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Old 05-08-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
MichiganMike
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Default Lager question

So I am new to lager and the process of it. I have read several books but I am still fuzzy on the process. Im sure like everything else there are several methods, So below is the process I was planning on using for a recipe I came up with for a dopplebock. I just wanted to see what people thought. Cheers



White Labs WLP830 is the yeast i want to use. If you need the rest of the recipe i can supply it but I don't think its relevant

Pitch at 50-55º let ferment 7-14 days
Raise the temperature to 68-70º for 2 to 3 days for diacetyl reduction.
move to secondary
drop temperature to near 32º and hold 4-6 weeks

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Old 05-08-2014, 04:27 PM   #2
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For a dopplebock, you may want longer in primary to make sure it's done- do you have a wine thief and hydrometer or some way to test the gravity?

What's your OG target? Are you doing a yeast starter? I recently pitched a 3L starter into my 1.050 Pilsner, and at 2 weeks, it's only down to 1.020- for a high gravity beer like a dopple, you will probably need longer.

Otherwise, your temp schedule works well. I'm a big fan of starting low temp and slowly ramping up to diacetyl rest temp- like this

50 degrees until you hit 60-70% of your anticipated attenuation
52 degrees for 24 hrs
54 for 24 hrs
56 for 24 hrs
58 for 24 hrs
60 for 2-3 days
MAYBE bump it up to 65 for a day of two to make sure you got it all, then cold crash once you are sure you're at your FG

But yours looks great- just give it longer in primary.

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Old 05-08-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
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I think you're right on track. You may need a longer primary, but 2 weeks is likely fine to get to within 5% of your FG (which is perfect for starting your D-rest). I would encourage a slightly longer lager on a Dopple. Plan on 1 week per 0.010 of OG as a general guideline.

Make sure you pitch enough yeast for this though! WLP830 is great but you need to pitch a high count. Use mrmalty.com and make sure you're on the lager tab. Just an FYI - 830 throws off some sulfur smells as it ferments, scared me the first couple times I used it!

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Old 05-08-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon3 View Post
For a dopplebock, you may want longer in primary to make sure it's done- do you have a wine thief and hydrometer or some way to test the gravity?

What's your OG target? Are you doing a yeast starter? I recently pitched a 3L starter into my 1.050 Pilsner, and at 2 weeks, it's only down to 1.020- for a high gravity beer like a dopple, you will probably need longer.

Otherwise, your temp schedule works well. I'm a big fan of starting low temp and slowly ramping up to diacetyl rest temp- like this

50 degrees until you hit 60-70% of your anticipated attenuation
52 degrees for 24 hrs
54 for 24 hrs
56 for 24 hrs
58 for 24 hrs
60 for 2-3 days
MAYBE bump it up to 65 for a day of two to make sure you got it all, then cold crash once you are sure you're at your FG

But yours looks great- just give it longer in primary.
Thank you very much i will for sure give the primary longer. The OG should be around 1.089 and the FG im shooting for is around 1.017-1.020. I do have a wine thief and hydrometer
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocScott View Post
Just an FYI - 830 throws off some sulfur smells as it ferments, scared me the first couple times I used it!
THANK you for the warning! that would have freaked me out too
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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oh yeah i forgot, yes i ALWAYS do a starter every time
I normally go for about 1L but I will try 2-3 L this time around

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike View Post
oh yeah i forgot, yes i ALWAYS do a starter every time
I normally go for about 1L but I will try 2-3 L this time around
If you have a stir plate, I think 3L would still be low for this beer. Lagers need much higher pitch rate than ales, and a big lager like you're planning, needs way more.

I did a quick mrmalty plug in and it says if your yeast is super fresh, you'll need 2 vials and a 3.83L starter on a plate to get to the 600billion cells suggested! Sounds crazy, but I just wanted you to see what's needed for a huge dopple like you have planned. Don't let it scare you away though. Step up the starter a couple times and you'll be fine.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike View Post
oh yeah i forgot, yes i ALWAYS do a starter every time
I normally go for about 1L but I will try 2-3 L this time around
I'm afraid that's not going to get you anywhere close the cell count you need for a 1.089 lager even if you have a stirplate. Using a big lager pitch rate of 2.00, you'll want to hit 5.2 gallons of that gravity lager wort (which must be well-oxygenated) with 840 billion cells. One vial of brand new WLP830 in a 2L stirplate starter only gives you 388 billion. A 3L stirplate starter ups that to just 531 billion. If 3 liters is the biggest starter you can do, 4 vials into that on a stirplate is what you'll need to get you in the ballpark.

For a really big lager like a dopplebock, I'd rather make a 5 gallon batch of dunkel or Munich helles first, harvest the whole cake from that batch and pitch that all into the big beer.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:23 PM   #9
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BigFloyd, you and I seem to be following each other around today and posting similar advice about 3 minutes before/after each other!

Glad our minds are thinking alike though!

840 billion...mrmalty gave me 604billion (i only did a 5.00 gallon batch though with fresh yeast) must be the difference

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:50 PM   #10
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I can do 4L without a problem. Thank you all for the help. I normally only do 1-2L on ales only, I guess I should have specified. And no 3-4L does not sound crazy. Thanks again

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