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Old 12-30-2009, 12:54 AM   #1
craigrigney
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Default lager yeast question

Hello all. I typically brew almost all ales, but I am trying my first lager in my new conical fermenter. My queston is since lagers will ferment on the bottom, do I still want to use my dump valve on my conical at day 3. I don't want to dump active yeast. Thanks!

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Old 12-30-2009, 01:02 AM   #2
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My understanding is that a lager needs a lot longer to ferment; I assume you're fermenting at the correct temperatures. I'd wait until after the gravity has stopped dropping before dumping yeast.

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Old 12-30-2009, 01:53 AM   #3
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Lagers will take weeks to ferment. Yeast just isn't very active at 50F.

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I think I will wait an additional day and dump the trub then an additional day before I try to harvest some of the yeast, putting me about 7 days after the start of fermentation. Anything not look right from what I am saying, please speak up!

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:31 PM   #5
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Ive had really good success with my conical-fermed lagers by crashing the sweet wort overnight, let warm back to 45°F in the morning, dump the trub, then oxygenate and pitch and let rise to 50°F. Clean lager.

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
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7 days isn't long enough for lager fermentation. You're probably gonna need 2-3 weeks and ideally a bit more. Lager is slow going.

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Last edited by moosetav; 12-30-2009 at 06:35 PM. Reason: 2-3 weeks may not even be enough. Trust your hydrometer.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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Lager yeast doesn't actually ferment on the bottom, it ferments throughout the volume just like ale yeast. The bottom vs top fermenting thing is more or less a misnomer.

I find that lager fermentation takes a little less than twice as long as ale fermentation. One the order of 7 days vs 4 for normal gravities.

I don't see why you would delay your first dump as that is intended to be just trub and if anything the trub will drop faster in a lager due to temperature. You can even chill your wort and dump the trub before pitching the yeast, that is what Jamil Z says he used to do before he started using a whirlpool chiller and cooling to lager pitching temp and leaving the trub in the kettle.

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetav View Post
7 days isn't long enough for lager fermentation. You're probably gonna need 2-3 weeks. Lager is slow going.
Thats just not true.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:38 PM   #9
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Ya think? mine have taken a while. I have used 2 packs Saflager 34/70 @ constant 50 deg on my oktoberfest batches. Try to aerate pretty well. They still seem to like a couple weeks to get to 3/4 fermentation.

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Old 12-30-2009, 06:39 PM   #10
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from Palmer: The lower fermentation temperature decreases the rate at which the yeast work and lengthens both the primary and secondary fermentation times. The primary phase for ales is often 2 - 5 days, but 1 - 3 weeks is normal for a lager.

I guess what I should say rather is that it can, and has for me, taken a 2-3 weeks. Use your hydro to determine when your primary phase is up.

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