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First Lager Procedure

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maltMonkey

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Gearing up to brew my first (AG) lager this weekend....a Marzen. I wanted to make sure I have everything planned out correctly. Here's what I'm planning to do--I'd appreciate any feedback on my plan:


Prep
Last night I made a 1.5L starter and pitched my WLP820 (optimum ferment temps 52°-58°). Keeping starter at 54° until I pitch Saturday evening.

Brewday
Mashing @ 152°. After boil I will chill wort to as close to 32° as possible to maximize cold break, then turn burner back on and warm back up to about 60°. Whirlpool & rack to primary. Decant starter & pitch yeast. Immediately store primary at 54°.

Fermentation
Ferment for app. 3 weeks at 54°, or until gravity readings stop falling. Slowly lower temperature to 35° over 1 week span.

Lagering
Rack to secondary and lager for 6 months @ 35°.

Bottling
Bring secondary to room temp over 4 days. Boil 3/4 cups corn sugar. Rack beer to bottling bucket, add sugar & 1/4 packet rehydrated dry ale yeast. Bottle and store @ 70° for 2-3 weeks. Refrigerate bottles.
 

wildwest450

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Oof, do you have to lager for 6 months? I don't know if I have the patience.
 

Got Trub?

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Oof if you warm up your wort some if not most of your cold break will go back into solution. I would whirlpool while is at its coldest. Otherwise it sounds fine.

wildwest450 - a Marzen was traditionally brewed in March to be served in October. Great things await those willing to wait!

GT
 
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maltMonkey

maltMonkey

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Got Trub? said:
Oof if you warm up your wort some if not most of your cold break will go back into solution. I would whirlpool while is at its coldest. Otherwise it sounds fine.
I hadn't thought of that.....good tip!

Glibbidy said:
What, no decoction?
No direct-fire mash tun :(
 
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maltMonkey

maltMonkey

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Thanks everyone....I will go ahead with this plan tomorrow with Got Trub's modification.
 

Kaiser

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maltMonkey said:
day evening.
Brewday
Mashing @ 152°. After boil I will chill wort to as close to 32° as possible to maximize cold break, then turn burner back on and warm back up to about 60°. Whirlpool & rack to primary. Decant starter & pitch yeast. Immediately store primary at 54°.


Interesting approach to go to so much effort to chill all the way down and then warm it up. But yes, whith the amount of yeast you will be getting from your starter you will have to pitch warm to get things going faster.

The rest looks fine to me too.

Here is some more info on the fermentation process. More an FYI for future lagers since you want to keep this one simple.

Kai
 
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maltMonkey

maltMonkey

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Kaiser said:
Interesting approach to go to so much effort to chill all the way down and then warm it up. But yes, whith the amount of yeast you will be getting from your starter you will have to pitch warm to get things going faster.

The rest looks fine to me too.

Here is some more info on the fermentation process. More an FYI for future lagers since you want to keep this one simple.

Kai
[/B]
Yeah, I'm not sure how much benefit chilling the wort down the bringing it back up will have, but I got the idea from the wiki article from your link -- I guess it's the "conventional German method"?
 

Don

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maltMonkey said:
Yeah, I'm not sure how much benefit chilling the wort down the bringing it back up will have, but I got the idea from the wiki article from your link -- I guess it's the "conventional German method"?

I even do that with my Blond Ales, Cream Ales and other light beers.
I rack @ 6 gals to my carboy and cool to @ 52 degs. This will usually take @3 to 4 hours. I then will rack 5 1/2 gallons into a carboy aerate add the yeast ( at @ 64degs.) and set at 68 deg. to ferment.
My last Blond Ale, in February, was working in 12 hrs. and I had to put a blow-off tube in after 24 hrs.
(I always use @ 1 gt. yeast starter with my ales)

Don
 

Kaiser

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maltMonkey said:
Yeah, I'm not sure how much benefit chilling the wort down the bringing it back up will have, but I got the idea from the wiki article from your link -- I guess it's the "conventional German method"?
Yes, it is. But I was surprised that someone whould actually go that far and not pitch cold. But yes, this will give you the best cold break.

For my last lager I let the cold break settle over night. The result was much less break in the primary than I ever had before. But the beer also took 48 hrs to get to low Kraeusen. Since I did a lot of things different for this one, I don't know if the unusually long lag time is related to the higher than usual trub removal. I'll find out in future batches. But don't worry unless you let the trub settle for a very long time, you'll still end up with plenty cold break in the fermenter in case the yeast really needs this for nutrients.

Kai
 

WBC

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I see talk of lagering at 34 F and I know that colder is usually better but I have used 53 F for lagering and wonder just how much better 34 F could be? I guess I will have to have 2 freezers full of kegs to find out and since I do not have 2 freezers can someone let us know if this test has been performed using the very same batch of beer?
 
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