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Old 09-19-2009, 08:27 PM   #1
ScottyT
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Default First Time Lager Question

I started my first Lager two weeks ago. I am excited to finally have space to maintain a couple of carboys at lagering temperatures, but I have a quick question.

The instructions I received said to ferment for two weeks at about 50 degrees, then to lager for a couple months at around 40-42 degrees.

Should I rack the beer into another carboy at this point? The only fermentation vessel I have available is a bucket, so I would rather just leave it in the carboy -- unless of course that would have a negative effect on the beer.

Thanks for any advice!

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Old 09-19-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyT View Post
I started my first Lager two weeks ago. I am excited to finally have space to maintain a couple of carboys at lagering temperatures, but I have a quick question.

The instructions I received said to ferment for two weeks at about 50 degrees, then to lager for a couple months at around 40-42 degrees.

Should I rack the beer into another carboy at this point? The only fermentation vessel I have available is a bucket, so I would rather just leave it in the carboy -- unless of course that would have a negative effect on the beer.

Thanks for any advice!
I would suggest you rack the beer to another carboy for secondary fermentation and lagering. 42F is bare minimum for lagering. If you can get down into the thirties you'll be better off and will get by with a little less lagering time.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
mithion
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Yeah, the laggering temperatures should be in the mid 30s to get the desired effect. Also, before you transfer to a carboy for laggering, take your beer and let it warm up for 1 to 3 days above 70 degrees. Lager yeasts usually produce noticeable amounts of diacetyl and the warm "diacetyl rest" will help your beer get rid of it. Then transfer to carboy and lager for a month minimum.

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Old 09-20-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
menschmaschine
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Couple things...

You can take the instructions you got with the kit with a grain of salt. One can't put a specific timing on fermentation. However, 2 weeks is about right for a typical lager primary fermentation (which would include diacetyl rest).

If you do a diacetyl rest (which you probably should, especially if you started fermentation warm), you only need to allow the temperature to go up to about 60-65°F. This rest is done when the beer is still in primary as fermentation is winding down.

After the diacetyl rest, you can slowly cool the beer back down (5°F per day) to below 50°F. You should really transfer it into a carboy or Better Bottle. A plastic bucket may allow the beer to oxidize. Then lower the temp. down to the low 30s°F (32-34°F). Lagering times are dependant on OG and how dextrinous the wort is. A typical lager would lager for about 7 days per 8 points of gravity. So, a 1.048 lager could lager for 6 weeks.

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