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Old 08-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
JakeFegely
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Default Lager Fermentation Steps

I'll be brewing my first lager on friday - a 1.057 O-fest. I've read a lot but have a couple questions. My fermentation plan is

primary at 52 F (WLP 838) until 75-85% attentuated
d-rest for 2 days at about 62 F
drop back to 52 F over 2-3 days, ferment until fermentation is complete
rack to secondary, rinse yeast from primary and store in frig
lager at 34 F for 4 weeks
bottle

My questions are:
1) When is the best time to rack to the secondary? I want to re-use the yeast later, so I assume at the end of fermentation so I get the late flocculaters.
2) Will I need to add yeast for bottling? If so, would it make sense to add a small amount of the yeast that was rinsed from this batch?

Any other comments?

Thanks,
Jake

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Old 08-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #2
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looks good to me. BTW Often the D rest is not necessary. let your nose and taste buds make that decision. You are looking for buttery flavor or smell. If there is none, just let it finish, transfer and lager.

no additional yeast needed for bottling, there will always be a little left in suspension unless you filter or pasteurize.

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Old 08-09-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
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looks good to me. BTW Often the D rest is not necessary. let your nose and taste buds make that decision. You are looking for buttery flavor or smell. If there is none, just let it finish, transfer and lager.

no additional yeast needed for bottling, there will always be a little left in suspension unless you filter or pasteurize.
I (sort of) disagree. Diacetyl isn't always picked up by everybody, and in small amounts it's not buttery. Instead, it's more of a "slick" or oily mouthfeel or on the tongue or teeth. If you have that, and don't do a diacetyl rest, you'll have a butter bomb when the lager is done. It will never hurt to do a diacetyl rest, whether strictly needed or not, so I recommend all newer lager makers do one as a matter of course.

Secondly, it will not hurt to add 1/3 package of nottingham yeast at bottling. I'd mix up the priming solution, cool it in the bottling bucket, and then sprinkle a little yeast in there and stir it up. It can't hurt, although it might not be strictly necessary either.

As far as fermentation schedules, your FG should be met by the end of diacetyl rest. You want to be at FG, then rack the beer off of the yeast cake before getting into the lagering/dropping the temperature phase.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:48 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. I think I will do the d-rest primarily because I've never (knowingly) smelled diacetyl.

Yooper, you recommend using 1/3 package of Notty for bottling. At the time I bottle, I'll have rinsed WLP838 in my frig and also probably rinsed Notty. Any reason not to use one of those - other than possibly the challenge of measuring the proper volume?

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Old 08-10-2011, 12:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I think I will do the d-rest primarily because I've never (knowingly) smelled diacetyl.

Yooper, you recommend using 1/3 package of Notty for bottling. At the time I bottle, I'll have rinsed WLP838 in my frig and also probably rinsed Notty. Any reason not to use one of those - other than possibly the challenge of measuring the proper volume?
No- either will do just fine. You don't need much at all. Just a little bit will do, as they will reproduce anyway.

Experienced brewers will probably just do fine following shafferpilot's advice, and I wouldn't otherwise disagree with him. But I recently judged a homebrew competition where diacetyl was an issue, and most brewers claimed they didn't have a hint of diacetyl after primary. They are probably right- in that they were thinking only of "butter flavor". When I asked two of them if there was an oily feeling on the tongue, though, both said that there was.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:54 AM   #6
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point taken yoop

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Old 08-10-2011, 02:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the quick responses and the primer on detecting diacetyl. This site has been very helpful to me as a new brewer.

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Old 08-24-2011, 02:04 AM   #8
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Is there a maximum time for d-rest? Attenuation was over 80% when I raised the temp to 60-62 mid-day on Sunday. Almost 2-1/2 days later, the blow-off tube is still bubbling every 10-15 seconds. If this fermentation needs another few days to reach FG, does leaving it at 60-62 cause any problems?
Thanks,
Jake

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Old 08-24-2011, 02:06 AM   #9
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Is there a maximum time for d-rest? Attenuation was over 80% when I raised the temp to 60-62 mid-day on Sunday. Almost 2-1/2 days later, the blow-off tube is still bubbling every 10-15 seconds. If this fermentation needs another few days to reach FG, does leaving it at 60-62 cause any problems?
Thanks,
Jake
No, it'll be fine. Keep in mind that fermentation may be over, and the co2 is simply off gassing, due to the higher temperature. Check the SG if you're unsure. Once it's stable, you can rack and then begin lagering!
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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reviving an old thread from a fellow lancaster homebrewer.. previous questions/instructions were:

primary at 52 F (WLP 838) until 75-85% attentuated
d-rest for 2 days at about 62 F
drop back to 52 F over 2-3 days, ferment until fermentation is complete
rack to secondary, rinse yeast from primary and store in frig
lager at 34 F for 4 weeks
bottle

i've only ever done ales before but with my finished keezer i can now fit a carboy in there along with my 3 kegs (yay) .. i've never been one to check gravities throughout fermentation, only at the end.. i've always subscribed to the camp that you can sit something on a primary for quite some time and never have any problems with off-flavors/fermentation.. because of this i always primary my ales for 4 weeks then go straight to keg/bottles.. never had a problem before.. is that a rule that i can keep following with a lager? would extra time in a primary hurt/help a lager, or would something like 2 or 3 weeks be a better bet.. or do i have to

also for a D-rest, can it go all the way up to like 65-70 degrees for 2 days or so? the only way for me to bring it back up would be to remove it from the keezer and keep it in the basement.. our basement is always between 60 and 70 all year long, though this time of year it would be closer to 70..

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