Tuesday 2 April 2024

Mexican Lager - Tasting Results & Review

Our Mexican Lager has now been in the keg for several weeks, and although a lagering period isn't typically required when using NovaLager yeast, it has certainly benefited from a bit of maturing time to clear up visually, and to round out some of the flavours.


Unsurprisingly, we've got a super-light coloured beer with a pale straw colour. Featuring mostly pilsner malt, along with a bit of instant polenta (cornmeal) and some chit malt, this looks exactly how it should. It seems to be getting clearer with each passing day, so there's still a tiny bit of chill haze in the glass, but since we only used some whirlfloc in the boil and no other fining agents, we're fine with this.


There's a bit of that traditional yeast character on the nose, but otherwise in terms of aroma it's fairly neutral with only a small amount of hop and malt aroma being noticeable.


Our Mexican Lager tastes exactly how we think it should. A really neutral malt base, with hints of bread and cracker, followed by that classic subtle corn taste you get in other classic Mexican beers like Corona. Bitterness is very low making it very easy to put more than a few of these away in quick succession - you wouldn't really know it's a full strength beer just by tasting it. The low bitterness level means it pairs extremely well with a slice of lemon or lime too.

Final Thoughts/Conclusion

We keep surprising ourselves a bit with how relatively easy (and cheap) lagers are to make, and how great the results can be. They really aren't as difficult as some homebrewers make them out to be, so long as you've got some decent processes in place. Adding simple adjuncts like instant polenta negate the need for things like cereal mashes when using other corn based adjuncts, although we'd be interested to see how much of a difference a decoction mash could make to add a bit more complexity to the flavour profile - though this isn't something we've ever attempted. Yeasts like NovaLager also make the fermentation process much faster and easier, by being able to ferment at warmer temperatures, and without the need for extended lagering periods before being ready for consumption. We had ours kegged within 2 weeks, but it really hit it's prime after another week or so in the keg. Still, 3 weeks from brew to peak flavour is pretty fast, particularly for a lager.

The only thing we'd consider changing if we were to brew this one again would be to try a decoction mash, but otherwise we'd keep everything else exactly the same.

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