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Netflyer 09-28-2012 03:54 PM

First Lager
 
Ok, I'm trying to make a Brown Lager and I'm using Wyest 2007. Questions:

1. I want to ultimately ferment at 50F but can I pitch at 72F, and wait for activity before I drop it or will I get activity at 50F to start with?

2. Can I still single stage ferment for 21 days and then gas it up for a few weeks and drink or do I have to do something else w/it?

THanks for help!

Mongrel 09-28-2012 04:40 PM

1. Pitch at 50. Warm it up later for the D rest.
2. You'll want to lager your lager before drinking it. Keg it and store it cold for a month or more.

TopherM 09-28-2012 04:50 PM

Here's the basic lagering technique:

1) Ideally, pitch at the fermentation temp. You don't want the yeast to start fermentation at 72, and you don't want the yeast to be shocked by a drastic temperature change by crashing frmo 72 to 50 quickly. This shouldn't be a big deal - you are going to ramp down from 72 to 50 anyway, just dump the yeast in AFTER you ramp down to 50 instead of BEFORE.

2) You want to ferment in primary until you are at 75% of expected FG. For example, if you have a 1.05 OG, and an expected 1.01 FG, then you want to primary until you reach 1.02 (1.05-1.01 = 0.04.....75% of 0.04=0.03.....1.05-0.03=1.02).

3) At 75% FG, you want to do a diacetyl rest for 48 hours at ROOM TEMP. Just take the fermenter out of the temp control and put it in a room/closet for 48 hours. This will also wax off the final 25% of gravity points.

4) At the end of the D-Rest, rack to secondary.

5) LAGER at 32-36F for 6-8 weeks. This is the step that really defines the lager. This is where it clears and crispens!

6) After the lagering period, if you keg you are all good to force carb. If you bottle, take the fermenter out of the temp control and let it warm up to room temp (6-8 hours) before you prime and bottle. This gives the yeast a chance to slowly rouse from the low temps and be ready to go by the time you introduce new sugars for the carb.

That's it! Don't skimp on the lagering time, that's what makes a lager a lager!!

cooper 09-28-2012 04:52 PM

I agree with Mongrel. Here is some info I got when I was looking for info on best practices for Lager beer although I can't remember who I got this info from:

Lagering Time - How long to lager is a matter of some discussion. Light American lagers are typically held near freezing for 10–20 days, while some strong German doppelbocks are lagered as long as six months. For medium to high-gravity beers, Greg Noonan — brewpub owner and author of “New Brewing Lager Beer” (1996, Brewers Publications) — recommends 7–12 days per each 2 °Plato of original gravity. (One degree Plato is roughly equal to 4 specific gravity “points.”). For lower gravity lagers the time is reduced to 3–7 days. According to those guidelines, a 1.064 O.G. German bock should be lagered for 112–192 days, while a 1.040 American lager would be lagered 15–35 days. The correct temperature for Lagering should be between 33–35° F (0.6-1.7° C). This temperature range is the same for lagers or ales and should last for 1 month minimum.

Fortunately, brewer’s yeast is capable of reabsorbing the diacetyl and reducing it to a related compound (2, 3 butanediol) that has a far lower flavor threshold. However, this requires warmer temperatures, around 60–70 °F (16–21 °C, than the optimum conditions for clean lager fermentation. The solution is to raise the temperature for a brief period (24–72 hours) after the yeast has nearly finished fermenting the beer.

Diacetyl Rest - For homebrewers this typically means letting the fermenter warm to room temperature for a couple of days. Not all lager strains produce significant amounts of diacetyl, but unless you have previous experience with the yeast you are using, it is best to perform the rest anyway, as it does no harm. Conduct the rest in the primary fermenter in order to maximize the yeast population and quickly reduce the diacetyl. Raise the temp of the carboy and then bottle. I typically raise the temp toward the end of fermentation anyways to help the yeast clean up a bit. Raising the temp will also wake up the yeast a bit so when you rack on your priming sugar, they are ready to go to work

cooper 09-28-2012 04:54 PM

Excellent write up TopherM!

VladOfTrub 09-28-2012 05:45 PM

What brewing process are you using, before you get into the fermentor?

cooper 09-28-2012 07:04 PM

Same as any other beer, everything up to the point where you chill the wort is exactly the same whether its an Ale or a Lager. With Ales you'd chill it down to around 65 and with Lagers it goes down to 50. Thats where the different yeasts take over and make it a Lager or Ale. Did that answer the question?

VladOfTrub 09-28-2012 09:38 PM

When you say. "Same as any other beer." Do you mean a single temp infusion?

Netflyer 09-28-2012 10:27 PM

I think that depends on what is in the Lager... if you have flaked rice recipes call for a protein rest at 122ish so that means it could be a two step temp process... to answer Vlad...

My next Q is, being that I really don't like to open a fermenting fermentor does any have experience with Wyest 2007 at 50 degrees... I'm starting at about 1045 ... my ales usually bubble for 4-5 days at 65, I raise after just about done to 71 to clean up sometimes depending upon brew, definitely with my Stouts... so, at 50 can I expect a longer period of fermentation? Can I just warm it up after 3 days of bubbling for the D rest? Or should I quit being a lazy ass and just check the gravity :-) Not being lazy so much as rather not expose the fermenting wort to the outside air.

JRems 09-28-2012 11:11 PM

Lagers will ferment much slower. What an ale yeast does in a few days can take a few weeks with a lager. You really need to take hydro samples along the way.


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