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Author Topic: New to Lagering  (Read 1503 times)

Offline GolfBum

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New to Lagering
« on: March 27, 2013, 07:26:28 pm »
I am looking to try my first lager in a few weeks. Not sure which style yet. I have just tested my fridges temps for the last few days and it is sitting right at 45 degrees every time I have checked the temp. I was on the white labs site and most lager yeasts have an optimal temp of 50-55. I'm sure 45 is fine for a lager yeast, I have a few questions.

1.) Would fermenting at 45 create off flavors?
2.) Any styles that like a colder fermenting temp?
3.) I was listening to the Jamil Show and he said that lagers fermented at lower temps don't need diacetyl rests. Is that something to go by? If so, whats a low temp?

Sorry if some of those questions seem a little common sense but I have never looked into lagers until a few days ago.

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: New to Lagering
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 06:55:52 am »
1.  No...I actually pitch at 45 and let it free rise to 50 and hold there. 
2.  All my lagers are started at 45 and held at 50.  I ferment my alts at a colder temps, not 45-50 low but around 60F
3.  I have found that diacetyl is minimized when pitching lower and free rising up and holding at 50F.  I may jump it up the about 55F at the end just because I can ( temp controlled chest freezer ) but I'm not sure it's necessary.

Once you've done your first lager, you'll see it's not much different than other beer you've brewed.  Lower temp control and longer aging (lagering) time are really the main differences.

Good luck!
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
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Stephen Mayo

Offline majorvices

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New to Lagering
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 07:09:47 am »
Just remember you need to make a very large starter. The slurry from a gallon starter made with 2 vials of yeast would not be too big. Constant aeration or stirring will help minimize the size but most homebrewers problems with lagers are under pitching.

Also aerate heavily. IMO you are better off using pure o2 and aerate while the wort is cold.

As DS said, pitch cold. I like to pitch around 48 and let fermentation run at 46-48  - 50. After the bulk of fermentation is done I raise the temp to 56-58 not so much for D rest as much as just accelerating maturation.

I personally like to lager for a week or two in fermentor then rack to corny kegs ( or bright) for rest if lagering period.

For most low OG lagers 2 weeks of lagering is usually plenty.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: New to Lagering
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 07:30:33 am »
What they said^^^^^^^

I would only add that it doesn't hurt anything to do a diacetyl rest except for a couple of extra days in the process.  Yeast react differently and some will produce diacetyl even at low temps.  Bringing the beer up to 60-65F will speed up the cleaning process and help finish the beer to FG.  If you pitch enough yeast in well aerated wort you may not need to do this, but like I said, it doesn't hurt....if you are unsure, I would do it.   

It's a cheap insurance policy IMHO.

Dave Zach