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Old 07-21-2009, 12:29 AM   #1
Jsta Porter
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Default Lager Timing- Chilling then Racking

Hello,

Thanks for the help!

I am in the process of working my first lager- an Oktoberfest. Primary fermentation has completed. I skipped the diactyl rest, since I did not know at the time that you should do it when the beer is 75-80 percent fermented. No buttery taste, so I am not concerned.

Question is:

Is there any issue dropping to lagering temperatures, and then racking into secondary vessels- I will use kegs?

I did a search and all the guidance said to rack, then lager. I want to start dropping the temperature first because I do not have enough kegs on hand right now to rack first. the only issue I could think of was if you wanted to have more yeast in suspension, during lagering, if they played a role in the lagering process. I figured dropping temps first would eliminate alot of the yeast from the picture.

Many thanks!!


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Old 07-21-2009, 12:34 AM   #2
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If fermentation is complete, which it sounds like it is, then yeast play little or no part in lagering. You can drop the beer to lagering temperatures first then rack into a keg. In fact, I think it's better that way so you get as much yeast as possible to drop out of suspension before it hits the keg.

-Steve


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Old 07-21-2009, 12:46 AM   #3
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Great, thanks Steve, I do appreciate it
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:51 AM   #4
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You may want to double check for diacetyl, though, before you drop the temperatures. Sometimes, diacetyl presents as a simple "slickness" on the tongue or even an oily feeling. If it's not given a diacetyl rest even when it's low like that, you can have a butterscotch bomb later on.

I don't always do a diacetyl rest, so it's quite possible that it's not needed. But if you pitched warm and then lowered the temps, or used less than optimum amounts of yeast when you pitched, you may want to rethink the diacetyl rest.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:50 AM   #5
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I prefer to slowly cool lagers to lagering temps. I prefer to keep the [healthy] yeast in suspension as long as possible during the lagering period. This can help further clean up and smooth out the beer. Briggs (Brewing Science and Practice) also states for lagering, a sudden drop in temp. can cause yeast to excrete protease enzymes, resulting in poor(er) foam stability.

Many lager homebrewers cold crash lagers without any noticeable ill-effect. I haven't done it that way, so I can't say anything against it from my own experience. But there seems to be good reason why Noonan, Briggs, et al. state to slowly lower the temp.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=YooperBrew;1443258]You may want to double check for diacetyl, though, before you drop the temperatures. Sometimes, diacetyl presents as a simple "slickness" on the tongue or even an oily feeling. If it's not given a diacetyl rest even when it's low like that, you can have a butterscotch bomb later on.QUOTE]

From what I have read on posts, you have to conduct the diacetyl rest when fermentation is 75-80% complete. Is this not the case? Can I still rest given that fermentation is complete?

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsta Porter View Post
From what I have read on posts, you have to conduct the diacetyl rest when fermentation is 75-80% complete. Is this not the case? Can I still rest given that fermentation is complete?
You are correct. Even if you had diacetyl, if you missed the opportunity for a diacetyl rest, it will get cleaned up somewhat during lagering... not as good as a diacetyl rest, but you wouldn't necessarily be doomed with diacetyl, especially if the lagering period was extended to compensate.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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Great, I am planning for a three month lager, so we will see where I sit at that point.

Appreciate it!


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