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oach

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Brewing my first lager this weekend after 12 years of brewing I am unsure of the fermentation process. It seems like most of what I have read is a diacetyl rest in which the temperature should be raised to 70ish degrees. Unsure of exact temp, if it is needed, when it should be done, for how long, etc.

Making a simple Mexican lager with dry yeast.

thank you in advance for your time and input.
 

The_Professor

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People will tell you all kinds of stuff.
Personally I find that if fermentation is 50ish (F) (not above 55F) a diacetyl rest is not needed.
Ferment 2-3 weeks, lager (like in the fridge around 32F) in secondary 2-4 weeks.
 

Immocles

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I only dipped into the lager brewing in this last winter, but I used a very simple process. I used 34/70 yeast and fermented at 52-53F. After a few days of fermenting, I would start ramping up the temperature 2-3F each day until I hit 66. Then I held it there for 3 days or so, and started creeping it back down. I bottle, and cant cold crash, so I generally let it sit at my basement temperature (48-52F) for a week before bottling, carbing, and then lagering.

As for your specific questions, I couldn't tell ya when its needed for sure. Folks will say with enough health yeast and pitch rate, you dont really need it at all. But the rule of thumb seems to be 66-67 for three days.
 

Sammy86

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Howdy, 12 years and no lagers? How did you keep that up? :p

I'm a quick lager guy myself...34/70 is my yeast of choice...I ferment at 60° for 21 days...cold crash and gelatin for 48 hours keg with force carb and I'm drinking by day 28.

They are still young but taste damn good and a month later they hit their preverbal stride and go really quick!

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Steveruch

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Brewing my first lager this weekend after 12 years of brewing I am unsure of the fermentation process. It seems like most of what I have read is a diacetyl rest in which the temperature should be raised to 70ish degrees. Unsure of exact temp, if it is needed, when it should be done, for how long, etc.

Making a simple Mexican lager with dry yeast.

thank you in advance for your time and input.
What yeast? I've brewed quite a few lagers with W34/70 and S-189 and have never needed a diacetyl rest.
 
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oach

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Thank you all for your input. I am using 34/70. For a 5 gallon batch is one packet enough?
 

Immocles

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What gravity are you shooting for? A second packet might not hurt, as I think a lot of folks will use two for most average strength 5G batches. I use an entire packet in my 2.5g-3g batches and generally pitch slurry into the bigger lagers.
 

Breck09

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If you have the ability to do a diacetyl rest then I would, especially with something as delicate as a Mexican Lager. I did a Mexican Lager a couple of months ago and I did one but I think I did it too late in the fermentation process and it came out with a bit of a buttery taste in the finish. I did the slow ramp method with that but with my most recent Oktoberfest once I hit a gravity where it was time for a diacetyl rest I just ramped it up to about 70 and left it there for a couple of days. Jury is still out on it though as it is still lagering.
 

Beermeister32

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One pack is not enough. Use 2 packs. One pack will make beer but you want to control the number of generations produced to control for off flavors. Use 2, lagers need a lot of yeast. Rehydrate or make a small starter, pitch at 48F, ferment at 50F.
 

couchsending

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If you pitch the right amount of yeast a lager fermentation should be done in no more than 10 days at 50*.... often times as little as 6 days.

Pitch more yeast, ferment it cold, slowly cool to 30 (with a 5-7 day hold at around 39) Lager for 3-8 weeks depending.
 

Dland

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Lots of ways make good beer...I don't think you can buy stock in the company that owns Fermentis, otherwise I'd suspect there were shareholders posting here, LOL.

One pack 34/70 direct pitch for 5 gallons will make great lager, no off flavors, I use 2pks for 10 gallons regualarly. Best results if fermented in recommended temp range of 53-59F, I usually ferment on lower end of this and ramp up over 3 days to around 64F at the end for D rest, also a good time to spund. Fermentation usually done in 10-12 days, ramp up, D rest/spund, ramp down takes another 8-10 days. Crash to 30F and lager for at least 3 weeks, longer for heavier brews.

Of course you can make good beer by overpitching and messing with starters too, your choice. {;
 

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If you pitch the right amount of yeast a lager fermentation should be done in no more than 10 days at 50*.... often times as little as 6 days.

Pitch more yeast, ferment it cold, slowly cool to 30 (with a 5-7 day hold at around 39) Lager for 3-8 weeks depending.
Curious about the 5-7 day hold at 39F. I usually 'stop' there, but just until I remember to swap the input/output lines to the glycol chiller (ala: Spike Brewing's recommendation). That process is what helps me get down closer to 30F without freezing up my system.

Brooo Brother
 

couchsending

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Curious about the 5-7 day hold at 39F. I usually 'stop' there, but just until I remember to swap the input/output lines to the glycol chiller (ala: Spike Brewing's recommendation). That process is what helps me get down closer to 30F without freezing up my system.

Brooo Brother
It’s something I’ve seen recommend by both Bierstadt and Schonramer and I’ve seen it in a few other texts as well. I think it depends on your yeast and other fermentation variables but I guess I’m just taking their word for it.

Bierstadt does the very traditional pitch cold, let rise to 48 at high krausen, then slowly step down at like 50% attenuation so I think the longer rest at 39 helps the yeast finish out and clean up a little at that temp before transferring to a lagering tank, although I’m not 100% sure when they transfer. Just assuming it would be after this rest so as to transfer minimal amount of yeast into the horizontals.
 

Brooothru

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It’s something I’ve seen recommend by both Bierstadt and Schonramer and I’ve seen it in a few other texts as well. I think it depends on your yeast and other fermentation variables but I guess I’m just taking their word for it.

Bierstadt does the very traditional pitch cold, let rise to 48 at high krausen, then slowly step down at like 50% attenuation so I think the longer rest at 39 helps the yeast finish out and clean up a little at that temp before transferring to a lagering tank, although I’m not 100% sure when they transfer. Just assuming it would be after this rest so as to transfer minimal amount of yeast into the horizontals.
I think there might also be some hard science suggesting a corollary effect. In oceanography, the deep open ocean reaches an area of isothermic water where water temperature neither increases or decreases with depth. Temperature inversions can and do frequently occur below this thermal (sonic) layer depth, however.

Whether this phenomenon exists in the micro level of a conical fermenter is well above my pay grade, but I do know it exists in the macro world.

On the other point you raised, cold pitching is something I've tried in the past but did not find beneficial. I would chill to ~45F for a 50ish fermentation, then pitch roughly 2L active slurry at or near that temperature and allow it to free rise to 50~52F. Seemed like the lag time was two or more days before active fermentation was apparent in the blow-off, so now I just chill the wort to fermentation temperature and pitch the yeast +/- 5F of the wort temperature. It seems to work more quickly with good results.

Brooo Brother
 

couchsending

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I think there might also be some hard science suggesting a corollary effect. In oceanography, the deep open ocean reaches an area of isothermic water where water temperature neither increases or decreases with depth. Temperature inversions can and do frequently occur below this thermal (sonic) layer depth, however.

Whether this phenomenon exists in the micro level of a conical fermenter is well above my pay grade, but I do know it exists in the macro world.

On the other point you raised, cold pitching is something I've tried in the past but did not find beneficial. I would chill to ~45F for a 50ish fermentation, then pitch roughly 2L active slurry at or near that temperature and allow it to free rise to 50~52F. Seemed like the lag time was two or more days before active fermentation was apparent in the blow-off, so now I just chill the wort to fermentation temperature and pitch the yeast +/- 5F of the wort temperature. It seems to work more quickly with good results.

Brooo Brother
Depends what strain you’re using... The Andechs strain I’ve been using I pitch at 46 and set to 48. Always some visible signs of fermentation within 24 hours ( I don’t bother checking pH) and then set to 50 after 24 hours. Almost always within 1 plato of terminal by day 6. I usually raise to 54 at that time.
 

Brooothru

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Depends what strain you’re using... The Andechs strain I’ve been using I pitch at 46 and set to 48. Always some visible signs of fermentation within 24 hours ( I don’t bother checking pH) and then set to 50 after 24 hours. Almost always within 1 plato of terminal by day 6. I usually raise to 54 at that time.
My go-to yeast for lagers is WLP-830, but I've been experimenting this past year with a variety of commercial yeasts like 840, 940, 838, Wyeast Rocky Mt., and I purposely have not tried to shade my opinions of each by researching the strain from which they were derived. On the basis of performance I thought the Rocky Mt yeast was the most impressive as to attenuation, speed and clarity.

I'll have to revisit cold pitch again to see if I can speed up my turn around time a bit. Six days to terminal gravity is quite impressive. That's usually the length of time my ales take to finish, and they're fermenting 12F~15F warmer. It would be nice to free up a fermenter sooner.

Brooo Brother
 

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39*F is the anomaly point for water, that is the point at which colder water expands and becomes lighter than warmer water. In a large conical that's the point at which you should switch cooling from the upper section to the lower-section/cone of the FV. I suspect they wait a while before switching as doing so might tend to rouse the yeast from the bottom portion of the FV and they want to dump as much yeast as possible before doing that so as to get as little of it as possible into the horizontal tanks.
 

Brooothru

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39*F is the anomaly point for water, that is the point at which colder water expands and becomes lighter than warmer water. In a large conical that's the point at which you should switch cooling from the upper section to the lower-section/cone of the FV. I suspect they wait a while before switching as doing so might tend to rouse the yeast from the bottom portion of the FV and they want to dump as much yeast as possible before doing that so as to get as little of it as possible into the horizontal tanks.
Good explanation. Thanks for posting.
 
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