With a history stretching over a millennium, it’s no secret why the Czech Republic has earned a top spot on any beer connoisseurs’ global beer tour. Czech beers quickly gained popularity and remain a worldwide favorite. Lagers, in particular, are rich, characterful with considerable malt and hop character–pairing perfectly with recipes categorized as fall-favorites.
The complex yet well-balanced flavor boasts a long rounded finish, a refreshing counterbalance to comfort food, commonly favored during cooler months. Try adding it to the delicious French onion soup featured below. Like lagers, French onion soup has surprisingly few ingredients, emphasizing their quality. Adding homebrewed lager to the recipe adds depth and earthy flavor to this savory, seasonal dish because its low-intensity balance of hops and malt doesn’t overpower ingredients but rather enhances them.
For brewing your own pale/lager, we suggest using our 2000-PC Budvar Lager. This strain has a nice malty nose with subtle fruit tones and a rich malt profile on the palate. It finishes malty yet dry, is well-balanced and crisp. Hop character comes through in the finish, creating a complex Pilsner-type beer; the bitterness is strong but without harshness.
The simplicity of ingredients in lager opens the stage for newer brewers looking to hone their skills and prove their merit with lagers. And for those looking to impress with the perfect food pairing, it’s a great choice. We hope you’ll enjoy a French Onion Soup and FREE download of an exclusive Wyeast Labs Budvar Lager recipe below from Fausto Yu-Shan, one of our brewers!
Fausto Yu-Shan is a professional brewer trained in commercial breweries using adjuncts, decoction mashing, open fermentation, and bottle conditioning. He is also instructed in quality control and yeast propagation at Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. As the Technical Product Support Manager, Fausto assists in sharing knowledge to customers on the importance of yeast management in the brewery, supporting them on technical issues, and participating in trade events and conferences.
Batch size: 5 Gallons (19 Liters)
Original Gravity: 12.5 Plato (1.050)
Final Gravity: 2.9 Plato (1.011)
2 x 2000-PC Budvar Lager Activators
Or, make a starter to achieve 12 million cells/mL
Two Row Malt: 6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)
Vienna Malt: 2.0 lbs ( 0.91 kg)
Munich Malt: 1.0 lb (0.45 kg)
Perle 4.5% AA: 1.45 oz (41.0 grams)
Boil for 90 minutes and add hops at 60 minutes.
Dilution rate: 3 liters per kilogram
Mash water: 3.4 gal (12.9 L)
Sparge water 4.05 gal (15.4 L)
Ferment at 12 °C (53.6 °F), then as soon as the attenuation is around 50% proceed for Diacetyl Rest raise temperature at 14 °C (57.2 °F).
Once the primary fermentation is done continue with the bottle conditioning process using saved wort from the same batch.
For a Lager the carbonation volume can be set around 2.8 to 3.0.
FRENCH ONION SOUP*
3 tablespoons butter
5-6 large sweet onions (thin sliced — about 6 cups)
12 oz Home-brewed lager
5 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions to the pot.
- Turn heat to medium-low, and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes, occasionally stirring, until onions are soft and caramelized. Watch carefully for any signs of burning, and turn the heat lower if needed.
- Stir well, add the beer, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring heat up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
- Preheat broiler to medium-high.
- Put six French onion bowls or oven-safe soup bowls on a baking sheet and ladle soup into each.
- Put toasted french bread on top of each, and pile shredded cheese on top of the toasted bread.
- Broil for about 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
- Serve Hot
Notes: Prep time includes caramelizing the onions. This can be a vegetarian soup by substituting vegetable stock for beef stock. Reduce the sodium indicated in this recipe by using no salt or reduced salt beef stock. Use gluten-free beer, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, and gluten-free French bread or baguette to make the recipe gluten-free.
- Make the soup up to step 4.
- Allow to cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.
- Reheat the soup to a simmer when you’re ready to complete the recipe, then continue from step 5.
*Recipe from THE FOOD BLOG
THE WYEAST TEAM