HOMEBREW Digest #5925 Tue 27 March 2012

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  Lager (Nathaniel Letcher)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2012 12:01:52 -0500 From: Nathaniel Letcher <nathaniel.letcher at gmail.com> Subject: Lager Tom, While I've not yet brewed a lager, I do not think you'd want to drop the temperature of the yeast before fermentation is complete. Lager yeasts, to my understanding, have an optimum fermentation temp. of something around 50 F. Any yeast when crashed to 36-38 F will go dormant. It's possible that the Fermentis yeast will continue to slowly consume the wort's sugars but they will be doing so at a greatly reduced rate than would be the case if they were 10 degrees warmer. In fact, many brewers raise the temperature of their wort to as high as 68 F near the end of fermentation, not only to reduce diacetyl, but to ensure complete attenuation of the wort. Most of the undesirable yeast byproducts are produced during the initial growth phase of fermentation. Once that period has passed it is perfectly fine to ferment lager yeast at what are considered ale temperatures. The purpose of lagering is to clear the beer, precipitate proteins/polyphenols, and, of course, allow the yeast to "clean up" the beer a bit, but before they can do that the beer needs to be fully attenuated. In your case, I'd warm the beer back up and rouse the yeast. If you still don't see a drop in final gravity then you've got another issue with your process. Nathan Letcher St Louis, MO Return to table of contents
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