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Old 11-03-2006, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation time with lager yeast?

Hi buddies, I have been making lots of batches (one a week) and they are turning out EXCELLENTLY!!!!!!

anyway, I noticed I can now have a controlled environment where the temperature is constantly between 50-55 degrees because of the weather...

so, I was thinking of using some white labs american lager yeast to make an american style lager...

If I pitch it at 70, wait till it starts bubbling (as the instructions say to do) then put it in the 50-55f place, how long will it take to ferment?

and I cannot put it in a secondary at a lower temperature as I do not have a chest freezer, so would I need to keep it in the secondary longer than usual at 50-55f?

Thanks!


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Old 11-03-2006, 04:57 PM   #2
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Hmmm. Well, your question about pitching temp is one of those controversial topics. I think that true lager brewers would suggest pitching at fermentation temps. The manufacturers indicate that you should pitch warm because the fermentation will start faster, making their product seem more vigorous.

I split the difference and pitch slightly warm - say, at 60-65 degrees before cooling to fermentation temps as soon as possible.

As for your lagering temperature, I am not sure how to respond. After all, the word lagering refers to the practice of storing ("lockering") the beer at near freezing temperatures for an extended time. So, if you don't do this, are you truly lagering?

I ask the question more out of ignorance than anything. I suspect that your beer will be good, but I also suspect that lagering at very cold temperatures is one of the more vital steps in making lager beer.

I didn't even start making lagers until I could store cold.


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Old 11-03-2006, 07:53 PM   #3
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My lager kit only suggested a 40dF lagering for 4 weeks so I suspect you would be able to acheive that by putting your secondary in a water bath in your 55dF location and dropping an ice jug in every few days.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:02 PM   #4
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When you say lagering are you referring to the time in the secondary?

How long shall I let it be in the primary?

and how will not truly lagering it at lager temps for lager amounts of time affect the flavor?

will it have some weird tastes? :-X
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:40 PM   #5
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Lagering means to store the beer away for a substantial amount of time, usually a month. You will want to ferment in primary at recommended temperatures for your yeast strain (probably around 55 degrees), until the gravity reaches somewhere between 1.020 and 1.015 . . . ish. Then, let the beer finish at room temperature - this is called a diacetyl rest. Once the fermentation is completely finished - no bubbles, etc., you can rack to secondary and slowly reduce temperature until you are just above freezing. Then, you leave the beer alone for 4 or so weeks before bottling/kegging. This last stage is the lagering stage.

I hope this helps.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:56 PM   #6
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As long as you pitch your yeast (that is at lager fermenting temps) into wort that is at lager fermenting temps, you'll get a true lager taste void of the esters that accompany an ale fermentation, everything else being equal. ie; sanatation etc.

True lagering requires the lowering of secondary temps to finish the lager process of cleaning up the yeast fermentation byproducts. If you only lower a slight amount then the lagering will be a short one compared to longer lagering at colder (34f) temps. They say you'll get a cleaner tasting brew from a long cold secondary.
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
As long as you pitch your yeast (that is at lager fermenting temps) into wort that is at lager fermenting temps, you'll get a true lager taste void of the esters that accompany an ale fermentation
This includes diacetyl, if you pitch at your normal fermentation temperature a diacetyl rest is not needed, because your yeast will not create a detectable amount to begin with.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:40 PM   #8
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something no one touched on you need to make a very big starter with your lager yeast to also help decrease lag time before fermentation starts.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davy View Post
something no one touched on you need to make a very big starter with your lager yeast to also help decrease lag time before fermentation starts.
Good point.

I don't think anyone touched on the fact that you need more oxygen in your lager than you need in a typical ale, too.


More yeast AND more oxygen.
(12ppm vs 8ppm of O2, so 50% more, actually.)

Adam


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