Author Topic: lagering newbie  (Read 2932 times)

Offline micsager

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1153
    • View Profile
lagering newbie
« on: June 22, 2011, 06:05:14 PM »
Hey guys -

I brewed my first lager before leaving town a bit back.  on the 12th.  It's still bubbling well in my plastic buckets, getting about 8-10 bubbles per minute.  I have good temperature control.  So, my questions.........

According to Palmer, I should transfer when it hits one to four bubbles per minute or 3/4 of gravity reduction.  Well, I'm at that 3/4 reduction, but like I said, it's still pretty active.  So which numbers takes priority?

Second question is once transferred and I've hit final gravity, do I just reduce temperature and lager, or do I keg and lager, or do I keg, carbonate and lager?  I ain't gonna bottle.

Thanks




Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 07:38:30 PM »
Well, I usually just wait until it's 3/4 done and then bump it up 10 degrees for a D-Rest, whether it needs it or not, and let it finish out.  Then transfer to the keg on the gas in the serving keezer and let it lager until it's ready.

But I've seen advice to ferment at say 50F until it's close to done, then transfer and let it lager at 40F or so for an extended period of time to finish fermenting.

Not sure what the best answer is there but the way I've been doing it has produced some tasty lagers.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8197
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 08:40:14 PM »
Bubble timing is too misleading, I would trust the gravity and go from there.  I would raise the temp for a d-rest like tygo says.  When it hits final gravity, I would crash cool, keg, and carb/lager it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6311
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2011, 09:26:40 PM »
Go by the gravity.  I like to do the D-rest when it is 2/3 the way down, so that you have enough activity to clean up the Diacetyl.

Lower the temp slowly.  I lagerin the 34 to 35F range.  That may take longer, b
ut I like the results.  Force carb, enjoy.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline micsager

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1153
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 07:52:24 AM »
OK, I raised the temp controller ten degree before leaving for work this morning.  If I understand folks right, the next steps are:

1. wait for full attenuation
2. Cool to about 35 degrees
3. Keg the beer, and lager for a month or so
4. force carb.
5. drink and (hopefully) enjoy

I thought I would need to transfer to carboys.  I never do that with my ales.  Is it also not needed here?

Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2011, 08:15:19 AM »
You got it.  No secondary necessary.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8197
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 09:03:22 AM »
You should also carb at the same time you are lagering.  3 and 4 happen concurrently, not sequentially.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline micsager

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1153
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 09:09:05 AM »
You should also carb at the same time you are lagering.  3 and 4 happen concurrently, not sequentially.

Good deal.  Thanks to all.....   I can sure see why most small craft brewers only do ales.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6311
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 09:47:08 AM »
You should also carb at the same time you are lagering.  3 and 4 happen concurrently, not sequentially.

Good deal.  Thanks to all.....   I can sure see why most small craft brewers only do ales.
Tank space is golden.  Lagers tie up the tanks.  So...  ales.

I have bought many more cornies and a chest freezer with temp. control to do lagers right.  Extrapilate to a production brewery and that is a big investment.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 09:53:12 AM »
Let your gravity be your guide.

I like to do a D-rest at 60F for most of my lagers. Raise the temp slowly and let it sit at 60F for 5-7 days and look for 2-3 days of consistent gravity readings, then slowly reduce the temp to 40 for another week or two, then keg. At that point you are ready to chill down to lagering temps and lager for 4-12 weeks.
Ron Price

Offline micsager

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1153
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 09:59:17 AM »
Let your gravity be your guide.

I like to do a D-rest at 60F for most of my lagers. Raise the temp slowly and let it sit at 60F for 5-7 days and look for 2-3 days of consistent gravity readings, then slowly reduce the temp to 40 for another week or two, then keg. At that point you are ready to chill down to lagering temps and lager for 4-12 weeks.

Well, I was at 50 degrees, but set that to 60 as I left the house this morning, My probe is taped to the side of one bucket with some insulation.  Probably raise a bit quickly given your statement above. 
Hard as I may try, I doubt I can wait three months........   LOL :D

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2011, 10:09:15 AM »
Let your gravity be your guide.

I like to do a D-rest at 60F for most of my lagers. Raise the temp slowly and let it sit at 60F for 5-7 days and look for 2-3 days of consistent gravity readings, then slowly reduce the temp to 40 for another week or two, then keg. At that point you are ready to chill down to lagering temps and lager for 4-12 weeks.

Well, I was at 50 degrees, but set that to 60 as I left the house this morning, My probe is taped to the side of one bucket with some insulation.  Probably raise a bit quickly given your statement above. 
Hard as I may try, I doubt I can wait three months........   LOL :D

I tend to have the same problem.  :)

4 weeks will be fine.
Ron Price

Offline Tim McManus

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
    • Haskell Brewing Company
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2011, 11:33:44 AM »
My probe is taped to the side of one bucket with some insulation.

Why are you taping and insulating the probe to the bucket?
Tim McManus
Haskell, NJ

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2639
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 11:45:26 AM »
My probe is taped to the side of one bucket with some insulation.

Why are you taping and insulating the probe to the bucket?

The idea would be to get a more accurate reading of the temperature of the wort in the bucket instead of just the air temperature in the fermentation chamber.  They can be quite different.
Joe

Offline Tim McManus

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
    • Haskell Brewing Company
Re: lagering newbie
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 12:01:32 PM »
My probe is taped to the side of one bucket with some insulation.

Why are you taping and insulating the probe to the bucket?

The idea would be to get a more accurate reading of the temperature of the wort in the bucket instead of just the air temperature in the fermentation chamber.  They can be quite different.

I can understand if it's just a temperature probe to display the temperature, but I would not connect the fridge temperature probe to the bucket or immerse it in liquid.
Tim McManus
Haskell, NJ