Yeast Autolysis at Lager Temps?

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luckybeagle

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I've brewed a Dusseldorf Altbier and fermented it at 15 PSI at room temperature. I've recently reached final gravity and am preparing to move it to my chest freezer within the next 1-2 days for lagering at 35F for 3-4 weeks before kegging (it's Wyeast 1007 - a top cropping yeast, hence the krausen in the pic).

Since the temperature is so low, am I less likely to have negative effects of yeast autolysis if I keep them in primary on the yeast cake?

Or would it be more wise to crash, fine, and keg it now, and let it sit for 2-4 weeks in the keg under pressure before serving?

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Gnomebrewer

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I'd be very, very surprised if you got autolysis in that timeframe, but haven't used that yeast and they all behave differently. I've had a lager sit on yeast cake for six months (basically I forgot the keg was sitting there) after which it had a faint hint of an off flavour that I think was autolysis, but was still very drinkable. That was with S189. Option 2 would also work well though.
 

Qhrumphf

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Autolysis takes at least 2.5-3 months. Go ahead, ask me how I know. ;)

Don't worry about a couple weeks here & there, you're safe.
Depends on your temp. I've had Saisons fermented in the mid 90s throw off brothiness in weeks. I imagine Kveik yeasts could do likewise at those kind of temps bit I've never let a Kveik yeast sit on yeast that long (unless part of a mixed ferm with Brett)

If you didn't overpitch or otherwise start with a bunch of dead yeast, and it stays cold, I wouldn't foresee any issues for quite some time.
 
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luckybeagle

luckybeagle

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Thanks everyone! Glad to hear this. I'll move the fermenters to the chest freezer and lager them for a month at about 35F, then pressure transfer to kegs for some September/October sipping. :) Holy crap, it's almost time for Oktoberfest, and I haven't brewed a traditional festbier/marzen/helles yet! Maybe the pressure fermenters will come to the rescue just in time.

Thanks again
 

VikeMan

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Yeast autolysis starts before you even pitch your yeast. The question is whether or not it will be enough to cause noticable off flavors. That's where all the variables of time, temperature, yeast health, etc. come in. but to answer what I think was your main question... yes, lower temps should slow it down.
 

Green Gold

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In addition to yeast autolysis flavor and aroma, I wonder how much of a difference aging on yeast has on body? I'm not a winemaker but I've heard some wines are aged on lees to add complexity and body. Might be trivial considering the level of protein and unfermentable sugars in beer vs wine - anyone noticed a difference between lagering with or without yeast?
 
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