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Old 06-21-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default Lager schedule - harvesting yeast and bottling

Could someone tell me if this makes sense? I want to brew two lagers in a row, and harvest the yeast from the first batch to pitch into the second. I have a mini fridge and dual stage temp control but I don't keg so both batches will be bottled.

My idea was that I could ferment Batch 1 for ~4 weeks and then bottle condition at room temp. While Batch 1 is bottle conditioning, I would repitch some of it's yeast slurry into Batch 2, which would move into the now-empty mini fridge for fermentation. Once Batch 2 is done fermenting, I would bottle condition it and move the bottles from Batch 1 back into the fridge for lagering. Once it's done, Batch 2 bottles would move in for lagering.

Would this sort of 'leapfrog' scheduling work, or is there a better approach? I think I recall Jamil mentioning that lager yeast doesn't wash/rinse well which is why I want to repitch within a few days (that, and so I don't have to make another huge starter). Sorry if this is a noob question. I've never made a lager before.

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Old 06-21-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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When were you planning on lagering the beer? After the bottle conditioning?

What I would probably do is ferment at 50 degrees for 7-10 days or until the beer is ready for the diacetyl rest. After the diacetyl rest, I'd rack (and save the yeast) and begin lagering. Then when that batch was done lagering, I'd just start the second batch. It wouldn't really be "back to back" in the same way you propose, but it would be my preference because I'd like to harvest the yeast at the end of the diacetyl rest and and there isn't any need to leave the lager in primary for a month.

If you don't want to lager in a carboy, then you could speed up your schedule a ton by fermenting batch one until near FG. Then, bring the beer up for a diacetyl rest. After the diacetyl rest, bottle. Then make the second batch. After that one is raised for a diacetyl rest, bottle. Then lager all of the bottles after they are carbed up.

Lager yeast is easily rinsed and reused without a problem, so I'd go with the first plan I mentioned.

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Old 06-21-2012, 11:19 PM   #3
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Thanks, Yooper. Your second plan is basically what I was trying to describe (i.e., lager after bottle conditioning). But that was mainly because I didn't think lager yeast rinses well, so I was trying to get the yeast from one batch to the next as quickly as possible. I think I'll go with your first plan. Thanks again!

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