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Old 10-25-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default Filtering a lager before lagering

I was filtering/kegging my marzen today and it occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea to filter my lagers prior to the laagering stage. Just wondering what people thought of this, good/bad idea?

It seems to make sense regardless of whether you dump trube from a conical or transfer to a secondary. The filtering would remove almost all the remaining yeast (after a cold drop and dump of course) and maybe even remove some of the DMS, which is at least one reason for doing the laagering anyways. This would free up the fermentor, which would save space in the freezer for more beer .

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Jaime

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Old 10-25-2008, 02:21 PM   #2
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Filtering won't remove DMS, nor will lagering. DMS is really only removed during the boil and, to a lesser extent, during active fermentation.

There is only one reason to filter, IMHO - to get perfectly clear beer fast. With a properly brewed lager, you shouldn't have a problem getting clear beer without filtering.

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Old 10-25-2008, 02:51 PM   #3
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Hmmmm. I may have been confusing diacetyl with DMS. I've very new to lagering so both are new to me.

My understanding of the lagering process is that it helps precipitate some of the unwanted components of the beer such as polyphenols in addition to aging. So the goal would be to get some of these out before lagering.

Based on what I have read prolonged contact between beer and yeast is considered bad because it can cause off flavors and eventually lead to autolysis. Maybe this isn't as much of an issue because of the lagering temperatures?

Jaime

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Old 10-25-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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Racking to a secondary will negate any concerns of autolysis and prolonged contact with trub. Still no need to filter...

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Old 10-25-2008, 03:09 PM   #5
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The reason you drop to lagering temperatures slowly is to not shock the yeast- some yeast is still in suspension and works to "clean up" alot of that stuff you don't want in your beer.

Diacetyl should be gone way before the lagering stage, though. You want to leave it in primary long enough to have no diacetyl present when you rack to secondary and then begin lagering.

I'm not a fan of filtering, but I know it can give some sparkle to clear beers. I don't think it's a shortcut to a good lager, though.

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Old 10-25-2008, 03:43 PM   #6
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Something to consider:

Budweiser's "beechwood aging" process is just an over-hyped term for the lagering phase of their beer. The beechwood doesn't impart extra flavor, but rather provides a lot of surface area upon which the yeast settle. The flocculated yeast continue to work, "cleaning up" the flavor profile of the beer. Only AFTER lagering does the beer get filtered.

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Old 10-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #7
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Some good points.

I generally filter at the end regardless, so it's not really about needing to do it, but whether there is benefit to doing it early.

What I have been doing is primary fermentation for 4 weeks around 50-52 then immediate drop to 32 for lagering for another 4 weeks. Once the beers is a few days into the lagering a dump the trube from my connical and again later in a couple of weeks. When its all done in 8 weeks I cold filter.

Should I be dropping the temperature slower, or do the 4 weeks help negate that?

Interesting what bud is doing. This seems to imply more contact is better when lagering because it helps clean up the profile. Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks

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