Author Topic: Lager Success Finally  (Read 2521 times)

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Lager Success Finally
« on: January 09, 2015, 03:12:54 PM »
I tried making a few lagers last winter, learned a few things. They were OK.

On 12/27 I made two Helles beers. Both were 80% 20% German pils/Vienna. One got an ounce of Tettnang at 60 and the other an ounce of Hallertau. Pitched ample amount of 2124 to each with lots of O2. Pitching temp was 48º with the controller set at 50º. I use speidel 30L fermenters, the next morning the airlocks were blowing starsan foam. Peaked in every day. On morning 5 I noticed the amount of airlock activity was slowing so I started bumping the temp up 1 or 2º per day. This morning is day 13. Temp was at 62º from when I set it yesterday.  Took my first gravity sample and its 1.009 from OG of 1.051. Pretty hazy with suspended yeast, but the sample was so good I finished it. No DMS, acetaldehyde, or diacetyle. Faint match head aroma that is actually appealing. No hop aroma, medium grainy nose. Flavor is cracker biscuit malt forward with a medium low spicy/floral hop supporting it. Lightly sweet but finishes crisp. Can't wait to see how it is clear and carbed. I bumped it to 68º and will leave it there till sunday night when I take another reading. Then cold crash and hold for a week before kegging.

Pretty excited. It would be super to be able to produce a quality lager!

Thanks for all the help forum buddies!

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 03:15:56 PM »
congrats! took a few try's for me also to get it right-a right of passage i suppose.

now the hard part...waiting time to drink it  ;D
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 03:31:28 PM »
Sounds like it'll be good.
Jon H.

Offline dls5492

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 03:47:25 PM »
Congratulations! I love doing lagers. They are a great beer to drink and a challenging beer to brew. There are so many ways to make a mistake. But, when you get it right, it is amazingly satisfying.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 04:19:11 PM »
It's a bit premature to claim mastery. But by george I think I've got it. What I've done different this time is pitch huge and O2 huge, pitch at a temp below target, and start the temp increase at first sign of krausen slowing. Seems to be the way to do it for me

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 04:22:49 PM »
It's a bit premature to claim mastery. But by george I think I've got it. What I've done different this time is pitch huge and O2 huge, pitch at a temp below target, and start the temp increase at first sign of krausen slowing. Seems to be the way to do it for me

That's pretty much what I do, Jim.  I'm no lager guru, but I like mine quite a bit.
Jon H.

Offline jtoots

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 311
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 04:26:06 PM »
It's a bit premature to claim mastery. But by george I think I've got it. What I've done different this time is pitch huge and O2 huge, pitch at a temp below target, and start the temp increase at first sign of krausen slowing. Seems to be the way to do it for me

I'm curious about the exact timing of temp increase... I've been waiting until airlock activity slows to 10 seconds plus between bubbles.  Do you think I should start the increase earlier?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 05:08:28 PM »
It's a bit premature to claim mastery. But by george I think I've got it. What I've done different this time is pitch huge and O2 huge, pitch at a temp below target, and start the temp increase at first sign of krausen slowing. Seems to be the way to do it for me

I'm curious about the exact timing of temp increase... I've been waiting until airlock activity slows to 10 seconds plus between bubbles.  Do you think I should start the increase earlier?

i have good results with this: pitching at 47F and then holding fermentation at 50F, usually about day 6 (this is counting 24hr blocks from visible fermentation) im at about 60-65% attenuation, and I set temp to 62F and let it free rise to there, holding a few days, then dropping 5F every 12 hours until 30F ambient temp.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline braufessor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2015, 06:06:03 PM »
Nice job...... some of the best beers I have ever made in my life have been lagers - Dortmunders and Bo Pils in particular.  Most of my worst beers in the last 5 years have been lagers too........ The yeast, the 02, the temp..... all super important.  It really is amazing how good a plain old helles or other light lager can be when you really nail it.  The second trick is doing it every time you try.... that is what I am still working on.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9006
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2015, 06:25:02 PM »
It is lager season here in frozen MI. A CAP is in the keg. A Vienna is on the D-rest. A Pils is planned next maybe on Monday.

The keys in my experience are to have good ingredients, watch the mash pH, boil for 90 min. if you have a majority of Pils malt, add nutrients to the boil. Then the real attention to detail is on the cold side, lots of yeast, O2, pitch cold, ferment cold (on big beers 48F vs 50F for a Pils), do a D-rest to finish and drive of H2S, lager as cold as you can.

Jim, do more lagers, you get better with practice, and they are so nice to drink outside when the weather is warm and sunny.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline gman23

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3518
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 06:29:57 PM »
What temp do you normally do a d-rest at?
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 06:39:53 PM »
What temp do you normally do a d-rest at?
62F for  me
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline dls5492

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 06:42:29 PM »
What temp do you normally do a d-rest at?
62F for  me

between 60f and 65f for me.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 06:43:55 PM »
Jon H.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Lager Success Finally
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 07:26:25 PM »
It's a bit premature to claim mastery. But by george I think I've got it. What I've done different this time is pitch huge and O2 huge, pitch at a temp below target, and start the temp increase at first sign of krausen slowing. Seems to be the way to do it for me
Agreed, although I think the biggest factor is getting a big, healthy pitch of yeast off to a cool start. My life dictates my fermentation schedule (as opposed to the beer) in most instances. My lagers turn out just fine regardless of how long I wait to start ramping them up. From a production standpoint, sooner is better. But as long as you get things off to a healthy start the yeast seem to be pretty forgiving from that point on.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer