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Old 09-01-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default How long primary for lagers?

I know a lot of the experience brewers do a minimum of 2-3 weeks for a typical ale fermentation primary. How long do you guys leave your lagers on your yeast? I figure it'll be 2 weeks alone to get to terminal gravity, then d-rest, then crash cooling to drop yeast before lagering. So that's a total of nearly a month in primary.

Would you guys recommend longer?

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:17 PM   #2
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a month sounds about right. i think you have the process about right.

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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My lagers stay in primary for about 2 weeks. This includes D-rest and time for temperature changes. By the time I transfer it, the temperature is back down to at least 50°F, but usually 40°F. Then I bring the secondary down further to lagering temps. My lagers are usually 1.045 to 1.050, so this kind of timing is partially dependant on OG.

Since lagers are typically meant to be very "clean" tasting and as Noonan states, it's best to get lagers off the primary yeast as soon as reasonably possible to prevent possible off-flavors from decaying yeast cells.

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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I do a month, d-rest for about 72 hours and then a month in secondary lagering.

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
Since lagers are typically meant to be very "clean" tasting and as Noonan states, it's best to get lagers off the primary yeast as soon as reasonably possible to prevent possible off-flavors from decaying yeast cells.
Hmm, I wouldn't have thought about that. So if TG, d-rest and crash cooling have all been achieved I should rack off ASAP within reason?
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:17 PM   #6
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Hmm, I wouldn't have thought about that. So if TG, d-rest and crash cooling have all been achieved I should rack off ASAP within reason?
For the most part, that should work well. I prefer, and this has been debated, to slowly cool @ 5°F per day. Both Noonan (New Brewing Lager Beer) and Briggs (Brewing Science and Practice) state this is necessary. Briggs gives the reasoning to be that crash cooling lager yeast can facilitate them excreting protease enzymes, resulting in poor foam stability. Some homebrewers crash cool lagers without noticing this effect, but I chose to play it safe based on the texts.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
For the most part, that should work well. I prefer, and this has been debated, to slowly cool @ 5°F per day. Both Noonan (New Brewing Lager Beer) and Briggs (Brewing Science and Practice) state this is necessary. Briggs gives the reasoning to be that crash cooling lager yeast can facilitate them excreting protease enzymes, resulting in poor foam stability. Some homebrewers crash cool lagers without noticing this effect, but I chose to play it safe based on the texts.
I could try that. Seems simple enough.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:44 AM   #8
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My first lager is in the fridge now, and has been for three weeks. I just checked the blowoff tube and am getting burps every 7 sec., the o.g. was 1.062, and I haven't even looked in the bucket. i am thinking i should leave it for at least another week. Does that sound right?

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Old 10-30-2009, 01:35 AM   #9
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My first lager is in the fridge now, and has been for three weeks. I just checked the blowoff tube and am getting burps every 7 sec., the o.g. was 1.062, and I haven't even looked in the bucket. i am thinking i should leave it for at least another week. Does that sound right?
I don't know. If you're 75% of the way to FG, you should do the diacetyl rest now if you're doing one. If not, when you're at Fg, you should rack and then start the lagering phase. I've never counted bubbles, but if you use your hydrometer you'll know where you're at.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:37 PM   #10
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I can say after 3 weeks my marzen is at terminal gravity, so I pulled it upstairs to d-rest until Sunday. Then it'll go back into the brew nook and sit at 60F. I'm kinda half-assing my lagering with ambient basement temps to see how feasible it might be in the winter.

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