Endless Sail Orange Lager I (X01.1)

2010/01/12 at 9:19 pm 2 comments

I readily admit that I’m can sometimes be very impatient. Too many times once I get the theory of the basics down I insist on bypassing introductory exercises completely and instead jump headfirst into more advanced operations. More often than not things work out well in the end (removing the experience of taking apart the lawnmower when I was a kid) so why should the experience of brewing be any different?

Seeing as how the weather report was forecasting extended record lows for the region hovering around the freezing point research showed that this would be near optimal atmospheric conditions for short term lagering. Furthermore since I just happened to have a half gallon glass carboy along with some quickly ripening oranges the universe was pointing me in but one direction: the creation of an orange lager!

The week prior I had just begun the primary fermentation of the Coopers Lager. By intuition I could see that the fermentation had settled down but was not fully complete so what better time to assemble a poor-man’s lager?

The Hardware

The Hardware:

  • 0.5gal Glass Carboy
  • Airlock
  • Rubber Stopper
  • Glass Measuring Cup
  • Small Pot
  • Cutting Board
  • Bad-Ass Knife
  • 0.5lb Navel and Satsuma Oranges
  • Potato Masher (not pictured)

As with any other brewing process the first step is the sterilization of all equipment in use. I performed this step in the sink with the normal weak solution of water and bleach. I took my time with making sure the carboy, airlock, and rubber stopper were all well sterilized since anything else will be exposed to moderate amounts of heat. Furthermore, the stopper and airlock were both just purchased from local homebrew supplier Brewstock and required thorough sterilization before any use.

Sterilization of the equipment

Once again everything was thoroughly rinsed to remove any traces of bleach. The oranges were peeled, cleaned of the pith, and deseeded.

Peeled and cleaned oranges

Now it was time to cook some of the oranges down to enhance the flavor as well as soften them for easier addition to the carboy.
Ready to cook

I cooked the oranges for approximately 10 minutes over medium heat while lightly mashing them. All told I ended up with approximately 1 cup of orange mash.

Ready to mix

Once the orange mash was ready it was placed in the carboy and the rest filled with the half-fermented batch of Coopers Lager. To finish things off some boiled water was added to the airlock to retain the internal sterile environment.

Ready for fermentation

I’ve stored the larger in a storage closet outside, and over the past week the weather has stayed relatively cold hovering just at or below the freezing point with the closet stabilizing the temperature from any extremes. The airlock confirms that fermentation is still taking place but at a much lower pace.

I plan to allow the lagering process to continue as long at the weather will allow. Also, in case the fermentation appears to be completely spent by the time bottling is ready I have saved a portion of the trub from the Coopers Lager to be added back to the mixture if necessary.

All in all I’m very hopeful for this brew and I can’t wait to see how the changes to the brewing process affects the final outcome.


Entry filed under: Brew Log. Tags: , .

Coopers Lager I (X01) – An Introduction to Brewing Coopers Lager Update

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January 2010
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