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Old 08-03-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
andre the giant
 
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OK. I know this has been covered before, but I couldn't find it in the search function and would like a little bit of info.

I'm brewing my first real attempt at a lager beer using my temp controlled chest freezer. Here's how its going

I brewed the doppelbock and pitched my massive starter at around 70 degrees. I waited for activity to happen (6 hours tops) and moved the carboy to the freezer where I lowered the temp to around 45 degrees. It has remained there for the last week and a half. Its still bubbling occasionally, but in a few days (if the SG is close to 1.015) I plan on racking to the secondary and leaving it in the freezer for another three weeks or so. Then I plan on slowly raising the temperature to 65-70 degrees for a couple days to do a dicetyl rest<sp> After that I'll prime and bottle. Once in bottles, I'll slowly lower the beer back down to 38-42 degrees for conditioning and leave them there for 4-5 weeks.

Does this sound correct? Do I have the temps and approximate times right?

thanks
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:49 PM   #2
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Its best to pitch at fermentation temps rather then pitch higher and bring it down. That puts some stress on the yeast.

I would put it into secondary and lager it before bottling. If you bottle it before lagering you have to prime it, bottle it, keep it in a warm place until it is carbonated and then lager it. If you bottle it and then keep it at 38 degrees it might carbonate and it might not.
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:49 PM   #3
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I am no expert on lagers as I have never done one but I have heard that you can raise the temp for a diacytl rest no problem. Just set it at like 65 for a few days, no need to slowly raise the temp. BUT... lowering the temp you can only do like 1-2 degrees a day.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:16 AM   #4
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I'm by no means a lager authority, either, but according to my research (and what I did) was start my diacetyl rest when the SG was ~1018 which means the diacetyl rest occurs with some fermentation activity left. It's the yeast the scrub out the diacetyl, so you want so life left in them when you do the rest.

 
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andre the giant

Does this sound correct? Do I have the temps and approximate times right?

thanks
Pretty close, but you have some of the steps in the wrong order. After the diacetyl rest, you want to lower the beer to lagering temps (as close to freezing as you can) and leave it there for a few months.

Then you can bring it back to room temps to bottle and allow time for carbonation.

If you were to do it the sequence you propose, you're trying to lager and bottle condition at the same time. Won't work.

You did the right thing by starting fermentation at rooms temps. Many homebrewers experience long lag times by trying to get fermentation going at normal fermentation temps.

 
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:59 AM   #6
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I had the problem with a long lag time (discussed in a thread in the beginner's forum). My first lager sat for 2+ days without doing a thing so I moved it out of the fridge on advice from HB_99. It took about 12 hours more to start up outside of the fridge at room temp of ~74 deg. Also, make sure if you're doing a lager that its not 100 degrees outside and your fridge can only barely keep your "lager" at 60 deg F. Mine had some trouble this week with 95-100 degree days. I'm not too worried about it because there's nothing I can do about it, but thankfully my favorite brews are ales and not lagers...
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
You did the right thing by starting fermentation at rooms temps. Many homebrewers experience long lag times by trying to get fermentation going at normal fermentation temps.
Am I correct in saying that lager yeasts are basically just adjusting to their environment and multiplying at this point with the use of oxygen and once they start multiplying and consuming the oxygen the temp is lowerered for the real work?
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:14 AM   #8
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In a word, yes.

 
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. So here's my revised list of steps for the rest of this batch's fermentation...

1) pitch yeast at room temps, wait for signs of fermentation, move to beer fridge/freezer. (I like it this way because I got MASSIVE fermentation in about 6 hours)
2) Primary fermentation for about 2 weeks at 45-52 degrees.
3) Check SG, if gravity is below 1.018, raise temp to room temperature to allow for diacetyl rest. Leave at room temp for around 48 hours.
4) Rack to secondary and move back into beer fridge. Lower temps gradually to around 38-42 degrees for lagering.
5) Leave beer in secondary for a couple months at lager temps
6) Bring beer to room temp, prime and bottle the beer.
7) Leave beer at room temps for a few weeks to allow for carbonation.
8) Chill, and drink the sh!t out of the beer.

Other questions... I'm going to brew a Helles on Monday and dump it on the washed yeast from the Doppelbock. It will need to primary ferment in the same fridge as the lagering Doppelbock. If I set the beer fridge to lagering temps, the Helles will have problems fermenting. I'm using Bavarian Lager yeast in both. (WY2206) The packaging says the yeast likes it between 46-58 degrees.

What to do, what to do...
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andre the giant
4) Rack to secondary and move back into beer fridge. Lower temps gradually to around 38-42 degrees for lagering.
In the beginning of secondary give it a week or two at normal fermentation temp while fermenting your Helles.
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