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Old 06-14-2010, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Postpone lagering phase after fermentation?

I brewed a Helles lager this past weekend using Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager. I'm using a temperature controller on a chest freezer to maintain 48 deg for fermentation, and I had airlock activity 24 hours after cold pitching a 2L starter. So I feel good on this front.

Once fermentation is complete, I'd love to take advantage of all that yeasty goodness for something else. So I'm considering racking the Helles to secondary after fermentation and then using the yeast cake to ferment an Oktoberfest. Problem is, I would then have two vessels requiring temperature control and only one fridge in which to do so.

I would therefore have to maintain fermentation temps (48 deg or so) for the Oktoberfest until it's done and then bring both brews down to cold lagering temperatures simultaneously. This means there would be about a 2-3 week delay between the end of primary fermentation and cold lagering for the Helles. Is there any good reason why this would be a bad idea? Since I've already put so much time and effort into building up healthy yeast for my Helles, I'd love to get as much mileage out of it as I can.

Thanks in advance. Prost!

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Old 06-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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If you're doing a diacetyl rest, you want to do it on the yeast cake near the end of fermentation. So, what I'd do is raise the temperature when you're 75% of the way to FG and let it finish. Then, you can rack the beer. You can keep it at 48 degrees after that, while the first one is fermenting. Then, when the first one is ready, you can lower the temperature and begin the lagering.

I don't really see any problem with doing it that way.

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Old 06-14-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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Cool, thanks for the advice! Yeah, I forgot to mention that I'll be doing a d-rest, so what you describe is pretty much exactly what I had in mind.

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Old 06-15-2010, 12:21 AM   #4
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I plan to do the exact same thing. So what I take it do d-rest on the yeast cake before re-using it. Perfect.

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Old 06-15-2010, 03:38 AM   #5
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Yep, that's the idea. When my Helles gets about 3/4 the way to FG, I'm going to do the d-rest at about 60 deg. Then wait til things quiet down, rack to secondary, and take it back down to 48 deg. The day I rack the Helles to secondary, I'll brew the Oktoberfest, which will go onto the flourishing yeast cake in the primary. Then I'll do the same thing with the Oktoberfest, and when IT'S done, I'll rack it and take both down to lager temps for a good 6 weeks before bottling. It'll make for a fantastic autumn, I think, if I can maintain my patience.

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Old 06-15-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Fudge. I may not get a chance to do this because I don't think I have enough room for a keg, and 2 carboys. I'll have to measure later.

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Old 10-06-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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Default Follow-up

Just a follow-up that this method turned out extremely well for me. Both lagers are currently carbing up, but the samples that came out of the carboys were really, really good. I'll definitely build this into my lagering schedule for the future.

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