Author Topic: Lager Fermentations  (Read 1478 times)

Offline BrodyR

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Lager Fermentations
« on: August 24, 2015, 02:39:42 PM »
Hi guys - One lager batch in I had a few more questions/clarifications I'm trying to sort out:

1) Aeration: I don't own any aeration setup. My current process is when I cool down the wort I open the valve, let the wort pass through a filter, and splash into my fermentor. After that I give it a good strong splashy stir. I understand getting enough oxygen into the wort is more important in lager brewing. Do you think getting an aeration setup would help a lot and if so where do I begin? Basically I would need a wand/stone and an O2 tank and regulator? With a 2l starter is this less important?

2) The Lagering Phase: I was looking through some of the award winners recipes on the page and noticed that a few people lager on the yeast. Is there a benefit to letting the beer sit on the full yeast cake for a month or 2? I always thought this created problems after about a month.

3) Starter size: For my first batch I pitched a vial of white labs into 2l of 1.040 wort the morning of brewday and allowed it to cook until the following morning (after my wort cooled to the 50s in the kegerator). Is this too little yeast? I hear a lot of monster starters for lagers.

4) Am I really wasting my time and should just do the fast lager approach with the ramp up/ramp down serve in under a month?

5) Concerning Hops: Not really a yeast question but do noble hops really make a difference? If I'm just using bittering additions why not use whatever high alphas I have in the freezer?

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 03:25:18 PM »
1) get a Mix Stir....$20 and as effective as O2

2) I don't really lager....I just cold crash after a full fermentation

3) I would have gone 4 L

4) yes

5) maybe not necessrily noble hops, but hops with the same type pf characterisitics
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 03:48:11 PM »
1. you can try the aeration with air with splashing or a mix-stir. You might want to try open fermentation someday if you have a clean area and can cover the fermenter so that no dust falls in.

2. You can lager on most of the yeast (I don't like the trub, dump it from the conical), as the cold temps keep autolysis from happening over this timeframe. If you do a diacetyl rest, and the beer is free from off flavors, why do you need the yeast to clean the beer up if it is already clean? The traditional ferment cold and slow take it down needs the yeast to insure it cleans the beer up. That takes too long for me, and too much attention.

3. What Denny said.

4. Again, Denny has it.

5. Perle and Magnum are not Noble Hops, but work really well in lagers as bittering hops.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 01:53:28 AM »
Yep as to all above and  German Magnum is a Hallertauer derived bittering hop that I use to minimize hop material in the boil for lagers.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 02:48:03 AM »
1) I don’t fret too terribly over aeration and honestly haven’t really noticed any problems.  I make some pretty dang great lagers if I do say so myself.  Just do as I do, splash a lot in the fermenter and/or shake the living mother out of the wort in there, and things will be fine.  Also if you were to use dry yeast, the dry yeast has the distinct advantage of not requiring any aeration.  W-34/70 makes some great lagers (that’s the only dry one I’ve really tried).

2) I have no strong opinions on lagering time, but see also my response #4.  Personally I am a very lazy brewer and would typically leave a lager in the primary for up to 6-8 weeks with no ill effects – per my lazy experience, 8 weeks is about the limit before autolysis starts to set in.  But I bet you get just as good results crashing and bottling/kegging as soon as it’s clear or even a tad early – if that’s just 2 or 3 weeks and it tastes good, then go for it, cloudy or not.

3) My standard pitch is 3-4 liters (or quarts) per 5 gallons.  You can probably get by okay on a little less, but it’s not worth the risk either.  If you have a slow start, you could end up with a wild beast completing your fermentation instead of your desired yeast.

4) I think it depends.  Some beers benefit from a bit of aging.  Some don’t.  Drink it if it tastes good.  Age if it doesn’t.

5) I find that noble hops in the full duration of the boil add a very elegant spicy hop flavor that you just can’t get from generic boil hops.  Try it sometime and see.  I think you’ll find that it’s NOT a waste of noble hops to boil for a full 60.  Try it.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 02:49:40 AM by dmtaylor »
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 03:25:39 AM »
Appreciate all the advice again -

A mix stir is a pretty good idea, probably more effective than shaking/stirring/splashing and cheaper than the whole Oxygen tank/regulator set up.

34/70 is a great idea too, that's the weinstephan strain right?

To get up to 4l I guess you guys do a starter, decant, and pitch it in a fresh 2l starter?

Think I'm going to try 34/70 (maybe just 2 rehydrated packets with no starter?), 100% pils, and Hallertauer Mitt. for a pils.

Offline Stevie

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Lager Fermentations
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 03:39:49 AM »
2+2 should get you close enough. I think it doesn't quite equal a 4 liter starter because of maximum density or something along those lines. I'm no biochemist/microbiologist. What was your og?

If I didn't have a large enough bottle or flask, I'd go with dry yeast, but I'm lazy.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 11:53:51 AM »
Weihenstephan has many strains. The 34/70 is very popular, same as WLP-830 and Wyeast-2124.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 11:58:00 AM »
Appreciate all the advice again -

A mix stir is a pretty good idea, probably more effective than shaking/stirring/splashing and cheaper than the whole Oxygen tank/regulator set up.

34/70 is a great idea too, that's the weinstephan strain right?

To get up to 4l I guess you guys do a starter, decant, and pitch it in a fresh 2l starter?

Think I'm going to try 34/70 (maybe just 2 rehydrated packets with no starter?), 100% pils, and Hallertauer Mitt. for a pils.
If you have enough healthy yeast, than you should be plenty good with your typical ale aeration practices.

34/70=WY2124=Weihenstephan 34/70

You need to make a bigger starter if you want growth in your second step. There is a maximum amount of yeast growth per gram of extract. So your first step should already be at, or near capacity. If your second step is the same volume and gravity, then you won't get any significant extra growth.
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Offline brulosopher

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 12:03:34 PM »
4. That's what I'd do.

Offline stevecrawshaw

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 01:23:33 PM »
I've just done my first lager - a czech amber. So I'm by no means an expert, but it has come out pretty damn good if I say so myself.

Yeast. I used a pack of dried mangrove jack bohemian lager yeast rehydrated and a starter of WLP 802 using the shaken method.

I chilled using a plate chiller and freezer to 10C, oxygenating with a stone and O2 for 1 min.

Bittered with herkules and later hops were saaz

I used the brulosopher lager method and fined with gelatin. I really recommend this.

It is crystal clear now and has a robust bitterness and a lovely caramel malt flavour. I took it to my homebrew club last week when it was a week or so in the keg. A hint of acetaldehyde was noticed, but with another week in the keg, now that is undetectable and it is a clear and crisp satisfying pint.
cheers
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« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 01:32:46 PM by stevecrawshaw »
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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 01:31:37 PM »
5) I find that noble hops in the full duration of the boil add a very elegant spicy hop flavor that you just can’t get from generic boil hops.  Try it sometime and see.  I think you’ll find that it’s NOT a waste of noble hops to boil for a full 60.  Try it.

This is insightful, thanks.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 01:59:34 PM »
2+2 should get you close enough. I think it doesn't quite equal a 4 liter starter because of maximum density or something along those lines. I'm no biochemist/microbiologist. What was your og?

If I didn't have a large enough bottle or flask, I'd go with dry yeast, but I'm lazy.

I'm shooting for a 1.048, 5 gallon pils.

May be time to spring for the 5000ml pyrex flask and a stir plate. I currently use a 2000ml and the shake when I walk by approach.

If I go the dry yeast route (34/70) think it's better to pitch 2 or build a starter? I seem to remember hearing somewhere starters with dry yeast can hurt its health?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 02:03:15 PM »
Buying more dry yeast is easier than building a starter IMO

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Lager Fermentations
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 02:18:10 PM »
If I go the dry yeast route (34/70) think it's better to pitch 2 or build a starter? I seem to remember hearing somewhere starters with dry yeast can hurt its health?

I've heard the "hurt" thing before and personally I think it's baloney.  However, also baloney is making a starter when you don't need to.  Buy 2 packs, sprinkle it on top and call it good.  No need for a starter.
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