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Old 04-25-2010, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default Still need to 'lager' a lager if I filter it?

Thinking about brewing a lager for the first time - I have the temp control and stuff to make an ample starter - just wondering if I have to lager it the traditional amount of time if I just filter it. Would love to have it ready by mid-june....

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:52 PM   #2
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Our local brewery filters their lagers after their primary fermentation. Perhaps it is just me but I don't find their lagers as clean and smooth as a properly aged lager.

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Old 04-26-2010, 01:22 AM   #3
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Lagering seems to "smooth" the lager, and give it that characteristic "crisp" finish. I'd try to lager as long as possible.

(off-topic- I'm druck and it took me 10 minutes to type that. Typing and drinking don't mix. don't try this at home. Or work).

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Old 04-26-2010, 03:16 AM   #4
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haha yooper givin brewin info under the influence well id trust u tanked in my kitchen brewin wit me...ya let er lager gud.., besides if u do the brew in the next few days 3 weeks primary u can get a good lager done by july

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Old 04-26-2010, 07:48 AM   #5
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lol @ yooper...

since i'm still a bit "hazy" on the topic of lagers...i assume that the term 'lagering' really applies to the aging process in cold temps, and not necessarily the cool fermentation...?...so what's a normal lagering temp, what's the average length of time, and which vessel is used? sorry for so many questions...thanks peeps

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Old 04-26-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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btw, Stevorino...the quote in your sig...LOL...

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Old 04-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorDuvel View Post
lol @ yooper...

since i'm still a bit "hazy" on the topic of lagers...i assume that the term 'lagering' really applies to the aging process in cold temps, and not necessarily the cool fermentation...?...so what's a normal lagering temp, what's the average length of time, and which vessel is used? sorry for so many questions...thanks peeps
Right! Generally, you keep a lager in primary for about 10-14 days or so. Any primary can work, glass or plastic. I usually kept mine at 50 degrees during this time, pitching a huge starter. When primary is winding down, it's time for the diacetyl rest (if doing one). I don't always do one, but it doesn't hurt if you do. The diacetyl rest is usually about 10 degrees warmer than primary.

When that's done, the beer is racked to a carboy and then the lagering phase begins. I generally lower the temperature gradually, 5 degrees per day, until I'm lagering at 34 degrees. I like to lager for one week per every 8 points of OG. So, for a lager with an OG of 1.064, that's 8 weeks.

As I mentioned in a much slower speed in an earlier posts, it's the lagering that really brings out the crispness in the mouthfeel, and really smooths out the flavors. If you can't lager for the recommended amount of time, sometimes less time is fine, and at a higher temperature. For example, if you can't lager at 8 weeks at 34 degrees, you might try 4 weeks at 40 degrees. Beer ages faster at a warmer temperature, and that may work ok if you want to give it a try. I think a colder lagering temperature really works well, especially if you can dedicate the time to it.

Still, I don't think any body can taste a beer and say, "Well, this beer was only lagered for 4 weeks!" so it isn't that it still won't be great. I just think a little longer can give a "cleaner" finish.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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Greg Noonan discussed lagering times in New Brewing Lager Beer and touched on reducing lagering times. I believe filtering had some effect on reducing lagering time, but I don't have the book with me to look it up. Also, dryer beers (less dextrins) can have reduced lagering time. And IIRC, beechwood in the lagering vessel can reduce the time as well.

After all, I think most commercial lager brewers only lager for 2 to 4 weeks typically. Holding mass quantities of beer in cold storage costs a lot of money, so they take measures to reduce the time.

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Old 04-26-2010, 02:26 PM   #9
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I just listened to the Brewstrong show on lagering and they touched on a lot of things mentioned on here. What I took away from it was that Filtering does just as good of a job at clarifying and cleaning up a beer as lagering. However, lagering also has the added benefit of smoothing out fusel alcohols, some harsh flavors, and the mouthfeel as well as other intangibles.

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Old 04-26-2010, 02:36 PM   #10
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Lager as long as you can, Steve, to have your beer ready for mid-June. It's just one batch. Next time you do the same beer you can lager it longer and see if you think it made a difference.

Bottom line...RDWHAHB!

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