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Old 01-04-2006, 02:05 AM   #1
Mike's Brew and Brat
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Default Lager Ferment Question

I ordered a Marzan clone and didn't realize it was a lager. My mistake.

What temperature do I need for the fermentation? Does it need as cold as 45F?

Can someone point me to a link with good instructions on Lagers vs. Ales?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 01-04-2006, 08:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Brew and Brat
I ordered a Marzan clone and didn't realize it was a lager. My mistake.

What temperature do I need for the fermentation? Does it need as cold as 45F?

Can someone point me to a link with good instructions on Lagers vs. Ales?

Thanks for any help.

Lowest temp 45 degrees and highest temp 55 degrees
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Old 01-04-2006, 01:32 PM   #3
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For most lagers fermentation takes place by a diffeant yeast then a Ale. The lager yeast works from the bottom up , thus needing the cold temp ie 45 degrees, where as a Ale works from the top down and likes a mild warm ie 70 degrees. Just basics

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Old 01-04-2006, 01:56 PM   #4
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Keep it at room temperature until fermentation starts (about a day) and then cool it down to 50F. This is what I do for my lagers. The first step is necessary to get the necessary yeast growth.

Kai

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Old 01-04-2006, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Brew and Brat
I ordered a Marzan clone and didn't realize it was a lager. My mistake.

What temperature do I need for the fermentation? Does it need as cold as 45F?

Can someone point me to a link with good instructions on Lagers vs. Ales?

Thanks for any help.
go to www.whitelabs.com or www.wyeastlab.com for the fermentation temp ranges for the strain of yeast being used. most all lagers are 50-58 degree range. a few may be around 48 on the lower end of the range. allow fermentation to start, then move it to the fermentation vessel, and slowly lower the temp down to the desired range. allow it to ferment for at least 14 days. after fermentation is complete (or at least 90% complete) allow the temp to raise to 68 or so, and let it have a diacetyl rest for a couple days. then, rack to secondary, and lower temp by 2-3 degrees a day until you reach as close to 30-32 degrees as possible. allow to lager for a minimum of 4 weeks at 30-32 degrees. then proceed w/ normal bottling or kegging.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help.

This looks like a real challenge for a newbie. I don’t wanna give up my fridge for four weeks.
I have a Dead Guy Rogue Ale Clone also to try. Think I will go with that one first.

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Old 01-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #7
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Default Couple of options...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike's Brew and Brat
I ordered a Marzan clone and didn't realize it was a lager. My mistake.

What temperature do I need for the fermentation? Does it need as cold as 45F?

Can someone point me to a link with good instructions on Lagers vs. Ales?

Thanks for any help.
You have a couple of options.
First you can brew it like a lager. Pitch the yeast and wait for good activity and then throw in a temp controlled area I usually set the low end a 50. For primary there is no real reason to slowly step down. After at least 2/3 of the OG is feremented then do a 1-2 day diacetly rest (68 degs) and then throw back at around 50 and drop a 2 deg/day until at 32-34 degs. 2 wks to many moths later (depends on how long YOU can wait) bottle.

Second is you can brew it at ale temps. I've done this before with no problems. You want to use eithe a Kolsch yeast or a lager yeast capable of "pseudo-ale" production (I've used wyeast bohemian lager before and works great). You will still want to lager (=cold storage) and you can either do this in the bottle (it works okay) or after the beer is fully fermented. With higher ferment temps you don't have to worry about a diacetyl rest.

With a lager if you are bottle conditioning and you put the carboy at <40 degs for longer than 2 weeks you'll want to add some yeast right before botteling to make sure you have carbonation.

Good luck, have fun and don't worry too much. It will be a good beer no matter how you brew it!

-Eric
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:09 PM   #8
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all good points by eric. you can use Wyeast 1007 German Ale yeast that ferments at around 55-68 degrees or White Labs WLP029 German ALe/Kolsch or White Labes Dusseldorf Alt yeast that ferment a little higher at 65-69 degrees. One other option is the White Labs European Ale yeast. it has "Malty, Northern European-origin ale yeast. Low ester production, giving a clean profile. Little to no sulfur production. Low attenuation helps to contribute to the malty character. Good for Alt, Kolsch, malty English ales, and fruit beers. ferments well 65-70 degrees.

also, if you don't want to add yeast at bottling, i have found that stirring 3-4 inches of sediment in the lagering vessel stirs up plenty of yeast for bottle carbonating if you only lager for 4 weeks. either way will work fine.

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Old 01-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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The kit I received has Wyeast Bohemian Lager # 2124. So I will use Eric's option 2. That is certainly a relief. Thanks for the help!

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