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Old 07-31-2014, 03:01 PM   #21
idylldon
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I just brewed a Bohemian Pils and here are my fermentation steps:

I used WL802, which ferments really clean between 50F - 55F and produces very little diacetyl.

I fermented at 53 and held it within a 1-degree window.

7/15: OG -- 1.050
7/21: 1.030
7/26: 1.020
7/27: Let temperature rise on its own to 60F for diacetal rest, though a tasting at the time revealed no diacetyl.
7/30: FG -- 1.010. Cold crashed the primary down to 32F to drop yeast and plan to move it to secondaries for lagering this weekend. It will be in the secondaries for a minimum of 5 weeks and then I'll keg/carbonate it.

At this point, the beer tastes great and will not doubt be a killer pils starting in mid September.

BTW, a lot of this depends on the yeast strain you use and its penchant for producing diacetyl, but I've always found it wise to do a diacetyl rest no matter which yeast I've used. It just gives the yeast a chance to clean up a bit so the beer can finish as cleanly as possible.

Cheers,
--
Don

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Old 07-31-2014, 06:20 PM   #22
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Subscribed! Going to do my first ever lager (not counting California Common ales/lagers) in a couple of brews. Want to do it right!


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew

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Old 07-31-2014, 06:43 PM   #23
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I typically do things my own unique way and sometimes it's way out of line from tradition. It's just been an evolution over more than a decade. That's what makes the hobby fun. I've had success with both starters and straight from the vial/pack this way but would probably favor a higher pitch rate.

I will cool my wort down as cool as I can and will then place the fermenter in the fridge at the desired fermentation temp and let it naturally fall. I won't pitch the yeast until the next morning if I'm brewing in the afternoon/evening. I've never had an infection from this. I will leave the yeast pack or starter at this temp for several days before brew day to allow it to get used to being there. If I'm making a starter I'll let it ferment at this temp as well. When I pitch it into the wort, it's already at the same temperature. I used to hover in the 40-42 degree range on lagers but now stay around 48. It does take a while to take off this way at this temperature but you get far fewer unwanted fermentation byproducts this way as opposed to starting at a higher temp and then lowering. I'll let primary ride until it's within about 10% of hitting fg. Sometimes this can take 3-4 weeks. It depends on the yeast. Then I'll transfer it to a keg and seal it up to let it finish by naturally carbonating. I'll adjust the level later if necessary. After about a week sealed in the keg I'll crash it down to about 34-35 and let it sit for about 2 weeks. If I'm not filtering I'll just blow the sediment off in the first pint or so.

This technique works pretty well for me. I don't rack off of the yeast at any other time and I rarely need to do a diacetyl rest. Just occasionally. I check for it's presence but usually I don't have a problem.

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Old 07-31-2014, 07:16 PM   #24
ajdelange
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The traditional method (which makes the best beer but takes longer) involves cooling the wort to around 42°F, pitching (with good oxygenation) about 1 million cells per cc per °P and allowing the temperature to rise to about 48 °F. Hold at 48 °F as the fermentation progresses until the AE is within a degree or 2 of terminal (as determined by a forced test). At this point start to lower the temperature by a couple of °F per day until as close to freezing as possible and hold there for a couple of weeks. At the end of a couple of weeks transfer with lots (but not too much) yeast into the lagering vessel(s) and hold near freezing for a couple of months. The beer will be ready to drink within a couple of weeks of going into the lagering vessels (as soon as it drops clear) and one of the most interesting things about brewing lager beer is noting how its flavors change over the course of the three months and well beyond. If kept on the yeast it should have a 'shelf' life of more than a year so I always keep it on the yeast (the 'lagering vessels' are Sanke kegs). If you need beer for a party or have to move it you can rack off what you need into another Sanke or Corny or whatever you like.

Note that no diacetyl rest is used in the traditional method. The diacetyl rest is a product of the 'get it out the door quick' school of modern brewing. The traditional method doesn't get it out the door quick but as I noted above makes better beer.

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Old 07-31-2014, 08:14 PM   #25
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It's nice to see that method detailed out. Apparently my own technique isn't too far off from it.

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Old 07-31-2014, 11:03 PM   #26
wobdee
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I'm kinda new to lagers so enjoy threads like this. It gives me some other methods to try.

I have pretty cold well water so I'm able to cool my wort down to 55, pitch yeast, set fermenter to 50 and let it go for 7-8 days, raise temp to 60 for D rest for a couple more days, cold crash for 3 days then rack into kegs and lager for 4-6 weeks.

Another method I tried a couple times is start out at 50 and raise 1 degree every day for 10 days, cold crash for a couple more the transfer into kegs and lager. I was told a local brew pub does it this way and their lagers are fantastic.

Both methods turned out great beers for me but I think I may try what some others are doing and start out a little lower around 46-48 and let it come up on its own to 50 instead of pitching at 55.

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