I typically don't brew lagers but a few things made me go ahead and make one. For one, I just bought a brand new stir plate and couldn't wait to make a big starter and put it to use. Northern Brewer has their own stir plate on their website for about $62 if anyone is looking for a good one at a decent price. Also, my basement has been sitting right at 49-50* F ambient which will be perfect to get a nice clean lager beer.
The brew day got off to a slow start because I undershot my temps when putting the hot water in my mash tun. I had to take some water out and boil it (twice) to get my strike temps where I wanted them. I mashed in at 155* for an hr.
I cooled the wort down to 62*f to give the yeast a head start before it got real cold and set it down in the basement. It was showing activity within 6 hrs and had cooled down to 55*. Since then it has been cruising right at 50* and has been fermenting very steady for 4 days now with a very nice malty smell to the CO2 being released. I plan on keeping it down there for 2 weeks then bringing it upstairs and raising the temps to 68* for a diacetyl rest for two days before racking and lagering for 60 days in the mid 40's.
Brewed on 1/9/11
6 gallons All Grain
FG 1.012 (anticipated)
8 lbs Belgian Pilsner
1 lb 12 oz Munich
.75 oz Cascade 60 Min.
.75 Saaz 30 Min.
1 oz Saaz 5 Min.
.5 tsp Irish Moss 10 Min.
.5 Yeast Nutrient 10 Min.
WLP838 1.5L starter on stir plate
1/21/11 Moved upstairs to 68* ambient for a diacytel rest for 2 days. Gravity: 1.010. Could taste some diacytel. (cooked corn flavor) This should all disipate after the rest and lagering time. clear, nice medium straw color.