First of If you have not done this
, please don't just chime in about Ale esters and off flavors from pitching lagar yeast too warm.
On Friday night I was judging southwest regional NHC with the owner of Lightning brewery here in San Diego. Had a great time judging with him, tons of good information regarding lager off flavor profiles and techniques for achieving a good clean lager flavor profile.
For me I 'm not the most well versed lager drinker or brewer, but I've brewed a few dozen lagers over the years, and have mainly followed i guess what is described as the Narziss method,
1.cool wort to ~32-35ºF
2.transfer off cold break
3. warm back up to 45-50ºF and pitch (1.25e6 cells/1ºplato)
4. hold at 50-55º till ~75-80% attenuation is reached
5. rack into keg and lager at 35-40ºF for 3-8 weeks till terminal gravity is reached.
6. Carbonate and enjoy.
Now what he was proposing, actually for me sounds like a great and very feasible protocol for Lager fermentation.
1. Cool wort to 60-65ºf and pitch (1.25e6 cells/1ºplato/ml)
2. allow fermentation to go at around 60º until a gravity of ~1.030 is reached
3. Rack beer into a keg with a pressure relief valve set to ~20psi.
4. reduce fermentation temperature to 50ºF till terminal gravity is reached.
5.Lower temperature to 32-40, and condition for 3-8 weeks.
from reading kai page on fermenting Lagers
I think the key to getting a good clean fermentation is going to be having a good healthy pitch @1.25e6 cells/1ºplato/ml
Any one have any practical experience with making lager beers like this? I think Im going to give it a try on my next lager batch.