Imperial Pale Lager…with Frozen Yeast

A few weeks ago I posted a video about freezing yeast. While many people were quite excited about that video, I did have a few doubters. Well, I’m going to let you into a little secret – I shot that video back in March (yes, that is how slow I am at editing videos), the yeast I froze down in the video was a product of February’s “Uncle Mikes Pilsner“. One jar of yeast saved from that batch was re-pitched (without a starter) to make Aprils Vienna lager, another jar (this time with a starter) made the Helles and Raddler brewed in May. And at the end of July I thawed one of the frozen tubes of 34-70, ran it through a starter, and made an IPL…and it is f~#&ing delicious!

The recipe is below the fold, but lets start with the tasting notes.

Appearance: The picture to the right says it all – dark copper in colour, crystal clear, and pours with a creamy white head that leave Belgium lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Citrus, citrus and citrus. Not a surprise given the recipe (again, below the fold), but regardless, the aroma is fantastic. The mild lager character of the yeast really lets the hop character shine through.

Flavour: I like my IPA’s/IPL’s on the bitter side, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint. The beer has an upfront bitterness, clean but lingering. Behind it is a nice maltiness; pilsner-malt graininess with a bit more oopmh provided by Munich malt. Beside it there is a strong hop flavour – citrus, some resin, bit of tropical fruit. After the sip is complete all of that fades quickly to a resinous hop bitterness with a touch of sweetness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Dry, effervescent, but still somewhat whetting. The wetness fades to a dry hop bitterness as the mouthfeel fades.

Overall: A very enjoyable beer. I would up the whirlpool by another 30g (1 oz) or so to bring a little more hop character to the forefront. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. As with many IPA’s/IPL’s, the hop character fades quickly with time, so rapid consumption is a must.


  • OG: 1.058
  • FG: 1.012
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • IBU: 75
  • Colour: 5.8 SRM
  • 3 kg 2-row malt
  • 3 kg Pilsner malt
  • 0.35 kg Munich I Malt
  • 0.35 kg Aromatic Malt
Mash at 67.8C for 60 min
  • 60 min: 17 IBU Magnum
  • 30 min: 10 g each Amarillo, Citra and Nugget (total 24 IBU)
  • 10 min: 10g each Amarillo and Citra, 5 g Nugget (total 9.5 IBU)
  • 15min Whirlpool: 43 g each Amarillo and Citra
  • 10 days at 18C, Saflager W34-70
  • Kegged with gelatin

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