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Old 01-29-2014, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Diacetyl Rest for California Steam

I brewed the California Steam (anchor steam clone) in early January, really nice healthy fermentation kept between 58-62. First time I had to use a blow off hose. but now all the krausen has fallen back into the wort and it's just chilling happily.

I'm a little confused on the diacetyl rest part. Did I miss my window to do this? was it supposed to be done before fermentation finished? it's been on the yeast cake for about 3 weeks. Haven't taken a hydrometer reading but it's more than likely done.

also, i have the capability in my chest freezer to lager. Should I do so? I'm not in a huge rush for this beer. if I do, should I do it in primary or lager in a secondary?

Yooper seems to be the pro for this style, Hopefully you can chime in.

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Old 01-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #2
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Ideally, the d-rest should be done during the tail end of primary fermentation, but really that's just in interest of time. If you wait until primary fermentation has completed, it will take longer for the yeast to clean up diacetyl. I've done a few methods, but if I'm not in a hurry, I tend to wait for primary to complete, then do an extended 2 week rest at 68F. This cleans up diacetyl thoroughly, but also helps further mature the beer and prepare for a shorter lagering period. I've also done quite the opposite, where I step up the fermentation temperature gradually after day 2 until I'm at about 67F at the end. That also will help the yeast clean up, but it requires you to babysit your temperature controller relative to simpler fermentation schedules.

If you lager it, I would rack into another vessel if possible. Don't worry; this beer is far from ruined.

I'm coming at this question from a Kölsch/lager perspective, so if there is some other mantra for steam beers, then Yooper certainly will crack the whip down on me. Yoop, what say you?

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Old 01-29-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Thank you for the advice

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Old 01-29-2014, 08:57 PM   #4
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Just pulled a sample to test gravity and taste. And maybe do the diacetyl test I've read about on these forums.

Its at 1.010 from 1.049 and tastes REALLY close to an anchor steam beer. Just uncarbed.

I can't detect anything buttery but my palate isn't all that advanced. not sure where to go from here.

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:40 PM   #5
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Keep in mind, not all beers require equal diacetyl rests, if at all. I personally know a professional who doesn't do a d-rest at all with spectacular results.

Diacetyl production (and metbabolization thereof) varies with different yeast strains, pitching rates, fermentation temperatures, and more.

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On tap:
1. Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2. Oktoberfest 3. IPA 4. Bohemian Pilsner 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Ger Pils 2. Ger Pils 3. Lambic 4. Lambic 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Ger Pils 3. Ger Pils 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Breakfast Stout x2, Belgian Dubbel, Chocolate Milk Stout, Oktoberfest (lagering), Pale Ale x2
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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I do my d. Rest at the end of fermentation. Day 6 or 7. I leave it at 68 to 70 degrees for 2 days and then toss in garadge at 48 to 52 for 2 weeks and then put it in fridge at 38 for a cold crash for 24 hrs.

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Old 01-30-2014, 03:20 PM   #7
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I went ahead and did the Diacetyl Test with 1/2 sample in 140 degree water bath for 30min then chilled to room temp to compare with the other 1/2 sample control.

No buttery flavors detected by myself or wife.
I did detect a little bit more of an alcohol-y taste in the heated sample though.

at any rate, what benefit will lagering an anchor steam clone provide? should I just keg this baby?

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Old 01-30-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
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I didn't really lager mine as far as aging. I just used lager temps and left it in fermenter 2 weeks after my rest. Only reason I didn't age is becuz, currently I am set up for no more than 2 batches at a time and I don't have the patience not to drink my beers. Lol.
I would say its totally up to you. I've been told you cand leave it in lagering temps for weeks. My free version of beersmith told me 4 weeks after fermentation. I've only done 1 common, but every1 loved it and it was my most popular beer, so far. I will be kegging version 2 fri. For the superbowl!
Cheers!

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