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Old 10-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
Gmull70
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Default Secondary With A Larger?

So on my last two batches of ale I decided to take the advice of countless members of HBT and not do a secondary fermentation, and even after all of my concerns things turned out well. well Im about to do my first larger hopefully a pilsner (if I can find a simple recipe ) Any way I was wondering if the same rule would apply, because of the longer fermentation period.

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Old 10-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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I assume you are talking about a Lager.

It is my understanding, (I have not done one yet because I do not have good temperature control) that because there is a long conditioning period at controlled temperatures a secondary is necessary.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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I would definitely use a secondary for a pilsner, after ensuring the beer has been on the yeast long enough to get rid of any diacetyl. Here's what I would do:

(1) pitch 1.5 million cells per ml of wort per degree Plato to ferment at between 45 and 50 degrees (depending on the yeast strain).

(2) hold the fermentation temperature until you are something like 8 points above expected FG: 1.020 is a good rule of thumb. You can't just say "I'm going to ferment it for ___ days." It will depend on how fermentation progresses.

(3) allow the temperature to rise to somewhere over 60 degrees. I usually just go to room temperature. This is your "diacetyl rest" that allows fermentation to finish off strong, and helps prevent the formation of diacetyl in your beer (slick, oily mouthfeel with a buttery flavour). A d-rest is not always necessary, in fact it is not often necessary. But I always do one; it costs you nothing and can save you a lot of trouble. I especially recommend them for new lager brewers, who are more likely to underpitch, which is one of the main causes of diacetyl.

(4) once you have reached FG, rack your beer into a secondary and take it down to lagering temperatures. I usually just crash it; some poeple take it down 3-5 degrees per day but if fermentation is complete it probably doesn't matter. Lager it as cold as you can for as long as you can stand. It can be lagered in a keg (pressurized or not) or carboy. Extended storage at cold temperatures will help your beer develop the crispness that partially characterizes lagers. Flaws also tend to smooth out over time.

Good luck!

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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A good lager is tough to make. I'm a proponent of no secondary but lagers are different, especially light lagers. This is what I do for my lagers. Some will say I'm over doing it but I must say I make very clean lagers.

After I put my wort into the carboy I put it in the fridge to cool it down to 3 or 4 degrees below what I want to ferment at. This could take until the next day for this to happen. There will be cold break/trub at the bottom of the carboy. I then rack the beer off that initial trub to another carboy and then pitch my yeast. Sanitization is key! After fermentation is complete I then rack the beer into secondary. I use a smaller carboy for secondary so there is little headspace. I leave it there for a week and then cold crash. I rack that into a keg and carbonate.

My lagers are very clean and clear. I only do this for light lagers. Any dark lagers or any ale only goes into a primary.

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