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Brewing Discussions => Yeast Board => Topic started by: Qs on July 29, 2015, 11:51:01 AM

Title: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Qs on July 29, 2015, 11:51:01 AM
After getting a proper temp controlled fermentation chamber I've decided I want to do a lager. Been reading around about different fermentation methods used by people. I like the sound of some of the quicker methods so I can free up the chamber again quicker but I also don't want to run before I can walk with lagers. Anyone got experience with these quick methods or any advice in general beyond the standard for lager fermentation?
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Simon_ on July 29, 2015, 01:11:27 PM
http://brulosophy.com/methods/lager-method/
This works for me in my brief lager experience. That article articulates itself well
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Qs on July 29, 2015, 04:09:29 PM
That was the one I was planning on using, it seems quick, I've heard a lot of people have had success with it and he has it mapped out in detail.

Good to hear someone here saying it works too.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on July 29, 2015, 10:17:03 PM
Post how you get on haven't seen that one, I've tried a few techniques and settled on the Pat. Pending Bren Murph method for giving best results, long and slow, long and slow ladies.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Simon_ on July 30, 2015, 09:40:22 AM
How's that schedule go CH?

Title: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on July 30, 2015, 07:58:19 PM
3 weeks primary diacetyl rest 3 days
4 weeks secondary from 12 down to 2 on a profile
Then Min 4 weeks conditioning

(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/30/b5ce054077fe7c720ee194d2e34b4d9b.jpg)

This one is a bit green as its only 2 weeks into conditioning but she is hacking a pint every other night :(
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 04, 2016, 08:46:23 AM
Just a followup on this. I used the quick lager method that Simon posted above and did a schwarzbier with it. We got Gordon Strong to judge it when he was over at just under 3 months and he detected no lagering issues or off flavours. Personally I was getting a little green apple in the aroma for the first one to two months but otherwise it was clear.

I think if Gordon doesn't pick up on an off flavour, we can say the method Def works.

Would be interesting to compare a quick and slow lager at the same age to see if one makes a better beer though.

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Pheeel on May 04, 2016, 09:09:10 AM
I used the quick lagering method many times (except when I accidentally used Kolsch yeast!) Its worked great everytime. My keezer has three active taps and so the beers get a good maturation in that
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: neoanto on May 04, 2016, 12:09:05 PM
I use this quick method also. works well.
Its worth noting that in a more recent post the Brulosopher guy does lengthen the fermentation time by a couple of days compared to his original post.

He doesnt mention why its different, so i dont know if he found issues.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 05, 2016, 11:00:44 PM
What lager temps are people using? I see Gordon Strong's new book recommend -1 to 1 but the defrost cycle on my fridge has it cycling between 0.5 and 3.


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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 05, 2016, 11:17:26 PM
2 for prolonged period
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 06, 2016, 10:29:10 PM
Define prolonged. 1 week per 4 sg or something else?

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 07, 2016, 12:34:00 AM
My schedule
10-12 for 3-4 weeks ferment subject to gravity will determine if I go for 4
2 days diacetyl rest at 16
Then over 30 days down to 2
At 2 for min 4 weeks, preferably 10-12.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 07, 2016, 12:38:54 AM
Thanks CH. Sorry forall the questions but what temp are you pitching at!

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 07, 2016, 01:03:07 AM
Here to answer!
I ferment my very large Pilsner starters 3-5l  low at same as my ferment temp.
Lots ferment Pilsner starters at 18 :(
Always pitch whatever you are brewing ale or lager within 5 degrees ideally 3. This is to maintain as much yeast health as you can without losing percentages to thermal shock.
Mine are always done as close as I can get.
If my water temp is too high I put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or on the last one I used a beer cooler for the last 10 degrees
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 07, 2016, 09:46:20 AM
Thanks, plenty to think about there.


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Title: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 07, 2016, 10:51:30 AM
I've tried 16 straight down to 2 and also in my early brews just leaving at 10, just not the same, beer was ok just not what really works for me now.
Early days it was adjust stc half a degree each time,which was a pain, now Brewpi or flashed stc courtesy of Prof Davis.
I read somewhere that fermentation in lagers can continue down to 5 or 6 degrees.
It's a bit like my ales I find the sweet spot for consumption is somewhere between 2 and 4 months after pitching, with lagers I find it's 4-6 months.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Motorbikeman on May 11, 2016, 03:03:31 PM
My schedule
10-12 for 3-4 weeks ferment subject to gravity will determine if I go for 4
2 days diacetyl rest at 16
Then over 30 days down to 2
At 2 for min 4 weeks, preferably 10-12.

Do you rack before or after diacetyl rest? 
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Pheeel on May 11, 2016, 03:09:29 PM
Do you rack before or after diacetyl rest? 

I follow this:
http://brulosophy.com/methods/lager-method/

After the d-rest and lagering
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: garciaBernal on May 11, 2016, 03:12:55 PM
I just did the brulosophy lager method. Used Hessian Pils yeast, fermented at 12 for 4 days or until just under 50% attenuation then ramped up to 20C for D rest of 3 days at which point I was also at my full attenuation then ramp down to 0C for a 2 week chill. That was a month ago, had the first one last night and it was perfect. Lunacy waiting 4-6 months for a lager.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Pheeel on May 11, 2016, 03:38:34 PM
Lunacy waiting 4-6 months for a lager.

ROFL!!  O0
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Dr Jacoby on May 11, 2016, 03:58:27 PM
I usually go low and slow too. Pitch at 6C or 7C, let rise to 9C or 10C until fermentation is complete. I don't bother with a diacetyl rest as it's usually not necessary if you brew everything cleanly and choose the right strains. Then I'll lower by a degree a day to -1C or -2C and condition for at least 4 weeks. My sweet spot is 6 weeks after pitching - that's when the fresh cracker/bready flavour is at it's peak.

Recently I brewed a low abv lager for a mate using dried yeast. I pitched at 15C and fermented at 12C for two weeks. I conditioned for only 3 weeks and the resulting beer was amazingly clean (but quite boring).

The point is, there are probably many ways to skin the cat. A lot depends on choice of yeast and personal preferences. Lots of homebrew lager I taste doesn't have the lovely bready character that you should be getting from pilsner malt - most lagers are supposed to be clean but not flavourless! Work out a procedure for achieving that with a given strain and you'll be laughing. 
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Motorbikeman on May 11, 2016, 04:19:16 PM
Do you rack before or after diacetyl rest? 

I follow this:
http://brulosophy.com/methods/lager-method/

After the d-rest and lagering
I have a 1.051 lager in the fridge for 13 days now.  sitting at 12 degrees,   
Would I be able to ramp down using that method   even if I have gone passed 50% attenuation?    Or does the schedule have to be followed religiously..   
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 11, 2016, 04:25:02 PM
Lunacy waiting 4-6 months for a lager.

Oh balls your right! gold at the nationals last year and gold cat 4 and 5 this year I must be doing something wrong :P
You are right if you want something in a hurry fast track it, I love reading the guys on here doing turbo cider each to his own just not my thing.


@Dr J, diacetyl rest I do is just a safety net and probably not needed at all but with time invested in each batch I'm not brave enough to skip it, besides the whole thing is automated with Brewpi in any case ;D
I see on the attached Helles I did a 3 day rest.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: garciaBernal on May 11, 2016, 04:43:57 PM
I respect your patience waiting that long so fair play. I've no interest in investing that amount of time in a beer just to win a medal but congratulations. I disagree that it's fast tracking just as I do agree that your way has benefits. There is a good list of Irish craft lagers at the minute and all are extremely well made in my opinion but how long on average do you reckon they sit on them from mash-in to bottle on the shelf? It aint 4-6 months.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 11, 2016, 04:58:29 PM
There is a good list of Irish craft lagers at the minute and all are extremely well made in my opinion
Name one  ;)
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: garciaBernal on May 11, 2016, 05:04:34 PM
Troubles Passionfruit. O'Haras Helles, St. Mels Helles, Metalmans Equinox and on and on!! There's arguments for and against depending what your end goal is I guess.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 11, 2016, 05:29:34 PM
Troubles Passionfruit. O'Haras Helles, St. Mels Helles, Metalmans Equinox and on and on!! There's arguments for and against depending what your end goal is I guess.

I have to disagree with you on all those even Troubles Passionfruit that I was drinking at the AGM.
They are all easy drinkers but I keep comparing these to Weihenstephaner and for balance I have not tasted anything in this market that comes close yet.
You hit the nail on the head though even Weihenstephaners beer is cellar matured for 30 days so I guess that's the difference.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 11, 2016, 05:42:30 PM
Well here's the challenge then. Take one of those gold medal lagers and brew it both ways. It would be a great experiment and my gut says the results could be an eye opener.
Even fermenting quick, a good lager still needs a nice long cold conditioning of at least 30 days I feel. From what I can see though, doing a quick ferment should still make a like for like result.

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Dr Jacoby on May 11, 2016, 07:53:37 PM
@Dr J, diacetyl rest I do is just a safety net and probably not needed at all but with time invested in each batch I'm not brave enough to skip it, besides the whole thing is automated with Brewpi in any case ;D
I see on the attached Helles I did a 3 day rest.

I hear you on the diacetyl rest. It can't hurt.

The fermentation profile you use is a tricky one to master. Fair fucks to you. It's the classic German lager technique.  All rests on keeping the yeast active which can be difficult. I've done it a couple of times myself but gave it up because it's a lot of work. I'll be hooking up a brewpi controller this summer though so might give it another whirl then.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 11, 2016, 09:45:21 PM
Well here's the challenge then. Take one of those gold medal lagers and brew it both ways. It would be a great experiment and my gut says the results could be an eye opener.


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Garcia do you fancy a "lager off" to the same recipe? you'll have to give me a 4 month head start tho
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: garciaBernal on May 11, 2016, 10:01:54 PM
Well here's the challenge then. Take one of those gold medal lagers and brew it both ways. It would be a great experiment and my gut says the results could be an eye opener.


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Garcia do you fancy a "lager off" to the same recipe? you'll have to give me a 4 month head start tho

You crack away there and let me know when there's a month left!
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 11, 2016, 10:39:40 PM
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 12, 2016, 09:01:22 PM
Figured out what I was doing wrong and now have my brew lagering at 0oC.

So, I have a question. Everything I read says that beer lagers faster at lower temperatures.

Anyone have any thoughts on how much faster?

Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 12, 2016, 09:11:01 PM
There was a bit in Gordon strongs most recent book. I think the difference between 1 and 4C can add as much as 3 months to conditioning time? Need to check again though as its a fuzzy recollection.

I can't get the fridge down lower than about 4C. Damn energy efficient modern appliances.

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 12, 2016, 09:46:04 PM
I saw that but it didn't seem very specific.

In fact the only place I've looked that was specific about the effect of temperature on lagering durations was How to Brew - which got it the wrong way round. ???
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Motorbikeman on May 12, 2016, 09:46:29 PM
Figured out what I was doing wrong and now have my brew lagering at 0oC.

So, I have a question. Everything I read says that beer lagers faster at lower temperatures.

Anyone have any thoughts on how much faster?

Would it not turn a bit icy at that temp?   

 
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Dr Jacoby on May 12, 2016, 09:54:48 PM
I lager at -2 most of the time without any issues
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 12, 2016, 09:57:04 PM
Would it not turn a bit icy at that temp?   

Freezing temperature of alcohol is lower than water. The more alcohol the lower you can lager.

http://maltingandbrewing.com/freezing-point-of-beer.html
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Dr Jacoby on May 12, 2016, 10:01:10 PM
Figured out what I was doing wrong and now have my brew lagering at 0oC.

So, I have a question. Everything I read says that beer lagers faster at lower temperatures.

Anyone have any thoughts on how much faster?

It's not as simple as just looking at temp. If your yeast are still active,  they will clean up the beer faster at higher temps. But other reactions happen faster at lower temps that help to clean up other aspects of the beer. The Germans try to keep the yeast active at very low temps to get the best of both worlds. But there are other approaches. As with most things in brewing, there's a balance to be struck and more than one way to achieve it.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 12, 2016, 10:15:57 PM
Any suggestons on where I might get more insights...
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 12, 2016, 11:31:47 PM
Any suggestons on where I might get more insights...
http://www.amazon.com/New-Brewing-Lager-Beer-Comprehensive/dp/0937381829

That is one of the advanced reads recommended by the BJCP when going for national and master ranks, so should be a good source of info. It's pretty technical.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 12, 2016, 11:48:23 PM
Great book and a go to reference, and not just for lagers, but I'm a not sure I'm totally confident interpreting what it says about the effect of temperature on lagering. 2 paragraphs over 300 pages that say that if you lager low you have to lager shorter. It talks about lagering for 3-7 days per 2 points plato for low / mid strength beers and 7-12 days for stronger beers. So if I do a 1048 SG / 12o beer does that mean I'm lagering it for 18 days?
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 13, 2016, 08:31:01 AM
18 days at 1C would sound about right to me. Never hurts to go longer but it should be ready in that time.

Let the lager experts speak up and cite sources on this one. I only know what I've read and don't have much experience on these.

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: oblivious on May 13, 2016, 09:02:51 AM
Below is my temp fermentation profile, work well for me and has a two week turn around with optional extra lagering


(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XhU1l0wlF6o/VtgGt0ME_zI/AAAAAAAAGBI/Al0h4M02IjY/s640/Blue%2Bbolix%2Bmill%2B%2B8.jpg)
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 13, 2016, 09:47:00 AM
That's exactly how I do it as well.

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Pheeel on May 13, 2016, 01:55:24 PM
Huh. I had forgotten about Narziss. I don't bother me arse with that though
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 13, 2016, 08:49:18 PM
18 days at 1C would sound about right to me. Never hurts to go longer but it should be ready in that time.

Let the lager experts speak up and cite sources on this one. I only know what I've read and don't have much experience on these.

In the past I've  gone with 7 days per 2 degrees plato with a fridge that struggled to get below 3oC. I'm no medal winning lager brewer but I got 30 with a brew done that way. I'll give it 24 days (4 x 6) and put it down as an experiment if it sucks.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 23, 2016, 07:54:03 PM
Set another one off today in the new conical, god bless this ship etc.
Had a mare trying to get temp down and using immersion chiller even with whirlpool, wouldn't budge below 19, water temp was 12, in end filled 36l into conical and let the fridge do the last hard bit.
You can see where I pitched with the fridge door open at just under 14, its already at 12 now so no damage done.
Gas mark 7 and keg in August :).
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Motorbikeman on May 24, 2016, 08:48:47 PM
Ohh .  Im  doing one of those next week using the fast track way. 

Race ya.. 
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on May 24, 2016, 11:06:55 PM
What's the recipe and I'll put one on at the start of July.

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Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 25, 2016, 01:20:33 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeZe2qPLPh0
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: mr hoppy on May 26, 2016, 11:20:16 PM
I'll give it 24 days (4 x 6) and put it down as an experiment if it sucks.

Definite diacetyl, particularly at higher temps but it's a Czech dark style so not a big deal - kind of like the diacetyl in  GFES. Maybe not got the depth of a proper lager but not sure. Will try again with a German yeast and a more pilsy grain bill and will report back.
Title: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on May 27, 2016, 08:40:29 PM
Happily bubbling away +\- 0.04 of a degree and a small squirt of fan and fridge every hour.

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160527/0dad5e952c9747ff790f83c381ac0705.jpg)
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on June 03, 2016, 06:04:55 PM
hot afternoons causing chaos with me poor brewpi
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: pob on June 03, 2016, 09:25:28 PM
Jaysus, mad temp swings there; must be a whole 0.12°C - yeasties will be mighty upset

Really do love the aul BrewPi.
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Motorbikeman on June 03, 2016, 09:41:27 PM
 When  is it due to finish?  ?
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on June 04, 2016, 12:46:09 AM
August
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on February 07, 2017, 02:37:18 PM
Right, sick of the guessing game on this one, so going to do the Brulophsy exp. myself with a helles. Traditional method this weekend, quick lager in about 6 weeks. Let the games begin :)
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Simon_ on February 08, 2017, 12:16:43 PM
Will you be serving everyone in Fowlers 3 opaque cups?
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: molc on February 08, 2017, 01:05:36 PM
If we can find some, sure! :)
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on February 25, 2017, 01:02:56 AM
Just leaving this here
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/5-tips-homebrewing-lager/
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: delzep on March 10, 2017, 10:45:24 AM
Whats the warmest temperature you'd want to be lagering at if you transferred finished beer to a corny?
Title: Lager Fermentation
Post by: Leann ull on March 10, 2017, 10:59:53 AM
It's time dependent really
I'd say 5-6, 3-4 months, outside in Nov-Feb  covered from winter sun in shade of house works.
Ideally 3 which is what most domestic fridges do easily 2 months maybe
0 -1 if you have a keezer and a month
Title: Re: Lager Fermentation
Post by: delzep on March 10, 2017, 11:14:28 AM
Food for thought  :)