Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > First time lagering temperature question
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-02-2011, 06:59 PM   #1
bryanbibler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: brooklyn, ny
Posts: 15
Default First time lagering temperature question

A recipe I have from CloneBrews for an Oktoberfest Lager says to ferment at 47-52° for the first four weeks and then move to 57-62° for the remainder of the fermentation, but then in the "helpful hints" along the margin, it says:

"this beer should be lagered for 1-2 months. Begin lagering at 45° and slowly decrease the temperature to 34° over a period of 2 weeks"

I have no experience lagering, so I'm not sure which plan to follow. Can anyone offer advice as to what temperature I should try to keep the fermentation at?

__________________
bryanbibler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
BryceL
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
Posts: 875
Liked 33 Times on 26 Posts

Default

Those directions sound pretty good. I ferment my lagers around 50 degrees for around 3 weeks (or until your fermentation is about 75% complete), then raise the temperature a few degrees per day until I reach 62-65 degrees and let sit at that temperature for a couple days (this is the diacetyl rest). I then transfer to a secondary fermenter and lager at 34 degrees for several months. I step the temperature down over a couple days, I know some people just crash to 34 degrees. Stepping down to 34 over 2 weeks sound a bit tedious and excessive IMO.

Also, be sure to make a BIG starter. You will need plenty of yeast when fermenting at those low temperatures. Pitching your yeast at your fermentation temperature (47-52 degrees) will also help to keep the diacetyl to a minimum.

__________________
BryceL is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
Catt22
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 57 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

I think what the recipe author was trying to say is ferment at approximately 50*F for four weeks, then raise the temp to approximately 62*F for a diacetyl rest for a few (unspecified) days before dropping into lagering for a couple of months.

Here's the way I would do it:
1. Primary ferment 2-3 weeks.
2. Let warm to 65*F and keep it there for several days.
3. Drop the temp to 32* or so and hold at that temp for 6-8 weeks.
4. Bottle or keg at that point.
5. When fully carbed, consume it.

It's not necessary to rigidly conform to a schedule like this. You could cut a corner here and there to shorten up the time frame, but the best lagers do require time and it's best not to rush the process.

__________________
Catt22 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
osagedr
Recovering from Sobriety
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
osagedr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 2,480
Liked 96 Times on 80 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

The key is to pitch lots of yeast. The easiest way to do this is to use 2 packs of dry yeast, properly rehydrated if you are pitching cool. If you are using liquid or washed yeast you need a huge starter, and if you are doing something like 4 litres (or even more) you should let it ferment out, then chill and decant. With most ale yeasts you would just pitch the whole starter at high krausen.

How long your beer will be in your primary depends on how fermentation is proceeding. If you pitch a lot of yeast and/or your ferm temp isn't really cool then you might be 3/4 of the way to FG after a week, or even less. At that point (around 1.020) raise the temp to whatever works for you, I just do room temperature; this is your diacetyl rest. Not everyone does one of these. It can't hurt anything and can avoid a big problem later.

After your d-rest rack your beer off your yeast and chill it. Some people go down by 2 or 3 or 5 degrees per day to lagering temps. This is only necessary IMO if you haven't reached FG, which will probably never be the case. So you can crash it to 32 or 33 degrees and forget about it for a month or two.

__________________

2012 Canadian Brewer of the Year
2013 Canadian Brewer of the Year

@evilgoatbrewing

osagedr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
bryanbibler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: brooklyn, ny
Posts: 15
Default

thanks for the very helpful advice, everyone.

just to be sure I'm clear-- "lagering" refers to the month or two of cold storage after the fermentation is largely complete? so those two directions that I found seemingly contradictory are actually more like step one (ferment) and step two (lager)? Sorry to sound like an amateur-- I've brewed about 15-20 ales but never lagered before...

is it ok to do the lagering in the keg, or is it best to leave it in a glass carboy during the lagering period?

__________________
bryanbibler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 09:39 PM   #6
bryanbibler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: brooklyn, ny
Posts: 15
Default

i'm using a wyeast activator pack. do I need two of those or will one suffice?

__________________
bryanbibler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 09:40 PM   #7
bryanbibler
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: brooklyn, ny
Posts: 15
Default

also is it ok to lager in the keg or does it need to stay in a carboy?

__________________
bryanbibler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
944play
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,733
Liked 35 Times on 32 Posts
Likes Given: 56

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanbibler View Post
i'm using a wyeast activator pack. do I need two of those or will one suffice?
Depends on the size of your starter. You ARE making a starter, aren't you?

A keg is a superior lagering vessel. They have handles, they aren't fragile, and they hold pressure (so you can carbonate, serve, or transfer the beer).

Don't set your fermentation schedule to a calendar. Yeast can't read. The beer will tell you when it's done. I start the diacetyl rest when the kraeusen starts to fall -- you want to poke the ferment along with a little heat while it's still a little bit active.
__________________
OD: ?
Pri:-
Keg: Simple AIPA (2-row, Chinook, Cascade, WLP090)
944play is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 11:12 PM   #9
BryceL
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
Posts: 875
Liked 33 Times on 26 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanbibler View Post
i'm using a wyeast activator pack. do I need two of those or will one suffice?
Do you know what your estimated OG is? You can take that and go to mrmalty.com. There is a yeast calculator there where it will tell you how big of a starter you need and how many packs you need. And yes, kegs are great for lagering!

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
__________________
BryceL is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-02-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
makomachine
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tuttle, OK
Posts: 981
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 944play View Post
Depends on the size of your starter. You ARE making a starter, aren't you?

A keg is a superior lagering vessel. They have handles, they aren't fragile, and they hold pressure (so you can carbonate, serve, or transfer the beer).

Don't set your fermentation schedule to a calendar. Yeast can't read. The beer will tell you when it's done. I start the diacetyl rest when the kraeusen starts to fall -- you want to poke the ferment along with a little heat while it's still a little bit active.
What he said...

I've had a lager take 4 weeks in primary and I've had one take 13 days. Highly recommend a D-rest as it's a zero risk insurance policy in your process to get as clean a beer as possible. Not always necessary, but something that costs you little time/trouble to do in the scheme of a lager.
__________________
Kegged: Waldo Lake Amber, Notty as Helles, Vanilla Porter, Sweet Stout (nitro), NB Surly Furious Clone, Petite Saison D'ete, Le Seigle Belge Saison, BM Cream of 3 Crops, Edworts Apfelwein
Bottled: Nada!
In Process: Braggot
Upcoming Brews: Surley Furious Clone, Uintah Wyld
makomachine is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Effect of temperature fluctuations on lagering bertmurphy Fermentation & Yeast 0 11-01-2010 04:19 PM
Lagering question Phunhog Fermentation & Yeast 1 04-20-2010 01:32 AM
Lag time + starting temperature SwampassJ Fermentation & Yeast 8 03-23-2010 09:00 PM
Lagering Temperature? SAS Fermentation & Yeast 4 02-21-2010 04:54 PM
Lagering Time petep1980 Fermentation & Yeast 6 10-01-2009 04:20 PM