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Old 03-22-2010, 02:06 AM   #1
jaxflbrewer
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Default Pitching cold for lagers, can the wort sit overnight?

I'm doing my first lager (a German Pils) soon and want to pitch cold, around 50F. I usually brew at night and things finish up late. Rather than hassle with trying to chill the wort to 50F with an ice bath, could I just strain it, put it in the primary, and chill it to 50F in my lagerator? The next day, my wort would be chilled, and I'd just aerate and pitch my big starter and let it rip? I'd appreciate any input. I've done plenty of ales with decent results, but am a little nervous about getting this first lager right.

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Old 03-22-2010, 02:10 AM   #2
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I've only done one lager myself...just kegged it today But the conventional thinking is that your beer is the most vulnerable to infection between the periods of flame out to start of fermentation (lag time) but there is an interesting thread about "no chill" brewing which you can find quite easily from the search function. After reading that, I would think it would be ok to go straight into primary at flame out then let chill overnight but I'm still a noob and have no first hand experience doing this.

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Old 03-22-2010, 05:05 AM   #3
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Thats kinda what I do. I like to chill the wort down to about 65 or 70 deg. Put carboy with a full 6 gallons in cooler tell it gets down to 45deg. then rack off trub to another carboy, aerate and pitch. Usually cools with in 3-4 hours.

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Old 03-23-2010, 03:45 AM   #4
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Bert - thanks for the "no chill" thread suggestion. I wasn't familiar with the term, but wow, what great information there!

Bbone -Actually what you are doing is very close to what I had in mind. I can get to 70F or so pretty quickly, but was thinking I'd strain into primary (bucket) after that, sit in the refrigerator at 50F for 8-10 hours, then pull it out, aerate (have the drill attachment), and pitch a my starter (sitting also at 50F).

Made the starter tonight (1 gal) with WLP830. Going to let that go for 3 days, then chill for a couple. I'll decant on Saturday (brew day) and then let it sit in the fridge with the wort at 50F. Sunday morning I'll aerate and pitch.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll try to post some results after the 3 week fermentation (50F) and 4 week lagering (35F-40F) I am planning.

If interested, I'm doing a basic extract recipe:

3.15 lb Pilsner Extract (60 min)
5.00 lb Pilsner Extract (15 min late addition)
1 oz Pearle (60 min)
1/2 oz Hallertau (15 min)
1/2 oz Hallertau (1 min)

Sounds easy enough. Hope to have it on tap in my under construction keezer by late May.

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Old 03-23-2010, 04:05 AM   #5
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I like to get the yeast going as fast as possible. My last lager I pitched the yeast @ 70F and had the a/c on full blast in the fermentation chamber to get it down to 53F. Took a few hours to chill 10+ gallons. I did not detect any off flavors from the higher start temps but did a D rest anyway at the tail end of fermenting.

Another week or so for the first lagered sample.

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Old 03-23-2010, 04:22 AM   #6
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i've heard jamil sometimes does exactly as bbone suggested. as long as you're well sanitized, i think it would work great.

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