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Old 11-21-2006, 03:56 AM   #1
Drunk Monkey
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I am making my friends steam beer recipe, but where he used WL CA Ale at low fermentation temps, I wanted to stay true to the style and use WL CA Lager at a temp around 60F. How long should I plan on leaving it in the primary and secondary? I plan on lagering it in a keg after fermentation is complete.

 
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:40 AM   #2
dantodd
 
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Primary until fermentation is complete and secondary until it is clear. Then, into the keg.

 
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:50 AM   #3
Drunk Monkey
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Well that is the obvious answer, but I was looking for how long it takes for a lager yeast to ferment at a higher temperature (kind of like an ale yeast takes a week for primary). I don't take gravity readings.

 
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:53 AM   #4
dantodd
 
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Should ferment in 4 days to a week at 64 or so. Air lock activity should be a decent indicator. The speed of fermentation is really determined by temperature so expect a fermentation similar to ale. Of course, an hydrometer would be a good idea.

 
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:14 PM   #5
Drunk Monkey
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Thanks, that was the info i was looking for. I do have a hydrometer, but never really used it before.

 
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:18 PM   #6
homebrewer_99
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunk Monkey
Thanks, that was the info i was looking for. I do have a hydrometer, but never really used it before.
If you learned how to use it you wouldn't have asked that question.

There's nothing special about steam beer except for using a lager yeast at ale fermenting temps.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:41 PM   #7
dantodd
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunk Monkey
Thanks, that was the info i was looking for. I do have a hydrometer, but never really used it before.
Happy to help out.

The best way to use your hydrometer is to draw a little beer out of your fermenter and put it in a tall skinny tube/glass. Just float you hydrometer in the beer and see where it floats. You read the number at the water-line (beer-line in this case.)

I have a $4 tube from the LHBS used specifically for the purpose but you can use the tube the hydrometer came in if you have that. You can use a tall glass but you can't put the beer back into the fermenter once you test. (Too much risk of contamination)

You can use beersmith or any of the other software packages out there to adjust your reading for temperature but that will really won't matter here, we're just trying to see if you had fermentation.

Finally, drink your sample! That's really the best part.

Feel free to post your current hydrometer reading (specific gravity) along with your recipe and you'll get feedback on how the beer is doing.

You can also read more about using a hydrometer here: http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixA.html

 
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:10 PM   #8
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I'd give the primary at least a week, if not two. I did a steam beer way back in february, since that was the only time it was cold enough to do it at ambient temps. I let mine ferment a while, probably close to two weeks, and did a secondary with it. Even with all of that time it may have stalled a little on me because the last of the bottles I drank were really carbonated. I'll chalk that one up to not having control over the temperatures.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:33 PM   #9
Drunk Monkey
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Thanks for all the info. I think the main reason i never take gravity readings is because I am worried about contamination. I have also read a lot of advice to not worry about it. When i start making my own recipes, hopefully sometime in the next couple months, i will start using it.

 
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:50 PM   #10
McCall St. Brewer
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What's a hydrometer? There was a thread the other day about dirty brewing secrets. I forgot to put in my response that I never use one. In fact, I don't even have one. Maybe I should put that on my Xmas list.

 
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