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Old 02-21-2009, 02:57 AM   #1
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Default Steam beer fermenting/conditioning questions

I've got a steam beer in the fermenter right now, about 4 days in...fermenting at 61 degrees F. Fermented pretty vigorously for 3 days and now slowing down (I pitched White Labs SF Lager yeast from a 2 L starter).

This is my first shot at the style, but before getting started I read a fair amount from different sources on fermentation/conditioning. Couple of questions I'm hoping people with experience brewing this style can help me with. I've read and gleaned from listening to Jamil Z's podcast on the style that slowly ramping up temps to 65+ late in the fermentation process is beneficial. Any folks with personal experience there?

I've also read that cool conditioning for a few weeks at 50F is recommended by some. Does this imply conditioning in a secondary or bottling and conditioning at this temp?

Thanks for any insight.

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Old 02-22-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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Hey. I dont know that you need to ramp up the temp. Just a cool low 60's for 2-3 weeks then bottle. At that point fermentation is complete and you bottle condition at normal temps for optimal carbonation. I dont know what cool conditioning will do for the beer. May clear it up a bit. Try and keep it simple. I just started drinking my California Common as it has been bottled for 3 weeks now and it came out really good.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
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I think Jamil recommends the higher temp at the end to clean up any diacetyl produced. I've had some diacetyl with that yeast, but a longer primary at the original temperature will work to clean it up, too.

(I'm drinking my steam beer now- it's really good!)

I like to ferment it completely out in the primary, then let it sit a week or so to "clean up", then put it in secondary for a couple of weeks at 48-50. It's a nice way to quasi-lager it, and it'll clear up and get some nice lager characteristics.
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