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Old 06-27-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Primary/sec/Conditioning/lagering

I have a horrible combined question. I am in Germany and have been advised to do the following (for a German Black Beer);

Primary 10 days (or until 1% fermentable sugar left)
Keg 4 weeks
Bottle cold under pressure (to leave the sediment behind))

The two sources disagree whether to carbonate at fermenting temp or to go directly to the chiller (4C) to carbonate. We have set the first batch to ferment at room temp for 2 weeks then plan to chill for a week then bottle.

I am not sure if this method is similar to secondary (the keg is under pressure) and am a little worried about generating lager flavours or losing some of the dark character.

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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If you are relying on the yeast to produce the CO2 for carbonation, then use fermentation temperatures to keep the yeast happy. If you are going to force carbonate, then chilled is better as gases dissolve faster in colder liquids

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NShirtcliffe View Post
We have set the first batch to ferment at room temp for 2 weeks then plan to chill for a week then bottle.
So, you're only going to lager for a week? The first recommendation sounds like they are advising you to lager in the keg for 4 wks which would be better. If you don't want to force carbonate don't put the keg under pressure, just use it for lagering then bottle from there.

Also, "room temp" sounds too warm for a lager. What yeast are you using?
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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In answer to the other guy, the lagering guy claims that his yeast does the carbonation better at 2C (35F). I tried a fermentation at 10C and it has not stalled intirely, but is slow as all hell.

As mentioned in my other reply we are not fussed about self carbonation but do want the yeast to do its cleaning up thing.

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Old 06-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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My other reply got deleted, sorry.

The information is that we are doing a bit of an experiment. We have a set of recipes with Pilsner/Caramel/melanoidin malts for a dark beer (they are black) with small additions of hops to make a German Black style beer. We added a top fermenting yeast for ALt harvested from a brewery so we do not have the strain name (untypical for black beer but seems to work well). Our Room temp is 19.5C or about 67F, so well within the range of the yeast.

I caught the students dumping the beer into damp kegs cleaned a week previous without gas so I added about 10g sugar to use up the oxygen and get the yeast fighting fit. Hopefully they have not ruined any of them. They have started to pressure up, but are unlikely to reach a good carbonation level so I plan to add some after 2 weeks before dumping into cold storage.

The question on the lagering was mostly, does it damage a non-lager to lager it. The guy who suggested it lagers all of his beer whatever the sort and yeast carbonates at 2C, I was worried it might drop some flavour compounds from our black beer. Sorry for the confusion, I was not sure how to ask the question properly.

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Old 06-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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And thanks for the replies

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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I don't think you can damage any beer by lagering. Except the styles that are meant to be drunk very young and fresh (wheat beers, wits) It is not really neccessary for many ales though. By lagering, I assume you mean at 2 C. I would age every beer at at least serving temperatures for a week before beginning to serve it. Lager styles of course should get a proper cold storage treatment (alts and kölsch too).

You won't lose flavor compounds with a cold lagering, unless you are cold aging a beer meant to be drunk young.

Carbonation by the yeast at 2 C will be VERY slow. How long I'm not sure, I would get at a minimum at least one month, probably longer

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Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
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