Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Seeking advice on first lager
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-02-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
stratslinger
Brewing Thespian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
stratslinger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Terryville, CT
Posts: 1,990
Liked 139 Times on 116 Posts
Likes Given: 89

Default Seeking advice on first lager

Hey all, I've been brewing with a friend at his place and using his equipment, for several months now. And I've decided it's about time to start doing some of my own brewing.

My in-laws gave me, among other things, a recipe kit for an Oktoberfest. While a lager wouldn't have been my first choice for the first thing to brew at my place, I'm fairly certain I can handle it - but I need a little advice before I get going.

My main concern, obviously enough, is temperature control for fermentation. I've been monitoring the temperature in the spot in my basement where I plan to set up my carboy, and over the past couple of days its temperature has varied between 55 and 57 degrees F - actually a bit more stable than I expected!

The kit I'm going to use came with a packet of Saflager s-23 dry yeast. According to the packet, the yeast will work at 51-75F, but 51-59F is ideal. So, it looks like my ambient basement temperature is on the high side of ideal, so I think I'm good for fermentation. Heck, I can always put a bottle of ice or two near the carboy to try to bring things down another degree or two, right? I don't think I'd need a full on water bath for the carboy, as the temp's already pretty stable and I really probably only want to drop the temp by another 3 or 4 degrees, if at all...

My real question is twofold: First off, what temp do I pitch the yeast at? Should I chill the wort as close as I can get to 55F, then rehydrate the yeast in similarly cool water and pitch it? Do I chill the wort and the yeast water to 60 or 70F, pitch, then let it continue to cool in the basement from there? Is there a significant difference either way?

Then there's diacetyl rest... I keep reading references to diacetyl rest, though everything I've found so far is somewhat vague. What I'm getting is that I want to wait for my fermentation to get about 3/4 done (I assume this means SG is 3/4 of the way from OG to the expected FG), then raise up the temperature to 60 or 65 F. I think I can do this by just moving the beer upstairs into a closet, but I'm not sure how long to leave it there. 1 day? 2? A week? Until it reaches FG?

And when do I transfer to a secondary carboy? Before diacetyl rest? Before lagering?

Lagering, believe it or not, I think I've got covered. Unless the fermentation and diacetyl rest goes way too quickly, I'll have a fridge available for lagering about a week or two before I actually need it, so I should be in good shape there.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

__________________
stratslinger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
JLem
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Attleboro, MA
Posts: 3,645
Liked 169 Times on 149 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Take this with a grain of salt as I have never done a true lager - closest has been an kolch/altbier. My understanding of the diacytl rest is to give it 4 or 5 days at the warmer temp for the yeast to clean up. Then you can rack to secondary for lagering. I think it would be ok to wait on the diacetyl rest until you hit your FG if time/space is a concern.

It is also my understanding that you should chill as close to fermentation temp and then pitch - even leave the wort in the basement overnight before pitching.

Good luck.

JLem is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 62,909
Liked 4956 Times on 3588 Posts
Likes Given: 1002

Default

Pitch at fermentation temperature, or even a bit below if you can. If you can chill the wort to 48 degrees, for example, you can pitch the yeast and allow it to come up to room temperature. I'd definitely recommend insulating the fermenter, even with a water bath if you could, to have more control over the fermentation temperature. That way, if the beer temperature rises to 58, for example, you can add a frozen water bottle to the water bath to bring it down a bit without big swings in temperature. I have a picture in my gallery (near the beginning, if you want to wade through all my photos!) of the Yooper Lagerator- an igloo cooler with a foam lid- that I use to maintain stable temperatures in my basement. A water bath is a great insulator, and can give you better temperature control than relying strictly on ambient temperatures.

I'd recommend pitching two packages of yeast, since a colder fermentation might give you a longer lag time and cause some stressed yeast.

A diacetyl rest is generally done near the very end of fermentation, for about 24-48 hours, to encourage the slowing but still active yeast to "clean up" any diacetyl that may have been created during fermentation.

After the diacetyl rest, and the beer is at FG, it can be racked and lagering started. I like to lager at 34 degrees one week for every 8-10 points of OG. So, for a 1.060 lager, I'd lager for 6-8 weeks at that 34 degrees.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Find me on facebook: Lorena Evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
stratslinger
Brewing Thespian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
stratslinger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Terryville, CT
Posts: 1,990
Liked 139 Times on 116 Posts
Likes Given: 89

Default

One other basic question occurs to me: will a lager ferment vigorously enough to need a blow off tube, or would a basic airlock suffice?

__________________
stratslinger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 62,909
Liked 4956 Times on 3588 Posts
Likes Given: 1002

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
One other basic question occurs to me: will a lager ferment vigorously enough to need a blow off tube, or would a basic airlock suffice?
It will probably go slow and steady- an airlock is fine.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Find me on facebook: Lorena Evans
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
https://www.facebook.com/lorena.t.evans
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
seeking advice on how to add DME FSBrewer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 19 12-13-2010 10:04 PM
Beginning Brewer here seeking tips and advice owens14 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 72 10-20-2010 02:53 AM
First Lager (need advice) Pommy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 03-11-2010 03:55 AM
Patience: Seeking Advice Batona Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 16 05-30-2007 10:44 PM
New guy seeking advice on equipment, extracts. Oahu Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 06-27-2005 06:53 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS