i'im going to be brewing up a german pilsner on sunday for my friends birthday in august.
this is supposed to be a clean beer which will be easy to notice flaws in it, so i want to get fermentation done as perfect as possible. so i have a few questions:
i'm going to make a proper starter for a lager, i'm going to have to do two steps, the first will be about 24 hours, i'm going to put it in the fridge to settle then make another starter with that. should i pitch the entire starter, it will be 1.86 liters, or should i put that in the fridge to settle also and dump the beer?
i plan to pitch as cold as possible just using my wort chiller.
i'm going to be fermenting in a chest freezer with temp controller. if i'm going to have such a big starter, should i just put my wort into the freezer set at 50 degree's F? or let it start at 68 degree's then move it to 50 degrees?
about how long after the start of fermentation should i wait to take my first gravity reading? should i let it sit on the yeast for a little bit longer after i hit my final gravity, for the yeast to clean up like i do with Ales?
when fermentation is complete, can i just rack it to a keg, and lager in that?
thanks for your help
It may be a little late in the game to make a 4L starter for use on Sunday if you plan on decanting off the beer, typically I'd start something like that the week prior to give it time to ferment out completely before cold crashing. You're probably going to want to pitch the whole starter as your yeast will be taking off, growing, and ready to make beer.
I'd pitch at 45 degrees F, then let it naturally raise up to 50 degrees. Then forget about it for 4 weeks. Give those yeast time to clean everything up...more time than you'd give an ale for sure. Cold crash and rack to your keg to lager.
If you haven't yet, listen to the Jamil Show episode on the style.
Edit: Oh yeah, and +1 on everything he said. ^^
I wouldn't personally pitch the whole starter. There is too great a possibility that a lager starter run at room temps would leave off-flavors in the beer portion of the starter. As for everything else it is excellent advice.
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