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Old 11-21-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default Should I lager or not?

Howdy,

Just about to stick on an extract kit (Muntens Gold Continental Pilsner) and I thought it was a lager but the instructions say to place in a warm area for primary fermentation then afer bottling to place in a warm area again for 2 days before moving to a cool place for at least 21 days. Does this make sense? I thought that for a lager I'd have to put the whole lot in the fridge for primary and secondary? Also, when they say "cool place" do they mean fridge? Circa 4 degrees celcius?

Speedy response greatly appreciated - just finished bottling 2 stout batches (one choc one plain) and want to get the next two batches down this evening.

Thanks!!
Steve.

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Old 11-21-2009, 03:58 PM   #2
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It would depend on if you were using true lager yeast for the ferment.
Lager yeast = cold fermentation, ale yeast = warmer fermentation.

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Old 11-21-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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True lagers are fermented at about 10c until completion and then racked to secondary and lagered for weeks to months at 1 to 2c.
Bottling will make you ramp up the temperture as soon as you bottle to allow carbonation to take place in the bottle.

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Old 11-21-2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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I don't think that kit uses lager yeast. You can try to keep it on the cool side (low 60s maybe, depending on the yeast). But it won't ferment in your fridge.

Also, two days bottling in warm temp, then move to cool for three weeks? I don't think that will carbonate.

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Old 11-21-2009, 09:53 PM   #5
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Most kit beers actually don't really contain lager yeast. Since most kits are for beginners and most beginners haven't progressed in the hobby enough to have a dedicated fridge in order to lager. So they provide a clean neutal ale yeast.

If it was lager yeast it wouldn't say ferment warm. So don't lager it.

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Old 11-22-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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Hi guys,

Big thanks for the info here. I decided to put down two batches of ale instead (one with grated ginger and one plain) and keep the "lager" for later. I reckon I'll treat the lager as a regular ale kit except that once it has bottle conditioned for a few weeks I might stick it in a fridge. Actually, scrap that, probably no point sticking it in fridge at that stage as it will pause the beer developing any further?

By the by I had a fantastic weekend of brewing just there - the best part was this batch of IPA that I bottled on September 1st 2008 which has been pretty foul and undrinkable ever since. I misused a brewbelt and it was fermenting at 25 degrees celcius for a few days in primary. I had one last taste before I poured it down drain to free up some bottles and it is miraculously delicious!! Just had to share that.

Thanks again,
Steve.

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Old 11-22-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Most kit beers actually don't really contain lager yeast. Since most kits are for beginners and most beginners haven't progressed in the hobby enough to have a dedicated fridge in order to lager. So they provide a clean neutal ale yeast.

If it was lager yeast it wouldn't say ferment warm. So don't lager it.
Here's a chance to learn a little of the lager process or at least it's principals. I would ferment, secondary, and prime at the directed temps, then maybe see if you can think of a way to lager for 4 weeks say under 40°F. It'll get you thinking about the lagering process, and what you need to do yourself to try to lager in your system.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
Here's a chance to learn a little of the lager process or at least it's principals. I would ferment, secondary, and prime at the directed temps, then maybe see if you can think of a way to lager for 4 weeks say under 40°F. It'll get you thinking about the lagering process, and what you need to do yourself to try to lager in your system.
But the problem with that is that the temps for lager yeasts are much lower than that of ale yeast. In many cases the top end of the lager strain is still within the dormancy range of the Ale yeast. So basically trying to ferment/lager a beer with an ale yeast strain, at lager temps will will result in nothing but dormant yeasts doing nothing.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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But the problem with that is that the temps for lager yeasts are much lower than that of ale yeast. In many cases the top end of the lager strain is still within the dormancy range of the Ale yeast. So basically trying to ferment/lager a beer with an ale yeast strain, at lager temps will will result in nothing but dormant yeasts doing nothing.

I mean lager in the spirit of cold conditioning once the yeast has done their work at ale temps. Lager yeasts are dormant at lagering temps too. Are they not?
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:18 AM   #10
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They are not necessarily dormant. They just don't attenuate as quickly causing for the longer fermentation time. This is why lager beers call for a higher yeast pitching rate. When you lager, the recipe typically calls for more lager yeast so you get the attenuation that you are looking for. They also take longer since the yeast metabolize the sugars slower which is also why lager recipes call for more yeast.

There is also the possibility that I am 100% wrong too :P

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