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Old 07-03-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
mjkopp
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Default Getting ready for my first Lager Help!

So I'm getting ready to brew my first lager this week and I was wanting some good do's and don'ts.

I was looking to make something like sam's boston lager. So if any one could help me with the do's and don'ts that would be great!!

A few questions..
What temp and how long should the fermentation be? 1st and 2nd?
(I can get it down to 60* in the bastment) Will that be to warm?
Should I transfer to a 2nd (betterbotle carboy)
How long in the bottle? When do you know it's time to cool down the beer?
And all the other answers to question you might think I would have...

Like I said ANY info would be great!! I will need a good recipe or should I buy a "kit" ???

Thanks Kopp hop.



P.S. I have 3/4 lb of Dingemans CARA 8 lovibond 7.9
3/4 lb of Muntons Chocolate Malt lovibond 340-450
1 lb of Muntons plain Amber DME
Alot of nugget hops from the back yard and some Irish Moss
I would like to use this up if poss?

Bottled = Excelsior Altbier Amber Ale
= A made up light Ale

Prime = Nut brown (newcastle)
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Frementing at 60 would be the threshold. Thats pretty much the lager/ale borderline.

The lagers i have done i fermented at 54 degress (as per the yeast directed) and cold storage "lagering" at 36 degrees for 2 months. the longer you let it sit in the cold storage part, the clearer it will be.

search for "diacetyl rest" in google or on the forums. thats another little thing that helps prevent off flavors.

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SO yeah those rhino farts in during fermentation are perfectly normal. And after lagering they will be perfectly gone.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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Okay, before I answer, I'll start by saying you should search for these questions. All of them have been answered before. 2nd, reading the FAQ pages will do wonders.

Now to answer them,
60* is about 10* to high for a lager beer. Primary fermentation should be around 50* and should last 2ish weeks until a d-rest. Transfer to secondary and slowly bring down to 33* for 4-6 weeks.
That said, you can still get good results using Nottingham at 60 or you can use a San francisco lager yeast which does well at 56-65. Using a true lager yeast at 60* can produce a lot of fruity esters which is not in style and will not taste good. Think green apple. Fermentation temps are paramount to making lagers and good beer in general.
I would get a kit or read through the recipe section.
Good luck

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Old 07-03-2011, 03:55 PM   #4
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forgot to answer a few other things. let it ferment then check it with the hydrometer so see when its done. transfer it to a secondary and let it sit at 36-40 degrees for as long as you want. it wont hurt.

there are tons of lager recipies you can google for. i made a clone of coors light if you wanna give that a try, it was very easy to brew and it tasted pretty good.

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SO yeah those rhino farts in during fermentation are perfectly normal. And after lagering they will be perfectly gone.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:01 PM   #5
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Also - don't forget that lager yeasts require much bigger starters, if you are using a liquid yeast (I've only done 2 lagers, both I under pitched on. The first took forever to ferment (way underpitched), the second one is lagering now and so far seems ok (underpitched, but not too badly)). I've never done a dry yeast lager, but I think the dry yeast recommendation is 2 packs (check mr. malty).

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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I have always used liquid yeast and never had to make a starter for my lagers. Never had a problem worj under pitching either.

One of the benefits of using liquid yeasts is you don't need to use a starter, aleast for Wyeast.

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SO yeah those rhino farts in during fermentation are perfectly normal. And after lagering they will be perfectly gone.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:38 PM   #7
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definately need a big starter for lagers. I made the mistake of underpitching my first lager and it took 5 days to take off at 50 degrees. lots of opportunity to get infected

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #8
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I use Wyeast for lagers and always make a starter .. even with the activator pack which says direct pitch. I normally make a 2 quart starter, let it sit at about 50F for 2 days then put in the fridge for 2 days. When I am ready to pitch, pull it out of fridge and decant the liquid and pitch into cooled wort. I have made 4 lagers, 2 dark, 2 amber. So far 2 have been great (1 is in primary and another is bottle conditioning). I leave them in primary for 28 days at 48 to 50 F and then a 48 hour dactyl rest, then rack to secondary and another 28 days at 48 to 50 F. Prime and bottle then set 14 days at room temp and then into the lager box for 28 days at 34 to 38 F. There are some good lager recipes and I have adopted them for my use. The 1st lager I did as a single infusion was good, but the second was a Vienna Lager and for that I did a double decoction, got better efficiency and the lager was great. That Vienna was so good that it went way to fast. So I would read up on doing decoction.
Good Luck

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:27 PM   #9
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I only use dry yeast to pitch because the safelager in the yellow packet is awesome stuff. I use 2 packets for any normal beer under about 80 and for the huge big ones I pitch 3. I also start my ferment when the wort has cooled to 52 and lower the temp to around 45 over 2 days. Two weeks later, I pull it out for 2 days for a rest and then lager for a week per 10 points of OG, not the change in gravity but if I have an 80 point beer, I lager for 8 weeks at a minimum of 10 degrees F below what you primaried at. I am going to lager my batch at 33.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I normally make a 2 quart starter, let it sit at about 50F for 2 days then put in the fridge for 2 days.
You can get away with fermenting a lager starter at room temp if you are decanting. It'll be ready in a day and a half (with 2308 -- it's fast!).
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