Lager is probably the most popular style of all beers as it is consumed in large quantities all over the world. Traditionally, each country has produced its own styles of lager. That is why there are a large number of lager beer brands around the world.
Types of lagger beer:
Lager-type beers can be differentiated into four different styles, which are explained below.
These lager beers are usually low in alcohol and caloric content. They also have little malt flavor with a dry, refreshing, watery finish. Occasionally they are made by adding rice or corn, as is done in some American and Japanese lagers.
Appearance: Pale and straw-colored.
Taste: Fresh and dry often with very little flavor. sometimes a dry sweetness, like corn, is evident.
Aroma: A light, spaced hop aroma may be noted, although often no apparent aroma is perceived.
Alcohol: They are usually between 2.8 – 4.2%
European lagers are quite flavorful and low in alcohol, being made with only malt. While the American lager is usually very clean and light in flavor, with few aromas.
Pilsner-type beers originate from Plzen (Pilsen), and have more hops and more complete malt flavors than other pale lagers.
Appearance: Light, golden or dark straw colour. With a great long lasting white foam.
Taste: Complex malt flavors and mild bitterness, sometimes with a hint of sweetness on the finish.
Aroma: Spaced, floral, and with a strong taste of cereal.
Alcohol: Between 4.2 – 6%
The most famous are the Czech Pilsners with light flavors and a lot of carbon. The German ones have a more intense flavor with greater bitterness. On the other hand, the American ones are very hoppy and usually contain corn.
The flavors and aromas that predominate in amber lagers are usually roasted malt. These lager beers are a well-known style from Germany.
Appearance: Intense dark golden orange color. Durable foam and off-white color.
Flavor: Malty flavors dominate and are balanced by strong hop bitterness.
Aroma: Malted and lightly toasted with little presence of hop odour.
Alcohol: Between 4.5 – 5.7%
European lagers have some sweetness with malt flavors. While the American versions are stronger and drier with more hops on the palate.
Dark lager and bock
Bock beer is a strong, sweet, nearly black lager.
Appearance: Dark color with creamy and whitish foam.
Taste: Soft, rich and caramelized beers. Little presence of hops is noted. Dark lagers can have delicate burnt notes.
Aroma: Bocks have a roasted malt aroma with little or no hop aroma. Some flavors of chocolate, caramel or nuts can be noted on the palate.
Alcohol: Between 4.2 – 14%.
They usually come from Germany. The traditional ones are sweet, strong and fruity. Some of the best known are the doppelbock and the helles.
Bottom fermenting yeasts for lager beers:
Low temperatures make lager yeasts work better, generally around 12ºC. This is followed by a prolonged period of conditioning also at low temperatures known as lagering, a term that comes from the German word lagern (to store). This process helps remove many flavors that appear during fermentation so the result is a clean and refreshing beer with a neutral flavor.
How to brew lager beers at home:
For the home brewer it is one of the most complicated and challenging styles, in addition to requiring cold and controlled conditions, its subtle and clean character will allow any unwanted flavor to be appreciated. Although it is possible to make good lagers, special attention must be paid to fermentation conditions, amount of yeast, and cleanliness. The most important thing is temperature so investing in a brew-only fridge is a wise decision if you’re serious about brewing your own craft beer.