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My first attempt at Lagering

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PeteOz77

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Under that advisement of the LHBS, I purchased two kits to combine into one to make a good strong Bock. The kits are complete, and I know it's lazy, but I brewed the "American Pale Ale" as one of my first brews, and it was Sooo Noice, that I decided to go with these guys again.

ESB

So I pitched the yeast (2 11.5gm packs of SAFLAGER which had a good healthy start).. at 75°, but put it immediately into my lagering fridge, which is set at 50°. It has been slowly guglging away for 3 weeks.

I decided to do a SG reading on it today. It started out at 1.075 and has fermented down to 1.022. I am expecting a FG of around 1.010 - 1.011, so I know I have to let it continue fermenting.

Questions:

#1. Should I just leave everything as it is? Finish fermenting in the primary, no matter how long it takes?

#2. Is a secondary required?

#3. In regards to the Lagering process, how long after fermentation stops and FG is reached @ 50°, should I leave it before bottling?

#4. Should I bring back up to room temp before bottling/kegging to make sure fermentation is definitely finished?

#5. I plan to perform a diacetyl test when fermentation stops and FG is stable. Is it ready to bottle if it passes the test?


Thanks for the help!
 

Beerlord

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I wold guess that your primary fermentation is done. Never used dry yeast for a lager so I don't know how they ferment out, but 1.018 is a pretty good fg for a bock. Rack it to a secondary adn lager it for as long as you can, I usually do 6 weeks. Bring it back up to 60-65 to bottle and pitch some fresh yeast.
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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I don't think it's donw ywt, it's still gurglin. We'll find out over the next 3 days as i check the SG each day.

Any more input from anyone else?
 

HP_Lovecraft

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I did a bock with a similar OG, and it is a SLOW PROCESS.
My Final Gravity was 1.020, and that was using #2278 yeast. Took about 3 weeks to get there.

Saflager lists attentuation at 73-77% (a bit higher then #2278), so I don't expect it would get to 1.010 unless you used lots of sugar.

You do normally need a secondary to do the "lagering", though are you asking if you can lager in the bottles? I don't see why not. Leave in the bottles at 35 degrees for a month, or so, then bring up the temp to 70 degrees to carbonate. The only risk with that is I sometimes add more yeast at bottling

nick
 

Bernie Brewer

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This is slightly OT, but I had to pass it along:
Next time you make a Bock try This recipe. It is far and away the best extract recipe for Bock that I have ever had. And since you are in Australia, you are one of the few that can actually brew it, given that Morgan's extracts are no longer shipped to the U.S.:(
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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HP_Lovecraft said:
I did a bock with a similar OG, and it is a SLOW PROCESS.
My Final Gravity was 1.020, and that was using #2278 yeast. Took about 3 weeks to get there.

Saflager lists attentuation at 73-77% (a bit higher then #2278), so I don't expect it would get to 1.010 unless you used lots of sugar.

You do normally need a secondary to do the "lagering", though are you asking if you can lager in the bottles? I don't see why not. Leave in the bottles at 35 degrees for a month, or so, then bring up the temp to 70 degrees to carbonate. The only risk with that is I sometimes add more yeast at bottling

nick
OG was 1.075, and I was told to expect around 9% alcohol which is around 1.011 FG. I'm not fussed if it stops at a lower ABV, as long as I know it has stopped.....

The entire fermenting process has been happening around 50°F, which is by far the coolest i have fermented anything thus far, so i am expecting 3-4 weeks for the process.

I'll check it again in a couple of days.

So, back to the original question of lagering.... do I now need to rack into a secondary, or is it OK to lager it in a keg? Should I carb it straight away?
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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Ah! Good stuff! No secondary then!

Hmmm, I seem to be running out of kegs... Am I brewing to fast, or drinking too slow?
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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I pulled this out of the lageratorwhen it stayed at 1.022 for 5 days. Put it into the tub with cool water and it immediately started going again. Down to 1.017 today...will give it few more days and keg it and get it back into the lagerator for a few more weeks.
 

shafferpilot

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Any diacetyl taste? Palmer recomends the diacetyl rest should be done after you hit 75% of the way to final gravity which in your case was 1.027. If you follow his instructions, it should stay at 55 to 60 until you reach final and then rack, then lager. On the lagers I've done, I've waited longer before the rest, but diacetyl was very low on those, so I guess it depends on the individual circumstances.
 

EvilTOJ

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If you haven't done a D rest yet, now is the perfect time to do it. It's best to do so when the sugars are *almost* gone while the activity is still somewhat active.
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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I cannot dectect any buttery taste or feel in this brew. ABV is up around 8% now.

3 weeks in lagerator, one week at room temp, then rack or keg, back into lagerator for another 3-4 weeks. Sound like the right plan?
 

shafferpilot

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if there's no diacetyl, there's no reason to warm it up. Just step the temp down to lagering (10 to 15 degrees below ferment temp) 1 degree per day and leave it there till it tastes good. i don't know that the slow lowering of temp is truly necessary, but I've heard it's the way to do it, so I do.
 
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