First lager questions

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tochsner

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I brewed my first lager last weekend, Sam Adams Noble Pils Clone. Hit the numbers and pitched the right amount of yeast. Per the Wyeast package I started it at 68* and 12 hours later it was going like crazy so I took the temperature down to 50*. The OG was 1.045 and I am looking for it to finish around 1.011. Today, we are at 1.016 so I have decided to start the diaceytl rest. I have set the temperature at 65* which it should reach this evening. Now the questions:

1. Some say rest for 48 hours, some say until it reaches FG? Which is the way to go? And if I just do it 48 hours and start back down to lager temperature, should I stop and 50* and wait until FG?
2. When I am done with the rest, lower the temperature 2 degrees a day or just take it down to my target?
3. My keg fridge is at about 34*, okay to just lager at that temperature?
4. How do I know when the lager is done? Some say 4 weeks, some say 2, some say as soon as it clears?

This site has been invaluable for my since I started brewing, I am about to enter my 4th contest. While the beers aren't good enough that I expect to win, before I started reading these forums, they weren't good enough to enter.

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StoneHands

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1. I would recommend you wait until it's done, don't go by time. The flavor profile will be set, letting it sit longer at 65 won't hurt it. I bet it finishes in those 48 hours though.
2. If you're at FG, there's not much point in dropping it slowly IMO. Some folks drop it slowly to keep the yeast working, so you don't shock them. I've always just dropped the temp to lagering temp since I wait until I'm at FG before I lager.
3. Yep, good temp.
4. When it tastes good! I'm assuming you're going to put it in a keg to lager, taste it at 2 weeks, and then at 4. It'll be better at 4 though.

Next time, I would suggest you pitch your yeast at fermentation temps. You may have gotten some off flavors in that first 12 hours. Actually, cool your wort to just below ferm temps (5 degrees or so) before you pitch, and let it rise up to fermentation temp.

Hope it turned out.
 
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tochsner

tochsner

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Next time, I would suggest you pitch your yeast at fermentation temps. You may have gotten some off flavors in that first 12 hours. Actually, cool your wort to just below ferm temps (5 degrees or so) before you pitch, and let it rise up to fermentation temp.
Yeah I get that. The instructions on the yeast said to start it at 65-70 until you see signs of fermentation and then drop it to your fermentation temperature. Doing some research it seems this is only so you can grow enough yeast fast enough. If you pitch enough you can start at your chosen temperature.
 
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tochsner

tochsner

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4. When it tastes good! I'm assuming you're going to put it in a keg to lager, taste it at 2 weeks, and then at 4. It'll be better at 4 though.
I was going to put it in a keg but now I have another question. The beer is very cloudy. I know this will clear during lagering but will that leave a bunch of stuff at the bottom of the keg? Should I just rack to another carboy and put that in the fridge to lager and keg it when it clears?
 

zacster

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I'd put it in a carboy until it is ready.

and to answer the question (IMHO only)
1. Rest until done
2. Just take it down to target. It'll take some time
3. Perfect
4. Give it 4 weeks.

I have my lager into week 4 at this point. At week 2 it was pretty good, at week 3 it was so much better. I'm going to bottle this coming weekend only because I need the carboy for my Stout. I may have to slow down on the homebrewing as I'm exceeding my space, bottles and equipment.
 
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