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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Januray 20, 2004 * Lagering < Previous Next >

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Rene Kupfer (140.226.57.228)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My basement is about 52-54F and I figured it would make sense brewing lagers during the winter. I bought some German Pilsner yeast (WLP830) and fermented at 52F for 2 weeks and racked yesterday. I donít have an extra refrigerator for the lagering step and donít intend to buy one, so I was thinking of leaving it for another 3 weeks in secondary at same temperature and then bottle.

Has anybody done something similar and got a halfway decent Pilsner?

Is 3 weeks appropriate for secondary fermentation?

Should I crash cool before priming and bottling to precipitate out more yeast?

Any comments??
Thanks
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 08:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Renee,
My primaries for lagers are a minimum of 3 weeks. Lagering usually involves keeping the secondary around 32F for a couple months. You could leave the secondary at same temp for a month and then for a period of a 2 to 4 weeks put your fermenter on ice. What I do is put my secondary in plastic trash can with a bag or two of ice. I keep adding ice from the ice maker every day until the fermenter is about to float, then I drain and start all over. This keeps the beer at 32F for as long as you can keep tending to it. The cool temps in your basement will help keep the ice from melting too quickly.

good luck.

-Doug
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 09:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another alternative to Doug's suggestion is to lager in the bottle. Bottle the beer after another week or so in the secondary (just to help clarify it), let the bottles sit at 60-65°F for two weeks to carbonate, then put them in a cooler with a little ice and do as Doug suggested. I had pretty good success doing this before I got into kegging (kegs are the way to go for lagers).
 

Peter Roman (66.66.38.70)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Im working on a lager right now. I plan on using my corny as a secondary. Will it hurt to pull a pint or two while it is aging? I don't think Ill be able to resist the call of the handle when its in my kegerator :-D
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 09:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter, after I transfer my lager from the primary into the secondary (corny) and chill it down to 32°F, I usually force carb it and put back into the fridge. Thus it is "lagering", but I can sneak a pint or two. I usually try to wait at least three weeks, though. It stays lagering until the bitter end.

To me, it is amazing how much better lager beer gets with time. Convential lagering weeks says 4-6 weeks, but they taste way better after 8 weeks and are awesome at 12 weeks. I don't have any data further than 12 weeks, because they all go "phssssttt" by then. :)
 

Peter Roman (66.66.38.70)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley,
What is the determining factor in deciding when to transfer to your keg?
 

cheesehead (24.118.124.147)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 10:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley-

Do you get yeast sediment when keg lagering as you describe?
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 10:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>What is the determining factor in deciding when to transfer to your keg?

When I reach my targeted OG. For a 1.048 pils, that would be 1.010-1.012. To a lesser degree, when the beer clears a bit in the glass secondary carboy.

>>Do you get yeast sediment when keg lagering as you describe?

Yes. If you can do an intermediary step with a secondary, that will cut it down some. But its not really necessary. Instead of pulling just 1 cloudy pint, you may pull 2-3 before you draw off all the loosely settled yeast. If you agitate the keg, you will have cloudy beer again. But its not much different than what you get with normal kegging of ales or lagers.

I researched this a bit, and could find no reason not to lager under pressure, which basically is what this method is. Some folks even claim that lagering works better under pressure. I can say that the bo-pils that I force carbed in early November, and has been lagering ever since, just seems to taste better and better each week.
 

tobias magan (64.136.26.225)
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 03:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For lagering or secondary in a glass carboy, does one use an airlock or seal the carboy? Does it matter?

Thanks,
Tobias
 

Jim Layton (67.31.233.85)
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 04:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use an airlock when lagering in a carboy. It might matter a lot if there is some residual fermentation.

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