Author Topic: Lager Question  (Read 758 times)

Offline cpprice

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Lager Question
« on: February 26, 2010, 12:19:15 PM »
Is it best to cool down in the primary fermentor before racking to secondary or is it better just to rack to secondary after fermentation is finished?  I still have a considerable amount of cloudiness in the beer.  I fermented for 8 days at 50F and after the activity in the airlock slowed I checked the gravity and it was within 1.004 of my estimated final gravity.  I then warmed up to 55F for 2 days and have cooled back down to 50F and the beer has been at 50F for 2 days.  I have been debating racking this weekend at 50F or cooling it down before racking. 
Thanks,
Chris   

Offline bspisak

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Question
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 04:54:58 PM »

I have a similar question, but because my fermentation cycle was different, I'll state it like this:

     How much yeast does one want left in contact with the beer during lagering?

If you rack before chilling, then some of that yeast will not have flocc'ed (especially in less floc. strains like 2565 Kolsch.)  While, if you chill first, more will floc, so when you rack you'll be racking it off that yeast.

My ferm cycle was 8 days primary at 60, 1 week secondary at 60 then crash to 45, wait a few days, then slowly drop to 32.  So the question I'm debating is weather to rack again now that I'm at 45 and have got more of the yeast to floc.

Brian


Online majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6306
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Lager Question
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 04:25:07 AM »
It doesn't matter. Once fermentation is done the yeast aren't really doing anything.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Online majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6306
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Lager Question
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 04:32:55 AM »

I have a similar question, but because my fermentation cycle was different, I'll state it like this:

     How much yeast does one want left in contact with the beer during lagering?



First off, 60 degrees is too warm for any lager, you mention kolsch and that's a perfect temp for that yeast, however kolsch is an ale, not a lager. It does undergo a cold conditioning period (aka lagering) however, because it is an ale yeast you can;t really call it a lager.

But again, once the fermentation is done and the diacetyl and acetaldahyde are cleaned up the yeast aren't really doing anything any more. Feel free to rack and leave as much behind as possible.

Now, all that said, in traditional german brewing practices they start to lower the temp to lagering temps and generally cap fermentation to carbonate the beer while fermentation is still taking place (at something like 75% of the expected aa), but on the homebrew level this method does not seem to work. But in that case, yeah, you would need some yeast in suspesion at the very least. But what works best for me is to raise the temp a few degrees near the end to accelerate maturation, hold it until fermentation is completely finished, then let it sit a few more days just to be sure, then rack and lower to lagering temps.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline bspisak

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Question
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 10:19:57 AM »
Thanks for the answers. Sorry to the OP for hijacking his thread. His question was:

Is it best to cool down in the primary fermentor before racking to secondary or is it better just to rack to secondary after fermentation is finished?  I still have a considerable amount of cloudiness in the beer.

Since this wasn't completely addressed, I'll take a stab at it.  But somebody with more knowledge and experience should chime in. I would rack it now. Simply because there's other things than yeast at the bottom of your fermenter you probably want to get the beer off. Whatever is left in suspension will eventually settle during lagering and will leave you with less of a sediment depth when you rack to bottle/keg so your less likely to suck up anything.  I suppose you can always rack again, too. It doesn't sound like there is any particular reason not to.

Brian

Offline babalu87

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 831
  • Grand Brewbah
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Question
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010, 07:21:58 PM »

I have a similar question, but because my fermentation cycle was different, I'll state it like this:

     How much yeast does one want left in contact with the beer during lagering?



First off, 60 degrees is too warm for any lager, you mention kolsch and that's a perfect temp for that yeast, however kolsch is an ale, not a lager. It does undergo a cold conditioning period (aka lagering) however, because it is an ale yeast you can;t really call it a lager.

But again, once the fermentation is done and the diacetyl and acetaldahyde are cleaned up the yeast aren't really doing anything any more. Feel free to rack and leave as much behind as possible.

Now, all that said, in traditional german brewing practices they start to lower the temp to lagering temps and generally cap fermentation to carbonate the beer while fermentation is still taking place (at something like 75% of the expected aa), but on the homebrew level this method does not seem to work. But in that case, yeah, you would need some yeast in suspesion at the very least. But what works best for me is to raise the temp a few degrees near the end to accelerate maturation, hold it until fermentation is completely finished, then let it sit a few more days just to be sure, then rack and lower to lagering temps.

Fast
Ferment
Test

It works
I've done the natural carbonation with a few beers , worked great

Need to know the FG of the beer before it gets there though (hence the FG test)

Not for the meek however
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead