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Black Lager Bottling Day

After a long lagering period, the bottling must be done.  Someday I will keg, but until then I will bottle.

Usually I store the beer in the fridge for six weeks before I move it to its final storage phase, but this one only went five.  Is one week a big difference for this kind of beer?  To be honest, I am not sure but didn’t feel like waiting*.  The black lager was more of an experimental brew and not one I was trying to win major style points.  This is my Yule Lager, don’t you know?

I brewed this beer in late November as a more roasty schwarzbier.  The addition of roasted barley was the key difference between what I would consider brewing to style would be.  The typical schwarzbier should taste like a pilsner but look like a stout.

At bottling, I sampled the beer as it was being racked from the carboy. My comment to Mike about the taste was that it was the “my cleanest stout”.  He chuckled and opined about the nature of the style.  It didn’t seem to make sense to him that a beer should look a certain way without the characteristics of the grains that would normally provide its appearance.

I know this question is like giving a thumb to the nose to the history, but shouldn’t this style showcase some roastiness?  If the Schwarzbier style can’t be expanded, could there be an American black lager subcategory?

Meh, I am trying to justify my Yule lager to do well in a competition.  I will be entering it but I won’t be getting any awards for the Yule lager.

*One thing about bottling lager is that the mellowing and conditioning continues in the bottle.  In my experience, even if you bulk condition for only say four weeks, there will be further conditioning in the bottle that will improve the look and taste of the beer.


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  1. Randy

    When you bottled, did you add any new yeast to the volume? Did you use malt extract, corn sugar, carb tabs?

  2. Hi Randy,

    I did not add new yeast to the beer. I have not had a problem with my yeasts for lagers that start off with gravities under 1.060.
    I used 3/4 of a cup of corn sugar to prime the beer. Corn sugar is my preferred priming agent.

  3. Randy

    Thanks John, I have been lagering a Honey Lager for 3 weeks now, that I wanted to bottle and condition for the summer, I haven’t bottled any of my lagers before and just wondering yall experience. Thanks again for the help, articles, and the videos!

  4. You are welcome, Randy. I think if you bottle after lagering for 6 to 8 weeks, your Honey Lager will carbonate nicely. Make sure to keep the bottles at room temperature after priming/bottling. You do not have to keep them at lager or lager fermentation temps – you will not pick up any off flavors – you will get carbonated beer.

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