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Old 09-01-2009, 01:55 AM   #1
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Default Lagering Questions

Well, I am ready to attempt a lager. I just know how to do it. Here are my questions:

1.) Do you chill the wort to 70f and pitch just like an ale? and then put the bucket in the fridge?

2.) Can i harvest and wash the yeast like I do with my favorite ale yeasts? (wyeast american ale II, yummie)

3.) Do I store the washed yeast in the fridge even though the lager yeast is active at those temps?

4.) When you make a starter for lager yeast, do you place it in the fridge to start? or is room good enough to get it going?

I need a bock!!!!! Help!!!!!!



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Old 09-01-2009, 02:15 AM   #2
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1) You can, or you can make a big starter and pitch at fermentation temp. It's said that the flavor comes out cleaner that way. I understand that either way it's good to have a big starter to prevent ester production.

2) Yes

3) The yeast will go dormant after the foods gone anyway. i've had ale yeasts go for a little while in the fridge too.

4) I'd do it at room temp. Lager temps cause slower fermentation.



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Old 09-01-2009, 04:31 AM   #3
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I agree with hotbreakhotel on items 1-3.
For starters, if you plan on discarding the starter beer, then go ahead and ferment at RT. If you want to pitch the beer, ferment at lager temp.
Since I've converted to no-chill, I make 1 gallon real wort starters for my lagers, ferment at 50F for 2 days, then pitch the whole thing.

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Old 09-01-2009, 04:54 AM   #4
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If you do a lager starter at room temp, chill it after it's done and pour off the liquid before pitching. The beer from the starter will be very estery that you don't want. Leave just enough to swirl the yeast up and pitch just the yeast slurry.

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Old 09-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCuckerson View Post
Well, I am ready to attempt a lager. I just know how to do it. Here are my questions:

1.) Do you chill the wort to 70f and pitch just like an ale? and then put the bucket in the fridge?

2.) Can i harvest and wash the yeast like I do with my favorite ale yeasts? (wyeast american ale II, yummie)

3.) Do I store the washed yeast in the fridge even though the lager yeast is active at those temps?

4.) When you make a starter for lager yeast, do you place it in the fridge to start? or is room good enough to get it going?

I need a bock!!!!! Help!!!!!!
1. Technically it's preferred, but it's tough to achieve. However if you can I would do it. If your yeast starter started then you don't have to wait for ferment signs.

2. Sure can.

3. Your fridge is actually probably colder than the ferment temps for most lager yeasts.

4. I placed mine at room temp. Again it was for the sake of ease. I didn't have enough room in kegger to chill top off water and keep a cold starter. I did pitch the whole thing. I know it won't be an uber clean lager, but whatever.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:52 PM   #6
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I make my starters at room temperature- after all, I'm growing yeast not making beer. But then I stick the starter in the fridge and decant the spent wort, and use that for my brew.

I like to pitch a slightly cooler yeast into the wort. So, I cool my wort to 50 degrees, and let the starter warm to 48 degrees. Then I pitch. It seems to get a good start that way. I find that I have the cleanest tasting lagers that way, and often don't even require a diacetyl rest.

My reasoning for pitching at fermentation temperatures isn't really that scientific- I don't pitch my ales at 85 degrees and then cool to 65 degrees, so I don't pitch lagers 20 degrees too high, either. I've had people tell me that they pitch the lager at 70 degrees, but by the time it's at 50 degrees in the fridge, fermentation is in full swing so that most of the fermentation occurred in the 60s. They then have some off-flavors. I think pitching at or very near fermentation temperatures (or even slightly below desired temperature and allowing it to warm slightly) is best.

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Old 09-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
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Your fridge is actually probably colder than the ferment temps for most lager yeasts.
I was actually going to regulate my beer fridge at 45-48f and use it for lagering, cold crashing and kegging. Not a good idea?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:17 PM   #8
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I was actually going to regulate my beer fridge at 45-48f and use it for lagering, cold crashing and kegging. Not a good idea?
That's perfect for fermenting lagers, cold crashing and kegging, but to truly lager you need to near freezing.

I know, it's a friggin headache trying to get (1) beer fridge to do everything you need.

If you want your fridge to multi-task, I would plan keg down time for fermenting lagers. You can double up with kegging and lagering easily. Also, if you pipeline a bunch of ales you can keep drinking while you lager.


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