Friday, December 30, 2011

#56: Light Lager

I've become very interested in creating a pale lager that I will like (as craft pilsners and pale lagers have become some of my current favorites), but also one that my non-craft friends would appreciate. Here goes the latest attempt. This started as the BYO Schlitz (60's/Gusto/current) recipe, but my grain balance is a touch different, and my hop selections were different (they called for Cluster and Fuggles for 60 min and no flavor addition), as I wanted to clear out some leftover hops.

I harvested the lager yeast from my Oktoberfest. Of course, this harvest is kind of backwards, as I should be harvesting from a pale to use in an oktoberfest just in case I impart some Oktoberfest characteristics into the pale. I really don't care if this occurs, to be quite honest, but I washed the yeast well and figure I'll be OK. If the harvest was unsuccessful, I picked up some dry lager yeast as a backup, but the starter was active, so I'm pretty sure I'm OK.

Pale Lager
Standard American Lager

Type: All Grain
Date: 12/31/2011
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Brewer: Swenocha
Boil Size: 3 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
Equipment: Brew Pot (4 Gallon)


Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.00 lb 2-Row (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.64 %
1.69 lb Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) Grain 36.03 %
1.00 lb Pale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 21.32 %
0.10 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 4.5 IBU
0.10 oz Pearle [7.70 %] (60 min) Hops 5.7 IBU
0.25 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (5 min) Hops 1.5 IBU
0.25 tsp Calcium Chloride (Mash 90.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs German Bock Lager (White Labs #WLP833) Yeast-Lager

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.09 %
Bitterness: 11.7 IBU
Est Color: 3.5 SRM

EDIT: Well, a mostly successful brew day other than missing my OG wildly. I lost a bunch more volume to the flaked corn than I thought I would and thus my volume was only about 1.5 gallon. Since this is pale lager, I thought 4% would work as well as 5%, so I topped off with water and moved on. My only concern is that this is two brew days in a row where I've missed my mark after never really having that issue before. I suppose my efficiency could be not where it was on previous runs, but I really think that this one can be accounted for by the massive swelling of the corn. And I don't think I really accounted for the extra boil-off due to the 90 min boil that the recipe called for (instead of my normal 60). Ah, well. Live and learn... Pitched and hopefully things will be rockin' soon...

EDIT: 50 degrees in the fermenting fridge, and a nice layer of trub.

EDIT (3/12):  Five weeks in the bottle at this point, and this thing is exactly what it is supposed to be...  essentially what normal folks call light beer...  Tasty and pretty...

Perfectly carbed and very clean.  Aroma is corn, grain, and a bit of hop.  Next go-around I'll likely hop a bit more, but this really shows promise.  Flavor is pretty solid, though not strong in any way.  Clean, a bit of bitter, a bit of corn, a bit of saaz.  Very pleasant.  Should be even better in another month.


  1. Right at expected FG. Pulling out for the rest. Taste is outstanding. This is gonna be one of those low-cost winners, me thinks...

  2. Bottled today. Very clean flavor when tasting my hydro pull. No sign of the off-flavor that plagued the first lager. High hopes for this. Very pale, very clean. 24 bottles exactly, so a pretty good take.

    Final gravity at bottling: 1.012

    Stats adjusted above.