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Lager diacetyl rest...now what?

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jackhorzempa:
The topic of whether to cold crash or not is an interesting topic. Bill Pierce wrote an article in BYO (Mar/Apr 2006 issue) entitled: The Lowdown on Lagering: Advanced Brewing. In that article:

“Some brewing texts recommend slowly reducing the temperature by no more than 5 °F (3 °C) per day until the temperature is at the desired setting for lagering. However, many homebrewers ignore this advice and achieve excellent results. There is agreement that in order to achieve the maximum effect the lagering needs to be done cold, with the temperature no more than 40 °F (5 °C). Many commercial breweries lager at nearly freezing temperatures, in the 32–34 °F (0–1 °C) range.”

So, in my homebrewing I have done the slowly reducing temperature method and I have also cold crashed. In both cases the beers have turned out just fine. I agree 100% with Bill concerning: “However, many homebrewers ignore this advice and achieve excellent results.”

As regards the topic of how long to lager, Bill writes in his article:

“For medium to high-gravity beers, Greg Noonan — brewpub owner and author of “New Brewing Lager Beer” (1996, Brewers Publications) — recommends 7–12 days per each 2 °Plato of original gravity. (One degree Plato is roughly equal to 4 specific gravity “points.”). For lower gravity lagers the time is reduced to 3–7 days. According to those guidelines, a 1.064 O.G. German bock should be lagered for 56–96 days, while a 1.040 American lager would be lagered 15–35 days.”

I personally utilize the ‘rule’ of 7 days for each 2° Plato for lagering my homebrewed beers.

I would recommend that the OP download Bill’s article since it is a very helpful article.

Cheers!

davidgzach:

--- Quote from: denny on February 06, 2013, 09:32:34 AM ---Dave, since I have primitive temp control, I always just cold crash.  But I do that after a long fermentation ti be sure the yeast is finished.  By doing that I don't need to worry about keeping the yeast active.

--- End quote ---

That works!

hopfenundmalz:

--- Quote from: davidgzach on February 06, 2013, 08:01:28 AM ---A couple of things:
1) You typically do not want to cold crash the beer as opposed to gradually bringing it down to lager temps.  You don't want to shock the yeast.  That being said, it's not the end of the world.  Note for next time. 
2) How long to lager?  Well, how much yeast did you pitch?  Did you make a starter?  If you had a sufficient pitch, you could consume in 3-4 weeks.  If not, I would leave on for 4-6 weeks to let the yeast finish their job cleaning the beer.  What temp did you ferment and for how long?
3) You can prime with sugar for carbonation or force carb when it is done.  Up to you. 

Hope this helps and good luck!

Dave

--- End quote ---

If you have done a D-rest and cleaned up all of the VDKs and such, you can crash it down so that the Stokes law thing is going for you.

Look at Kai's site (Braukaiser.com) and see the different profiles of temp and time.

davidgzach:

--- Quote from: hopfenundmalz on February 06, 2013, 05:08:41 PM ---
--- Quote from: davidgzach on February 06, 2013, 08:01:28 AM ---A couple of things:
1) You typically do not want to cold crash the beer as opposed to gradually bringing it down to lager temps.  You don't want to shock the yeast.  That being said, it's not the end of the world.  Note for next time. 
2) How long to lager?  Well, how much yeast did you pitch?  Did you make a starter?  If you had a sufficient pitch, you could consume in 3-4 weeks.  If not, I would leave on for 4-6 weeks to let the yeast finish their job cleaning the beer.  What temp did you ferment and for how long?
3) You can prime with sugar for carbonation or force carb when it is done.  Up to you. 

Hope this helps and good luck!

Dave

--- End quote ---

If you have done a D-rest and cleaned up all of the VDKs and such, you can crash it down so that the Stokes law thing is going for you.

Look at Kai's site (Braukaiser.com) and see the different profiles of temp and time.

--- End quote ---

Jeff,

This is why I asked my second question.  If there was not a sufficient pitch, then a 3 day D-Rest may not clean up everything and gradual cooling may be preferred.  Kai is assuming a proper pitch rate.  I still think gradual cooling is best practice, but that's just my humble opinion.  As stated, you can make great beer by crash cooling as well.   

Dave

kraftwerk:
Well I tasted my lager last night, about 3 months after brewing and it is pretty darn good! The diacetyl cleaned up quite a lot and I'm left with a really nice, amber rye lager. It's pretty amazing what yeast can do if you leave it to it's own devices. White Labs 940 Mexican Lager is nice and clean. Thanks for all the input, everyone!

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