Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 T.Ra.Sh. Mexican Lager

The 2015 T.Ra.Sh. Mexican Lager is gone.

A couple of Mexicans helped me drink it. It didn't last very long.

There is nothing particularly Mexican about the T.Ra.Sh. Mexican Lager.

It does use White Labs WLP940 yeast, which is called "Mexican Lager Yeast", which apparently originates from Mexico City. I guess that gives the beer something of a Mexican lineage.

But, when I think of Mexican beer, this is not what I picture.

Stylistically, I call the beer a Vienna Lager, which is the same style as Negra Modelo. 

It has been a long time since I've had Negra Modelo, but I am quite sure you would never ever ever mistake T.Ra.Sh. for Negra Modelo.

T.Ra.Sh.  is gold in color. According to the calculated color, it is at 9.8, which is just barley inside the BJCP guidelines, so it looks lighter in color than any other Vienna Lager I've ever seen. 

It is also fairly hoppy with significant Hallertauer in the flavor and aroma. It is also much better balanced away from sweet than I remember Negra Modelo being.

It is, really, what Vienna Lager would be if I were to brew it.

Oh wait ... I did brew it.

Brew day was 11/29 this year, and it was completely gone on 12/26 when I brought the keg to my cousin-in-law's house.

If you know anything about lagers, you are probably thinking that this is way to quick to turn around a "proper" lager.

I do my lagers a little differently than most people.

I pitch at or below 50 degrees, and I do hold the fermentation under 55 for a couple of days, but once the fermentation has gone for 2 or 3 days, I let the temperature rise into the mid-sixties, and sometimes even higher.

I'm taking advantage of something I learned very early in my brewing "career". Most yeast-derived flavors ... esters and phenolics ... are produced during the growth phase of the yeast. Once fermentation has gone those first couple of days, there really are no negative flavors coming from "hot" fermentation.

So, by letting the temperature rise after that growth phase, you really get the advantage of the quickness of an ale fermentation with the low ester profile of a lager.

Some people refer to this as the Tasty McDole method of lager fermentation, although I really do carry it a step or two further than Tasty does. He rises the fermentation slowly whereas I just let nature take its course.

You may not believe me when I say the lagers turn out great. If you tasted them, I think you would find them very delicious as I do. Just for the record ... I have won an award for my Helles in a Hand Bock-sket, which uses the same technique. At least a few BJCP judges seem to think it turned out well. (see 1st Loser ... Helles in a Hand Bock-sket)

Despite the quick turn-around, this was a well-received beer.

My in-laws helped drink it up to and around Christmas, and the day after Christmas, we brought it to my cousin-in-law's house for a little "party".

Both my cousin-in-law and father-in-law are of Mexican decent, which is why I said early that a couple of Mexicans helped me drink it.

This is one of those beers that I have brewed a few times, and I do plan to brew it quite a bit more.

It is a beer that a beer-geek like me can appreciate while still being somewhat of a gateway beer for the BMC crowd. It is great for sharing with my wife's family.

Anyway ... it is gone now ... but not forgotten.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Go Blackhawks!


  1. Looking good Sheppy! I have some WLP940 in the fridge. I might need to brew up something similar. I only have pils and munich on hand - if I am too lazy to go to the brew store any thoughts on a pils to munich ratio to make something similar to this?

  2. Well, I like the pils/Munich combo as long as you don't over-do the Munich. I would probably go 75/25 pils to Munich. It probably would not be quite the same, but pretty close. Maybe 60/40 if you really like Munich Malt.