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Old 11-11-2008, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default Lager Question

I am making my first lager and I was wondering if I am suppose to transfer it into a cleaned out carboy so it doesn't sit on the used up yeast before I let it set really cold for 3-12 weeks? I am also wondering how long should I let it sit for?

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Old 11-11-2008, 04:04 AM   #2
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Yes, after primary fermentation I taste for diacetyl to see if it needs a diacetyl rest. Many people just go ahead and do that rest by raising the temperature to 65 degrees or so for 48 hours so the yeast can clean up any remaining diacetyl. (Diacetyl is a by-product of the yeast, and you can liken it to a butterscotch, buttery, or "slick" taste.) After the diacetyl rest, and fermentation is complete, the lager should be racked and then the temperature lowered. Some yeast don't produce much diacetyl, while others do, so it really depends on the strain of yeast you've used and the temperature you've pitched the yeast at. Since I cold ferment from the beginning, I rarely need a diacetyl rest.

The length of time of the lagering depends on several things- usually if it's a "big" beer, it should be lagered longer, and the temperature of the lagering also matters. I lager at 34 degrees for 6-12 weeks, depending on what I'm making.

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Old 11-11-2008, 06:57 AM   #3
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+1 to everything Yoop said, but I would like to add a sort of time line.

For every 10-15 gravity points, you should allow for at least one week of lagering, with a minimum of three weeks lagering, and almost always longer than that will be better. So for a beer that is 1.060 you should allow for at least 4-6 weeks for lagering.

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Old 11-11-2008, 02:29 PM   #4
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i've never made a lager ... so what exactly does lagering do?

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Old 11-11-2008, 02:34 PM   #5
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Makes you wait longer for beer

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Old 01-12-2009, 02:14 AM   #6
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First Lager here as well, nothing is going down yet, approaching 24hrs... I used liquid yeast right out of the package, seems like the liquid yeast has a slow start?

I was told to keep it warmer until fermentation just starts then drop the temp to 50.

On a side note, I've got a vacuum (its going backwards) in my airlock, lucky theres vodka in it .... I'm thinking its probably since the temp has dropped (75 to 65) in my wort since i plugged the carboy (6 gal)... anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Old 01-12-2009, 02:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkpants View Post
First Lager here as well, nothing is going down yet, approaching 24hrs... I used liquid yeast right out of the package, seems like the liquid yeast has a slow start?

I was told to keep it warmer until fermentation just starts then drop the temp to 50.

On a side note, I've got a vacuum (its going backwards) in my airlock, lucky theres vodka in it .... I'm thinking its probably since the temp has dropped (75 to 65) in my wort since i plugged the carboy (6 gal)... anyone have any thoughts on this?
Well, you can read up on the liquid yeast and lagers. If you added just one package of liquid yeast, that's seriously underpitching (see mrmalty.com's pitching calculator to see how much yeast you should pitch) and might take 72 hours or more to start. I don't pitch warm and cool the wort, but that is personal preference. I always pitch lagers at fermentation temperatures, the same as ales. I mean, I don't pitch an ale yeast at 90 degrees, then turn it down, so I don't do it for lagers, either.

As far as the vacuum, you're right. It's because of the temperature change causing a vacuum.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:18 AM   #8
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my guess is that it was to propagate the yeast more quickly, since there wasn't much to begin with, and once action started, to cool it down.... although pitching at the temp you eventually want for fermentation, like you say, makes more sense.

hopefully this thing starts rolling in the next day, if not, ill re-pitch i suppose.

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Old 05-10-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanik006 View Post
i've never made a lager ... so what exactly does lagering do?
Second that. I know I like lagers, i know they are "clean" but does anyone know what is happening during lagering that makes them lagery? I kind of like to know the science of what I'm doing... assuming the science has been done.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
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My favorite Beer Geek is Kaiser- he's been writing about German beers for quite a while, and has talked about the techniques on Basic Brewing Radio.

Here's a link to his page on lagers: http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index...menting_Lagers He talks about the characteristics of lagers, and how to get them.

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