ales tend to be these days (especially American ones…why is it that Americans need to ‘supersize’ everything we get our hands on??)

Lager is the true test of a brewers skill, as well as patience (good lager needs an adequate aging period; the best ales do as well though they tend to be more forgiving, but that’s another topic altogether). It’s easy as pie to make top-notch ales, and that’s probably why the vast majority of new commercial startups concentrate on ales rather than lagers. The relative ease is the main reason I’ve stuck primarily with making ales on my decidedly ‘ghetto’ system, even after more than 40 years of brewing at home.

A good lager is a real testament to the art of brewing, and the truest test of a brewer’s skill.
If only subtlety and balance weren’t becoming such a lost art, overshadowed by puckering bitterness and high ABVs…

Lagar is my favorite beer. Maybe this is your opinion that it is less interesting but for most of us this is the best beer.

To me, the main reason to bother with homebrewing “lagers” is they are often much better than the stuff on the shelf. Light years ahead of skunked up green bottles. I say lagers in the sense of imported stuff like pils, helles, ofest, etc. I think it is quite difficult for the average homebrewer to craft something resembling BMC and I would just buy a case rather than brew. If that is what the OP is driving at, I get it.

I love lagers. I love the subtleties in the flavors of the finished beers, the challenge of the process to make one that stands out, and the skill it takes to get it all right. I’ve been focused on lagers to a large extend for the last few years, and it hasn’t yet gotten boring. But speaking of boring, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve brewed an IPA.

It may depend on how much room you have and what you want to spend on equipment. I used to do lagers in a fridge with a Johnson temp controller and brewed some I liked. That was five gallons. Now I usually do twenty and that much refrigerated space is tough to come by. Sure I still do an occasional five. I also came to realize most of my favorites are ales. So it depends on your taste and what brew toys you have. If your cool with ales (pun intended), brew on and enjoy.


To the OP, I’ll go a step further, why bother making your own beer? Its way harder than buying it. All rhetoric aside, well-made lagers can effing rock. To another point made above though, if you are trying to make a PBR clone, it may be cheaper and way less bothersome to buy. Perfecting a Bo Pils or a CAP, however? Totally worth it, and as interesting and flavorful (but more subtle) than ales by and large.

I just recently got hooked on brewing Lagers, especially Oktoberfest and Dunkels. I love the malty flavors of these styles and I’m kind a burnt out on the overly hopped American styles. I find it a little more challenging but if you have the proper equipment and pitch the right amount of yeast it can be very rewarding.

My 3rd and 4th batches were lagers and I quit making them for about ten years after that because I didn’t think they were worth the effort. Earlier this year, I made a Vienna Lager and a German Pils and I was able to ferment them in my BierKeller
where the temp stayed at a constant 50 degrees and I was rewarded with some very well refined, clean, refreshing session beers. It was a nice change of pace instead of so many pale ales, IPAs and RISs.

Sorry, should be more careful to not offend. But I’ll admit I never got the appeal of IPAs, or why so many brewers are so fixated on them. I’ve tried, but I just don’t get it. One is good occasionally, but working my way through a whole keg is a chore. This despite the fact that I enjoy APAs, though not I’ll admit as much as a good schwartzbier or helles. Different tastes I guess.

This winter I’m planning on brewing a eisbock. That will be a challenge; I’m stoked.

Man, lager is the worst beer? Feel sorry for you, chum! You either haven’t given them enough of a chance or you are very pedantic in your beer tastes.
Lagers focus mainly on malt and the quality of said malt. Some styles obvious call for more hops, which are really awesome too. A well made Czech pils can’t be beat. Like others have said, craft beer is dominated by the “bigger is better” attitude. I won’t say this is ruining beer, but it’s sure taking it in a direction I don’t care for. It’s all a matter of opinion though.

But, I seriously think you need to give lagers more of a chance. Do you like dark beers? Try a schwarzbier. Do you like IPAs? Try a German or Czech pils. Do you like malty brown ales or amber ales? Try a Vienna lager or Oktoberfest or a dunkel. Seriously, dude, you are blocking out a HUGE portion of the beer world.

Why do we brew anything?

[quote=“sampothepancake”]Why do we brew anything?[/quote]Because we like quality craft beer at domestic prices.

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