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Old 03-03-2008, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default Lagering

So I will be biteing the bullet and getting a chest freezer so I can keep my kegs cold and do some lagering.

What temps are normal for lagering? I cant seem to find any real info on this.

Maybe I am not using the ouija search correctly

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Old 03-03-2008, 10:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFlynn74
So I will be biteing the bullet and getting a chest freezer so I can keep my kegs cold and do some lagering.

What temps are normal for lagering? I cant seem to find any real info on this.

Maybe I am not using the ouija search correctly
I believe 34F is the magic number for the lagering process. We push the temp as low as we can without seeing any ice crystals forming. We've had a couple batches get as low as 30F. Of course, your actual fermentation temperature depends on which lager yeast you're using.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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interesting- and with lagering it takes longer to ferment?

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Old 03-03-2008, 12:08 PM   #4
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Well, not exactly. You finish the fermentation before you begin the lagering process.

I ferment most of my lagers (depending on the yeast strain) at around 50 degrees until they are finished which might take 10 - 14 days or so. I taste for diacetyl (and John Palmer has a great read on testing for diacetyl in How to Brew) and if I need a diacetyl rest I do one then, or when it's about 75% done fermenting. I usually do NOT need a diacetyl rest, because I pitch cold and let it finish up, and it cleans up the diacetyl just fine, plus some yeasts don't produce much diacetyl. If you need one, though, you can bring it up to room temperature for 48 hours or so to make sure. I think Kaiser talks about this in some of his posts- if you leave it to ferment long enough at 50 degrees, that should also clean up any diacetyl.

After that, I rack to secondary and slowly drop the temp 5 degrees per day until I'm lagering at 34 degrees for about 6 weeks or so.

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Old 03-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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wow- what a pain. Hrmm.

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Old 03-03-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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Oh, no it's not a pain at all! I didn't mean to give you that impression. It's just as easy to set it at 50 degrees and leave it alone as it is at 65 degrees for ales!

It's a little more involved, but in a good way. I don't make a ton of lagers, a little because of the "babying" I have to do, and because they aren't my favorite styles, but I enjoy making them and will continue to make them. It's not that bad. They key is to make sure it finishes up before you start lagering, and taste for diacetyl before you lager, too. It's really not much more difficult than a typical ale.

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Old 03-03-2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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As the mistress said, it's really not any more involved than an ale. It does require additional equipment that your typical ale brewer might not have on hand. It's alot longer from brewing to drinking also, but worth the wait!

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Old 03-03-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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It's really not difficult. And you'll be blown away by the results!

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Old 03-03-2008, 01:39 PM   #9
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What does it do thats so appealing?

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Old 03-03-2008, 01:52 PM   #10
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Well, the lagers are "smoother" than ales. They tend to be crisp and not fruity like an ale. If there is some fruitiness, it's considered a flaw.

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