« on: January 03, 2015, 03:56:12 PM »
1) Don’t ever cover your boil. If you cover the pot then you are asking for DMS. You might get lucky and not have DMS in the finished beer, but... there is no good reason to cover a boil, ever, especially if you want to avoid DMS. I don’t know what difference it makes covering the wort after the boil, but I always cover mine right away during the chill and never get any DMS, so there’s ONE data point.
2) I follow no set number of days for fermentation. Ferment until it’s “almost done” and then taste and see if it needs a D rest. Usually it doesn’t, but if it does, raise it up. In any case, it’s not wrong to raise the temp AND leave it up until fermentation is 100% complete. Then, after fermentation is done, if you want to lager in bulk for a few weeks, that’s a good thing in my experience. But wait until she’s done before cooling down.
3) There is quite a bit of cleanup and settling and clarification that occurs in lagering. A couple 2-3 weeks is normal for my lagers. If I get lazy it might go for 4-6 weeks. I bottle mine so I shouldn’t really comment on kegging but I imagine you can safely lager directly in the keg if you wanted.
Bottom line: There is no set schedule. Let your yeast do the talking. When you taste diacetyl, give it a rest. Otherwise you don’t need to. Don’t lager till they’re done. Then lager “until it tastes good”, whenever that is, regardless of number of days or weeks.
P.S. Oh yeah... and I don't secondary. Keep everything in the primary until you're ready to keg or bottle. No worries. Just don't let it sit in primary for like 3 months because there is eventually at that point a slight chance of autolysis. But not before like 10 weeks.