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Old 12-10-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
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Default Lager fermentation done fast. Go ahead and D-rest?

I have read a ton of threads and it seems the consensus is that a diactyl rest won't hurt and is good insurance against butter beer. So here's the question. I pitched a stepped up starter (~350 billion cells) of Wyeast 2278 Czech pils at 48 degrees and let it free-rise to 50, where it has been held constant. Nice krausen formed within 367 hours. The OG was 1.064. I pitched last Saturday and it has only been 8 days, but it is already down to 1.017. I suspect it only has a couple points left. Should I do a d-rest now, even though it is only 8 days in? In other words do you base the d-rest solely off of gravity instead of fermentation time? It tastes great already. I don't detect butter, but not totally confident in my ability to taste it so better safe than sorry.

Longboard lager clone
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9.5# Maris Otter
1# White wheat
1# Vienna

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0.5oz Hersbrucker 15'
0.75oz Saaz 5'

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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A properly pitched lager is often finished in 5-7 days, at least it has been for me (just as with ales, or maybe a day or two longer). It sounds like it's more than ready for a diacetyl rest.

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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A properly pitched lager is often finished in 5-7 days, at least it has been for me (just as with ales, or maybe a day or two longer). It sounds like it's more than ready for a diacetyl rest.
Do I need to raise it slowly? Or can I just crank it up to 62 for 72 hours? After that do I need to slowly lower it to lagering temps?
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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You don't need to raise or lower the temperature slowly.

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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I am not a lager expert, but I concur with Yooper and osagedr. My lager fermentations seem to take about as long in the primary as a slow-ish ale, but not nearly the "3 week" fermentation you hear about. Not sure why that happens to some folks. Take it as a good sign that its done this quick.

Yeah, pull it out of the fermentation chamber ASAP. You want it actively fermenting for a bit at 60-65F for the d-rest. You've got a couple of points of gravity to go, but they'll be done by tomorrow.

Likewise, after your d-rest, you don't need to slowly drop the temps. Once its at FG and you are sure the d-rest worked (no butter flavor) crash it to 32F as hard as you like. The yeasties have done their duty and will not aid your lager any more at this point. The slow drop was done in traditional lagers where the yeast were still cleaning up their biproducts and needed to stay active during the drop. I suspect that its a commercial vs homebrewing difference. No need for us to do it, according to the stuff I've read.

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Awesome. Thanks, guys (and gals)

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Mine take a little bit longer than Yooper's; I think I might ferment just a bit cooler. I've noticed a big difference in time whether you ferment at 47 or 48 vs. 50 or 51.

If you like low and slow Wyeast 2124/Saflager W-34/70 is a beautiful strain. A buddy has it going at 43 right now. I've used this strain in a variety of styles with very good results. The more I use other strains, the more I like the 2124.

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
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Ive got a chocolate boch in the fridge now. Its my first lager. I warmed it to about 68 or so for 3 days then put it back in the fridge and am maintaining it at 40. Its been about 2 weeks or so but can i keep it colder than 40? It would be nice if i could turn my fridge into a kegerator type that i could serve other beer in that i have done while lagering other beer so like 34 or 35. Will this be ok? Like i said its my first lager and second beer ive ever brewed so im way green lol

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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You can keep it as cold as you like so long as it doesn't freeze. Even if it freezes you can make an eisbock

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EWHOLTZCLAW View Post
Ive got a chocolate boch in the fridge now. Its my first lager. I warmed it to about 68 or so for 3 days then put it back in the fridge and am maintaining it at 40. Its been about 2 weeks or so but can i keep it colder than 40? It would be nice if i could turn my fridge into a kegerator type that i could serve other beer in that i have done while lagering other beer so like 34 or 35. Will this be ok? Like i said its my first lager and second beer ive ever brewed so im way green lol
If you've done the diacetyl rest (warmed up to 60 degrees for three days), did you check the SG and make sure the beer was done? Also, if you tasted the beer for diacetyl, it's important to ensure that there is no hint of diacetyl at all before dropping the temperature. If not, it's ok to rack to a carboy, and then begin "lagering". I like to lager at near freezing, for about 8 weeks or so. So, that's at 33-34 degrees for each 8-10 points of OG. For example, for a 1.060 lager, that would be 6-8 weeks at 33 degrees.
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