Coldbreak Brewing Giveaway - Open to All!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > First Lager Questions...
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
bamnq6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ridgecrest, ca
Posts: 10
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default First Lager Questions...

Long-time lurker, first-time poster hereÖ

Iíve been brewing for about 3.5 years, all grain for about 2. I figure Iíd take another step and try a Lager. Iíve got a 7 ft^3 freezer with a temp controller sitting at 50 degrees for fermentation. But Iíve got a realm of questions about a starter and pitching... I've done some searching and reading, but there are some conflicting answers around these parts...

The Brew-
10 lbs German Pilsner
8oz German Munich
4oz Carafoam
1oz liberty bittering
1oz liberty aroma

Should end up around OG ~ 1.050

1) Starter set-up:
Iíll be using White Labs Ė German Bock yeast. From what Iíve read, Iíll need about a 3 liter starter with 11-12 oz of DME (probably 2.75 cups, I donít have a scale), some Fermaint K, and some Servomyces. I'll place this puppy on a home-made stir plate (I hope it has the power to stir 3L)
-How long should I let the starter sit?
-What temperature? Room temp (67) or fermentation temp (50)??

2) The Pitch!
I'll want to 'cold-crash' and pour off as much liquid as possible.
-About what temp do I want for the starter and the wort at the moment of pitch?? Same a fermentation temp? Room Temp?
-You guys have any precautions / reccomendations other than 'use appropriate fire' (flame the mouth of carboy, flame the mouth of flask, pour next to a flame to create updrafts)

Thanks for your knowledge and wisdom...


bamnq6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
bobbrewedit
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: , California
Posts: 296
Liked 32 Times on 24 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Typical starter time is 24 hours or so, with a lot of flexibility and I would not be concerned about running it at 50 degrees, 65 will be fine.

There are two trains of thought that I know of concerning pitching temps. One, pitch at fermenting temps. Two, and the one I use, is to pitch at 65 deg. or so and hold until the first signs of fermentation, then slowly drop to your ferm temp.

More will chime in I'm sure, with varying info. Good luck!


bobbrewedit is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
StoneHands
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 435
Liked 31 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

For my lagers (and that's just about all I brew, and I use 833 almost all the time now), the starters take a couple of days to ferment out, a bit longer than ales usually. I do mine at room temp, on the stirplate for a day or two (usually two) and then crash cool it in the fridge. It takes longer for lager yeast to fall out than ale yeasts - they don't mind the cold as much. I would suggest you get your wort down to below fermentation temps (45 degrees or so), pull your starter out of the fridge, decant, and pitch. Your starter won't be more than 10 degrees or so below the wort at this point, the slightly warmer wort (even at 45) will help get them going.

My technique:
I always brew on Saturdays. The weekend before, I start my starter on the stirplate - Saturday or Sunday. On Tuesday, I'll turn the plate off at some point in the day and make sure I don't have any offgassing. Then stick it in the fridge until Saturday. On Saturday evening/Sunday morning once the wort is cool, I'll aerate the wort, decant the starter, swirl up the yeast and pitch. If I do a stepped starter, I'll do it 2 weeks in advance. This is probably longer durations than most people use, but the weekends work best for me.

Edit: I've never messed with the flame techniques. I make sure flask and carboy are sanitized of course, but the flame treatment always seemed overkill to me (and a pain).
StoneHands is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
osagedr
Recovering from Sobriety
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
osagedr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 2,507
Liked 102 Times on 86 Posts
Likes Given: 27

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamnq6 View Post
1) Starter set-up:
Iíll be using White Labs Ė German Bock yeast. From what Iíve read, Iíll need about a 3 liter starter with 11-12 oz of DME (probably 2.75 cups, I donít have a scale), some Fermaint K, and some Servomyces. I'll place this puppy on a home-made stir plate (I hope it has the power to stir 3L)
-How long should I let the starter sit?
-What temperature? Room temp (67) or fermentation temp (50)??

2) The Pitch!
I'll want to 'cold-crash' and pour off as much liquid as possible.
-About what temp do I want for the starter and the wort at the moment of pitch?? Same a fermentation temp? Room Temp?
-You guys have any precautions / reccomendations other than 'use appropriate fire' (flame the mouth of carboy, flame the mouth of flask, pour next to a flame to create updrafts)

Thanks for your knowledge and wisdom...
(1) double-check your starter numbers. Three litres seems a bit on the small side just off the top of my head. You can step your starter up if you are worried about stirring power (chill and decant multiple times). Propagate your yeast at room temperature. You want to pitch about 1.5 million cells per millilitre per degree Plato. Consider using dry yeast (two packages rehydrated) to ensure you get enough cells.

(2) The starter itself can be anywhere from just above freezing to your wort temp +10 degrees when you pitch it. I normally try to have it anywhere between 33 degrees and wort temp. Pitching cold yeast into warm wort is fine, but you don't want to do the opposite.

(3) You didn't ask for recipe advice but I'd probably be putting a pound of Carapils in that, maybe a few other light to medium crystal malts for complexity.

Good luck!
__________________
2012 Canadian Brewer of the Year
2013 Canadian Brewer of the Year

@evilgoatbrewing
osagedr is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
StoneHands
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 435
Liked 31 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by osagedr View Post

(3) You didn't ask for recipe advice but I'd probably be putting a pound of Carapils in that, maybe a few other light to medium crystal malts for complexity.
NOOOOO!
I'm poking fun at you osagedr, but depending on what he's trying to make, I'd leave it alone.
I did a helles at the first of January that is almost identical to his recipe, but I left out the carafoam. 10 lbs pils, 8 oz Munich and that's it. Perfect helles.
StoneHands is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
solbes
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ramsey & Akeley, Mn
Posts: 2,800
Liked 205 Times on 186 Posts
Likes Given: 97

Default

I've done 4 lagers, so not the experience of others. A 3L starter on a stir plate will be enough yeast I think. I would take your starter out of the fridge as you start to chill your wort down. Bring your wort down to fermentation temps (or slightly below) before pitching. Then let it rise to 49 or 50 for fermentation. I typically see activity within 8-12 hours.

Oh, and 2.75 cups seems a bit strong for a 3L starter. 1.9-2 cups would put you in the 1.040 range. But probably not a big deal either way.

Then watch it for a slow down of activity to get your Diacetyl rest in before completion. I usually start mine 4-7 days in. 48 hours at 60F and then drop to lager temps.
__________________
Primary #1: Umlaut my KŲlsch VI #2: Sunrise Wit
Secondary #1
: Empty #2: Black Currant Wine #3: Empty
Kegged
: Witbier
Bottles
: Spruced Winter Warmer, Big 50 Barleywine, Framboise Lambic, Russian Imperial Stout, Barolo Wine, Berry Rhubarb Wine
On Deck: Dusseldorf Alt III, BGSA
solbes is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
osagedr
Recovering from Sobriety
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
osagedr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 2,507
Liked 102 Times on 86 Posts
Likes Given: 27

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneHands View Post
NOOOOO!
I'm poking fun at you osagedr, but depending on what he's trying to make, I'd leave it alone.
I did a helles at the first of January that is almost identical to his recipe, but I left out the carafoam. 10 lbs pils, 8 oz Munich and that's it. Perfect helles.
I put carapils in pretty much everything. Just going for some body & head retention. Also have been increasing the complexity of my grain bills--my last Vienna lager had 11 malts in it.
__________________
2012 Canadian Brewer of the Year
2013 Canadian Brewer of the Year

@evilgoatbrewing
osagedr is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
bamnq6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ridgecrest, ca
Posts: 10
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I'm brewing a Helles Style (well, trying at least)

Here's my understanding and goals... (I'm trying to think of an ideal timeline here, that's the B + / - dates)

1) Starter (B-2 days) : 3 L and 2 cups DME, Fermant K, Servomyces
- at room temp on stirplate

2) Brew (B= 0 days)
- cool wart to 55-60 degrees

3) Crash cool yeast starter to ~45, decant, and pitch after shaking the car-boy

4) Watch for fermentation to start (Kraeusen forms?), then drop to 50 degrees (B+ ~2 days )

5) Diacetyl Rest (B+ ~10 days)
- When fermentation starts to slow, allow beer to warm to 60 for about 48 hrs.

6) Rack over and lager (B+~12 days)
- lower temp to ~35 degree
- drink a different 'brew for 6 weeks
__________________
Primary: Munich Helles (Diacetyl Rest)
Secondary: Air
Kegged: Honey Porter
Bottles: Nada (somebody drank 'em all)
On Deck: Malty Brown, Apfelwien, Pale Ale
bamnq6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 05:28 AM   #9
osagedr
Recovering from Sobriety
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
osagedr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 2,507
Liked 102 Times on 86 Posts
Likes Given: 27

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamnq6 View Post
I'm brewing a Helles Style (well, trying at least)

Here's my understanding and goals... (I'm trying to think of an ideal timeline here, that's the B + / - dates)

1) Starter (B-2 days) : 3 L and 2 cups DME, Fermant K, Servomyces
- at room temp on stirplate

2) Brew (B= 0 days)
- cool wart to 55-60 degrees

3) Crash cool yeast starter to ~45, decant, and pitch after shaking the car-boy

4) Watch for fermentation to start (Kraeusen forms?), then drop to 50 degrees (B+ ~2 days )

5) Diacetyl Rest (B+ ~10 days)
- When fermentation starts to slow, allow beer to warm to 60 for about 48 hrs.

6) Rack over and lager (B+~12 days)
- lower temp to ~35 degree
- drink a different 'brew for 6 weeks
Couple of observations for what they're worth; (a) no point waiting until two days before brew day to make your starter; give them a bit more time to drop out of suspension; (b) I'm not sure why you would wait for signs of fermentation before chilling to the proper temperature. Pitch enough yeast and they'll ferment your beer. Pitch a couple degrees UNDER ferm temps if anything, then let the beer temperature rise. (3) I'd recommend using a hydrometer to decide when it's time for a d-rest (in your case probably about 1.018-1.020); (4) don't rack your beer until you are sure FG is hit; 48 hours might do it but unless you're in a rush give it a bit more time.

Good luck!
__________________
2012 Canadian Brewer of the Year
2013 Canadian Brewer of the Year

@evilgoatbrewing
osagedr is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 07:49 AM   #10
dinnerstick
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: utrecht, netherlands
Posts: 2,009
Liked 258 Times on 191 Posts
Likes Given: 23

Default

3L also sounds small to me! check those numbers. flaming the necks of flasks is a good idea early in propagation stages, when a few mold spores or wild yeasts can really get going in the wort. but after you have your starter made, and have brewed your wort, unless you are going to flame everything, the carboy neck when you transfer the wort, the boil kettle lid every time you open it after chilling, what's the point of being super sterile when pitching the yeast? if you're using normal clean practices at all other steps then using sterile technique at only one step only is like sandbagging half of a doorway in a flood.
i also agree to get your starter going early, and get it in the fridge to crash. lager yeasts can take a lot longer than ale yeasts to flocculate out.


dinnerstick is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First Lager Questions... wyowolf All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 11-26-2012 01:15 PM
Lager questions malc Fermentation & Yeast 4 02-15-2010 06:07 PM
Lager questions impulsoren General Techniques 3 08-02-2008 01:37 AM
My First Lager--questions King of the Swill General Techniques 3 12-24-2007 03:09 PM
Lager questions????? GIusedtoBe General Techniques 7 12-22-2007 08:17 PM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS