Author Topic: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation  (Read 1621 times)

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« on: January 21, 2010, 08:23:47 PM »
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.

Offline Kaiser

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
  • Imperial Brewing Geek
    • View Profile
    • braukaiser.com
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2010, 09:24:58 PM »
What does it tast like?

Kai

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 12:48:28 AM »
I haven't sampled it, yet. I figured it needed at least a month more.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6301
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 06:23:36 AM »
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!
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 07:37:08 AM »
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".
Ron Price

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2450
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 07:43:32 AM »
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!
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline redbeerman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1713
  • On the banks of the mighty Susquehanna
    • View Profile
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 08:05:17 AM »
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.
CH3CH2OH - Without it, life itself would be impossible.

[441, 112.1deg] AR

Jim

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1834
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2010, 09:31:24 AM »
I agree what other have said.

I usually lager 4 weeks on 1050 beer.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: How Long to Lager after Long Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2010, 12:55:03 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.