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Old 12-28-2007, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default How long do you normaly leave lager in primary and secondary?

so i just brewed my first lager on 12/26/07. i used a starter, this is the 3rd time in a row i have used on. well it never started to "bubble" in the air lock. i've had batches that never "bubbled" but still fermented and came out fine, i had just assumed that i wasn't using a starter so it was just being slow. i was going to leave it out at room temp (around 69 F). so i stuck it in my temp control and currently its cooling down.

so considering that i didnt totally screw something up with the starter and its fermenting along, about hwo many weeks do you normally keep a lager in primary and secondary? for my ales i usually do about 2 weeks primary, 1.5-3 weeks in secondary. i had heard lagers should stay in pri-sec longer.

thanks a ton in advance!

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Old 12-29-2007, 04:52 AM   #2
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I've never done a lager, but from my reading, I think you'd be looking at a minimum 3-4 weeks for primary. your secondary could be months, and even cooler temps.

of course a hydrometer is the only real way to know. also, make sure you read up on the diacetyl rest if you haven't already.

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Old 12-30-2007, 12:19 AM   #3
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For my lagers, I will let them sit at room temp to start fermentation (primary). Once started, I will ferment it around 45 or so for about 2 weeks (for a normal strength batch). I then remove it from the fridge and put it at room temp for about 3 days for a diacetyl rest for about 3 days. Then I rack it and then start to cool it down about 1-2 degrees F/day, until about 30 is reached. Keep it at 30 or so for as long as you can. I've let some of my normal strength batches stay at 30 for about 3 months; higher gravity batches stay longer. I have a 15% lager sitting at about 35 since Sep of 2006. Basically, the longer you can lager, the better.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:21 AM   #4
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here is some info about lager bewing that should help you getting started.

I usually keep lagers in the primary until they are 1-2 *P within the FG I'm expecting, which takes from 7 - 14 days depending on temperature and starting gravity.

But I suggest that you let it sit in the primary for 4 weeks. Only do a diacetyl rest of you actually notice diacetyl. Even without a doing a diacetyl rest, the yeast should clean up the beer within the 4 weeks.
After that you can start lagering. I recommend at least a month, but after 4 weeks in the primary it may already be pretty good and you could bottle if you are in a rush to get a taste.

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