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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: skyler on January 22, 2010, 03:23:47 AM

Title: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: skyler on January 22, 2010, 03:23:47 AM
For reasons I have previously explained, my first lager ended up in primary for 5 weeks. Now it's lagering at 32 degrees. My question is: how long should I let this lager? It's a märzen, OG 1.054, and I used w-34/70.
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: Kaiser on January 22, 2010, 04:24:58 AM
What does it tast like?

Kai
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: skyler on January 22, 2010, 07:48:28 AM
I haven't sampled it, yet. I figured it needed at least a month more.
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: majorvices on January 22, 2010, 01:23:36 PM
Now, you leave me scratching my head .... why would you not try it??? :-\ Assuming you transferred it, you shoudl have at least tried it. You took a gravity reading, right? Why not sample it? You need to be sampling your beer at every stage.

Regardless, most people lager their lagers way too long. A doppelbock .... yeah, I can see 6 months on that one. A Marzen, although at one point in time was lagered for 6 months probably needs no more that 6 weeks. But you need to take a taste to see. It could be that at 6 months lagering it is past its prime!
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: bluesman on January 22, 2010, 02:37:08 PM
As Kai and Major have indicated, taste is the "tell tale sign". I have found that lagering for more than a month doesn't get me anything extra for an Ofest.

Actually, lagering beyond a month only leads to the beer losing it's balance. From my experience, the hop flavor begins to diminish over time.

Ultimately, "let your taste buds be your guide".
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: blatz on January 22, 2010, 02:43:32 PM
Regardless, most people lager their lagers way too long. A doppelbock .... yeah, I can see 6 months on that one. A Marzen, although at one point in time was lagered for 6 months probably needs no more that 6 weeks. But you need to take a taste to see. It could be that at 6 months lagering it is past its prime!

Can I get an AMEN!
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: redbeerman on January 22, 2010, 03:05:17 PM
Regardless, most people lager their lagers way too long. A doppelbock .... yeah, I can see 6 months on that one. A Marzen, although at one point in time was lagered for 6 months probably needs no more that 6 weeks. But you need to take a taste to see. It could be that at 6 months lagering it is past its prime!

Can I get an AMEN!

AMEN! ;D  I usually lager for 4 to 8 weeks depending on the beer.  I have found lighter styles (i.e. Helles) don't benefit from a very long lager period.
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 22, 2010, 04:31:24 PM
I agree what other have said.

I usually lager 4 weeks on 1050 beer.
Title: Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
Post by: skyler on January 22, 2010, 07:55:03 PM
I guess that, since I have been brewing ales so long, that I have thought there was some sort of voodoo to lagers, like that the oxidation which would occur from taking a sample might disturb the resting spirits of centuries-old Bavarian braumeisters, or perhaps that lagering for less than 2 months would turn my cat into a dragon... the usual brew voodoo ;). Being a complete lager noob (I barely even drink lagers), I suppose I have been overly cautious at my beer's expense. I'll give her a taste this weekend, though I may not have kegerator space for her for a month or so (unless my girlfriend's birthday party tonight goes through more than 10 gallons of homebrew) :o.