Today was my first brewing of a lager. The thought was to 1) take advantage of my cold basement and also 2) take advantage of Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager’s purported ability to ferment pretty clean at warmer temps. My basement sits at 57F right now and Wyeast lists the ranges at 45-55F and 65F-68F. So I land just above the lager ferment temps, and I’m happy to take this chance. My third thought was to make something a co-worker experienced while in Prague a few years ago – a malty, dark, hoppy easy drinking lager.
The only reference I could really find was from Northern Brewer who released a kit for this a couple of years ago. I was able to find the link up to a few days ago, and now cannot locate it on their website. [edit: here is the website] They did use a private collection, limited release Wyeast product ‘Staro Prague’ 2782-PC. Since I had no way to get my hands on this, I picked the next best thing for myself, the Bohemian lager. Brewing TV (Northern Brewer) had a recent episode on “Lager Workarounds” and this yeast was pointed out as a good way to get a pseudo-lager.
The brew day was the same as any other beer, other than I chilled down to 60F, let it sit to get close to the 57F of the basement and pitched my starter.
Yes, I made a starter a few days ago, getting my pitch amount near the top end for a lager of this batch size (3 gallons). The was the second starter I’ve made, and am quite happy about how easy it is and how decent the fermentation has been.
The color was beautiful, and I am excited to get this into bottles in the next 4 weeks or so (I won’t do a full lager)