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Anyone have a recommendation on how to improve kit can lagers? Ive not got time for full grain recipes but i hear you can steep hops and grain in a big stock pot to imrove flavour? I have a 11l one Also i am going to switch to a better yeast any recommendations my cupbaord ranges between 18-20 c thanks

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Hops and grain are steeped separately but you can do it. Lagers don't really contain much in the way of specialty grain but a bit of carapils or carared would probably go alright. 

The hops depend on what type of lager you want. For the traditional ones something like Hallertau or Saaz would go well, and there are a few other ones like Tettnanger as well. For a new world type, any hop that is usually used in pale ale would be the go. 

Yeast I'd go either Nottingham or US-05, or the ale/lager blended kit yeast that comes with a few of the kits. They won't taste like a true lager but they should still be clean. 

If you did have the time you could do a partial mash by mashing 2kg of pilsner malt grains in your pot for an hour then boiling the wort for another hour, maybe adding some hops near the end of the boil. This mash would replace the kilo of malt or whatever that is normally added to the kit.

 

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I have experimented with the Lager can and come up with a easy drinking result for long days watching the cricket.

 

Lager kit can, 750 DME, 200g light crystal grain steeped cold for 24hrs then boiled for 15min, 25g Hallertau steeped for 20mins @ flameout with Saflager W-34/70 plus kit yeast.  22ltrs

If I am in a hurry I hot steep the crystal for an hour or so while getting my brew stuff together . Nottingham would be my choice if you cant get it down to Lager temps.

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Thanks for the help guys if i wanted to hot steep for a hour how would i do that and at what temp etc? I just drink bog standard lagers like fosters and stella etc just wanted to try get something closer to that decided on us 05 for the temps now

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If you want something like those then I wouldn't be steeping any crystal grains. They're pretty thin bodied beers.

The only way in my experience to get close to commercial lagers is to brew proper lagers. Everyone's different, but to my tastes, even 'clean' ale yeast doesn't get close enough. Mine only started tasting close when I did them as lagers.

As for hot steeping, just heat a litre or so of water to about 70 degrees C, put the grains in and leave them sit for an hour, although half an hour to 40 minutes is sufficient. Obviously make sure the grains are cracked first.

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Evening brew brother,

the original series lager kit rather extraordinarily, is the worlds largest selling kit but doesn't have exactly a cult following on this forum at least.

(although hairy's galaxy ale on the os lager challenge some years back was gold!)

Cooper's makes some superbly good kits maybe next time shell out a little more silver and get the 86 day pilsner or golden crown lager. Both come with lager yeast to and dont require to much additional work to make it a great drink.

Happy brewing matey-

 

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Yeah i shall have a try of that then see how it goea thanks gor the help i have a 86 day pilsner but i cant get my space down cols enough to use a lager yeast unfortunately unless i use a 34 70 yeast and brew it at about 18c but i was worried it would mess up the taste of that as its to high for that really 

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Mate there's nothing wrong with using a fermentis us05 yeast and brewing lager (pusedo lager) at 18°c , it will be crisp and clean, some brewers & tasters can't tell the difference.  

As for brewing a lager strain warm i can't say ive brewed a 34/70 at those temperatures, they say s-189 can be brewed at that temperature without issue again ive not tried. ( otto will probly know more about that)

Personally,  my brewing transformed the day i got an old brewing fridge and a ink bird (temperature controler ),  you can make lagers all year round then & pinpoint the brewing temperatures you'll need. 

 

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Hmm i shall try that then see how it goes I've not got the space for another fridge unfortunately so just going to brew ales when its warmer and drink them haha but my preference is lager

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If you ferment the brew @ 18°C+ using W34/70 it will likely take on other unwanted connotations outside the expected flavours of a typical lager beer. A common phrase used to describe a lager yeast based brew fermented @ ale temperatures is called a "Steam Beer". It tastes quite different to a typical lager beer.

If you can get your ferment temp down to at least 15°C & be able to hold it there for at least the first 3-4 days of the primary ferment you will achieve a decent lager-type flavour in the final beer. If you are able to achieve the 15°C mark, allow the beer temp to rise to at least 18°C after 6-7 days for what is known as a diacetyl rest. The diacetyl rest is necessary for lager yeast fermented beers to remove a heavy butterscotch-like flavour created by the lager strains as a byproduct of being fermented at lower temperatures.

Diacetyl traits can also be removed by ageing your beer in the bottle at temperatures of 18°C & above for a reasonable period of time.

Cheers & best of luck with the brew,

Lusty.

Edited by Beerlust

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Just to clarify my post above, I was not suggesting to use W34/70 @ 18 degrees but Nottingham in place of my Lager recipe which I do @ 12 degrees.

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Yeah S-189 is one I have seen a few times being talked about for fermenting at ale temps and still being clean. I haven't tried it myself though, or any other lager yeast at ale temps. Usually I ferment them around 9-10 degrees. 

It's also a common myth that a diacetyl rest is a must for all lagers. Even if the beer is left at 12 or 10 degrees or whatever, it will still clean it up, if it's even there to begin with. One reason for pitching a crapload of yeast a bit below fermentation temp is to prevent the production of diacetyl. The only reason for raising the temp near the end is to speed up the process. I do it myself so  I'm not waiting half a year for a batch. There are a couple of yeast strains where it is advised, but certainly not all of them. The fermentation schedule for traditional German lagers never sees the beer get above about 9 degrees from a fermentation temp around 6-7 degrees. The slow ramp down to lagering temps puts the yeast into cleanup mode and also removes any diacetyl over the 2-3 months of lagering. 

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