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Quick Lager Question

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Nimrod3388

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Im going to use a cooler to lager and was wondering if I utilize a cold water bath with ice, will the ice harm the yeast at the bottom? Will the yeast be shocked or to cold and ferment slower? Any experience anyone? Thanks!
 

Yooper

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Well, I do that. But I'm not sure what exactly you're asking. You'll ferment your lager at 50 degrees for about 2-3 weeks, usually. I fill my cooler with water and one frozen water bottle submerged in there (it does float in the water) keeps it in the 50 degree range and I just change the bottle as needed.

After fermentation is over, and the beer has been racked, that's when the lagering begins and I like to decrease the temperature until it's at 34 degrees. At this point, the yeast is no longer working, and you are lagering to clear and condition your beer.

There is a picture in my gallery of the "Yooper Lagerator" that I came up with, so that I can lager in my basement without a fridge.
 

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So is lagering just a real long time in the settling tank or are the yeast doing some useful work?

If they aren't getting any work done I might as well bottle so as to make room for a keg of something else in the fridge.
 

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You lager after the fermentation period, so you could lager in the bottle if you wanted, I guess.

I lager the whole carboy, and then bottle after about 6-8 weeks of lagering. I will be kegging my maibock, though.
 

Poindexter

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YooperBrew said:
You lager after the fermentation period, so you could lager in the bottle if you wanted, I guess.
I have seen "a couple" references to rack to bottles rather than secondary for lagering. My first ever lager just finished diacetyl rest and went in to the cooler 48 hours ago.

I am inclined to 1) not hurry and 2) let it bulk age a while. Besides, I need to drink some homebrew so I'll have enough bottles.
 
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Nimrod3388

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I'm an idiot! I forgot that it was racked to the secondary, off the sediment. If I use a whirlfloc tablet should my lager still recieve a diaceytl rest?
 

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Well, whirlfloc doesn't really have a relationship to diacetyl. Some lagers just don't need a diacetyl rest, either because they didn't produce much diacetyl, or because it was cleaned up during the primary fermentation. So I always taste for diacetyl, if do the rest if I taste any diacetyl at all.

So, if I do a diacetyl rest, I rack to secondary after that. If it doesn't need the d-rest, then I just rack to secondary and begin the lagering process.
 
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Nimrod3388

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Diacetyl taste fruity right? The rest is 2 days at room temp also, correct? Thanks for your time greatly.
 

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No, diacetyl tastes buttery or slick on your tongue. You should not have any fruity tastes (esters) in a lager either, since you ferment it cold, but it's not the same as diacetyl. Diacetyl tastes butterscotch-ish or liked buttered popcorn.
 
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Nimrod3388

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I recall shoveling the driveway in colorado during college hungover, naturally, and vomitting buttered popcorn. I havent eatin popcorn since!
 
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