Today I finally bottled the lager I brewed on January 19. Coming out of the fermenter it tasted very good. I would put the taste at about a Steinlager, one of the few commercial lagers I really like. Steinlager is a New Zealand brew that my college in River Falls, Wisconsin, used to serve. I also have fond memories of it from my time in New Zealand. I remember coming over a hill on Great Barrier Island, into Port Fitzroy, and seeing the little shop with the Steinlager sign. I bought two and Terry and I drank them on the front porch. That ice cold beer was such a relief.
This was my first brew with dry lager yeast (Saflager S-23). I have always been told that dry lager yeast is a bust. Not so. Going into the bottle, I am happy with the results. But I can’t leave well enough alone. I decided to prime it with a cup of maple syrup. We shall see how that goes.
As an update, the beer I brewed with Thames Valley yeast is now at almost exactly eight weeks in the fermenter and still very active. Suspecting an infection, I used a bottle filler as an improvised wine thief and sampled some. Surprisingly, it was quite good. I have never had ale go so long in the fermenter and anything good come of it. For now, it looks as though this will be a good beer.
I must admit I am pretty excited. I was beginning to fear that both these beers were going to be garden food.