Author Topic: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?  (Read 1592 times)

Offline kraftwerk

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Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« on: February 05, 2013, 09:43:07 PM »
So my first attempt at a lager is going...well it's going. I warmed it up for a diacetyl rest for 3 days before kegging and now it's cold crashed in the garage at around 40 degrees farenheit to get any yeast to settle out. So, my question is: How long do I leave it there? Also, do I then need to prime with sugar for carbonation? I'm assuming I then want to lager for a month or more. Ideas?
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 06:43:05 AM »
The closer you can lager to 32*, the better. (I don't know if you have that capability, though, so take that as it is.)

I usually lager for 4 weeks at 33*. And yes, you need priming sugar if you intend to bottle, just like any other beer.
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Offline kraftwerk

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 07:55:56 AM »
The closer you can lager to 32*, the better. (I don't know if you have that capability, though, so take that as it is.)

I usually lager for 4 weeks at 33*. And yes, you need priming sugar if you intend to bottle, just like any other beer.

Good to know. I'm probably going to leave it kegged. Unfortunately, the garage is the coldest place I have until I get a serving fridge. So in between diacetyl rest and priming, where it is now, how long should I leave it crashed?
Beer is like music. I don't have a favorite. I'll take a well-made example of any style!

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #3 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
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Offline denny

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline jackhorzempa

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 11:49:39 AM »
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!

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 03:54:58 PM »
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.

That works!
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 05:08:41 PM »
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

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.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 06:10:37 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

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.

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
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 06:15:20 AM by davidgzach »
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Offline kraftwerk

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 07:41:32 PM »
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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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 09:26:48 PM »
Cool deal. I'm excited to see how my first lagers turn out.

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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 04:58:13 AM »
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!

NICE!  Congrats on your first lager!
Dave Zach

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 05:11:49 AM »
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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Offline bluesman

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Re: Lager diacetyl rest...now what?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 05:12:24 AM »
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!

Sounds like you did well.

The one thing I find with lagering is that it allows the beer to naturally clear, and develop smoother/rounder flavors (malt and hops). I like to lager on the yeast for 2-4 weeks depending on my space and time schedule. It really helps to have a lagering chest/vessel to enable this process. Lagering is fun.
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