Batch #3-10: Australian Lager

Style Australian Lager
Ingredients View Here
Brewing Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Primary Fermentation: Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Original Gravity: 1.034
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Interim Gravity: n/a
Bottling Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Final Gravity: 1.008
Release Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 (St. Patrick’s Day)
Alcohol by volume: 3.9% ABV
Brand: Master-Yeast Theater
Release Name: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

This will be the release after the weekend that Eastern Daylight Time starts.  It will help recover from the loss of an hour over the weekend (maybe).


06 Feb  7:00 PM :: Created the yeast starter.  I did not have a 5oz dry malt kit for the starter, so I just used my remaining Munton’s Carbonation tabs for the food (they have dried malt in them).

07 Feb 5:00PM :: The yeast is becoming active, but I think tomorrow night will be a better night for the actual brewing.  The yeast should be fully active by then.

09 Feb 9:00PM :: I was not feeling well yesterday, so I put off the brewing until today.  The yeast in the starter flask is showing signs that it has exhausted its food supply, so I’m glad I did not have to delay the brewing for another day.

Brewing took about 2.5 hours from start to finish.  The aroma of this batch was close to baked bread.  The Germans call beer “liquid bread,” so this batch may be living up to that name.  This is quite an easy recipe to brew.  I love the aroma produced by the Pride hops.

Fermentation will be in my garage this week, since the night time temperatures are expected to be between 32F and 39F, with daytime highs between 55F and 61F.  Florida’s weird weather is the fermentation process’ gain.

11 Feb 11:00PM :: Bubbling cycles started and are now at 15 seconds, with about a 1 second long burst.  Last night I had to put the bucket in the laundry room because the temperature was going to drop to near freezing.  I put it back in the garage this morning, where the air temperature was probably 35-36 degrees.  Fermentation is moving along as expected.  We will have another very cold (i.e. 32F) night on Saturday, so I’ll have to watch this fermentation cycle more closely than before.

12 Feb 08:00 PM :: Bubbling cycles are still at 15 seconds with 1-2 second bursts.

13 Feb 08:00 PM :: Bubbling cycles are at 20 second intervals, with 1-2 second bursts.  The bucket is around 45 degrees.  I had to pull the bucket into the laundry room because the overnight temperature is predicted to be at freezing overnight.

14 Feb 11:00 PM :: Moved the bucket back to the garage.  Bubbling intervals are still steady at the same rate.

16 Feb 11:30 PM :: Bubbling is well over one minute.  Went to take a hydrometer reading, hydrometer tipped over, fell on the floor and broke.  Crap.. that’s two broken in just over a year.  Oh well.  I will bottle tomorrow night, but I would like to get a hydrometer reading to calculate alcohol content.  If I can’t get a replacement, I will see if I can borrow one.  I would hate to list the alcohol content as “involuntarily subjective”.

One interesting thing about this batch is that bubbling never occurred any more frequently than a burst every 15 seconds.  I’m not sure what effect the colder climate had on the wort and yeast during fermenation.

17 Feb 9:30 PM :: Thanks to Ross for answering the call for a borrowed hydrometer at the last minute.  Bubbling cycles were over 1 minute 45 seconds, so I just measured the Final Gravity and transferred the brew to the priming bucket for bottling.  There was a LOT of trum with this batch.  It was actually hard to get the siphon into a location where the trum would not get sucked into it or even block it.  The beer has a light yellow color, is very clear, and has a wonderful floral aroma.  It is already very smooth on the palate.  I am anxious to try this after about two weeks of conditioning.

I expected the Final Gravity reading to be around 1.010-1.012 due to the slower fermentation, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the 1.008 reading.  Yield was 43 12oz glass bottles, one 12oz PET bottle, one 24oz bottle, and one 34oz IKEA bottle. The yield was lower because it was necessary to leave a bit more liquid behind when transferring to the primary bucket due to the trum volume.

24 Feb 10:30 PM :: Opened a bottle to try at the one week point.  The floral aroma is still very strong, but the flavors are starting to blend.  There is a bit of a bite in the aftertaste.  It has good color, and generated about 1/2″ of head in the glass which dissipated fairly quickly.  Overall, very drinkable and carbonation is developing well.

02 Mar 10:00 PM :: Opened a second bottle at the two week point.  The floral aroma is again strong.  Flavors are melding quite well.  The hops are definitely the predominant flavor, and the maltiness is low.  Very drinkable, and very refeshing.

10 Mar 9:30 PM :: Last bottle opened before the release.  The cloudiness has not gone away, but the taste is now quite good.  The hops dominate, and the flavors have melded completely.  This doesn’t remind me of Foster’s Lager as much as does Cooper’s Lager in the bottle (note: the latter is quite difficult to find: usually in a home brew store or a very specialized beer store).  The beer is now ready for release.

17 Mar :: Received good feedback on this batch, and a wealth of information from a co-worker Paul, also a home brewer, who I met in person for the first time (thanks, Paul).  I’m not happy with the cloudiness, and will try some tricks next time to solve that problem.