Just over a month ago we did Chas’s first brew. It was a full 23L batch of Thomas Coopers Selection Heritage Lager.
Fermentation was only eight days, a fair bit quicker than the ones in the carboys. That’s more to do with the ability to be able to take samples easy and do gravity readings. While the brew is in the carboys you just need to wait long enough to be sure.
Original gravity was 1.038 and final gravity was 1.006. So that should be 4.2% which is a bit on the lighter side for a lager. That said I don’t think it made much of a difference.
So how was this first lager? Okay is the short answer. Not necessarily a good lager as it was just the hop malt can and a heap of dextrose.
There’s some alright aroma. But overall it’s a bit rough and ordinary. Some good flavours but no real body. Gets dry at the middle that keeps getting stronger, which isn’t great. Bitterness builds but it’s nothing special. A pretty basic but drinkable beer.
BUT, then we allowed the beer to condition for another week. That made a noticeable improvement. The whole lot started working better. Hop flavour wasn’t as harsh, malt felt more a part of the beer than on the side, and some of that roughness dropped away.
By no means did this go from okay to great, but more from okay to nice. And that’s really all we wanted from the first big batch beer.
Updated 29 May 2013: Added in the photo and the gravity readings.