Like many homebrewers, for a long time we were uninterested in making an American Lager. They're certainly not as fancy as a Coffee Stout or a Brut IPA. But after a long steep in US brewing history (Land of Amber Waters is a solid read), we saw that there's much to appreciate about the American Lager.
We have two American Lager kits for order, both of which make a stellar beer:
Why did the American Lager come to be? By brewing with what our forefathers had on hand, of course, just like everyone else; that's why Belgian Tripels have candi sugar, Japanese beers have rice, British brewers have wonderfully biscuity malt flavors... the list goes on.
This same reliance on corn also planted whiskey firmly within the soil of the American soul - but that's another story.
One of our Brewmasters played around with the style a bit, throwing in his own flair. His goal was to tread the lines between crisp and silky, new world and old.
The recipe is included below.
- 5 lbs Rahr 2-row
- 2 lbs German Munich
- .5 lbs Flaked Maize
- .25 lbs Flaked Barley
- .4 lbs Briess Carapils
- OG 1.048 (approximately 80% efficiency)
- Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager
Corn provides crispness, dryness, and a distinctive grainy/sweet flavor. The tiny amount of flaked barley is there for smoothness and, with luck, a flavor that shifts a bit, with a slightly full and silky start yet a crisp, dry finish.
Carapils lends some body and sweetness, and the hops are minimal, just a bit to keep it interesting.
Rahr 2-row is a plain malt, and this beer should be mainly plain, but a small amount of Munich should keep it interesting without dominating.
This is just one lager experiment among infinite options. Let your freak flag fly. Or your American flag. Either way.