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Old 09-07-2013, 03:43 AM   #1
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Default Which lager yeast should I choose? - no lagerator

I did some searches (both through the HBT search and google) and could only seem to find threads about purposely pushing lager yeast to ale temps.

Anyway, I'm looking ahead to the cooler months and thinking about attempting a lager. I have no fermentation chamber or ability to control temps. And I'm wondering which strain of lager yeast would give the closest to a true lager profile at around 58°-60°F. That is the temp that I'll be working with in the basement during the winter.

I'm sure plenty of people have suggestions of how to build a simple/cheap fermentation chamber using frozen bottles and whatever else. I'm not going to do that. I just don't feel like dealing with it.

So, several of the Wyeast strains list 58°F as the upper end of the ideal range.

Purely based on the descriptions on the Wyeast website and my gut feeling, I think I'd lean towards the Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager strain. The 2278 Czech Pils strain is a close 2nd, because of the note that the sulfur can be reduced towards the top of the temp range (58°F). Both of those strains are also listed as med-high flocculation, which I like.

Some might suggest the 2112 California Lager strain, but I guess I don't know enough about steam beers/cali-common beers to know if this yeast would be convincing as a lager. The 2124 Bohemian Lager is marked as being good for Cali-common beers as well at warmer temps.

I'm sure the decision would be somewhat dependent on the specific style I brew. I haven't decided anything for sure, but I guess I would tend towards doppelbock, dunkel, vienna lager, or oktoberfest. I would not be trying to do an American lager or a pilsner or anything that light and/or delicate.

You might be able to tell that I'm not really sure of much here. I just have an itch to try brewing a lager, and I think my basement temps might be just barely cool enough to kind of pull it off. I have brewed a few batches of Kolsch using the 2565 yeast around 60°F, and they have turned out well. A true lager yeast seems like the next obvious adventure. What do you think?

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Old 09-07-2013, 04:45 AM   #2
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Lagers, require lower temps no matter what you try it will still only end up an Ale sorry

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:09 AM   #3
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Oh, ok. Thanks.

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:12 AM   #4
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After it ferments around 45 or so lagerinh occurs which is a prolonged phase of storage at 39 or so degrees, sometimes even colder. The long cool storage is what makes a lager just that

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:34 AM   #5
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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Pretty sure I asked a question. But maybe not.

Thanks, though.

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Old 09-07-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
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I'm kind of doing the same. Read good things about San Francisco lager yeast. Might need swamp cooler though.

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Old 09-07-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Would you be better off brewing a Kolsch? I've never brewed one but my understanding is that it's a lager type taste but brewed at ale temps. Maybe an acceptable compromise if you can't lager.

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Old 09-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by signpost View Post
I did some searches (both through the HBT search and google) and could only seem to find threads about purposely pushing lager yeast to ale temps.

Anyway, I'm looking ahead to the cooler months and thinking about attempting a lager. I have no fermentation chamber or ability to control temps. And I'm wondering which strain of lager yeast would give the closest to a true lager profile at around 58°-60°F. That is the temp that I'll be working with in the basement during the winter.

I'm sure plenty of people have suggestions of how to build a simple/cheap fermentation chamber using frozen bottles and whatever else. I'm not going to do that. I just don't feel like dealing with it.

So, several of the Wyeast strains list 58°F as the upper end of the ideal range.

Purely based on the descriptions on the Wyeast website and my gut feeling, I think I'd lean towards the Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager strain. The 2278 Czech Pils strain is a close 2nd, because of the note that the sulfur can be reduced towards the top of the temp range (58°F). Both of those strains are also listed as med-high flocculation, which I like.

Some might suggest the 2112 California Lager strain, but I guess I don't know enough about steam beers/cali-common beers to know if this yeast would be convincing as a lager. The 2124 Bohemian Lager is marked as being good for Cali-common beers as well at warmer temps.

I'm sure the decision would be somewhat dependent on the specific style I brew. I haven't decided anything for sure, but I guess I would tend towards doppelbock, dunkel, vienna lager, or oktoberfest. I would not be trying to do an American lager or a pilsner or anything that light and/or delicate.

You might be able to tell that I'm not really sure of much here. I just have an itch to try brewing a lager, and I think my basement temps might be just barely cool enough to kind of pull it off. I have brewed a few batches of Kolsch using the 2565 yeast around 60°F, and they have turned out well. A true lager yeast seems like the next obvious adventure. What do you think?
I just made a 10 gallon batch of a doppelbock, and split it into two fives. To one I added two smackpacks of Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager. To the other I added one very swelled smackpack of Wyeast 2112 California Lager.

I put them both at 60 F, based on the same info you are reading, that 2124 is OK at 60 F. This is not a good idea. The sulfur from the 2124 was about as nasty as any smell I have experienced while brewing. I finally added a piece of copper pipe to it for 30 minutes - 12" long 3/4" diameter. This did seem to really take out the sulfur, and fast. I believe the 2124 should probably be fermented at more like 45-50 range. Not 58 or 60. The 2112 on the other hand likes life at that temp.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bdb7098 View Post
Would you be better off brewing a Kolsch? I've never brewed one but my understanding is that it's a lager type taste but brewed at ale temps. Maybe an acceptable compromise if you can't lager.
Thanks for reading my OP.

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I just made a 10 gallon batch of a doppelbock, and split it into two fives. To one I added two smackpacks of Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager. To the other I added one very swelled smackpack of Wyeast 2112 California Lager.

I put them both at 60 F, based on the same info you are reading, that 2124 is OK at 60 F. This is not a good idea. The sulfur from the 2124 was about as nasty as any smell I have experienced while brewing. I finally added a piece of copper pipe to it for 30 minutes - 12" long 3/4" diameter. This did seem to really take out the sulfur, and fast. I believe the 2124 should probably be fermented at more like 45-50 range. Not 58 or 60. The 2112 on the other hand likes life at that temp.
Thanks for the info. Do you think the sulfur in the 2124 batch would have dissipated on its own, if given enough time? Or had you already given it a lot of time?
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Bottled - Imperial India Pilsner Ale; Little Gyle Palesner; Guajillo Ancho Brown Ale; Back To School Porter, an Imperial Robust Porter with vanilla beans added
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