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Making Lagers with Dry Yeast

Making  Lagers with Dry Yeast

Pilsners and Lagers are normally made using liquid yeast strains that require cooler temperatures for the primary stage. 50° - 55° is the norm. In order to achieve these temperatures in a refrigerator, a thermostat over-ride is required to raise the temperatures above the 45° maximums that are required by UL labs on all refrigeration equipment. One other possibility is to build a fermentation box so that lagering temps can be achieved.

Some home brewers, during the winter months may try to produce Lager and Pilsner style beers with the cooperation of Mother Nature. However, Mother Nature is not always cooperative and temperatures rising into the upper 60° degree range during the primary stage could cause the yeast to develop off flavors in the beer. 

To minimize the potential problems stated above, we offer a dry yeast version of our recipes that utilizes Safale #US-05 yeast.  Safale 05 is an ale yeast that can ferment at room temp to mid 60's without developing the fruity esters normally associated with ales.  It develops a somewhat crisp and clean flavor that is more like that of a lager than an ale.  Granted it will not make a beer quite as crisp and clean tasting as a true liquid lager yeast but at least it allows us to brew more of the golden colored pilsners without taking on the added expense of extra refrigerator and temperature controls. 

With the Safale 05 yeast, you will want to "pitch" (brewing term for adding the yeast) the yeast into a wort that has been cooled to 75° F.  

During the fermentation process, store in an area maintaining approximately 68° for 5 to 7 days.

After this primary stage, transfer the beer into a clean, sanitized carboy and move it back into the cooler environment. This clarification stage should last about 5-7 days but could be extended for an extra couple of weeks.

At bottling, prime as normal and leave at room temperature for 2 weeks or until carbonation is achieved.

Store in a 60° - 68° environment if possible - if not possible, try to avoid temps above 72°. 

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