Homebrew Recipe: Lager
Make your own lager at home with this homebrew recipe!
The equipment required to make homebrew lager is fairly basic. You will need:
One stockpot that will hold 24 to 40 pints.
A 2-pint Mason jar
A small saucepan
A large metal spoon, measuring 12 inches
Cup. Teaspoon and tablespoon for measuring
A primary fermenting bin that holds 60 pints
2 fermentation locks, one for each stage of fermenting
A 5-gallon carboy
A siphoning tube
A grain bag
About 50 sterilised beer bottles and same number of crown caps to fit
2 bottle brushes, one longer than the other
Chlorine sterilizing solution
The ingredients for the homebrew lager are also fairly basic:
40 pints water (preferably bottled)
8Ib Amber malt concentrate
Pack of lager yeast
½ Ib Crystal malt
½ cup Corn sugar
Packet of Burton Salts
Preparing for the brewing
First of all, place 32 pints of the water in the fridge to cool. Next wash the stockpot and spoon, bottles and carboy. Then prepare the chlorine sterilizing solution, and sterilize the primary fermenting bin and lid, the fermentation lock, the Mason jar and a piece of foil measuring 6 inches x 6 inches. Rinse all the sterilized items several times in cold water and allow to dry thoroughly. CLEANLINESS IS ESSENTIAL FOR A GOOD LAGER HOMEBREW.
THE COOKING PROCESS AND PRIMARY FERMENTATION
Make sure that all ingredients and equipment are easily accessible before beginning.
1. Place 2/3 pint water into the small saucepan, and heat gently. When steaming add 1tblsp Amber Malt Extract and 1tblsp corn sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes stirring continuously, then turn the heat off and allow to cool until lukewarm. Then pour this blend into the Mason jar, incorporate the yeast and cover with the foil.
2. The liquid in the Mason jar will begin foaming. This is a sign that it has started to ferment. At this stage put the 8 pints of water that hadn't been chilled in the stockpot and begin to heat rapidly. Next put the crystal malt in the grain bag, tying the grain bag securely, and place in the heating water. As the water approaches boiling point remove the grain bag and reserve in a clean container. Remove the stockpot from the heat, and add the remaining Amber Malt Extract and Burton salts stirring until dissolved. Put the stockpot back on the heat and return the reserved grain bag to it.
3. Quickly pour the 32 pints of chilled water into the primary fermenting bin and cover. When the stockpot combination begins to bubble remove the grain bag and place into the primary fermenting bin, stir and replace the lid.
4. Remove the stockpot from the heat and stir in the hops. Place the stockpot back over the high heat and stir often. As the mixture boils it will froth up. Care should be taken that it does not overflow out of the stockpot during this stage.
5. Allow to cool, by placing the pot in a sink of iced water, and then incorporate into the primary fermenting bin. Make sure it is fully blended in. Replace the lid and fit the first fermenting lock to prevent air getting into the solution, but allowing carbon dioxide to escape. Place the bin in a dark corner with a constant temperature of about 60-70f and leave to ferment for between four days and a week (When the space between carbon dioxide bubbles escaping is between 90 and 120 seconds).
SECONDARY FERMENTATION OF YOUR HOMEBREW LAGER
1. Take the sterilized carboy, the other sterilized fermentation lock and cork. Place the primary fermenting bin on a table, and the carboy on the floor. Take the lid off the primary fermenter and insert the siphoning tube, to just above the level of the sediment.
2. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for specific siphoning details. To begin the siphon, start sucking gently. Once it has started the end that you had your mouth around must be clamped and then sterilized. Once this has been done the siphoning hose can be placed into the carboy and the clamp removed, allowing siphoning to take place. When the primary bin is nearly empty, stop the siphon, leaving behind the sediment in the bin. If the carboy is not full, top up with a little water, leaving enough room for the cork to be clear of the mixture however. Then fit the cork and lock immediately. Leave in a dark, warm place (60 to70f) for as long as it takes for bubbles to stop rising from the mixture (2 to 6 weeks).
3. When this has occurred, heat one cup of water in a saucepan, dissolve ½ cup corn sugar into it, and boil stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and cover. Siphon the beer back from the carboy into the primary fermenting bin, making sure you have cleaned the bin first. Add the cool sugar solution (priming sugar) and stir gently with the metal spoon.
BOTTLING UP YOUR HOMEBREW LAGER
1. Start the siphon as you did the first time and when it is nearing the end of the tube, clamp it. Place the end of the tube into a bottle, release the clamp and allow the bottle to fill. Replace the clamp and remove the tube from the bottle. Cap the bottle using the capper. Repeat this procedure until all the lager has been bottled, and all bottles capped.
2. Store the bottles upright, and after a week, shake off the sediment from the sides of the bottles by lifting and tapping the base of each bottle gently.
3. After six weeks your beautiful homebrew lager will be ready to taste!