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Old 03-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default Lagering an Ale

Hello all,

I wanted to make a "fake" lager i guess you would say, and I want to know if this will work.

I got the Wyeast Whitbread ale yeast, and The Brew House pilsner all grain kit. As it is an ale yeast, I wanted to ferment at ale temperatures. When it is done fermenting, I wanted to put it in my fridge (4°C, 39°F) for around two weeks. Would that work? Also, I would be priming it and bottling it after the "lagering" phase, and I wanted to know if that would work too? Will there be enough yeast after the "lagering" phase to carbonate my bottles? If not, could I add a small amount of yeast?


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Old 03-11-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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by doing this, you will simply be cold crashing the beer, helping to settle suspended yeast and other trub. It probably won't change the flavor profile a whole lot, as fermentation will already be complete. To be honest, if you lager it before the yeast has cleaned up all the fermentation byproducts, it might hurt flavor.

If you want an ale that is more similar to a lager, try using some kolsch yeast. I'm planning a cream ale using it.

From white labs site:
"WLP029 German Ale/ Kölsch Yeast
From a small brewpub in Cologne, Germany, this yeast works great in Kölsch and Alt style beers. Good for light beers like blond and honey. Accentuates hop flavors, similar to WLP001. The slight sulfur produced during fermentation will disappear with age and leave a super clean, lager like ale. "

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Conditioning: Muddy Paw Nut Brown Ale, Jump The Fence Independence Cream Ale
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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I'm pretty new at this but I wouldn't add yeast at bottling only corn sugar..etc. The yeast I would think is only going to make bottle bombs. I would use lager yeast and ferment it at ale temps. Then you could bottle it and store it at cold temps but will take a lot longer to carb up. Just my theory though.

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Old 03-11-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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I wouldn't use that yeast if you want to make a faux-lager. I would recommend something clean like fermentis US-05.

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Old 03-11-2011, 09:33 PM   #5
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I've been a little curious about this myself. I think as an experiment I'm going to let an ale sit in the primary for 3-4 weeks, take readings to make sure it's stable, then lager it for 2-4 weeks, add a little yeast back in at bottling time, and see how it turns out.

I have a feeling it will mainly affect clarity but it could have a slight improvement on taste.

It will only help if you add yeast at bottling time other than adding a little extra sediment it's worth it rather than risking flat beer if all of the yeast are dead when you add your priming sugar.

You can add as much yeast as you'd like at bottling time without bottle bombs as long as the fermentation completed (and you don't add too much priming sugar), if it didn't get a chance to complete then you could have a problem.

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Old 03-11-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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1. True lagers are done at lager temperature because they are using lager yeasts and lager yeasts preform best at those low temperatures. True lagers are desired for a very "crisp clean" flavor with very little yeast flavor.
2. For those people who can't lager but want a "fake lager" it's often reccomended that they pick a "clean" or "neutral" ale yeast and ferment it at the lower end of the temperature range, this produces minimal yeast flavors and is often close to though not exactly a lager.
3. The bulk of yeast flavor is contributed during fermentation if you ferment an ale at standard temperatures you'll get the standard ale yeast flavors associated with that yeast. Putting the beer in the fridge afterwards will minimally affect flavor but should encourage extra yeast to fall out of suspenion, improving clarity.

Turning to you own situation. A true pilsner is a lager and produced with a lager yeast to get a clean flavor assuming you can't lager it sounds like the yeast you have is a good choice according to wyeast website at low temperatures it "will produce a clean finish with very little ester profile" so to best mimic the pilsner your best bet is to ferment this beer at around 60F ambient to get a clean finish. Putting the beer in the fridge afterwards won't do much for flavor but it will allow a lot of yeast to drop out of suspension making your beer clearer, this is known as "cold crashing". Don't worry about adding more yeast at bottling time their should still be enough to carb your beer although it might take a little bit longer than normal.

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