Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

How Long To Lager

If you follow this blog, we have been becoming masters of lagers. I still have a dopplebock to brew but that will be the seventh brew of the series and we only set out to brew 6.

The topic of lagering time came up in conversation as we were drinking a very fresh Munich Helles that Mike had in his keg.

Although it was a little hazy, the beer tasted great – soft, crisp, bready/grainy.

It got us to thinking – if we’re pitching a mighty amount of healthy, clean yeast into the wort, does one need the lengthy 2 month lagering time for light lagers or lagers of a medium starting gravity in the 1.050 to 1.060 range?

Yeah, the Munich Helles could have been clearer and that would have been accomplished with time with the beer stored at lager temperatures, but why wait when the beer tastes great? If the appearance is a minor attribute to your enjoyment of the beer, why lager longer than 2 weeks?

So I guess the main question is: How long do you lager?

But also:

Have you experimented with lagering times?

Does lagering really need to be at least 4 weeks?

Please leave your comments below.

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4 Comments

  1. I have heard a rule of thumb that says the minimum lagering time should be 1 week per 10 points of original gravity.

    From experience, I do think lagers taste “crisper” with longer lagering times. I have made maibocks, pilsners, bocks, oktobefests,Vienna lagers, and doppelbocks, all of which have won ribbons with the exception of the doppelbocks.

    I haven’t experimented with lager times per se, but have noticed that the majority of my lagers taste better the longer they age except for the pilsner. The last pint off of any keg is usually much better than the first.

  2. On the topics of lagers, I’ve never done a great job of consistently brewing them (classic temperature regulation concerns). However, in the last week or so, I’ve been thinking about doing a Czech Pils as part of a partigyle brew. The first runnings would be used to brew something akin to a Belgian Golden Strong and the second runnings would be for the Pilsner. I haven’t really found any discussion of someone doing something similar. Can you guys think of any reason that this wouldn’t work?

    Cheers!
    Holz

  3. Alex

    Hey!

    Thanks for posting this. Did the Munich Helles you two brewed lager for 2 weeks post fermentation? Just want to make sure I am reading correctly. I have an Oktoberfest that I just finished a diacetyl rest on, and was planning on trying to finagle a way to lager it for another couple months, but after reading this, I may just drink it instead!

  4. Yes, it was lagered for two week post fermentation. Taste it and see!

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