Another Quick Lager

Tasty, but not as clear as it should be

A while ago I experimented with the new warm-fermentation temperature lager methods being promoted by various home brewers and bloggers. My first attempt at this was a home run – a great, Czech-style Pilsner…and as I was drinking this beer I remembered why I don’t brew Pilsners – I’m not a huge fan of the style. So this time around I brewed a lager more to my preference, a continental style Vienna lager.

I’m not going to post the recipe because its not my recipe – I stole this one, in its entirety, from Five Blades Brewing – specifically, his Geburstagsparty recipe. The only change I made (aside from fermentation profile) was that I re-pitched some 34/70 yeast I had kept from my Pilsner. Brew day went smoothly, with 22L of 1.047 wort transferred to the fermenter.

Fermentation profile was the same as with my Pilsner – 6 days at ~15C, followed by 9 days at room temperature. After fermentation I kegged the beer, force carbed, and began pouring 3 days later…and that was when I realized that I forgot to gelatin the beer. So even now, half way through the keg, its still cloudy. But it is otherwise excellent, so onto the tasting notes.

Appearance: Light brown with amber hues, pours with a fluffy white head that lasts and lasts and lasts. But its cloudy, thanks to the lack of gelatin.

Aroma: Malty with a touch of bread, with a clear overarching note of Hallertauer hops.

Flavour: Malt flavour is upfront; not the sweetness of caramel malt, but rather a slightly sweet, rich flavour. There is a subtle, almost nutty note in the background. A subtle hop bitterness balances out the sweetness, but the balance remains malt-forward. The balance is near-perfect; not as sweet as a bock, but not as dry as a Pilsner. It’s easy to drink, highly digestable, but has enough flavour and body to be interesting. As with the warm-fermented Pilsner, the yeast character on this beer is lager-clean, despite the lack of long-term cold aging. Aftertaste is very mild, just a lingering malt sweetness and subtle bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Whetting, medium bodied and highly effervescent. There is no astringency or drying sensation what-so-ever.

Overall: A damned good beer. Easy to drink, great flavour and nice balance between malt and hops. Aside from the clarity issue, the beer is nearly perfect. A great session lager, but with enough body and character to keep things interesting. The only thing I would change is to remember to add gelatin next time!

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