General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation

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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.

What does it tast like?


I haven't sampled it, yet. I figured it needed at least a month more.

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!

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".


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