Author Topic: Lagering Time  (Read 5750 times)

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2013, 03:14:35 PM »
Once you are done fermenting (and you ferment properly) you can lager just couple of days (this would also apply for ales).
I haven't managed to get it down to just a couple days yet, it usually takes me at least a week to drop the beer clear, but otherwise I agree with this and it fits my experience.  I make sure my Lagers are done at the end of fermentation.  At that point they are clean, delicious and nearly ready to drink right from the fermenter. 

My observation has been that Lagering them a long time just tends to dull all the lovely fresh flavor that makes them taste like fresh beer in Germany, making them taste more like a bottle that's had to cross the Atlantic.
I would agree with you.
My yeast is quite powdery.
After reaching FG I let it sit about a week at 40-42F.
Then I filter it off and carbonate at 32F.
After carbonation, it is ready to package and drink.
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Offline majorvices

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Lagering Time
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 07:09:31 PM »
So, the whole point of "lagering" is to let the yeast finish working at cold temps to clean up diacetyl and other off flavors and to create carbonation. It's supposed to be a process where the yeast are still working, even going as far as adding active yeast (kruasening) to the  lagering tank. If you are not doing that, there's really no need to lager except to clear the beer and "round out" some flavors. Rule  of  thumb, 1-2 weeks for 1.050ish beers and 4-6 weeks (maybe 8 ) for anything over 1.065.

Quite simply, you don't need extended lagering if you arent following traditional lager protocol and you may be missing out on fresh beer.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 08:38:02 PM »
Only 6 lagers experience so not an expert. But I think there's little doubt that plenty of time on the yeast is a good thing.

Offline majorvices

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Lagering Time
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2013, 05:44:21 AM »
Only 6 lagers experience so not an expert. But I think there's little doubt that plenty of time on the yeast is a good thing.

Maybe. depends what your definition of "plenty"is. You have a limited amount of time on the yeast before you introduce autolysis. Granted, homebrew beers can probably go several weeks, you still want to get it off the yeast.

Point is, if you are doing a d-rest you are speeding up the yeast conditioning time that normally happens during traditional lagering. So if you are not doing a traditional lagering method you only need a couple weeks for most low gravity lagers. And certainly no more than 6-8 for higher gravity lagers, if that much.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2013, 06:07:32 AM »
Only 6 lagers experience so not an expert. But I think there's little doubt that plenty of time on the yeast is a good thing.

Maybe. depends what your definition of "plenty"is. You have a limited amount of time on the yeast before you introduce autolysis. Granted, homebrew beers can probably go several weeks, you still want to get it off the yeast.

Point is, if you are doing a d-rest you are speeding up the yeast conditioning time that normally happens during traditional lagering. So if you are not doing a traditional lagering method you only need a couple weeks for most low gravity lagers. And certainly no more than 6-8 for higher gravity lagers, if that much.
Really? You think autolysis happens that quickly? I've had good results lagering on the yeast cake for an additional 2+ weeks after the primary.
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Offline anthony

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2013, 07:00:12 AM »
So, the whole point of "lagering" is to let the yeast finish working at cold temps to clean up diacetyl and other off flavors and to create carbonation. It's supposed to be a process where the yeast are still working, even going as far as adding active yeast (kruasening) to the  lagering tank. If you are not doing that, there's really no need to lager except to clear the beer and "round out" some flavors. Rule  of  thumb, 1-2 weeks for 1.050ish beers and 4-6 weeks (maybe 8 ) for anything over 1.065.

Quite simply, you don't need extended lagering if you arent following traditional lager protocol and you may be missing out on fresh beer.

Agreed.

I think it really depends on what your goal is. Just a week or two ago, I had a brewer stop by who brews at a small regional brewery in Bavaria, and he ribbed me quite a bit that our Maibock wasn't lagered long enough.

And if you're filtering, you're rounding out flavor and removing yeast in one shot, then the only thing you need to worry about is diacetyl and other ketones.

Of course if you follow this pseudo-accelerated schedule, other things will need to be adjusted as well, for instance hop bitterness. Many lager recipes are formulated with the idea that the beer will be lagering for 5+ weeks and the hop level is adjusted accordingly.

Can you make tasty lager following the traditional German schedule? Absolutely, I walked around the breweries in Aying and Andechs and was absolutely blown away by the "freshness" of the beer, the softness of the malt, and the overall complexity. And the beers are in tanks for well over a month before they are served to the public. Can you make tasty lager following an accelerated schedule? I think you can, but you have to balance a lot more variables.

Frankly, on the professional level, I have a lot of motivation to follow an accelerated schedule. But if I were still homebrewing, I would most likely follow a more traditional path because you have the time to spare anyways.

Offline majorvices

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Lagering Time
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2013, 07:32:26 AM »
Only 6 lagers experience so not an expert. But I think there's little doubt that plenty of time on the yeast is a good thing.

Maybe. depends what your definition of "plenty"is. You have a limited amount of time on the yeast before you introduce autolysis. Granted, homebrew beers can probably go several weeks, you still want to get it off the yeast.

Point is, if you are doing a d-rest you are speeding up the yeast conditioning time that normally happens during traditional lagering. So if you are not doing a traditional lagering method you only need a couple weeks for most low gravity lagers. And certainly no more than 6-8 for higher gravity lagers, if that much.
Really? You think autolysis happens that quickly? I've had good results lagering on the yeast cake for an additional 2+ weeks after the primary.

It depends on the beer and how much dead yeast you carry over from previous pitches. You are most likely fine for 2-3 weeks, maybe even longer. My point is simply some people lager much longer than necessary expecting benefits from yeast that are no longer active.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2013, 01:39:17 PM »
Only 6 lagers experience so not an expert. But I think there's little doubt that plenty of time on the yeast is a good thing.

Maybe. depends what your definition of "plenty"is. You have a limited amount of time on the yeast before you introduce autolysis. Granted, homebrew beers can probably go several weeks, you still want to get it off the yeast.

Point is, if you are doing a d-rest you are speeding up the yeast conditioning time that normally happens during traditional lagering. So if you are not doing a traditional lagering method you only need a couple weeks for most low gravity lagers. And certainly no more than 6-8 for higher gravity lagers, if that much.
Really? You think autolysis happens that quickly? I've had good results lagering on the yeast cake for an additional 2+ weeks after the primary.
I think autolysis can happen pretty quickly. 4 to 6 weeks. Now question comes why it does not happen in the bottle condition beer? I think it is amount of yeast you have in bottle/keg/jar.
autolysis still happen there but it is in much less cells that die and it does not have sagnificant impact on the flavor of the bottle.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2013, 01:45:37 PM »
So, the whole point of "lagering" is to let the yeast finish working at cold temps to clean up diacetyl and other off flavors and to create carbonation. It's supposed to be a process where the yeast are still working, even going as far as adding active yeast (kruasening) to the  lagering tank. If you are not doing that, there's really no need to lager except to clear the beer and "round out" some flavors. Rule  of  thumb, 1-2 weeks for 1.050ish beers and 4-6 weeks (maybe 8 ) for anything over 1.065.

Quite simply, you don't need extended lagering if you arent following traditional lager protocol and you may be missing out on fresh beer.

Agreed.

I think it really depends on what your goal is. Just a week or two ago, I had a brewer stop by who brews at a small regional brewery in Bavaria, and he ribbed me quite a bit that our Maibock wasn't lagered long enough.

And if you're filtering, you're rounding out flavor and removing yeast in one shot, then the only thing you need to worry about is diacetyl and other ketones.

Of course if you follow this pseudo-accelerated schedule, other things will need to be adjusted as well, for instance hop bitterness. Many lager recipes are formulated with the idea that the beer will be lagering for 5+ weeks and the hop level is adjusted accordingly.

Can you make tasty lager following the traditional German schedule? Absolutely, I walked around the breweries in Aying and Andechs and was absolutely blown away by the "freshness" of the beer, the softness of the malt, and the overall complexity. And the beers are in tanks for well over a month before they are served to the public. Can you make tasty lager following an accelerated schedule? I think you can, but you have to balance a lot more variables.

Frankly, on the professional level, I have a lot of motivation to follow an accelerated schedule. But if I were still homebrewing, I would most likely follow a more traditional path because you have the time to spare anyways.

I think taste of lagering is like taste of decoction. Did you give guy a beer, he took a sip and declare that it was not lagered enought?

There is a lot to a flavor of the beer.
May be you MaiBock tasted different to Matt because you were using domestic malts. May be you we're using imported malts but they get fresher malts.
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On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline anthony

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2013, 09:38:03 AM »
We use imported malts. I'm guessing the real difference he noticed is that we used the Augustiner yeast which can be a little fruity, lagered or not, and they use something a little more traditional at Faust.


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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2013, 12:23:05 AM »
Only 6 lagers experience so not an expert. But I think there's little doubt that plenty of time on the yeast is a good thing.

Maybe. depends what your definition of "plenty"is. You have a limited amount of time on the yeast before you introduce autolysis. Granted, homebrew beers can probably go several weeks, you still want to get it off the yeast.

Point is, if you are doing a d-rest you are speeding up the yeast conditioning time that normally happens during traditional lagering. So if you are not doing a traditional lagering method you only need a couple weeks for most low gravity lagers. And certainly no more than 6-8 for higher gravity lagers, if that much.
Really? You think autolysis happens that quickly? I've had good results lagering on the yeast cake for an additional 2+ weeks after the primary.
I think autolysis can happen pretty quickly. 4 to 6 weeks. Now question comes why it does not happen in the bottle condition beer? I think it is amount of yeast you have in bottle/keg/jar.
autolysis still happen there but it is in much less cells that die and it does not have sagnificant impact on the flavor of the bottle.
In my experience, in a 5 gallon carboy with initially healthy yeast and an average strength beer, autolysis takes much longer than 3 months to be a problem.  I think that, much like a shark riding on an elephant's back, it is something to watch out for but not necessarily anything to worry about.
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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2013, 09:20:34 AM »
I think that, much like a shark riding on an elephant's back, it is something to watch out for but not necessarily anything to worry about.

Yeah, but what if it was a shark with frickin' lasers?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2013, 09:49:40 AM »
I think that, much like a shark riding on an elephant's back, it is something to watch out for but not necessarily anything to worry about.
Yeah, but what if it was a shark with frickin' lasers?
Then simply watching out may not be enough.  You'd best wear your mirrored clothes to reflect the laser back into the elephant's eye so it goes stampeding off in the wrong direction and tramples the lion with the wolverine on its back.  Then you'll finally be safe.
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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2013, 10:12:09 AM »
I think that, much like a shark riding on an elephant's back, it is something to watch out for but not necessarily anything to worry about.
Yeah, but what if it was a shark with frickin' lasers?
Then simply watching out may not be enough.  You'd best wear your mirrored clothes to reflect the laser back into the elephant's eye so it goes stampeding off in the wrong direction and tramples the lion with the wolverine on its back.  Then you'll finally be safe.

Thanks for the advice!  :)
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Offline beersk

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Re: Lagering Time
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2013, 10:38:03 AM »
I think that, much like a shark riding on an elephant's back, it is something to watch out for but not necessarily anything to worry about.
Yeah, but what if it was a shark with frickin' lasers?
Then simply watching out may not be enough.  You'd best wear your mirrored clothes to reflect the laser back into the elephant's eye so it goes stampeding off in the wrong direction and tramples the lion with the wolverine on its back.  Then you'll finally be safe.

Thanks for the advice!  :)
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