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Old 03-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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Thanks, guys. Sounds like i'll have a solid plan for the next batch.

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #12
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...I dont know how many cells or units of yeast that would be, but it seemed like a lot to me...I dont know enough about water to add anything to it or treat it...
The post by Stonehands is right on the money.

If you want to be a lager brewer your level of effort has to improve. Proper yeast pitching rates are important. Put the effort in to pitch enough yeast if you are going to invest the time required to make a good lager.

Learning about water profiles isn't rocket science either. If you are using bottled spring water you are probably fine, but water adjustments from RO, spring, or tap water are a small, easy thing to do. Heck, your tap water may be fine, even perfect for some styles--many municipalities publish water reports that will give you all the info you need to put into an existing water adjustment spreadsheet like EZ Water Calculator.

Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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The key with lagers is temperature control and pitching proper healthy volumes of yeast. If you're pitching healthy volumes of yeast then you can pitch at fermentation temp. IMO pitching at 65 - 70 to get the yeast started and then lowering to fermentation temps is poor practice. Make the effort to pitch the right amount of yeast and you won't need to need to do this. You'll reduce off-flavors from the yeast and produce a cleaner beer - hell, you probably wouldn't even need to do a D-rest if you're practicing good yeast techniques. And it's not hard at all. Mr. Malty takes all the difficulty out of it. My last two lagers were the first two I've ever brewed - I followed my advice above and they turned out fantastic. I entered both, a bock and vienna, in two competitions three months apart. The bock picked up a 1st and 3rd and the Vienna picked up two 2nds.

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #14
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Fair enough. I think the problem was that my efforts were focused in getting my info from the wrong places. If my local brew shop guy said a 2L starter with one pack of yeast was enough I believed him. I'm definitely willing to learn more about making better lagers.

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:32 PM   #15
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People say "The" book for lagers is Brewing Lagers (or something similar) by Noonan. So maybe look at it...I just got it so can't comment further.

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #16
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Awesome, I'll check it out. The only reference I've had for lagers is Palmer's "How to brew", which in the lagers section uses a lot of qualitative verbage rather than quantitative. So I knew I needed to "start the fermentation colder", but didn't know to go all the way down to 45, and I knew I needed to use "more" yeast, but not really how much more.

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #17
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Yes, Palmer's How to Brew is a bit out of date. If you're talking about the free online edition, then it's really out of date.

There is a solid wiki on here for lagers. Wiki's can be found at the top of the HBT page.

A lot of the information I see people post from their LHBS is just plain wrong or even worse, will negatively impact your beer. I think a lot of the LHBS guys got their start reading How to Brew and never got the updated information.

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:13 PM   #18
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The book in question is "New Brewing Lager Beer" by Noonan. Even it is a bit dated now but I am all in favour of reading as widely as possible.

You can get a huge amount of good info on this board or elsewhere on the web; the problem is trying to sort out what is good advice from bad is difficult when you are starting out. For every person saying pitch at 45 and raise to 50 there is one saying pitch at 65 and lower when you see activity.

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:19 PM   #19
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For every person saying pitch at 45 and raise to 50 there is one saying pitch at 65 and lower when you see activity.
Exactly. I do remember reading some posts on here about starting under 50, but it seemed like there were more people saying start higher and go down, and coupled with my LHBS telling me the same thing thats what I did.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #20
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Exactly. I do remember reading some posts on here about starting under 50, but it seemed like there were more people saying start higher and go down, and coupled with my LHBS telling me the same thing thats what I did.
*shrugs*

You could always try both methods and see which one you prefer.

If you think about it though, fermenting a lager at higher temperatures (say 60 - 65), even if it's only a day or so to get the yeast fermenting hard, is going to make off-flavors. If you can avoid it by pitching a healthy volume of yeast, why wouldn't you?
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