Author Topic: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)  (Read 2468 times)

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 12:49:23 PM »
But if you are making "lagerish" ales, don't you still have to bulk age them?  Maybe you are quicker with the ales, but I turn my 10 gallon batches of lagers about 6 - 8 weeks grain to glass and rotate between 2 strains of German lager yeast.  Admittedly I only do 10 gallons per fermenter and have 3 fermenters going at a time, but it pretty much works with one lager chest held at 47-51F.  Especially in the winter - I pull the beer after 3-4 weeks and leave it at ambient temps in my garage (near freezing).  Gelatin can fine it if a particular batch isn't clearing as quickly as hoped.

Not that I have anything against a good ale...I squeezed in a five gallon batch of oatmeal stout 2 weeks ago for St. Paddy's day and make English Milds all the time, too, using swamp coolers in my basement to keep the temps down.

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Offline majorvices

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Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2013, 02:58:59 PM »
No. Cold crash to 38 for 3-5 days, bright in BBT for about 3 days. That's standard for all my ales. But I have been telling people that some of the extra aging we do on ales and lagers is a waste of time for years before I started my brewery. It's just not often needed.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2013, 03:51:14 PM »
Yeah, I think 90% of small craft breweries across teh country make ales over lagers. Nothing to do with cost of refrigeration, my glycol unit can easily handle the temps, it's the time factor and the larger expense on yeast
I'm sure storage space is also a consideration for a start-up.  Who has room to store 40 or 50 kegs for a month.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline majorvices

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Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 03:54:13 PM »
Plus, in my case the distributor keeps beer in their cold room for up to 6 months before it gets delivered to accounts. No need for long bulk aging.
Keith Y.

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Offline euge

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Re: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 05:18:48 PM »
Plus, in my case the distributor keeps beer in their cold room for up to 6 months before it gets delivered to accounts. No need for long bulk aging.

There's your lagering phase!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 06:14:26 PM »
Wow, primary then 8 days chilling will work for a lager without tasting too green?  Maybe you have found the Holy Grail of brewing!  I don't think my lager beers are done until at least 6 weeks and 4 of those are in primary.

Best of luck - I hope to be able to buy some of your beer some day.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline majorvices

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Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 07:36:02 PM »
Just depends on the beer but most 1.050 lagers don't taste green at all after, say 10-14 days of fermentation (or until it is done) and 1-2 weeks of lagering at close to 30 degrees. Lagers do take longer to ferment and the lagering period is important but there's no reason to lager a Helles or Kolsch for 4+ weeks.

If your fermentation takes 4 week you probably should be pitching more yeast or aerating more thoroughly, but most likely you are just not in a hurry which is one of the luxuries of homebrewing. Commercial breweries can't take that type of luxury, they need to move beer as quickly through fermentors and BBTs as possible.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 07:52:30 PM by majorvices »
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Offline stealthbrewer

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Re: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 09:04:24 PM »
Thanks for the article.
It is great to see these "Micro" success stories !
 I wish them all Luck.

Dan
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy !"

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Homebrewer turned pro in LA(Lower Alabama)
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2013, 12:52:06 PM »
Just depends on the beer but most 1.050 lagers don't taste green at all after, say 10-14 days of fermentation (or until it is done) and 1-2 weeks of lagering at close to 30 degrees. Lagers do take longer to ferment and the lagering period is important but there's no reason to lager a Helles or Kolsch for 4+ weeks.

If your fermentation takes 4 week you probably should be pitching more yeast or aerating more thoroughly, but most likely you are just not in a hurry which is one of the luxuries of homebrewing. Commercial breweries can't take that type of luxury, they need to move beer as quickly through fermentors and BBTs as possible.

I should have elaborated.  I repitch yeast (with nutruent added typically), so I am always pitching enough fresh yeast for fermentation to complete in about 10 days or so at those temperatures (I aerate for about 5 minutes with a wine degasser on a cordless drill). But I like to give the yeast time to clean up after the work is done, so I just push it out to 4 weeks as a matter of scheduling, typically (one 10 gallon batch every other week works in the summer); occasionally I will rack to keg after as little as 3 weeks, if I need to get into the fermenter with a new batch.  I only have one chest freezer with an external thermostat and an internal heater on a separate thermostat to maintain proper primary range, so it is during the winter that I can expedite the process a little by allowing a primary to sit in the garage at near freezing temperatures.  I may try pushing these time limits as the consumption rate of my crew of able-bodied guzzlers typically outstrips this current arrangement and I don't want to build a walk in freezer to ramp up the available cold space for warmer months.  Yes, I have a lot of friends who really like lager homebrews, but settle for ales in the between times.

Cheers.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"