Are you a beer lover? If yes, you might be wondering about the many ways we can experiment with our favorite drink.
One idea that might have hit your mind multiple times is lagering a carbonated beer to check how it turns out. Right? If so, don’t worry!
In this article, you’ll dive deep into the subject.
So, let’s get started!
What is Beer Carbonation and How is it Done?
Before jumping directly on the question, “Can you lager a carbonated beer?” let’s first learn about the process.
Beer is produced by fermentation of malt, which is carried out by a fermenting agent, YEAST.
During the process, it breaks down the complex sugars present in the wort.
As a result, alcohol and carbon dioxide gas is produced.
This gas gets dissolved in the beer, hence carbonating it.
That’s how it happens naturally.
You just have to provide the ingredients and the right conditions for the yeast.
The rest is its job.
You just have to chill until the beer matures.
What Does Lagering a Beer Mean?
The second important thing that you need to know about is ‘Lagering‘.
So, let’s learn about it together!
The word “Lager” has a German origin, and it means “to store.”
In the brewing industry, lagering is a technique to age beer at low temperatures for a prolonged time.
The yeast will break it down to alcohol and carbon, hence balancing the carbonation levels.
That’s what lagering a carbonated beer looks like.
But what’s the purpose of lagering? How it affects the beer?
If these questions are hitting your brain, get ready for the answer!
The purpose of lagering the beer is to ferment any remaining sugars to get a smoother, cleaner drink on your table.
Generally, the fermentation occurs at 7-13°C and lagering is done for several weeks to months.
Can You Lager a Carbonated Beer?
As far as lagering a carbonated beer is considered, you are lucky in the experiment.
You can definitely lager a carbonated beer.
However, if the beer is carbonated enough, you first have to release the gas from the beer. The reason?
While lagering, all the remaining sugars will also ferment and produce carbon dioxide.
If it’s already present in the right amount, the beer gets over-carbonated and losses its flavor.
Therefore, decarbonation is required sometimes.
What Are the Steps of Lagering a Carbonated Beer?
Lagering a beer is quite easy and involves a few simple steps.
These steps are discussed below.
Step# 1 Releasing the Gas from the Beer
Decarbonation of beer is not a necessary step.
It’s only required if there are chances of over-carbonation during the process to avoid the off-flavors.
To do so, you have to put the beer in a tank and slowly release the gas.
You need to be very careful because the excessive release of carbon dioxide also makes the beer less tasty.
Step# 2 Decreasing the Temperature
To lager the beer, the temperature needs to be low.
Depending on the beer style, it ranges from 7-13°C.
Step# 3 Storing the Beer
The next step is to store the beer at a low temperature for several weeks to months.
It gives the yeast enough time to ferment all the sugar.
Hence, you get a smoother and cleaner beer.
Step# 4 Carbonating the Beer
If the beer has not had enough carbon dioxide, you can carbonate it again, too, either by force or natural carbonation.
In the former method, you require a carbonation stone or a carbon dioxide tank.
Whereas, in the latter method, you need to add sugar to the beer.
How Long Do You Need to Lager a Carbonated Beer?
Now that you are well aware of lagering, you must know the exact time required for the process.
So, keep reading!
Traditionally, a carbonated beer was lagered for almost three months.
It was a time when there was no commercial machinery.
However, with the advancements in the food industry, 21 days are enough to lager a beer commercially.
Rarely, a beer is lagered for 30 days.
So now you can get a premium quality, crisp, clean beer within a month with the help of commercial pressures.
Can You Lager a Homebrewed Carbonated Beer?
When brewing beer at home, many people are confused about lagering it.
Well! Let’s make it clear to you that you can lager homebrewed carbonated beer.
It’s a simple process and involves the same steps as mentioned above.
However, you need to be extra cautious during the process.
Are There Any Benefits to Lagering a Carbonated Beer?
Why lagering is important?
Does it have some pros, or is it just an extra step to keep you busy with the beer?
Time to find the answer!
Well! The short one-word answer to these questions is yes.
Lagering a carbonated beer has a few benefits that are mentioned below:
Improves the Visual Appearance
Lagering clarifies the beer by allowing the residual yeast, hop particles, and other sediments to settle down.
The result is a cleaner, brighter, and visually appealing liquid.
Gives You a Nice Kick of Flavors
Lagering also causes various flavors and aromas to meld together over time.
As a result, you get a smoother, more well-rounded beer with a more complex flavor profile.
The yeast in the beer cleans up the compounds such as diacetyl or acetaldehyde, hence reducing the off-flavors.
Overall, the process produces a more refined, better-tasting beer that impresses even the most discerning beer drinkers.
Final Thoughts on Lagering a Carbonated Beer
Lagering is a technique used for ages to mature freshly brewed beer at cooler temperatures.
Many people have doubts regarding the technique for carbonated beers.
But the truth is that lagering a carbonated beer is an easy-peasy way to boost the flavors of your drink.
It creates unique and refreshing flavors and visually appealing beers.
However, you must follow the proper steps to ensure the beer is properly carbonated.