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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: tygo on June 23, 2010, 01:50:00 AM

Title: Lagering Times
Post by: tygo on June 23, 2010, 01:50:00 AM
Is there a general rule of thumb for how long to lager for?  I've seen it said that a pilsner is good after about 3 weeks while a marzen should go for 6-8 weeks.  Is that true and if so why?  How do you determine how long a particular lager should sit at lagering temps?
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 23, 2010, 02:35:13 AM
One rule is to take the OG, subtract 1, and divide by 8.  So for a 1.048 OG Pils, you should lager for 6 weeks.  For a 1.080 doppelbock, 10 weeks. 

The really old rule of thumb would be a week for each degree Plato.  So divide the OG-1 by 4.  The Pils goes to 12 weeks and the Doppelbock goes to 20 weeks.

Kai may have some good input on this.
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: nyakavt on June 23, 2010, 05:43:30 PM
I always go by taste since the condition of the yeast during fermentation and recipe is going to have a big effect on the answer in addition to the OG.  For example I had a dunkel that tasted great after 2 weeks, a Dortmunder that took 8 weeks, and a Bohemian Pilsner that took 5 weeks, all around the same OG.
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: bluesman on June 23, 2010, 07:54:48 PM
I always go by taste since the condition of the yeast during fermentation and recipe is going to have a big effect on the answer in addition to the OG.  For example I had a dunkel that tasted great after 2 weeks, a Dortmunder that took 8 weeks, and a Bohemian Pilsner that took 5 weeks, all around the same OG.

+1

It varies...but the taste of the beer is the true test.

Edit: I like to lager for at least 4 weeks as a general rule, but the bottom line is the end product (taste).
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: Kaiser on June 24, 2010, 01:28:57 PM
I agree with taste. In addition to that I look at clarity and attenuation. The latter may improve a little during cold conditioning. It also depends if I need the beer on tap or need to make space in the freezer. 4-6 weeks works well for most beers.

Kai
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: blatz on June 24, 2010, 03:43:52 PM
I agree with taste. In addition to that I look at clarity and attenuation. The latter may improve a little during cold conditioning. It also depends if I need the beer on tap or need to make space in the freezer. 4-6 weeks works well for most beers.

Kai

+1

typically light lagers: pils, dort, helles, etc.  2-4 weeks, my recent helles was ready to roll in 10 days, but thats not my usual.
amber/dark lagers: dunkel, maerzen - 4weeks
bocks - 10+


Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: sutorbrew on June 24, 2010, 04:10:34 PM
I agree with taste. In addition to that I look at clarity and attenuation. The latter may improve a little during cold conditioning. It also depends if I need the beer on tap or need to make space in the freezer. 4-6 weeks works well for most beers.

Kai

+1

typically light lagers: pils, dort, helles, etc.  2-4 weeks, my recent helles was ready to roll in 10 days, but thats not my usual.
amber/dark lagers: dunkel, maerzen - 4weeks
bocks - 10+




I'm right with you guys on this one I guess the only thing I will add is that I have found even with identical beers (brewed a 10 gallon batch of pils splitting the wort between 2 carboys and doing one with Budvar and the other with Bavarian) you will find that one yeast might take longer to smooth out. I then used the cakes from both batches and washed them to remove the trub and break and did a 10 gallon batch of Doppelbock again splitting the yeasts each in their of carboy and again the Budvar smoothed out before Bavarian. The times seem to be right on to what I am seeing as well.
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: redbeerman on June 25, 2010, 11:34:33 AM
I go by taste and clarity too.  I have found that the lighter beers (pils and helles) are usually ready after a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: tygo on June 25, 2010, 12:59:10 PM
Lots of good info as always.  Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: lazydog79 on June 25, 2010, 02:00:44 PM
Lots of good info as always.  Thanks guys.

+1  I'm getting ready to do my first full lager, so this is great information.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: tygo on July 05, 2010, 10:21:57 PM
One other question:  After lagering should I allow the beer to sit and come up to room temp before bottling it or can I just take it out of the lagering freezer cold, bottle it, and let the beer come up to conditioning temp in the bottle?

Edit - I think this thread from the NB forum answers my question:

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=78950
Title: Re: Lagering Times
Post by: lazydog79 on July 06, 2010, 01:48:48 AM
Thanks for posting that, tygo.  That helps a lot.  I've been putting in the temperature the bottles will be at in my basement.  It's not a big difference, but it's enough.