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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > First Lager Brew day (Maibock) Help!!
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
andyherrick
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Default First Lager Brew day (Maibock) Help!!

I will be brewing my first lager beer this weekend. It is a brewers best kit that I received from my mother. I am going to buy my yeast online, and will probably be Wyeast.

I am thinking of Bohemian lager 2124 or Bavarian lager 2206.

Are these ok to use??? Does anyone suggest something else?

I also need help in the fermentation area. I have a cold basement floor that will work well, but need to know what other tips to use for best lagering temperatures.

Wet T-shirt? Ice Bath?

All suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:11 AM   #2
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I've used both and like the results. Make a starter as soon as it arrives, if possible.

I ferment all my lagers in primary at about 45 or so until it is almost finished (by hydrometer). Then, I'll remove from my fridge and let it warm to room temp for a few days (diacetyl rest). Rack. Then cool down as cool as your system allows (I keep mine at about 32) for as long as necessary (the bigger beer, the longer it lagers). In general, for a standard strength, I'll lager about 2 months. If you have to use an ice bath, it will require more attention. Maybe put it out in your garage, being from Iowa? Check the temps out there for a few days and see if that's an option.

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Old 01-03-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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I used the Bohemian Lager in my Maibock. I tried to do the ice bath deal, but couldn't hold the temp steadily in the ideal temp range. It tasted like green apples right out of primary. It is currently lagering in my garage which ranges from 30-40 degrees. Should have a better handle on that yeast and it's flavors in about two months.

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Old 01-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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I'm making one later this week and using Munich lager. The starter is a very good idea, especially for fussy lager yeasts.

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Old 01-03-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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Before I upgraded to a chest freezer and temp controller, I had good luck placing my fermentor in a ice chest full of water and then adding frozen water bottles as needed.

I live in TX, so getting too cold was never the problem. Do you self a favor a place the ice chest in a area of the garage where you can drain the water if necessary. You will need to monitor daily. A lot of work, but it works.

good luck.

JR

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Old 01-03-2011, 10:44 PM   #6
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I've had great success with Lagers without a fridge or chest freezer.
A good idea is to make a starter and build up to 3/4 to 1 gal size for lagers.
You didnt mention what temp. range your basement gets in the winter.
You should place a thermometer in a glass of water on the floor and take a reading after a day or so to see what temps you have to work with.
Anything below 60 degrees will work, the colder the better.
I have used both yeasts with excellent results. The Bohemian has a higher
optimum range of 58 degress which would be better for your situation.
You didnt mention using a chiller which is great to get the wort down to ferm. temps quickly. If you dont have a chiller use an ice bath or place fermenter outside in a snow bank to chill down.
hope this helps

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:25 AM   #7
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All these tips definitely help. My basement currently (tested by glass of water) is 53 degrees. My garage would probably get too cold on these Iowa winter nights. I just put a glass of water outside with a thermometer. We will see what that brings.

Is two months the average time for a lager?

If I do the water bottle trick, what will happen if I dont stay consistent with my temperature.

Thanks guys.

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:26 AM   #8
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I also just purchased the Bohemian Lager. Hope it works.

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyherrick View Post
Is two months the average time for a lager?

If I do the water bottle trick, what will happen if I dont stay consistent with my temperature.

Thanks guys.
I'd say 2 months is about the average time for a lager.

I didn't stay consistent with the water bottle method. My beer (straight out of primary) had a very young, green apple esq, taste. For all I know, that's how Bohemian Lager tastes right after primary since it was my first time using it. Also, something to keep in mind, I read in BYO that New Belgium's 1554 uses Bohemian Lager at ale temps for that beer.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:48 PM   #10
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1554 is a great beer. I just learned that my brew store was out of Bohemian so they are sending white labs 830. It is reccomended at 50-55 degree. My basement should be fine to do that. I will probably try to do the wet tshirt and water bottle trick. I will probably be smarter after the fact.

Does anyone know if a lager yeast starter is different than an ale? I know that it is wise to pitch more, but was wondering if anyone had some ideas.

Thanks again to everyone that replied.

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