TMBR: Svetlé 12°

Remember that one time we talked about lager fermentation? Now here we are drinking it: full circle, citizens.

To clarify a couple points I should have gone over in those spare 14 seconds:

The beer was kegged 16 days after pitching; the kegs were then crash-cooled to 35F and held there for a couple weeks before force-carb … so roughly one month from brew day to beginning carbonation. Pretty speedy for a lager. And it would have been on tap sooner if not for a traffic jam in the keggerator.

Recipe and a bunch of blathering about decoction here.

30 thoughts on “TMBR: Svetlé 12°

  1. Now Sir, you left me screaming like a 15 year-old girl, seeing Justin Bieber 🙂
    I guess those are my 25% Czech genes screaming inside, though.
    My next ‘to brew’ for sure, but I like Tmave more ;).

    MrD, what would you suggest for subbing that yeast strain?
    Cheers and thanks for all that awesome beer geekiness 🙂

    • I have never met a Czech lager strain I didn’t like, so I don’t think you could go wrong. My very favorite is 2782, but that’s limited-release. 2001 is another really nice yeast – won’t accentuate the hops quite as much as 2000.

  2. Well I know what I’m brewing come next lager season! I just need to talk my lhbs into getting some continental pilsner malt ( I’ll just say “Floor malted or gtfo!”, think that’ll work? )

  3. Off topic, but closing moments of ep 8 of “The Finder” the main character finds an almost spot on Michael Dawson impersonation. And while he has a beer in his hand.

  4. M,
    A bit random, but other than eating bagels, making expresso, and digging your neighbors out of the snow, what do you do to pass the time during your brew day? Also, have you ever thought about building a start-up brewery/brewpub?
    I continue to use you as my go-to source for the “right” info on all things beer.
    I thank you for that.

    • Unless it’s a decoction, I try not to have a lot of downtime during brew day … usually prepping for the next step (heating sparge water, dosing hops, cleaning mash tun, sanitizing fermenter, recording numbers on the brew sheet, etc) while the mash is resting or wort boiling. I do like to listen to music, though.

      have you ever thought about building a start-up brewery/brewpub?

      Hasn’t everybody? ; )


    • Yes – just enough to seal it. The beer was fermented in a conical, so all of the trub separation and most of the clarification happened there … lager in and serve out of the keg.

  5. Hey stupid question. I have no lagering capabilities at the moment (my fermentation area get to about 12 degrees c+- for a few months. would this beer be good as a keller bier? Also would it meld well with NZ hops?

    • Without lagering temps your best bet may be a temp-tolerant lager or steam-style strain; I’ve never tried brewing a Czech-style lager with NZ hops so can’t speak to that from experience. All the NZ varieties I’ve used are a pretty far cry from Saaz, so it would certainly be different … if you find a good combo, please share!

      • For hops Wai-iti (3.4% aa) primarily for aroma but with something a bit beefier for the bittering addition something like Kohatu (6.4+-% aa pine needles and citrus are given in flavor and aroma) or Motueka (6.7%
        aa) which I have used and tastes very, for lack of a better term, continental with a hint of citrus. Yeast was defiantly going to be temp tolerant lager strain any suggestions?
        Sorry for babbling.

        • IMHO and my $0.02, you’d go only with 100% Moutueka (1/3 Saaz parentage). Belgians are brewing crazy wIth’em nowadays 🙂 . If you can’t find some other Saazy, continental hops, of course.

          • Thats what i used last year to make a pils in a colder flat (it was 8 degrees in that cupboard). I thought the citrus would be kind of a good idea for NZ summer. also domestic hops are obscenely cheap for student brewing and whatnot.

  6. Hi!

    I have a growing urge to brew lagers. I’m looking into water adjustments for lager styles. What would you do for a German pilsner when it comes to water adjustment? I going to use hallertauer mittelfruh hops if that is relevant.


    • Depends on what you’re starting with … for a German pils, a little sulfate can be a good thing (to accentuate bitterness & dryness), so if it were my beer, starting with pretty neutral, low-mineral water, some gypsum (CaSO4) might be helpful. Good luck!

  7. QUESTION! i’ve been wanting to do a decoction mash for awhile now. One problem? i’m an electric brewer… and no way i can boil the grains without major scorching. Is there anything i can do? or am i screwed till i can get to a propane burner?

    • Hey Noah,

      I have no firsthand experience with decoction vs. electric element. It seems like it might be a problem, but I’m not sure there wouldn’t be a workaround. Are you brewing on an electric stove, or with an element immersed in the MLT/boiler?

  8. Long time lurker, may have drunk commented before…

    I really enjoy your blog and reviews. I got into lagers a couple of years ago when I watched Brewing TV’s episode on decoction mashing and really haven’t looked back.

    Just wanted to say thank you, and that I hope you keep blogging!


  9. MrD, one more question. This Svetle was done “quickly”, as we can see.
    So, here it is.
    Cold crashing after primary, towards lagering in ~32’ish.
    How quick (I mean, just right away or few degs/day) do you recommend, to dial down the temp – let’s say, from d-rest temps ?
    Keep on awesome bloggin’ 🙂
    Thanks & Cheers!

    • What I did was to take the beer directly from d-rest temp, transfer into the secondary vessel (I used corny kegs) and put the kegs right into my 35F lager freezer … so no dialing down per se, just dropping the temp as fast as possible.

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