Author Topic: Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)  (Read 1116 times)

Offline snailale

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Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)
« on: May 05, 2010, 10:17:00 PM »
Hey guys,

First time posting on the forum, but I have been an AHA member for 2 years. I have a question about the lagering process.

I have two beers in primary fermentation, in my chest freezer, at 50F (German Schwarzbier and an IPA). The Schwarz has been in primary for 3 weeks (bubbling about once every 30 seconds, no krausen) and the IPA has been in primary for two weeks (bubbling about once every 15 seconds, but still with a thick layer of krausen . I am looking to begin the lagering process for the schwarzbier ASAP, because I need it to be ready to drink by  June 11th.

My question is when should I began the lagering process? I normally do not use secondary fermenters, just a really long primary instead. Should I transfer to a seondary and lager, transfer to a keg and lager (leaving it to naturally pressurize) or leave it in the primary and lager?

Also, does anyone do a diacetyl rest at 65F before lagering? I was told to do this for at least 24hrs before lagering the beer.

I apologize for the number of questions, I am just confused with the lagering process, because I have never done a lager before.

Any input/advice anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Offline denny

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Re: Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 11:30:21 AM »
Take a gravity reading.  That'll tell you 2 things...first, if the beer is done with primary and ready for lagering.  Second, taste the sample.  If you taste diacetyl, you need the rest.  If you don't, no rest.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 11:55:21 AM »
Let your gravity be your guide. Estimate and measure the final gravity. When you have reached it you may need a D-rest based on taste as Denny has indicated. I typically do a D-rest for about a week at 70ish. At that point I would then keg and lager as close to 32F as possible without freezing. The colder the better.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 12:09:18 PM by bluesman »
Ron Price

Offline richardt

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Re: Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 12:25:03 PM »
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.2/fix.html

a good resource that may answer your questions.

Offline snailale

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Re: Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 12:22:17 AM »
Let your gravity be your guide. Estimate and measure the final gravity. When you have reached it you may need a D-rest based on taste as Denny has indicated. I typically do a D-rest for about a week at 70ish. At that point I would then keg and lager as close to 32F as possible without freezing. The colder the better.

Thanks for all of your input everyone, very helpful. During the lagering process, will the keg naturally carbonate itself, or should I add some sugar?

Offline bluesman

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Re: Lager Fermentation Question (german schwarzbier)
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 03:44:35 AM »
Let your gravity be your guide. Estimate and measure the final gravity. When you have reached it you may need a D-rest based on taste as Denny has indicated. I typically do a D-rest for about a week at 70ish. At that point I would then keg and lager as close to 32F as possible without freezing. The colder the better.

Thanks for all of your input everyone, very helpful. During the lagering process, will the keg naturally carbonate itself, or should I add some sugar?

If you are kegging the beer which I assume you are then I would lager the beer for about a month and then force carbonate with CO2 at 30psi for 2-3 days.
Ron Price