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Old 08-13-2012, 11:41 PM   #1
jpm5171988
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Default First Lager...Diacetyl rest?

I've been told various things about using a diacetyl rest during fermentation for lagers. My first lager has been in secondary for almost 2 weeks and I haven't done it yet. Is it still worth doing, or even necessary? Please explain.

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
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My recommendation is to do it at the end of primary. Forgive me if I'm explaining what you already know--diacetyl is a buttery tasting byproduct of yeast. If given enough time active yeast will consume the diacetyl before flocculating out. The idea of a diacetyl is to raise the temperature towards the end of primary activity to keep them active for longer allowing them to more quickly consume the diacetyl. So if you're already in secondary my assumption is flocculation has already happened. You still probably have ~1MM yeast cells per 1ML of beer, which is why we can carbonate in a bottle with some primary sugar. But not enough to guarantee a successful diacetyl rest.

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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I pulled a sample last night. Beer is clear, so flocculation is pretty close to complete. My pallet is not accustomed to the taste of diacetyl, so I wouldn't know exactly what it would taste like. The beer tastes pretty good; super malty , so detecting the taste of butter seems difficult. If its tasting good, I guess I can't complain. Cant wait to see how it turns out. I've also heard about doing a second diacetyl rest after bottling.

Carbonate the beer, drop the temp, then bring it back up for a few days for the diacetyl rest before lowering the temp again for aging. Does anyone else recommend this?

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpm5171988 View Post
I pulled a sample last night. Beer is clear, so flocculation is pretty close to complete. My pallet is not accustomed to the taste of diacetyl, so I wouldn't know exactly what it would taste like. The beer tastes pretty good; super malty , so detecting the taste of butter seems difficult. If its tasting good, I guess I can't complain. Cant wait to see how it turns out. I've also heard about doing a second diacetyl rest after bottling.

Carbonate the beer, drop the temp, then bring it back up for a few days for the diacetyl rest before lowering the temp again for aging. Does anyone else recommend this?
Diacetyl in small amounts will present as a "slick" or oily mouthfeel on the tongue. If you have an oiliness to the beer, that's diacetyl, even without a buttery flavor. If you don't have any, there is no reason to attempt to do a diacetyl rest now. You'd probably have to try krausening or repitching yeast, etc, to do a diacetyl rest at this point.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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You can also do a diacetyl test. I've never done it, but supposedly it works. http://www.winning-homebrew.com/diacetyl-test.html FYI, there is a semi-NSFW image of a lady in a labcoat showing some cleavage.

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