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Jamie02173

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Im new to home brewing and Im focusing mainly on lager as its what I drink. Ive watched tons of videos etc on brewing but just want to see if I can get extra advice on the whole process!

After pitching powder should i allow to ferment at a higher temp and for how long?
How long can i leave in primary, lets say it reached it full gravity in ten days can i leave it for a week longer or will this affect flavour?
A lot of recipes dont give fermention times so if it says to ferment at 50f will this be a much slower process and should i expect up to 3 weeks in primary fermentation?
 

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The colder the temperature the longer the fermentation takes. Lagers are traditionally fermented cold but warm fermenting is getting more common and popular. Leaving the beer in fermenter some extra time won't hurt the beer.
 

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Its always best to stay within the yeast manufacturers temp . If you have a lager yeast , then yes it will take longer then an Ale. You will need a starter , at least its advised.

When it comes to brewing patience is pretty important. I let all my beers sit in the fv for 3 weeks. Doing so helps the yeast clean up and aids in keeping sediment out of your bottles . Leaving beer in your fv won't hurt anything . You ever hear people say " that beer taste green" ?

If your going to use Lager yeast use a starter and aerate really good . I use a Tilt when I brew lagers because its helpful to tell when the beer is about 75% done fermenting. Then I bump the temp up a few degrees a day until its high 60's . I'll leave it there for 3 days for a rest then drop temp a few degrees a day until its 38f . Then I keg . Thats something I learned on this forum and has worked really well for me .
 
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Jamie02173

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Its always best to stay within the yeast manufacturers temp . If you have a lager yeast , then yes it will take longer then an Ale. You will need a starter , at least its advised.

When it comes to brewing patience is pretty important. I let all my beers sit in the fv for 3 weeks. Doing so helps the yeast clean up and aids in keeping sediment out of your bottles . Leaving beer in your fv won't hurt anything . You ever hear people say " that beer taste green" ?

If your going to use Lager yeast use a starter and aerate really good . I use a Tilt when I brew lagers because its helpful to tell when the beer is about 75% done fermenting. Then I bump the temp up a few degrees a day until its high 60's . I'll leave it there for 3 days for a rest then drop temp a few degrees a day until its 38f . Then I keg . Thats something I learned on this forum and has worked really well for me .
I havnt used a starter yet i was thinking the dried yeast is a safe fix for now! Ive made 2 lagers since yesterday, the first a european pilsner and i used safelager s-23 and the second was bohemian lager yeast M84 for bohemian lager. I pitched both into the worth at about 65f and i was thinking should i begin the fermentation at a higher temp to kick start the yeast?
After these batches im going to look into harvesting liquid yeast for my next batches
 

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Lower your temps ASAP. You should pitch at recommended temp per manufacturer.
 

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Use an online yeast calculator. Lagers generally require a large starter (or plenty of dry yeast) and lot's of oxygen. Some do begin fermentation at a higher temp to start yeast, I've never tried so I won't knock the method. I usually pitch at 48, let rise to 50-52. As Jag says above at about 80% attenuation start raising temp slowly, I go to 65-66, leave for 3 days. Then do a diacetyl test. It's not difficult. If good, cold crash, keg, lager.
 
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Jamie02173

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Lower your temps ASAP. You should pitch at recommended temp per manufacturer.
The yeast i used for the first batch said up to 15c and it was at 18c so hopefully im ok with that and i have them both slowly dropping to about 12c. I have a chest freezer with my corny kegs so i may need another to use as a fermenter
 
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Jamie02173

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Use an online yeast calculator. Lagers generally require a large starter (or plenty of dry yeast) and lot's of oxygen. Some do begin fermentation at a higher temp to start yeast, I've never tried so I won't knock the method. I usually pitch at 48, let rise to 50-52. As Jag says above at about 80% attenuation start raising temp slowly, I go to 65-66, leave for 3 days. Then do a diacetyl test. It's not difficult. If good, cold crash, keg, lager.
Wow thats really low to start! My problem is i start fermenting with kombucha at 75f so i always thought lower fermentations would be risky. I have been thinking id get away with brewing a bucket and leaving it sit in cold ambient of about 50 to 64 but dats probably why i messed up some batches! Im guessing a fridge is my best option as a fermenter.
Do you use a heat pad or soley a temperature control, or both?
 
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Jamie02173

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Use an online yeast calculator. Lagers generally require a large starter (or plenty of dry yeast) and lot's of oxygen. Some do begin fermentation at a higher temp to start yeast, I've never tried so I won't knock the method. I usually pitch at 48, let rise to 50-52. As Jag says above at about 80% attenuation start raising temp slowly, I go to 65-66, leave for 3 days. Then do a diacetyl test. It's not difficult. If good, cold crash, keg, lager.
Ive watched a few videos on diacetyl im thinking that might be the problem with one of my kegged beers
 

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Wow thats really low to start! My problem is i start fermenting with kombucha at 75f so i always thought lower fermentations would be risky. I have been thinking id get away with brewing a bucket and leaving it sit in cold ambient of about 50 to 64 but dats probably why i messed up some batches! Im guessing a fridge is my best option as a fermenter.
Do you use a heat pad or soley a temperature control, or both?
Most lager yeasts can ferment that low, though lag time can be a little longer, just be sure to oxygenate and pitch enough yeast. For cooling I have internal stainless glycol chiller coils w/two stage controller probe in thermowell. Heat by silicone heat wrap.

A fridge w/a temp controller works fine for fermentation, just not as fast or precise (IMHO). You'll want a 2 stage controller for both cooling and heating. Search threads for probe placement, many tape insulation and probe to side of fermenter.

I changed from fridge to glycol when I started brewing lagers, mainly from frustration about summer groundwater temps too warm to get to pitching temps. I hated fooling with two chillers (1 in ice bath) to chill to 50. It took forever and used tons of water and ice. Or filling fermenters (12g) with 70 deg wort, putting in fridge and waiting hours to get to 50. Now I chill to 75-80 w/plate chiller, fill fermenter, let glycol bring down to 48-50 in 15-20 minutes, then pitch. Glycol chiller also let's me ferment different beers at different temps at the same time.

You stated you drink lagers but there are ale recipes on HBT that are like lagers and much easier (forgiving) to brew. Ed's Haus Ale is really good, not too hoppy, and if fermented w/Nottingham at 60-62 for 3 days, 64, 3 days, 67-68, 7 days, can produce a clean, bright ale that satisfies alot of lager drinkers. Centennial Blonde is also very good. I brewed ales for years before I ventured into lagers. I still brew mainly ales, probably 3-1 over lagers.

Lagers aren't difficult to brew but IMO require tighter control over processes; oxygenation, yeast pitching rate, fermentation temp control, and patience. I'm guessing that's why most brewers begin with ales, to get their system dialed in and processes down, gain confidence in their methods. Lagers have nothing to mask any off flavors.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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Lower your temps ASAP. You should pitch at recommended temp per manufacturer.
That's less straightforward than it seems. For instance the official advice from Fermentis for 34/70 is "ideally 12-15°C (53.6-59°F)" but their own data points to it staying pretty clean even at 20C (68F).

AFAIA all lager yeasts available from "homebrew" sources are Frohberg types, which means they have more ale yeast DNA and are less cold-adapted than the Saaz group of lager yeasts. So one might expect them to generally behave in a similar fashion to 34/70.

So @Jamie02173 - I wouldn't sweat the temperature thing too much at this stage. See how you get on with your current setup before spending a lot of cash, and try different yeasts.

FYI M84 is probably just repackaged S-23 and generally S-23 is a bit of a love/hate yeast even though it's probably the closest thing we have to a dried Urquell yeast. 34/70 is the most-used lager yeast commercially and is a good starting point, although some on the warm-fermented lager thread prefer the better flocculation of WLP800 Pilsner and Mangrove Jack M54 Californian. There's also the clean kveiks like Omega Lutra and Escarpment KRISPY. I think it's fair to say that some people don't get on with one or other of all these suggestions, there's no real alternative to testing them yourself to see which ones you get on with best, but M54 would probably be the first place I'd start.

PItch generous amounts, but don't aerate when using dried yeast, as they are manufactured with large reserves of the sterols needed for cell division that otherwise need oxygen to make. You need to aerate with wet yeast and harvested yeast but not dried yeast.
 

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If you want to keep it simple use saflager w-34/70 dry yeast

instead of making a starter, just pitch two packs of yeast. This will give you 400 Billion cells which is plenty for a lager. (you should also follow hydration instructions as pitching dry into a colder environment isn't ideal)

This yeast is relatively forgiving for a lager yeast and folks have success even fermenting on the warmer side. I ferment on the colder side, but you should be pretty safe even if this one gets up to 65 during first few days.

My schedule looks something like this

first 5 days - Pitch at 55 and let get as high as 57 (i.e. set freezer to 55+2 viariable)
After 5 days - then let it naturally rise to room temp (don't go higher than 70 degrees)...give it 7-10 days for total time in this stage
 
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Jamie02173

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Cheers for all the info guys im 4 months into this and been busy working but the last few weeks ive learned a lot i have 3 cornys full of beer, 2 lager 1 stout today i tasted the 3 after a funky taste last week and after a week chilled in corny kegs and i can put my hand up and say the 3 are absolute garbage! The stout is like vinegar could not swallow the other 2 smell bad one more then the other im thinking i didnt pitch the liquid yeast again with that one!
Im going to scrap my 3 kegs and clean them and keep my 2 , 23l fermenting buckets in my in chest freezer soon to be keyser using an inkbird currently hitting 11c to 13c.. im relieved to start again and im going to try a 3rd beer for my other keg that i can do in a seperate fermentation chamber.. the right way!
My first 2 beers were not bad! These three are disgusting.. who knows in another four months ill have something good to show lol
Pic of 2 lagers that went bad although they look ok!
 

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Jamie02173

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Most lager yeasts can ferment that low, though lag time can be a little longer, just be sure to oxygenate and pitch enough yeast. For cooling I have internal stainless glycol chiller coils w/two stage controller probe in thermowell. Heat by silicone heat wrap.

A fridge w/a temp controller works fine for fermentation, just not as fast or precise (IMHO). You'll want a 2 stage controller for both cooling and heating. Search threads for probe placement, many tape insulation and probe to side of fermenter.

I changed from fridge to glycol when I started brewing lagers, mainly from frustration about summer groundwater temps too warm to get to pitching temps. I hated fooling with two chillers (1 in ice bath) to chill to 50. It took forever and used tons of water and ice. Or filling fermenters (12g) with 70 deg wort, putting in fridge and waiting hours to get to 50. Now I chill to 75-80 w/plate chiller, fill fermenter, let glycol bring down to 48-50 in 15-20 minutes, then pitch. Glycol chiller also let's me ferment different beers at different temps at the same time.

You stated you drink lagers but there are ale recipes on HBT that are like lagers and much easier (forgiving) to brew. Ed's Haus Ale is really good, not too hoppy, and if fermented w/Nottingham at 60-62 for 3 days, 64, 3 days, 67-68, 7 days, can produce a clean, bright ale that satisfies alot of lager drinkers. Centennial Blonde is also very good. I brewed ales for years before I ventured into lagers. I still brew mainly ales, probably 3-1 over lagers.

Lagers aren't difficult to brew but IMO require tighter control over processes; oxygenation, yeast pitching rate, fermentation temp control, and patience. I'm guessing that's why most brewers begin with ales, to get their system dialed in and processes down, gain confidence in their methods. Lagers have nothing to mask any off flavors.
Ive spent a fortune so far the more i look into it always have stuff in the pipeline for the next pay check, but i could see myself investing in this equiptment in the future out of frustration!
I was only thinking of an ipa as i like them also so that sounds interesting thanks have you tried brewing it ureself? U have a recipe?!
 
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Jamie02173

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That's less straightforward than it seems. For instance the official advice from Fermentis for 34/70 is "ideally 12-15°C (53.6-59°F)" but their own data points to it staying pretty clean even at 20C (68F).

AFAIA all lager yeasts available from "homebrew" sources are Frohberg types, which means they have more ale yeast DNA and are less cold-adapted than the Saaz group of lager yeasts. So one might expect them to generally behave in a similar fashion to 34/70.

So @Jamie02173 - I wouldn't sweat the temperature thing too much at this stage. See how you get on with your current setup before spending a lot of cash, and try different yeasts.

FYI M84 is probably just repackaged S-23 and generally S-23 is a bit of a love/hate yeast even though it's probably the closest thing we have to a dried Urquell yeast. 34/70 is the most-used lager yeast commercially and is a good starting point, although some on the warm-fermented lager thread prefer the better flocculation of WLP800 Pilsner and Mangrove Jack M54 Californian. There's also the clean kveiks like Omega Lutra and Escarpment KRISPY. I think it's fair to say that some people don't get on with one or other of all these suggestions, there's no real alternative to testing them yourself to see which ones you get on with best, but M54 would probably be the first place I'd start.

PItch generous amounts, but don't aerate when using dried yeast, as they are manufactured with large reserves of the sterols needed for cell division that otherwise need oxygen to make. You need to aerate with wet yeast and harvested yeast but not dried yeast.
Cheers for the info after recent failures im not going to mess around with uncontolled temperatures but a forgiving yeast would still be a good idea for me in the early stages.
I also aerated my last 2 beers and pitched dried yeast so will this cause me a problem?!!
 
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Jamie02173

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If you want to keep it simple use saflager w-34/70 dry yeast

instead of making a starter, just pitch two packs of yeast. This will give you 400 Billion cells which is plenty for a lager. (you should also follow hydration instructions as pitching dry into a colder environment isn't ideal)

This yeast is relatively forgiving for a lager yeast and folks have success even fermenting on the warmer side. I ferment on the colder side, but you should be pretty safe even if this one gets up to 65 during first few days.

My schedule looks something like this

first 5 days - Pitch at 55 and let get as high as 57 (i.e. set freezer to 55+2 viariable)
After 5 days - then let it naturally rise to room temp (don't go higher than 70 degrees)...give it 7-10 days for total time in this stage
Ill look into dat aswel thanks
I pitched one sachet into each last time as recomennded for 20l, im guessing no harm to pitch 2
 

Northern_Brewer

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I also aerated my last 2 beers and pitched dried yeast so will this cause me a problem?!!
Not a problem, but in general you don't want oxygen near your beers - light ones like lagers in particular - as oxidation dulls the flavour. So if you don't need to aerate for yeast growth - which you don't for dried yeast - then the beer is better without aeration.
 
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I'll play devils advocate here. Ale's are easiest to learn on when you're a new brewer. Once you've got control of your fermentation temps, playing with lagers is a bit less daunting. That being said, you can brew some really badass ales that are lager-esque. I make a cream ale(technically two) that is clean and crisp with a WLP080(ale/lager yeast blend). Lutra is another awesome yeast to get lager-like beers with minimal temperature control. W-34/70 I would say is the best bet for most new lager brewers as it can handle the gambit of temperatures and still ferment tasty beer. Glad you're here and looking for knowledge like the rest of us young(to brewing) bucks!
 

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Ive spent a fortune so far the more i look into it always have stuff in the pipeline for the next pay check, but i could see myself investing in this equiptment in the future out of frustration!
I was only thinking of an ipa as i like them also so that sounds interesting thanks have you tried brewing it ureself? U have a recipe?!
Ed's haus ale and centennial blonde are not IPAs but both are very good, I've brewed both many times. Search recipes on this site you will find many that are tried and true, brewed hundreds or thousands of times by other brewers.

I started with one pot, a mesh bag, immersion chiller, a Sankey keg fermenter, and a fridge with a temperature controller. Now I have three pots, four burners, pump, plate chillers, five fermenters, and a glycol chiller.
It took me years to get my system and equipment to my liking, where I feel it is efficient and makes the best beer I can, I brew what I like, and if others don't like it it just leaves more for me.
 
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Jamie02173

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Not a problem, but in general you don't want oxygen near your beers - light ones like lagers in particular - as oxidation dulls the flavour. So if you don't need to aerate for yeast growth - which you don't for dried yeast - then the beer is better without aeration.
I have my 2 lagers in a chest freezer set to 12c. There is no ventilation but i do try open it 2 or 3 times a day. Would it be a problem leaving it closed for a long time with no ventilation?
 
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Jamie02173

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I'll play devils advocate here. Ale's are easiest to learn on when you're a new brewer. Once you've got control of your fermentation temps, playing with lagers is a bit less daunting. That being said, you can brew some really badass ales that are lager-esque. I make a cream ale(technically two) that is clean and crisp with a WLP080(ale/lager yeast blend). Lutra is another awesome yeast to get lager-like beers with minimal temperature control. W-34/70 I would say is the best bet for most new lager brewers as it can handle the gambit of temperatures and still ferment tasty beer. Glad you're here and looking for knowledge like the rest of us young(to brewing) bucks!
I brewed am ipa to start but its gone downhill with the lager! Now i just want to produce something drinkable and enjoyable asap! I was afraid of the ales incase they were too strong or hoppy, although i like that but i can only have 2 or 3! I sourced that lager yeast and its out of stock so ill keep it on my wishlist.. cheers for the advice
 
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Jamie02173

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Ed's haus ale and centennial blonde are not IPAs but both are very good, I've brewed both many times. Search recipes on this site you will find many that are tried and true, brewed hundreds or thousands of times by other brewers.

I started with one pot, a mesh bag, immersion chiller, a Sankey keg fermenter, and a fridge with a temperature controller. Now I have three pots, four burners, pump, plate chillers, five fermenters, and a glycol chiller.
It took me years to get my system and equipment to my liking, where I feel it is efficient and makes the best beer I can, I brew what I like, and if others don't like it it just leaves more for me.
Ive looked up an ed haus recipe and im going to try it! I cannot source some of the products like 2 row malt, but i have marris otter extra pale ale malt, german pilsner, vienna, carapills, crystal, and torrified rice so im sure i could play around with that! And i purchased Lallemand Nottingham Beer Yeast as it was in the recipe i had and also cascade hops
 

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I have my 2 lagers in a chest freezer set to 12c. There is no ventilation but i do try open it 2 or 3 times a day. Would it be a problem leaving it closed for a long time with no ventilation?
Problem? Quite the opposite, it would benefit from being left in peace...
 
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Jamie02173

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Problem? Quite the opposite, it would benefit from being left in peace...
Cool thanks
A bit of luck the early rise in fermentation has not done damage!
I need to perfect the basics first but i cant really spend money on a fancy system! Im brewing from a 33l pot BIAB and so far i have been using a sanitised small pot and fine sieve to pass my worth through to the fermenting bucket to get rid of heavy sediments.
My pot comes with a tap connection, would i be better of sourcing this connection to pass my worth better and leave behind the bit at the bottom?
Amateur question alert!!
 

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Just a quick comment that it's called wort without an "h" at the end.

What you might get is a ball valve for that port and a pickup tube inside. Then you can practice techniques such as whirlpooling to contain the heaviest trub in the center of the kettle. Also on the inside you might install a screen to keep out the hops (won't work for break material).

There are many ways to prevent trub from getting to the fermenter. If you pitch the yeast right after running it through a sieve (which aerates the wort), then that's as fine a process as any and you may not feel a need to change.
 
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Jamie02173

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Just a quick comment that it's called wort without an "h" at the end.

What you might get is a ball valve for that port and a pickup tube inside. Then you can practice techniques such as whirlpooling to contain the heaviest trub in the center of the kettle. Also on the inside you might install a screen to keep out the hops (won't work for break material).

There are many ways to prevent trub from getting to the fermenter. If you pitch the yeast right after running it through a sieve (which aerates the wort), then that's as fine a process as any and you may not feel a need to change.
Cheers McKnuckle im off next week im going to set up a little notepad on brewing terminolagy and all the info ive got off you guys!
Ill look these up and get back if stuck!
When you mention a screen is it a filter to prevent the thrub?
I was thinking this would cause mechanical aeration and would be no harm. I will invest in the tap for the future as im always carrying the pot to my cooling station so might be the safer bet to pour it were i boiled it
 

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Have a look at how German homebrewers typically filter out boil trub on the way to the fermenter. Fast forward to 17:30 in this video (he's a bit wordy and I don't understand German, so...)


Whirlpool in the kettle, then run-off through a filter bag into the fermenter.
 

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Cheers for all the info guys im 4 months into this and been busy working but the last few weeks ive learned a lot i have 3 cornys full of beer, 2 lager 1 stout today i tasted the 3 after a funky taste last week and after a week chilled in corny kegs and i can put my hand up and say the 3 are absolute garbage! The stout is like vinegar could not swallow the other 2 smell bad one more then the other im thinking i didnt pitch the liquid yeast again with that one!
Im going to scrap my 3 kegs and clean them and keep my 2 , 23l fermenting buckets in my in chest freezer soon to be keyser using an inkbird currently hitting 11c to 13c.. im relieved to start again and im going to try a 3rd beer for my other keg that i can do in a seperate fermentation chamber.. the right way!
My first 2 beers were not bad! These three are disgusting.. who knows in another four months ill have something good to show lol
Pic of 2 lagers that went bad although they look ok!
If your beer tasted like vinegar it may have been contaminated by bacteria. How are you cleaning and sanitizing your equipment?
 
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Jamie02173

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If your beer tasted like vinegar it may have been contaminated by bacteria. How are you cleaning and sanitizing your equipment?
I have advanced as
If your beer tasted like vinegar it may have been contaminated by bacteria. How are you cleaning and sanitizing your equipment?
I would assume my cleaning and sanitising was below par in the first batches washing with hot water and this sanitiser bag in pic. Although they tasted funky before i kegged i washed with chempro and starsan. I think ambient fermentation or possibly not cleaning the taps properly on the fermenting bucket would be biggest possibilities, also i used liqiud yeast without a starter as i said on the pack to sit in ambient for 3 hours! hopefully with the next batches ill have better results and follow strict sanitary guidlines.
 

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Too many comments to quote without losing my mind, so please don't take it as an affront if I repeat what you've said.

I second the lager being hard to learn on. There are so many steps to madness that if you aren't firmly grounded in the techniques you need you're going to set yourself up for failure. There is simply no place to hide when making lagers. Anything wrong shows up immediately.

Ed's Centennial Blonde is an absolutely amazing beer that I am way overdue on making again. It is simple, tastes great, and is wide open to adapting for your own tastes. Most importantly, it is an acceptable substitute for a lager, IMO.

You had mentioned using pils as a base malt. It requires a little extra hand-holding, mainly that it is prone to producing DMS (an overcooked, sulfury vegetable taste) if mishandled. If this is one of the problems you've experienced, take a look at how to mitigate it.

Working with ales will also help you up your sanitization game and get it ready for the time investment needed for a lager. This would also be my guess as to the source of the vinegar taste.

Try to leave your beer alone as much as possible. Messing with it opens it up to infection and, for lagers, temperature swings. I've found that my fermentation freezer has a good enough seal on it that I cause suck-back on the airlock whenever I open it. It isn't the end of the world, but I'd like to avoid it unnecessarily.

Good luck!
 

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I have advanced as

I would assume my cleaning and sanitising was below par in the first batches washing with hot water and this sanitiser bag in pic. Although they tasted funky before i kegged i washed with chempro and starsan. I think ambient fermentation or possibly not cleaning the taps properly on the fermenting bucket would be biggest possibilities, also i used liqiud yeast without a starter as i said on the pack to sit in ambient for 3 hours! hopefully with the next batches ill have better results and follow strict sanitary guidlines.
Just to clarify, you:
1 - cleaned you fermenter with the sanitizer in the picture
2 - fermented
3 - it tasted weird
4 - used chempro and starsan on your kegs
5 - after one week in the keg it still tasted bad

If the problem is infection, this would indicate that contamination happened at or before the fermentation stage.

It could be that sanitizer from the picture - I've never used it but maybe it needs a long contact time to work well. The StarSan you have works great - mix it up in low TDS/distilled/reverse osmosis water and use it in a spray bottle, it will last a long time and it works pretty fast.

I got an infection on one of my early batches because I didn't realize that the spigot on the bottling bucket needed to be disassembled for proper cleaning. I had only been running cleaning and sanitizing solution through it. After infection I figured out it could be taken apart and found bits of gunk from previous batches inside it. After that I took it apart for cleaning every time.

I don't think liquid yeast sitting for 3 hours ambient temp would cause problems with off flavors (unless maybe it was really hot or you left it in the sun or something).

A weird taste could also be from chlorine in your water - making beer with chlorinated water can give off flavors. The amount of chlorine in your water supply could change over time, so it's possible that your first batches had lower chlorine that you didn't notice, and you later ones did.
 
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Jamie02173

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Just to clarify, you:
1 - cleaned you fermenter with the sanitizer in the picture
2 - fermented
3 - it tasted weird
4 - used chempro and starsan on your kegs
5 - after one week in the keg it still tasted bad

If the problem is infection, this would indicate that contamination happened at or before the fermentation stage.

It could be that sanitizer from the picture - I've never used it but maybe it needs a long contact time to work well. The StarSan you have works great - mix it up in low TDS/distilled/reverse osmosis water and use it in a spray bottle, it will last a long time and it works pretty fast.

I got an infection on one of my early batches because I didn't realize that the spigot on the bottling bucket needed to be disassembled for proper cleaning. I had only been running cleaning and sanitizing solution through it. After infection I figured out it could be taken apart and found bits of gunk from previous batches inside it. After that I took it apart for cleaning every time.

I don't think liquid yeast sitting for 3 hours ambient temp would cause problems with off flavors (unless maybe it was really hot or you left it in the sun or something).

A weird taste could also be from chlorine in your water - making beer with chlorinated water can give off flavors. The amount of chlorine in your water supply could change over time, so it's possible that your first batches had lower chlorine that you didn't notice, and you later ones did.
I actually done my first lager with half spring water and fermented it in a cold place but must have been 12 to 16c the other was an ipa extract and i fermented in a chamber with temp control. They were both not bad but a chalky taste in the lager most likely wasnt conditioned! I done the same process with my spigots by rinsing through the tap. Im covinced it could be the spigot. Another concern is i did not make a starter with tue liquid yeast. I have also used tap water for all my other batches 3 were bad 2 are in progress. Do you reccomend spring water?
Im going to use sarsan going forward from what i hear!
Also that was the process i reccon they were off before removing from primary. I thought one was not bad bad after 1 week but the off flavour developed in all 3 a week further.
 
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Too many comments to quote without losing my mind, so please don't take it as an affront if I repeat what you've said.

I second the lager being hard to learn on. There are so many steps to madness that if you aren't firmly grounded in the techniques you need you're going to set yourself up for failure. There is simply no place to hide when making lagers. Anything wrong shows up immediately.

Ed's Centennial Blonde is an absolutely amazing beer that I am way overdue on making again. It is simple, tastes great, and is wide open to adapting for your own tastes. Most importantly, it is an acceptable substitute for a lager, IMO.

You had mentioned using pils as a base malt. It requires a little extra hand-holding, mainly that it is prone to producing DMS (an overcooked, sulfury vegetable taste) if mishandled. If this is one of the problems you've experienced, take a look at how to mitigate it.

Working with ales will also help you up your sanitization game and get it ready for the time investment needed for a lager. This would also be my guess as to the source of the vinegar taste.

Try to leave your beer alone as much as possible. Messing with it opens it up to infection and, for lagers, temperature swings. I've found that my fermentation freezer has a good enough seal on it that I cause suck-back on the airlock whenever I open it. It isn't the end of the world, but I'd like to avoid it unnecessarily.

Good luck!
Ive been using pilsner malts in a few recipes and never knew any different! Can i ask what u mean by extra handling, as i buy my grains precrushed, should i crush more? Should i avoid pils to start?
The last 3 bad batches i did not use a fermentation chamber so now i am im hoping for better results, although im going to move onto a pale ale next.
I have purchased nottingham yeast to make the 2 beers reccomended but does not come with pitching temps i would assume around 18c also i have cascade hops.
I also have 3kg marris otter extra pale and 5kg clear choice extra pale i could use rather then any pilsner.
 

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bu_gee

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Ive been using pilsner malts in a few recipes and never knew any different! Can i ask what u mean by extra handling, as i buy my grains precrushed, should i crush more? Should i avoid pils to start?
Pils just requires that to take extra precaution against DMS. This may mean a longer boil to force off the compounds, but it isn't 100% clear that it makes for a major difference. The most important thing is that you have to cool it off quickly to keep the compounds from forming again as it lingers in the critical range where they are being produced but not hot enough to be driven off.

The last 3 bad batches i did not use a fermentation chamber so now i am im hoping for better results, although im going to move onto a pale ale next.
I have purchased nottingham yeast to make the 2 beers reccomended but does not come with pitching temps i would assume around 18c also i have cascade hops.
I also have 3kg marris otter extra pale and 5kg clear choice extra pale i could use rather then any pilsner.
The general rule I've heard and employ is to pitch at your fermentation temperature. Most ale yeasts do fine at cool room temperature so it should be fine at 18°C.

If you're looking to use lager yeast without a fermentation chamber, you might want to look at steam style beers which are pretty much defined by that set of conditions. They were pretty popular when I started brewing the better part of a decade ago, but I don't know if they're still as popular and I've never made one myself.
 
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Pils just requires that to take extra precaution against DMS. This may mean a longer boil to force off the compounds, but it isn't 100% clear that it makes for a major difference. The most important thing is that you have to cool it off quickly to keep the compounds from forming again as it lingers in the critical range where they are being produced but not hot enough to be driven off.




The general rule I've heard and employ is to pitch at your fermentation temperature. Most ale yeasts do fine at cool room temperature so it should be fine at 18°C.

If you're looking to use lager yeast without a fermentation chamber, you might want to look at steam style beers which are pretty much defined by that set of conditions. They were pretty popular when I started brewing the better part of a decade ago, but I don't know if they're still as popular and I've never made one myself.
Cheers for the info
I never knew of dms but after a quick research im thinking this could have been an issue as i used pilsner malts in my last batches, although the last 2 i mashed for 90 minutes to be sure and also no sure if its correct but i let it boil for an extra 20 minutes to achieve near boiling temp before my hop schedule. From the start i invested in a worth chiller as i assumed it would make the hop schedule pointless unless cooled instantly!
I have my 2 lagers in my chest freezer with an inkbird so im thinking of trying a batch dat of pale ale that ferments around 18c to 20c. Im thinking of using a box and heat pad. I currently have a bucket full of water to moniter the temp and after a few checks and if its hitting temps ill give it a go. After my lagers it will be pale ale properly fermented!
 

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