Warm Fermented Lager Thread

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Sam_92

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Thanks @applescrap for starting this thread!!! I have always shied away from brewing lagers because I don't have a fermentation fridge. After reading through this thread I brewed my first lager, a single gallon batch and fermented it at ambient temp in my basement (about 64°F) with w34/75. I used that yeast slurry to brew 2.5 gallons of Lazy Lager I call it because I only boiled for fifteen minutesn and it turned out amazing! It's super clean and crisp but with a citrusy hop flavor that I love. I need to get another batch going for when lawn mowing season comes back around.

Then I took that yeast slurry and brewed a doppelbock at 7.6% and the primary fermentation on it was quick! I'm bottling it this weekend so I'll report back in a couple weeks.

I found it interesting that the first batch took an amazingly long time to drop clear (no finings) but the repitched batch dropped brilliantly clear in only a couple weeks. I think w34/75 likes being repitched and I'm planning on doing an Octoberfest with some of the slurry from the doppelbock.
Ip
 

Miraculix

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Thanks @applescrap for starting this thread!!! I have always shied away from brewing lagers because I don't have a fermentation fridge. After reading through this thread I brewed my first lager, a single gallon batch and fermented it at ambient temp in my basement (about 64°F) with w34/75. I used that yeast slurry to brew 2.5 gallons of Lazy Lager I call it because I only boiled for fifteen minutesn and it turned out amazing! It's super clean and crisp but with a citrusy hop flavor that I love. I need to get another batch going for when lawn mowing season comes back around.

Then I took that yeast slurry and brewed a doppelbock at 7.6% and the primary fermentation on it was quick! I'm bottling it this weekend so I'll report back in a couple weeks.

I found it interesting that the first batch took an amazingly long time to drop clear (no finings) but the repitched batch dropped brilliantly clear in only a couple weeks. I think w34/75 likes being repitched and I'm planning on doing an Octoberfest with some if the slurry from the doppelbock.
Ip
You're not the first to mention this behaviour. A lot of dry yeasts are stressed from the drying process, so they do not perform best in the first generation. I read this about 3470 a few times now, makes me wonder if I should start collecting the sludge next time I brew with it.
 
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seatazzz

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You're not the first to mention this behaviour. A lot of dry yeasts are stressed from the drying process, so they do not perform best in the first generation. I read this about 3470 a few times now, makes me wonder if I should start collecting the sludge next time I brew with it.
I'm gonna beat a dead horse then. I use S23 for my WF lagers, and the ones done with fresh yeast are always a bit meh, even pitching two packets. 2nd, 3rd, and even unto 5th generations of the same yeast yield some spectacular beers. Dunno why. I think it's partly due to overpitching, since I'll use a whole jar of slurry for subsequent brews.
 

Sam_92

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I bottled the doppelbock today and it tastes amazing! I saved two containers of w34/75 that I'm going to use for an Octoberfest and something to be determined, maybe a dunkel.
 

Toxxyc

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I'm gonna beat a dead horse then. I use S23 for my WF lagers, and the ones done with fresh yeast are always a bit meh, even pitching two packets. 2nd, 3rd, and even unto 5th generations of the same yeast yield some spectacular beers. Dunno why. I think it's partly due to overpitching, since I'll use a whole jar of slurry for subsequent brews.
I found the same, yeah. Initial beers are fine, but always a bit "meh". I now, in my first beers, always clarify the wort before going into the fermenter, and then pitch the yeast onto pretty clear wort. The result is a very clean yeast cake, and I capture the whole lot of it. I'll typically split a slurry into about 3 parts, meaning I get 3 brews from a harvest. On the last pitch I'll also do a more neutral beer, again a clear wort, and capture the yeast cake again, repeating the process. It works well.

For interest sake, I once pitched an entire slurry of an unkown lager strain (it was just called "German Pilsner yeast") into a new batch and it fermented a full 23l of lager at 9°C to completion in 4 days :D
 

laurentobias

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Okay, sorry if this is off-topic, and I'm definitely showing my ignorance. I'd like to try a WF lager. My husband loves lagers, and I haven't tried one yet because I have no cold fermenting location.
1. I guess there are a lot of different types of lager, so I want to make sure I brew one we'll like. His favorite beer by far has been an authentic German beer we got at a beer garden in Munich. When you order either "light" or "dark." The marzens or helles I've bought have not been big hits. He's not a fan of Czech pilsners but will drink other pilsners. TBH I'm really still trying to learn how to navigate all the flavors in a beer - what flavor comes from the hops, from the yeast, from the grain bill, etc. Since this group clearly loves a lager, any help on what might be a good bet to brew is welcome.
2. Would love some guidance on a good extract recipe/kit for a WF lager.

Thanks in advance!
 

Miraculix

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Okay, sorry if this is off-topic, and I'm definitely showing my ignorance. I'd like to try a WF lager. My husband loves lagers, and I haven't tried one yet because I have no cold fermenting location.
1. I guess there are a lot of different types of lager, so I want to make sure I brew one we'll like. His favorite beer by far has been an authentic German beer we got at a beer garden in Munich. When you order either "light" or "dark." The marzens or helles I've bought have not been big hits. He's not a fan of Czech pilsners but will drink other pilsners. TBH I'm really still trying to learn how to navigate all the flavors in a beer - what flavor comes from the hops, from the yeast, from the grain bill, etc. Since this group clearly loves a lager, any help on what might be a good bet to brew is welcome.
2. Would love some guidance on a good extract recipe/kit for a WF lager.

Thanks in advance!

That is quite an easy one actually. Use 100% pale or extra pale extract. Bittering hops @ 60 minutes and a small addition @ 15 minutes left your goal is 23-26 IBUs and an OG of about 1.045 to 1.05. Hops, anything noble, like Saaz, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Perle, or similar. Buy a pack of imperial harvest yeast, make shure it is fresh, no starter necessary. Chill the wort to below 20c, pitch the yeast and keep it as cold as possible, meaning into the basement with it, or something like that. You can place it into a waterbath to compensate for the heating that the yeast does during the first few days. This will be done in about ten days and ready to bottle.
 

Beermeister32

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Okay, sorry if this is off-topic, and I'm definitely showing my ignorance. I'd like to try a WF lager. My husband loves lagers, and I haven't tried one yet because I have no cold fermenting location.
1. I guess there are a lot of different types of lager, so I want to make sure I brew one we'll like. His favorite beer by far has been an authentic German beer we got at a beer garden in Munich. When you order either "light" or "dark." The marzens or helles I've bought have not been big hits. He's not a fan of Czech pilsners but will drink other pilsners. TBH I'm really still trying to learn how to navigate all the flavors in a beer - what flavor comes from the hops, from the yeast, from the grain bill, etc. Since this group clearly loves a lager, any help on what might be a good bet to brew is welcome.
2. Would love some guidance on a good extract recipe/kit for a WF lager.

Thanks in advance!
Honestly, go find a used refrigerator on Craigs list. I pick these up for about $75 each. Warm fermented is “ok”, nothing beats a crisp cold lager that’s been fermented at 48-50F and lagered at 34F for 3 months! You will never go back!
 

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Miraculix

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Honestly, go find a used refrigerator on Craigs list. I pick these up for about $75 each. Warm fermented is “ok”, nothing beats a crisp cold lager that’s been fermented at 48-50F and lagered at 34F for 3 months! You will never go back!
I think quite some people on the thread here are disagreeing.
 

balrog

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Honestly, go find a used refrigerator on Craigs list. I pick these up for about $75 each. Warm fermented is “ok”, nothing beats a crisp cold lager that’s been fermented at 48-50F and lagered at 34F for 3 months! You will never go back!

Honestly, I have the deepest respect and admiration for those with the fermentation space, lagering space, serving space, and inhuman patience to do this. I do not count myself in that group. But what I lack in patience I more than compensate for with irrepressible charm and indefatigable good looks.
 

bwible

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I go against what many do. I do warm WF initially. Then transfer to a “secondary”. I really hate that word because its not a second fermentation. It’s a clearing or settling step. When a brewery does it, they call it a bright tank.

Anyhow I then move the secondary to cold storage right away in my kegerator for 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I use gelatin because I want my lagers as brilliant clear as I can get them. I’m not a haze guy. I give the gelatin a couple days to work then transfer to the keg for serving. Again storing the keg cold after that and trying not to drink it right away. If it can sit for at least another 2 weeks that seems to be decent, but it seems to really improve after about a month.

My kegerator has space for 3 cornys and 2 taps so I use the extra space to keep an extra keg ready for when one kicks.
 

bwible

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Honestly, I have the deepest respect and admiration for those with the fermentation space, lagering space, serving space, and inhuman patience to do this. I do not count myself in that group. But what I lack in patience I more than compensate for with irrepressible charm and indefatigable good looks.
Its not so much about time or patience for me - I have plenty of other beer I can drink while waiting for one more. Its the cost and equipment.

Besides our house fridge I have a basement fridge for bottles and a kegerator. So we’re basically running 3 fridges as it is. I can’t justify buying another fridge or freezer chest for lagering and if I did then my wife would want to put extra food in it.

Unitanks with glycol chillers are cool and all, but I haven’t hit the lottery yet to be able to buy that kind of setup. So I try to get by with what I have. I’m stealing space in my bottle fridge as it is for my hops and yeast, squirreling them in the back behind bottles.

The WF part solves the problem of not having the dedicated 50-55 space. I’ve been very happy with the results of WF 34/70 the couple times I’ve used it so far. I did a bunch of batches in 2020 trying to make psuedo lagers with different ale yeasts. None of the ale yeasts were even close to the WF 34/70 batches.

I’ve been thinking of trying to use the garage when its cold outside. It won’t be a constant temp all the time but it should work during the coldest months, say Jan and Feb. Thats what people did before they had refrigeration back when they were storing beer in caves. I didn’t do it this year but I’m thinking about it for next year.
 
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sweetcell

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currently fermenting:
  • 89% canadian pils
  • 9% munich I
  • 2% acidulated
  • all "African Aroma/Sublime Blend" hops, including 1 oz at 5 minutes and 1 oz flame-out/hop-stand per 5 gallons.
  • 2 packs of rehydrated 34/70 per 5 gallons
  • OG 1.059
pitched at 58 on saturday night, by tuesday morning the beers were hovering around 64. i don't expect them to rise any higher. for temp control i only have heating, no cooling, which works fine for ales in my 60*F basement. for these lagers i'm keeping the controller's target temp set one degree below the beer's actual/current temp, so the heating is a back-stop to ensure the temps don't drop much once the yeast stops producing its own heat. might dry-hop one keg with the african blend, tbd.
 
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Nubiwan

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I just finished my last few bottles of lager. It was generally based on a Czech pils recipe. Used S-23 yeast. Fermented at 58 degrees. My last dozen or so pints were marginally improved over those I had 3-4 weeks post packaging. More evidence of my lack of patience/pipeline to let the stuff age. I’d stand it up against any lager I buy in a restaurant or bar, which I guess is my “comparison bar”.
 

Beermeister32

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I just finished my last few bottles of lager. It was generally based on a Czech pils recipe. Used S-23 yeast. Fermented at 58 degrees. My last dozen or so pints were marginally improved over those I had 3-4 weeks post packaging. More evidence of my lack of patience/pipeline to let the stuff age. I’d stand it up against any lager I buy in a restaurant or bar, which I guess is my “comparison bar”.
That's fantastic. Keep moving the ball downfield, next batch will be even better... Work on that pipeline. Great job!
 

sweetcell

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Used S-23 yeast.
(...)
My last dozen or so pints were marginally improved over those I had 3-4 weeks post packaging.
last year i used 3 different yeasts for my (warm-fermented) lagers, and S-23 was my least favorite. it improved the most with time, after about 6+ months in the keg is was finally on par with the others. just another anecdote to back up your claim of improvement with time. also, this is why i'm only using 34/70 this year - it was the one that tasted best, fastest.
 

Nubiwan

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You have beer before relationships. You will have beer after relationships. Lots of fish in the sea. Don’t give up on the beer. It is the one constant in our lives..! Brew on..!
She wil, always be there for me, and never say no, or argue back.
 

balrog

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Oh, beer calls you all kinds of things.

"You're just not listening!"

My significant other rues the day she convinced me I needed a hobby, any hobby, just pick a hobby.
I picked brewing.
I dove in the deep end, given a science/engineering background and all that goes with it, with a handful of OCD and an addiction to data collection and analysis.

She rues the day.

Rues it, I tell you.
 

renstyle

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She dislikes beer.
The smell and taste of beer.
The smell of making beer.

I am a garage brewer.



When she's out of the house.

My kiddos are the same way during the mash and boil. They are not fans.

Hopefully you have a cool garage, it's where all us cool cats hang out anyway! :cool:
 

renstyle

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Drinking a lager pressure fermented at 18c and it tastes like anything I have fermented at half the temperature to me. Quite incredible., Drinking and clear after 17 days instead of my normal 28. Have to read this thread again when I get time. Cheers

Did a BoPils last summer using the "traditional" method, 11C/52F for about 3 weeks while I was away for work, so super handy. It worked well.

Doing my first BoPils now @ 12 PSI. First time using liquid yeast under pressure as well (Wyeast 2001). Three days to go from 1.040 to 1.008. ;)
 

DuncB

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Although this nun sounds like a good brewer in a very picturesque spot. There is text and pictures on the link so you don't have to listen to it.

 
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sweetcell

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i saved the yeast from my blond lager to make a doppelbock (AKA my annual springtime tradition - this blond --> doppel pairing are the only lagers i brew). unfortunately the day before brew day i discovered i less Munich malt as i thought i did so i improvised/kitchen-sink'ed it:

Doppel-mock:
  • 42% pils
  • 28% maris otter
  • 12% aromatic
  • 12% munich
  • 3.5% caramunich
  • 3.5% pale chocolate (yes, i know, i know, but i like the taste of pale chocolate)
  • 4-hour boil (mostly because i was working during my brew day and had a bunch of calls put on my calendar during the boil)
  • 28 IBUs of spalter select at 60
  • OG 1.079
pitched the second-use 34/70 slurry at 56*F, held at 59* for first 4 days, raised to 61*F on day 5 and holding steady there.
 

Beermeister32

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That’s a big beer, is that 1.079 due to that long boil? I think if I made that, I’d replace the Maris Otter with more Pils and replace the Chocolate with Carafe 2 or thereabouts.
 

sweetcell

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That’s a big beer, is that 1.079 due to that long boil?

nope, that was per the recipe. my target was actually 1.082, but i hadn't planned to boil for 4 hours so i added some water... a little too much in the end. it's a doppelbock (or at least started off as a doppelbock :D ) and the style's range is 1.072 - 1.112 so i'm actually at the low end. i pitched 3/4 of a quart mason-jar of very dense slurry (no liquid) into each 6-gallon batch. took about 24 hours to fully take off. still chugging along nicely on day 5.

I think if I made that, I’d replace the Maris Otter with more Pils and replace the Chocolate with Carafe 2 or thereabouts.

my recipe constraint was that i didn't have enough munich for a proper doppel recipe. since i was going off the rails, i decided to go far afield :D

pils: i contemplated going pils-only, but went with a little MO to add some nuttiness.

pale chocolate: i don't have any carafa on hand, but that would indeed be truer to style. like i said, i was already out of bounds - and i really like what a little pale chocolate can bring to a beer.
 
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