Author Topic: First lager!  (Read 8968 times)

Offline blair.streit

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2016, 02:15:33 PM »
Here's the original thread on the subject, I don't know if this is one of the ones you'd mentioned or not:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24460.0
Thanks! Hadn't found that one. That should get me caught up so I can ask better questions.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2016, 08:41:40 PM »
This is the way I do it all the time. Right now I have two 6 gallon batches in the same chest, temp probe on one of them. They are relatively same gravity, one is 1.048 the other 1.055. Both lagers. Both chilled to 48F and oxygenated. Both pitched with 1L oxygenated non-stir active starters. Works like a charm every time.

Cool, I might try that then. Maybe a Dunkel and a Boh Pils?

Boh pils is something I've been thinking about for a while. I'd like to do an all pils malt one, then use decoction to darken the color a bit. Don't want to do a protein rest, so I'm thinking something along the lines of Hochkurz, rests at mid 140s, decoct to upper 150s, then decoct again to 170.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline redzim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2016, 12:24:14 AM »
This is the way I do it all the time. Right now I have two 6 gallon batches in the same chest, temp probe on one of them. They are relatively same gravity, one is 1.048 the other 1.055. Both lagers. Both chilled to 48F and oxygenated. Both pitched with 1L oxygenated non-stir active starters. Works like a charm every time.

Cool, I might try that then. Maybe a Dunkel and a Boh Pils?

Boh pils is something I've been thinking about for a while. I'd like to do an all pils malt one, then use decoction to darken the color a bit. Don't want to do a protein rest, so I'm thinking something along the lines of Hochkurz, rests at mid 140s, decoct to upper 150s, then decoct again to 170.

Can't answer all your questions but as far as a style goes, I'd just say that IMHO the Pilsners (German & Czech) have been the hardest to get "right."  I don't know if it is something about the real simple grain bill, the hopping, the water - I've made good Pils but not great yet, in my 10 years brewing. But something tilted more to the malt side of things... they seem to be a little more forgiving. I'd recommend Kai's Helles (you've had my version of it), a Vienna, a Dunkel, or a Schwarz as a "first lager."

Grains: I've been happy with Best over the years but have started brewing with Avangard the last few months. Can't say if it's better or worse, it seems to work for me. Either one has always been cheaper than Weyermann, for me, so I go with that.

Temp Control: I have two Johnson A419's that have run pretty much all the time for 10 years. Bear in mind that while there are now newer fancier looking temp controls targeted to the homebrewer market the Johnsons are built for industrial factory-level control systems and will not let you down. (I'm not trying to impugn other controllers but you won't see them on a factory floor or assembly line most likely.)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2016, 01:50:42 AM »
I know that S. Cerevisiae was adamant that the same process would work for both ales and lagers.

That being said, I do plan on altering the process slightly, as I mentioned above. I'll keep the starter at whatever my initial fermentation temp will be, and pitch them into same-temperature wort at high krausen.

What I'm also wondering is if I should stick to a 5 gallon batch, or make this also be my inaugural 10-gallon batch. Or maybe do some sort of double brew day, run two lagers in the chest freezer at the same time? Would it even be feasible to tie two separate beers to the same fermentation/lagering schedule?
This is the way I do it all the time. Right now I have two 6 gallon batches in the same chest, temp probe on one of them. They are relatively same gravity, one is 1.048 the other 1.055. Both lagers. Both chilled to 48F and oxygenated. Both pitched with 1L oxygenated non-stir active starters. Works like a charm every time.
Jim is there a thread where you describe your process in more detail? Do you decant for your lagers or just go ahead and pitch the starter wort since you're not oxygenating it with the "vortex of doom"? I saw a few references to the SnS method but I never got the full run-down and searching for the right thread has lead me down some rabbit holes.
Here is what I do. The day before brewday I set my chest freezer temp control to the temp I'm going to ferment at. So usually 65F ales 50F lagers, and I place my starter wort in there to get it to the desired temp by brewday. I premake my starter wort by pressure canning in 2qt jars.

On the morning of brewday, I sanize a 2L flask and pour in starter wort to 1000ml sometimes 1200ml. I then oxygenate with pure O2 at a mederate rate that makes fine bubbles, until the bubbles nearly fill the flask. Then add the yeast. I cover in foil and give it a little shake, then set it back in the temp control chest.

Then I brew. At about 8hrs I pitch ales, in about 12hrs I pitch lagers. I pitch the whole shebang, gently swirling the last little bit to get the layer of yeast that has settled. But most of the yeast is always still in suspension. I call this High Krausen, but its probably more like Low Krausen. Whatever the term, the yeast are well into exponential growth phase and thats all I care about.

I do a version of the quick ferment,  so at 50% apparent degree of fermentation, I increase temp. Ales go from 65F to 72F. Lagers go from 50F to 68F. I pull a hydrometer sample at day 3 and always I have reached 50% by that time, with the exception of these last lagers which the yeast was 5 months old and at day 3 there was absolutely no change in gravity.

The keys are healthy yeast, oxygenation of the starter and the main wort. By the way, this is not MY method, and pitching active yeast is not a new idea. The main worry seems to be from folks who think the 1L is diluting the beer. I suppose on some laboratory level it is, but I have not been able to detect it nor have many people who have tasted my beer, including folks like the Director and Assistant Director of Ed from the BJCP.

I do this because its easy, and it works like a champ. I'm not sharing this to try to get others to do what I do. I'd be just fine if I was the only one.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2016, 01:59:24 AM »
The keys are healthy yeast, oxygenation of the starter and the main wort. By the way, this is not MY method, and pitching active yeast is not a new idea. The main worry seems to be from folks who think the 1L is diluting the beer. I suppose on some laboratory level it is, but I have not been able to detect it nor have many people who have tasted my beer, including folks like the Director and Assistant Director of Ed from the BJCP.

I do this because its easy, and it works like a champ. I'm not sharing this to try to get others to do what I do. I'd be just fine if I was the only one.
Very cool. Sounds like it's been successful for you and definitely sounds easy and logical enough to be worth a try for me. Thanks for the details!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2016, 07:14:07 AM »
You bet

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2016, 05:23:26 PM »
Hey, Jim - do you Evers-pitch directly anymore?  I agree that the starter is the best route, but a fresh repitch works pretty good for a few generations, too. 

I gotta start canning wort!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2016, 09:40:52 PM »
I don't, but not because I'm opposed to it. Between gell fining and dry hopping and brewing different beers, I've just been going the route of convenience and not storing yeast.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2016, 09:58:27 PM »
I don't, but not because I'm opposed to it. Between gell fining and dry hopping and brewing different beers, I've just been going the route of convenience and not storing yeast.
Curious if you've had any positive/negative experience with using gelatin in the keg. I tend to do it that way so I can repitch with the yeast scavenged from the fermentor. It seems to have worked for me so far in that it basically just "consolidates" the normal settling process into less time and maybe one suboptimal pint (instead of a few if I'm just waiting).

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2016, 10:16:48 PM »
FWIW I always use gelatin in the keg and get great results. After a couple days I pump out half a pint of sludge and it's clear after.
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2016, 11:04:22 PM »
I'll bet fining in the keg is a great way to do it. I just dont. I don't have theories or data points against it. I just like doing it the way I do it. The downside of my method is that I have to go to my LHBS frequently to get yeast, sample beer, shoot the breeze, etc. I don't go to the barbershop, so that balances it out for me.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2016, 11:13:01 PM »
I don't think it matters a bit. Just getting the beer cold as hell before adding it is bigger IMO. One of many things that we can do our own way (to me).
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2016, 11:20:52 PM »
One of these days I'll give it a try. I've been wanting to do APA and Am Stout followed by American Strong and Imperial Stout, using repitches, so that would be a great opportunity.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2016, 11:41:20 PM »
FWIW I always use gelatin in the keg and get great results. After a couple days I pump out half a pint of sludge and it's clear after.
Yep same
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First lager!
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2016, 11:42:01 PM »
Plus I stopped fining my IPA and apa


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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