It’s no secret that the lager holds a special spot in our hearts. A wonderfully drinkable brew with just the right amount of flavor, there’s really no way to go wrong with a quality lager.
“A well-made lager hangs in the background to let you focus on the moment,” 22 Northmen Head Brewer Keith Hefley says.
Our lager process ensures that we uphold everything a lager should be. All in all, they require three turns through our brew house and then move through three tanks before they’re ready for serving. Let’s take a quick look at a lager’s journey here at 22 Northmen.
Tank 1: primary fermentation
We start slow, fermenting colder than many breweries do. This helps avoid the release of esters that come out during fermentation. They give a brew a more fruity flavor profile and different mouthfeel instead of the crisp, dry profile you’d want out of a lager.
“Some people may think it’s crazy to ferment cold, but if the yeast viability is good and we can line up our brewing at just the right time, I know it’s going to work” said Hefley.
Our lag time before fermentation starts is around 24-36 hours. All in all, lager spends about 10 days in this tank. As soon as the sugars are ready to go, it’s on to the next.
Tank 2: carbonation + lagering
After primary fermentation, the lager goes into a horizontal tank and spends four to five weeks there. While in the horizontal tank, we brew another small batch of that beer to add it to the tank to naturally carbonate the brew (krausening). We slowly get it colder while in the tank, dropping one to two degrees per day over the course of about ten days.
Tank 3: polishing
Lastly, the lager moves to a third tank for the final step – polishing, AKA the brewer’s kiss. This is where the brew hangs out while it becomes exactly what it’s intended to be before it’s ready to keg.
Join us in the taproom soon and taste one of our lagers for yourself! We make all our brews with extra care, and intention guides our work every step of the way. To learn more about our commitment to quality, visit Brewing with Intention. Stay #beerventerous!