Bottling/Kegging Lagers

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

bionicbelly

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 5, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
22
Location
Des Moines
So, I got an icemaster g20 a little while ago so that I can start doing some lagers "properly". Done a pils and a couple marzens with 34/70 at ale temps, but everything else has been an ale.
My normal process is to fement in primary till I hit FG, then I add sugar to the bottle or keg, rack the beer on it and wait till it is conditioned. For kegs, I just add about 3-4 oz sugar, and put a regulator on the gas post set at 12 psi. It seems to make plenty of extra pressure, and carbs up nicely. For bottles, I add sugar to each bottle individually (I use gunpowder measures. They seem to be more accurate and precise than measuring spoons) and fill right out of the fermenter. (I have spike flex fermenters)
Will these methods work for lagers?
The three I have done before I have kegged (as I do ales) and let them sit at RT to carbonate. Then they just kind of hang around awhile till I'm ready to tap. I do put them in the fridge a couple weeks before tapping.
My thoughts that were with a chiller, I could lager in the fermenter, then keg/bottle as I have always done, and I would still have a nice clean beer when it came time to pour. But, I read the other day, and it makes sense, that if you are adding priming sugar to a lager, it re-starts fermentation (obviously) but that after they have carbed up, they need to be re-lagered.
So, #1. Is this true? #2. If this is true, can I change my (specifically) bottling process so that I don't have to lager the bottles? (I know I can just carbonate kegs with CO2 rather than priming, it is just a hassle) I don't really have room to lager a bunch of batches of beer in bottles, and I do like bottles.
 

jdauria

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
1,404
Reaction score
650
Location
Braintree
So if you are kegging, why not just force carbonate the kegs using either set it and forget it (ie carbonate it for a week or two), or burst carbonate it by setting pressure to like 40 psi for 24-36 hours, then letting pressure out and setting to serving pressure and let it sit for 2 days? Even a better option is transferring the beer to a keg when you are 4-8 points away from final gravity and use a spunding valve to carb it naturally. You can google that for more info. I brew a ton of lagers, what I do is carbonate in keg (either set it and forget or spund) and then I will just bottle any I need directly from the keg using a TapCooler counter pressure filler.

It seems your keg method is a little wonky, you add sugar AND you put it on gas? Seems like that would over carbonate the beer. 3-4 ounces in a keg is a lot. You need a lot less sugar in a keg than you would think. You should use a carbonation calculator. An average 2.5 volume 5 gallon batch beer at 40 degrees only needs 1.39 ounces of corn sugar...or if just force carbonating 12.27 PSI would get you 2.5V. Even if you carbed the keg at say 65 degrees, you still would only need 2.14 ounces of corn sugar. Using 3-4 ounces is carbonating the beers at 3 to 4 volumes in the keg which for pretty much every lager style is over carbonated and then you are adding CO2 also.
 
Last edited:
OP
bionicbelly

bionicbelly

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 5, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
22
Location
Des Moines
Thanks for the reply!
"AND you put it on gas?"
I don't put it on gas. I have those little spunding regulators from kegland.
1635258867225.png

I set these at 12psi. I add more sugar than necessary I know, but the excess pressure gets bled off.
It really works great for ales, but not sure about lagers now.
I have been doing this mainly so I wouldn't be using up CO2 to carbonate beer, but if I have to do this for kegs of lager, so be it. I'd like to keep going as I am though.
As far as bottling goes, I don't have a counter pressure filler to do bottles, and I'd really rather not get one, but again, I have no idea what the process is for lagers.
 

cactusgarrett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
2,117
Reaction score
731
Location
Madison, WI
Some people prefer natural CO2 for carbing versus forced carb. Good on you for doing this in a keg for your own personal reasons. Spunding and Krausening essentially achieve the same thing as well, so it's not an unheard of technique. As far as keg conditioning or bottling lagers? That's not much different than bottling ales. Key is to give it enough time at the given temp to ensure a proper carb level. Room temp is easiest.

1. Ferment as usual.
1.5 (optional) d-rest and cold crash to bottling bucket
2. Bottle per your own method - room temp is optimal. Use a calculator to determine the amount of sugar needed for that temp.
3. Let sit at room temp for 1-2 weeks. The longer you leave it, the more insurance for a complete carb.
4. Lager in bottles AFTER a complete carbing
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top