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Old 05-08-2008, 06:19 PM   #1
maltMonkey
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Default Bottle conditioning lagers

I have a few lagers in the work and while I know how I should bottle condition them, I have some problems and questions:

-- Beers will be lagered for 3 months or more, so I'm assuming there won't be much yeast left to carbonate. I would like to use the primary yeast strain so that flavor is not affected. I always wash my yeast, but if it's been sitting in the fridge for 5 months or so I'm afraid it won't be viable either. I don't want to buy new yeast (at $6 a vial or smack pack) just to carbonate, and I don't know if using a cheap (and neutral) ale or lager yeast would be the way to go.

-- If I end up using a lager yeast I do not have the ability to keep the bottles at the primary fermentation temp (around 52°).

-- I've read that once the bottles are carbed up you need to age them at 45° or below. I don't have enough fridge space to age all these bottles because my fridge is full of secondaries of lagering beer.


I know that bulk lagering is preferred, but it seems like it would be easier to:

-- bottle right after fermentation
-- rack cleanly and bottle while there is still some viable yeast to carbonate
-- condition the bottles around 63° for 3-4 weeks (hopefully this wouldn't cause off-flavors)
-- lager/age in fridge for 4 months or so (I'll have room because I've skipped the secondaries).

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Old 05-08-2008, 09:32 PM   #3
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While not ideal, I do some of my lagers in bottle. I secondary as usual, but for only a few weeks to clear. I then prime and bottle. Keep in warm place to carbonate for a further few weeks and then off to the fridge for lagering. The taste seems the same, but lack the crispness I associate with my well made lagers.

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Old 05-09-2008, 02:10 AM   #4
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I've done quite a few AG lagers and studied up on lager brewing specifically. I'll take a stab at your questions.

-After 3 months lagering, I would add new yeast to carbonate just to be safe. The main concern with temperature and carbonating lagers is what type of sugar you're using to carbonate. If you're using corn sugar, you can carbonate at room temp and not produce fruity off flavors. Lager yeast only produce noticible fruity off flavors during carbonation if a malt-based sugar is used (spiese/gyle/krausen beer). Although, I'm not sure how lager yeast would react to cane sugar. But I know they won't produce off-flavors with corn sugar at room temp. Therefore, if you use corn sugar, you could use any dry lager yeast for your carbonation since they're relatively cheap compared to liquid.

-Lagers to be bottle conditioned should be lagered at atmospheric pressure (not in bottle), but I don't know why. Greg Noonan just says so. If I read between the lines, he might be referring to the risk of bottle bombs because lager yeasts are still working after primary fermentation is complete, but I don't know for sure if that's what he's getting at (New Brewing Lager Beer). There could be something more technical behind it, but it's one of the few things he doesn't blatantly explain.

I'm not sure where you read that lagers need to be aged at 45dF after carbonation, but I don't see the reason for this. I do know that too warm lager temps lead to increased aldehyde formation and consequential staling, but that doesn't really relate to post-carbonation lagers. Lagering allows the yeast to clean everything up. Once they do, lagering can be ended since the yeast have done all they're going to do. I don't see a reason to store at 45dF except to allow the beer to better absorb CO2 before serving. But you only need a few days for that.

Hope that answers some of your questions.

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Old 05-09-2008, 01:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
After 3 months lagering, I would add new yeast to carbonate just to be safe. The main concern with temperature and carbonating lagers is what type of sugar you're using to carbonate. If you're using corn sugar, you can carbonate at room temp and not produce fruity off flavors. Lager yeast only produce noticible fruity off flavors during carbonation if a malt-based sugar is used (spiese/gyle/krausen beer). Although, I'm not sure how lager yeast would react to cane sugar. But I know they won't produce off-flavors with corn sugar at room temp. Therefore, if you use corn sugar, you could use any dry lager yeast for your carbonation since they're relatively cheap compared to liquid.
Very good--I'll just add some cheap lager yeast, prime with corn sugar and bottle condition @ 63°.


Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
I'm not sure where you read that lagers need to be aged at 45dF after carbonation, but I don't see the reason for this. I do know that too warm lager temps lead to increased aldehyde formation and consequential staling, but that doesn't really relate to post-carbonation lagers. Lagering allows the yeast to clean everything up. Once they do, lagering can be ended since the yeast have done all they're going to do. I don't see a reason to store at 45dF except to allow the beer to better absorb CO2 before serving. But you only need a few days for that.
I read the whole aging under 45° thing in "The Brewmaster's Bible" by Stephen Snyder. It was the first time I'd heard it.


Thanks menschmaschine--very helpful.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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2 weeks ago I primed my Bohemian dark lager with dextrose and after drinking 1 I got this nasty burnt rubber or bandaid flavor when belching!! Was I supposed to bottle condition in room temp or in ferm temp? My ferm temp was 55F using Salflager S-23. I think something went wrong at bottling time and i'm not sure what. I alos boiled the dextrose using tap water and not the poland springs bottled water i used for the whole batch. Should i put a few back in the fridge at 55F in hopes that the flavor will clear up after a week or 2? my primary was 2 weeks at 55F and my secondary was 5weeks at 40F

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Old 05-26-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klamz View Post
2 weeks ago I primed my Bohemian dark lager with dextrose and after drinking 1 I got this nasty burnt rubber or bandaid flavor when belching!! Was I supposed to bottle condition in room temp or in ferm temp? My ferm temp was 55F using Salflager S-23. I think something went wrong at bottling time and i'm not sure what. I alos boiled the dextrose using tap water and not the poland springs bottled water i used for the whole batch. Should i put a few back in the fridge at 55F in hopes that the flavor will clear up after a week or 2? my primary was 2 weeks at 55F and my secondary was 5weeks at 40F
Welcome to the forum. What kind of sanitizer did you use? Band-Aid-like flavors are often associated with chlorine (combining with phenols = chlorophenols = Band-Aid flavors). If you used bleach as a sanitizer, that could be the reason.

I doubt using the small amount of tap water (if it has chlorine) for your priming solution would cause it because you likely boiled it and that would have boiled off the chlorine. It could have chloramines, but again the volume is so low that it shouldn't be noticeable.

Bottle conditioning for a lager can be done at room temp (particularly if using corn sugar for priming) and shouldn't cause this type of off-flavor.

These flavors could also be caused by phenols produced by the yeast... but they should have been cleaned up during lagering. Also, all your temps are on the high-end... not too high really, but higher than ideal. Primary at or below 50°F (especially with S-23, so I hear) is best along with lagering near freezing.

At any rate, 2 weeks bottle conditioning is still young. I'd wait another week before trying another one. I've been amazed at how the flavor of bottle-conditioned beer can change from weeks 2 to 3 in the bottle.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:06 PM   #8
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Fermenting Lagers - German Brewing Techniques
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiaser
If you plan to bottle after lagering, as suggested in Noonan's Book "New Brewing Lager Beer", you lager the beer in a carboy first. This may take 4 weeks to a few months depending on the beer. Because the yeast has been inactive for such a long time and only little yeast is in suspension anyway, it is recommended to add fresh yeast at bottling time to ensure consistent carbonation in a reasonable time frame. The fresh yeast can come from either dry yeast (1/4 pack should be enough), yeast sediment from the primary fermenter of another batch or Kraeusen. The type of yeast doesn't matter much since the flavor has already been defined during the fermentation and lagering process. Any clean well flocculating ale or lager yeast will do.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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As far as Priming yeast, the LHBS suggested dry Champagne yeast instead of risk using the potentially cont. or non- viable yeast I had pulled of my conical and washed ( stored in fridge).
I have two Pil's going. both were in primary for 3 weeks @50 and 2nd'd @ 40 for 3 weeks, given a rest and walked down to 32 (2*/day) and been then for a week...
I bought a Tap-a-Draft system and want to pull off the 1.7gal PET bottles before putting the remaining into kegs for another month.
Would anyone agree with the LHBS on the dry yeast? I bought a pack, and they suggested 3 grams yeast and appropriate amount corn sugar to prime that size bottle.
Will that yeast give off a flavor at that amount? does 3g sound right for 1.7 gal?

The Red Star yeast doesn't give a temp range for fermentation either...

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenoMeno View Post
As far as Priming yeast, the LHBS suggested dry Champagne yeast instead of risk using the potentially cont. or non- viable yeast I had pulled of my conical and washed ( stored in fridge).
I have two Pil's going. both were in primary for 3 weeks @50 and 2nd'd @ 40 for 3 weeks, given a rest and walked down to 32 (2*/day) and been then for a week...
I bought a Tap-a-Draft system and want to pull off the 1.7gal PET bottles before putting the remaining into kegs for another month.
Would anyone agree with the LHBS on the dry yeast? I bought a pack, and they suggested 3 grams yeast and appropriate amount corn sugar to prime that size bottle.
Will that yeast give off a flavor at that amount? does 3g sound right for 1.7 gal?

The Red Star yeast doesn't give a temp range for fermentation either...
I would NOT use champagne yeast! Champagne yeast is highly attenuative, and you may find yourself with the yeast munching more sugars than the lager yeast did, resulting in bottle bombs.

Use a clean ale yeast, like nottingham, or S04. Use just about 3 grams of it for the entire batch. I like to boil my priming solution, then cool it and sprinkle the yeast into it. Let sit for a minute, then stir well and rack the beer into it.

I never used TAD but that seems about right. The yeast will not give any flavor in such a small amount, and just for priming, so don't worry about that.
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