How long do we need to keep lager in fridge? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
dmbshen41
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We just brewed our first lager (Midwest supplies "this buds for you"). We just transferred from primary to Carboy and it is now in the fridge, the directions say to keep in fridge for 3-12 weeks do we wait the full 12 weeks? Or is that over kill? And also after its complete in the secondary do we bottle like normal and let it condition in a warm dark place? Any advice would be great thanks!



 
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #2
duboman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbshen41
We just brewed our first lager (Midwest supplies "this buds for you"). We just transferred from primary to Carboy and it is now in the fridge, the directions say to keep in fridge for 3-12 weeks do we wait the full 12 weeks? Or is that over kill? And also after its complete in the secondary do we bottle like normal and let it condition in a warm dark place? Any advice would be great thanks!
The duration of time "lagering" depends on the gravity readings and how the beer develops, that's the reason for the range given so after a few weeks take a reading and go from there

Once everything is done then yes, proceed as normal.


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Old 01-27-2013, 11:59 PM   #3
dmbshen41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman

The duration of time "lagering" depends on the gravity readings and how the beer develops, that's the reason for the range given so after a few weeks take a reading and go from there

Once everything is done then yes, proceed as normal.
How do we know when it is done? When the gravity stops changing?

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:00 AM   #4
LeverTime
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I'm not an expert, but I usually lager mine for close to two months. I figure it doesn't hurt anything to leave it in there longer. I have a pretty massive pipeline though, so maybe you can't do this.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbshen41

How do we know when it is done? When the gravity stops changing?
Yes, gravity readings tell all
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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Take gravity readings and find out if it's done fermenting. You should have an expected Final Gravity, and you also need to make sure that the beer hasn't changed gravity in several days, otherwise bottle bombs can happen.

After that, you can bottle whenever you feel like it. The nice thing about lagers is that you can bulk age them (lagering) for a ling time with no detrimental effects. The worst part will be wanting to drink them too early!

I've read that many people ferment for like 4 weeks, then lager for an additional 4 weeks before bottling/kegging.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Take gravity readings and find out if it's done fermenting. You should have an expected Final Gravity, and you also need to make sure that the beer hasn't changed gravity in several days, otherwise bottle bombs can happen.

After that, you can bottle whenever you feel like it. The nice thing about lagers is that you can bulk age them (lagering) for a ling time with no detrimental effects. The worst part will be wanting to drink them too early!

I've read that many people ferment for like 4 weeks, then lager for an additional 4 weeks before bottling/kegging.
I do this exact thing. Ferment for 4 weeks at 48-56, 24-48 hour diacetyl rest at room temp, lager for another month at 34-38, keg and let that sit for 3 weeks. It's a lot of waiting!!

Depending on the gravity of the beer, the fermentation can take more/less time. When I make my doppelbock that baby takes a while vs. the light pomegranate lager I make for my girlfriend...

Because the fermentation is so slow towards the end, I take gravity readings a few days apart. I also have a FG hydrometer that lets me read at half points so I know when its slowed down considerably. I lager at that point. Patience is key or you'll lose a ton of beer in hydrometer readings.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:23 PM   #8
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as a point of reference, i have read that budweiser is fermented for one week and lagered for two weeks. although i haven't validated that statement (googling just brings me back here...hmmmm) I certainly don't see why it might not be true.

generally lagering is shorter at higher temps (upper 40s) and longer at lower temps (down to 30F). braukaiser and some on this forum like yooper are lager vets and are great sources of info.

taste it as it goes along and decide where you like it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Here's a rule I typically follow: lager the number of days of your original gravity. So if your lager had an OG of 1.050, you would lager for 50 days. This may be overkill, and I get impatient and bottle earlier, but it gives a general guideline. I think I've seen another rule that says that for every 10 points of your OG lager for one week. Either way. Also, I usually don't start lagering until my beers have reached a stable FG. So ferment until 80-90% to FG and then diacetyl rest until stable FG is achieved. Then transfer to secondary for lagering.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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Regardless of the logic/technique you use, my suggestion is "go long". Time makes a big difference in the quality of a lager.



 
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