It’s been a bit chilly around here for SoCal …. so I have been taking advantage of the cool. It’s Lager brewing time!


My garage is the best insulated room in my place after some renovations that I did by myself about 12 years ago. It’s amazing what good insulation, drywall and texture will do after years of open studs and just as it was when my place was built back in 1955.  I noticed how cool it was throughout the day and I decided to brew some lagers and see how they turned out. Brewing lagers without the luxury of dedicated refrigerators to keep them at the optimal temperature. I spoke with a few of my friends at Stein Fillers in Long Beach and they have been doing the same in cool places in their houses. I went online and searched for some recipes as lagers are tricky with the typical weather in my home town of Buena Park. I certainly appreciate lagers but I have limited experience in brewing them.


I decided to get to work just after the New year. My first project is called simply American Winter Lager. I brewed it in my Klarstein Mundschenk. Since it’s American lager, I used mostly domestic malts, Superior Pilsner, a couple of pounds of Rahr 6 Row (my non American ingredient) since I was also going to add a pound each of flaked corn and flaked rice, plus a bit of Briess GoldPils Vienna malt. I’ve never used White Labs WLP840 American Lager yeast but I opted for that. I used a bit more hops than some of the recipes I was looking over but nothing crazy. I went with an ounce of Cascade hops at 60 minutes and then 1 oz of Mt. Hood at 10 minutes. It smelled pretty good for the 60 minute boil and I hoped for the best. It was a cool couple of days, so I pitched my yeast after 60 seconds of oxygen aeration and I let it go. I checked on my Fermzilla All Rounder 7.9 gallon jobber from time to time to monitor the ritual of pending fermentation. My garage was a fairly steady 55 degrees. 


What happened? Nothing. I let it go a whole day and then I got uneasy. I had to pick up some other suppliers from Stein Fillers so I picked up a second WL840 liquid yeast packet and got home and decide to pop the lid on my fermenter after I had my oxygen tank setup at the ready to hit it again after I emptied my 2nd yeast packet into my wort and gave it another 60 seconds of bubbles. I sealed it up and put my Spundit 2.0 on the gas side of the ball lock connector as my high tech airlock and hoped for the best. This time, it seemed to be much happier and I had that batch going. It was a little sketchy. 


To be continued ……..