prep day: dog food and dark lager


Citizens, it’s a bittersweet thing to get a new dog after the loss of a good one. It’s sweet, because it’s a new dog – not the same as Brew Dog 1.0, but good in her new individual way. It’s bitter because you have to hustle and scoop the last of your sack of Weyermann Bohemian Floor-Malted Dark out of the Vittles Vault like a sucker so that it can be re-filled with Nutro Lamb & Rice Large Breed Adult formula instead of artisanal European malt.

This can only mean decoction-mashing an export-strength Czech dark lager with that displaced malt: it will be a bin-cleaner in the truest sense of the word.

First, it will be necessary to rifle through the Library of Ancient Yeast, sunken lo these many moons below a fabled five-pack of New Glarus Staghorn … uh, four … three-pack of New Glarus Staghorn, and find the cache. See what might be under there in the way of out-of-date smack packs for me and Brew Dog 2.0 to work with.

But in the event that the cache comes up empty and I gotta go buy yeast, pop quiz for you: what’s your favorite strain for Czech lager?

38 thoughts on “prep day: dog food and dark lager

  1. wlp830 or the wyeast counterpart.
    Sorry to hear about the dog. Our chocolate lab Guinness is 13 and we are happy everyday he wakes up.

  2. Does Brewdog 2.0 have a name yet? Or is it just Brewdog 2.0?

    I like WLP833 for almost all of my lagers…even non-bavarian lagers…well there goes tradition.

    • Thanks for the comment! Brewdog 2.0 is named Sofie; her predecessor had a definite thing for German beers, but I have yet to brew with this one, so don’t know yet where her predilections lie.

  3. Fact: Your dog eats better than I do. And as far as lager yeasts go I still like 2124 since you turned me on to it. I got a bag of the pale floor malted bo-pils waiting for me at the homebrew shop, gonna lager everything!

  4. I risk sounding noobish, but whatevs: Budvar, Wy2000. One caveat though, anything Czech-y and lager-y in my house stays south of 4ish SRM, so IDK if my choice is appropriate for something dark.

  5. Sorry to hear about Ressa, I hope she was given a proper Wookies funeral on her home planet of Kashyyyk.

    I’ve only brewed a couple lagers, but I really like the way 2633 Oktoberfest Blend really played up the malt character of the Marzen I brewed last winter. It might be time to make another one of those now that I think about it.

  6. Not sure what my fav is because I haven’t brewed one yet. I plan to soon though. I already bought a smack pack of Czech Pils but unfortunately it was prematurely smacked. Any risk to just putting that yeast balloon in the fridge for the meantime? I plan on using it in about 3 weeks.

    • I’d say plan on making a starter (always good for a lager anyway) and store it cold until then to keep the cells dormant, and it should be fine.

  7. 2278. It’s been my house workhorse strain for the past year or so now. I’ve gotten the best results from it around 54-55 (colder and it gets a little farty for me). Not to mention it flocculates better than a lot of other lager yeasts out there, which is an added bonus for me because I bottle condition everything and still want to achieve bright beer. Speaking of awesome lager strains, MD, can you give us any info on whether or not Hella Bock will be making a return to the lineup anytime soon?

      • 2487 back in Jan – AWESOME! Been sweating on it making a return.

        Bit late on the suggestion for this beer, but I’d use 2782. It’s my choice up there with 2487 (depending on which one I can get).

        I do my best to keep them going until the next release (plating, etc).

  8. Speaking of lager yeast, any experience with Wyeast 2633? I’m making a marzen/fest beer for our recently annual trip to Winnie in Feb to hit the ice. Made up a Vienna last year using 2124, which would be my go to lager yeast, but wanting to try something different. Thoughts?

    • Not in a while … the way I remember it is as a very good all-rounder for Bavarian/Austrian styles (including Vienna). I think it has a little more three-dimensionality with its malt profile than 2124 plus (usually, for me) a bit higher attenuation.

  9. Our dog (boxer) starts barking at me as soon as my mash timer goes off and she doesn’t stop until I give her a scoop of grain. Then she guards it with her life until it’s cool enough to eat. Brew dogs are the best.

  10. In response to your pop quiz, the answer is my cache is always dry – dry yeast, that is. I always have 2 packets of 34/70 at the ready, right next to my US-05, S-04 and 71B in the fridge. I consider prepping for a spur-of-the-moment brew day even more vital than prepping for the zombie apocalypse.

  11. If I could only brew one style of beer for the rest of my life, it would be Czech Pilsner. And the yeast that i like be is the Wyeast 2278, Czech Pils. It attenuates and flocs without drama, and it even has really pleasant sulfur note when its fresh.

    But I am fermenting a Mandriana Bavaria pilsner right now with good ‘ol WL830 so I have good pitch for my next brew, double decoction Dopplebock.

  12. Right now, I am making lagery recipies with with WLP029. I ferment them at ~68F (AC in the summer; lower in the winter) in a cooler filled with water. I have been using the same yeast for a year now – Alt, Kolsch (~N.German Pils recipie), and None More “Schwartz”bier. Primary 2-4wks; lager tank (corney keg) until the previous one kicks. I have three in rotation, so I have one beer that has been lagering 1-2months on draft most of the time.


    • … Right… Don’t have temperature control for actual lager fermentation… Likely unable to afford this until after grad. school.

  13. I’m like Sefick. Fake it till you make it. I used 2112 for the Sustainor 2 and got a real clean rusty red rye maibock. I wouldn’t hesitate to use 029 either, these two strains seem to leave more malt character than 001/1056, thus helping the finished product to com across as more “lagerish”.

    • Knox’ I like that! I have used 2112 and it was clean, but I didn’t like the high finishing gravity. I am finishing 1.011-1.008 with WLP029 which lends to a nice “crispness” that I like. That being said, I haven’t used it since switching to all grain beer… I tried bohemian lager at 70F or so and it was WAY to fruity for me. I have an Urquell Wyeast that I will give a go at 68 or so.

      Does anyone have experience with lager yeasts at ~68 giving good results? (MD sorry for hijacking the thread; Thanks for the great blog!)

  14. Tough to lose a good pup. Glad you are with furry companion again. Thanks for the tip on the Gamma Vittles Vault for grain storage – picked up a couple for storing some base malts and a smaller one for temporary storage of smaller quantities of specialty malts.

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  16. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. Unless you have lost a pet it’s hard to imagine.

    I lost my brewing buddy at the beggining of December (20 year old black cat called Mr Mo). I was gutted, but found solace in brewing a stout and naming it after him.

  17. Pingback: brew day: Cerny 13° | the beer engine

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