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Faster Lagering

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NathPowe

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I've used this method several times and it has produced really nice beers each time. Definitely worth giving it a try.

Cheers.
 

jerrybaker

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I used this method for my Marzen this year. I was pressed for time, had a bit of lag before fermentation, and ended up with some diacetyl. I rushed the d-rest, but that was my fault. Everything else regarding the quick lager period turned out great. In addition to that, I can provide some newfound information.
From my understanding the slowly but surely ramping down to lagering temps isn't necessary. At our level as homebrewers the quick change in temperature won't do much to shock the yeast and can shave some time off of that already quick lagering time.
 

doug293cz

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I've got my first lager (an Oktoberfest) lagering now using this method. It will be ready to bottle Sunday or Monday. If it works out well, it will likely become my standard method for lagers. Before reading about this, I was hesitant to lager due to the time it ties up a chamber.

Brew on :mug:
 

aking

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Great post, I will be using this with the pils I have planned for next weekend.
 

podz

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This is a really excellent article.

With all of the time-based temperature adjustments, this process is just screaming for some automation. The temperature controller and thermostat would need to be interfaced with some sort of wireless logic controller, maybe an arduino with a wifi add-on or something.
 

g-star

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I've used a variant of this method several times and it works extremely well. The keys are pitching a TON of healthy yeast, pure oxygen, and warming the beer up to 60F+ at the end of fermentation, but while fermentation is still active. I usually warm the beer quickly as soon as I see the krausen begin to fall.

Dropping the yeast with a controlled walk-down to 35F over several days, followed by fining with gelatin, kegging, and force-carbing will give you a superb lager in 3 weeks grain to glass.
 

FuriousE

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This is a really excellent article.

With all of the time-based temperature adjustments, this process is just screaming for some automation. The temperature controller and thermostat would need to be interfaced with some sort of wireless logic controller, maybe an arduino with a wifi add-on or something.
...something like the brew pi??
 

mkyl428

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This sounds interesting... I have never brewed a lager because of the time involved... If I could make it take the same amount of time as my ales I would definitely brew lagers
 

FuriousE

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This method is actually what inspired me to build the brew pi. I tried it with my STC 1000 and the results were fantastic, but it was quite a pain to remember to make all of the temperature changes.
 

NathPowe

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I believe Brulosopher, the author of the article linked in the original post, uses one of those new Black Box temp controllers. You can set up pretty intricate temp profiles on those rigs. Wish they weren't so hard to get right now...

Cheers.
 

doug293cz

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I believe Brulosopher, the author of the article linked in the original post, uses one of those new Black Box temp controllers. You can set up pretty intricate temp profiles on those rigs. Wish they weren't so hard to get right now...

Cheers.
Will still has pre-flashed STC-1000+'s listed on his site, even tho the nice turn-key boxes are currently out of stock. http://www.blackboxbrew.com/store/ Not difficult to roll your own box with help from many threads on HBT.

Brew on :mug:
 

Tiber_Brew

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I wouldn't call this "lagering," but more of a fast way to make a lager. It's a fermentation ramp followed by a cold crash. If you're constrained by time, this does make a speedy lager, and is a perfectly viable option.
 

NathPowe

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Will still has pre-flashed STC-1000+'s listed on his site, even tho the nice turn-key boxes are currently out of stock. http://www.blackboxbrew.com/store/ Not difficult to roll your own box with help from many threads on HBT.

Brew on :mug:
Thanks for the heads up doug. I didn't realize this was even an option (not sure how I missed it). Anyway, I'm happy to build my own box out. If I have another homebrew or two my wallet may end up about $30 lighter...

</off topic>

Cheers.
 

podz

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I wouldn't call this "lagering," but more of a fast way to make a lager. It's a fermentation ramp followed by a cold crash. If you're constrained by time, this does make a speedy lager, and is a perfectly viable option.
Lager means "to store". It doesn't mean "to store for 8 months and 19 dys", it simply means to store. Food, beer, bricks, ammunition, etc.
 

grathan

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I do something similar, but instead of bumping the temp every 12 hours, I just turn the controller off after a few days of fermentation.
 

JBOGAN

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Big thumbs up for the OP and that article! May not be what some would describe as a true lager but it gives someone the opportunity to turn out a recipe fairly quick and re hash if need be. Looks like a schwarzbier and a dortmunder will soon have a new home in the keezer.
 

wobdee

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I've been doing a variation of this for about a year now and my Lagers are done fermenting and in the keg in 13 days. I set and forget carb at 11 psi for 2 weeks at 35 degrees and the beers are clear and drinkable but I think they are better if I lager for another 2-3 weeks.
 

Brulosopher

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I'm drinking a Helles right now that I brewed less than 4 weeks ago ;)
 

Tiber_Brew

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Lager means "to store". It doesn't mean "to store for 8 months and 19 dys", it simply means to store. Food, beer, bricks, ammunition, etc.
I'm familiar with the etymology of the term, thanks. I also know the contemporary usage of it in brewing beer. And so do you.

I'm not disrespecting the method in the OP. It essentially substitutes a cold crash for the lagering phase to speed up the turnaround time (in conjunction with a ramp ferment), which is perfectly fine for anyone in a rush or without enough kegs/carboys to commit for a couple months to lagering. I'm in no way saying that this method doesn't produce good beer.

/off topic
 

ukeedogs

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I'm gonna try this!


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klaggy

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I have done this method with the exception of the short largering period. I used WLP 820 a notorious slow and difficult yeast to work with... I followed the ferm schedule and seems to work out great. The beer was an extract kit for an Oktoberfest.
Old news and beer has been history.... I did do another Marzen and this time an all grain triple decoction... It is currently on wyeast 2308 and ferm started 12 hrs later... So its 3 days of active fermentation. I will give the schedule a go and will put up the results... Sure would love to have an under30 day turnaround.



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Brulosopher

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I believe Brulosopher, the author of the article linked in the original post, uses one of those new Black Box temp controllers. You can set up pretty intricate temp profiles on those rigs. Wish they weren't so hard to get right now...

Cheers.
I do, it's amazing!

I do something similar, but instead of bumping the temp every 12 hours, I just turn the controller off after a few days of fermentation.
I'm thinking the gentle ramp may not be as necessary as I originally presumed, xBmt to follow :)

I'm familiar with the etymology of the term, thanks. I also know the contemporary usage of it in brewing beer. And so do you.

I'm not disrespecting the method in the OP. It essentially substitutes a cold crash for the lagering phase to speed up the turnaround time (in conjunction with a ramp ferment), which is perfectly fine for anyone in a rush or without enough kegs/carboys to commit for a couple months to lagering. I'm in no way saying that this method doesn't produce good beer.

/off topic
No disrespect! The 2 imperative components of this method are (1) precise temperature control and (2) Narziss' fermentation routine (pitching cool), the former of which was all but impossible in the early beer making days of Germany, hence the necessity of lagering at warmer "cave" temps. I'd be willing to bet if Germans had refrigeration and the control over temps we now have today, long lager periods wouldn't even be a thing. That's just a hunch. Cheers!
 

klaggy

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So gentle ramp up..... I'm assuming thats the temp increase till 65* f for d rest. So your feeling is the gentle isnt as neccesary as thought? Instead of serial temp increase of 3-5 * per 12 hrs till 65 is reached.... Which may be difficult for me this time a year... Since my garage is staying around the low 60's. Unless i add some heating. So instead what is the recommendation for this step. Just set controller to 65 and let rise on its own?
Now i completely understand the slow ramp down to not put the yeasties to sleep. I'm reaching the 5 day period today but won't be able to attend to it till tomorrow morning... Day 6 in fermentation. I'm sure that's ok. Or should I be looking for at least 50% attenuated instead of number of days
To be perfectly honest it makes me very nervous to ramp up so soon... Normally i let the yeast work its magic for 2 to 3 weeks instead of only 5 days.... Ohhhhh baby let this work...lol


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Tiber_Brew

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I'm not disrespecting the method in the OP. It essentially substitutes a cold crash for the lagering phase to speed up the turnaround time (in conjunction with a ramp ferment), which is perfectly fine for anyone in a rush or without enough kegs/carboys to commit for a couple months to lagering. I'm in no way saying that this method doesn't produce good beer.

No disrespect! The 2 imperative components of this method are (1) precise temperature control and (2) Narziss' fermentation routine (pitching cool), the former of which was all but impossible in the early beer making days of Germany, hence the necessity of lagering at warmer "cave" temps. I'd be willing to bet if Germans had refrigeration and the control over temps we now have today, long lager periods wouldn't even be a thing. That's just a hunch. Cheers!
Absolutely no disrespect :)

Traditional lagering serves two main purposes: 1. secondary fermentation, and 2. precipitation of various organic matter and compounds (brightening). Even that is over simplifying it. Regardless of the fermentation schedule and pitching tempertures, lagering can still "brighten" up the beer in a way that I find can't be emulated by filtering. I'm told centrifuges can get close to the effect of lagering. (Of course, I cannot afford a $100k+ centrifuge!)

I've done quick lagers before using methods very similar to this (ferm ramp with cold crash), and have experimented with filtering using 7, 5, & 1 micron level with good results. I still, however, commit my delicate lagers (Pils, Helles, etc.) to cold lagering for good reason - they just come out brighter, smoother, overall better in my experience. Results worth waiting for IMO. Both methods are successful ways to make lagers, and I advocate both. Anyway, I just wanted to make that distinction.
 

grathan

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I know the ramp is mainly about diacetyl cleanup and yeast dropping out, but since we're diverted to "clarity" lagering provides I thought I would share and awesome article I read yesterday on BYO from Colin Kaminsky back in '02.

http://byo.com/stories/issue/item/869-how-clear-is-your-beer



Also a comment on Clarity Ferm. It's worth trying out on delicate beers IMHO.


Been messing with Valine as well for diacetyl control. That has been interesting, but too early to make any solid comments on that.
 

klaggy

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The process was a spot on and with gelatin cleared up very nicely. With in 2 weeks of cold crash at 34*

And might I say wife approved !
 

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