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New! Jack Brand Dry Hopped Lager

By Fergus Fitzgerald, also posted in News on

Jack Brand Dry Hopped LagerWe’ve brewed a lager. So, what’s a lager? Well, I’m glad you asked... There was a time when lager meant a beer that was fermented at colder temperatures than an ale and used a bottom-fermenting yeast rather than the top-fermenting yeast typically used for ales. It was then stored cold (or lagered) to mature. Usually the hop varieties were the noble hops of Germany or the Czech Republic. Things have moved on and today most lager is fermented warmer and conditioned for a shorter period than its ancestors. However, the aim is to finish up with a beer that allows the cereals and the hops to shine, whilst keeping the influence of the yeast to an absolute minimum. Today, most lager in the world is fermented with the same strain of yeast, Saccharomyces carlsbergensis. For our first true lager we were keen to make a lager that had the appearance of a beer everyone is familiar with but with the twist of more fruit driven hops. We did several trials on our pilot brew kit to try to get the right balance and eventually settled on this recipe. We’ve brewed it with Pilsner malt and added a touch of Vienna malt for a few more grain notes. We used American, Sterling and Amarillo hops to add a slight citrus tone to the beer. We brought in the lager yeast and fermented it at 13 degrees C which in comparison to our normal ale fermentations meant for a long fermentation but it helped to keep the influence of the other flavours of the yeast really low. We fermented it drier than we would do for most beers and once finished we added some more hops (this is what is known as dry hopping), this time some Galaxy from Australia to give slight mango and passion fruit notes, and then stored the beer cold (at 1 degrees C, this is the lagering) for 4 weeks. We have hard water and generally people think of lager as being brewed with soft water. That is true for Czech pilsner but there are other traditional lagers brewed with hard water, like Vienna and Munich Helles lager styles as well as Dortmund lager. Our Dry hopped is akin to a Dortmund lager, although using much fruitier, more modern hops. We'd love to know what you think! Let us know in the comments box below. Cheers (Jack Brand lager is available in keg in selected outlets, and also in 330ml bottles in-store. We've now sold out of bottles online, but Fergus and the team are brewing a second batch which will be with us by the end of October).  


Fergus Fitzgerald