Bottle carbing a lager

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Foster82, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    So I hope that I did not ruin an entire batch of Lager.

    After letting my Black Lager, lager for 4 weeks in a secondary, I decided to bottle it. When I racked it into my bottling buck there was just enough sediment to cover the bottom of the carboy and the beer was extremely clear. Figuring that I would suck up enough yeast while racking it, I did not add any additional yeast. 3 days later looking at the bottles there is only an extremely small amount of sediment in the bottles. When I say small, I mean most people would not even see it.

    So my question is, is there still enough yeast to carbonate, or do I now have five gallons flat beer? :(

    In the end I guess only time and testing will tell.
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Unfortunately in this situation, you'll have to wait and see. The amount of sediment may not matter too much.

    I have resorted to always kegging my lagers for this very reason.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You should have enough yeast to carbonate - even an extremely clear (to the eye) beer has quite a few yeast cells still in suspension.
     
  4. Brewmaster Tom

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    Just for safety (and impatience) sake, I'll always split a 6 gram pack of Munton's yeast between two lagers when bottling...just to make sure. They totally will carb up from the yeast remaining in suspension, but after having them sit in lagering for 8-12 weeks, I want to be able to drink them ASAFP.

    CHEERS!!
     
  5. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I figure that it should be alright, I will just have to wait a few more weeks before I can drink my tasty brew.

    Is there any reason that people don't stir up the yeast in the secondary instead of adding freash to the bottling bucket?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Foster, biggest reason is there's enough yeast in suspension to carbonate without stirring it up. Stirring also could introduce oxygen, which you don't want. And there could be other stuff in the trub you don't want stirred up into your finished beer, particularly if you choose not to rack your beer from primary to secondary. I've added yeast once, to a Doppelbock I let lager for about three months. Otherwise, I've never had a problem with carbonation. Not to say I never will, but I haven't yet.
     
  7. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I guess stirring was the wrong word, let’s say disturb, such as some slight movement of the racking tube. If a secondary was used I wouldn't think trub would be of any concern, and disturbing some of the yeast (to bring it back into suspension) that does settle out in the secondary would be enough to carbonate without ever needing to add extra yeast to the bottling buck.

    At any rate I think that I should be just fine. I did open my half filled bottle and it did have some pressure even at fridge temps, so given about 3 to 4 weeks I am sure it will be ready.

    Also at what temp does everyone prefer to carbonate at? I have read everything from room to lager temps, with opinions and evidence to support both. My theory is with a lager and minimum yeast; carbing at lower temps would be better in the long run in order to keep pressures in the bottle down, thus stressing the minimum amount yeast less (yes I know to will take longer to complete at lower temps). I ask because the guy at my LHBS was adamant about ensuring the bottling buck, bottles, etc were all cooled down to lager temps in order not to rise the temp of the beer, because you didn’t want the yeast to produce any fruity esters. However I have read that yeast will not produce fruity ester if you use corn sugar to carb.

    Thank you for all the advise
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    By the time you're bottling, the yeast are done. You won't get esters, bugaboos, ectoplasmic slime or any other foul substances by bottling and conditioning at room temperature. And if you try to condition at lager temps, you're quite likely not to get any carbon dioxide either. Bottle it at room temp, condition at room temp and in about two weeks, maybe longer if your beer is very clear, enjoy a good, clean lager.
     
  9. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Well Nosybear, I am inclined to agree with you, and I would have to say that 4 cases of home brew sitting next to the wine rack does look nice. :D
     
  10. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Success! Sampled a bottle last night (2 weeks in the bottle now), and it is carbing up nicely. I do have to say this is turning out to be one of my best beers to date.
     
  11. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing the good news!
     
  12. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Patience wins again.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I just put a crystal-clear Schwarzbier in the bottle. I didn't add yeast, nor did I rouse the yeast at the bottom of the carboy, just primed and bottled. It had been lagering for 66 days. Expecting good things.... Will check back in on my little test in about two weeks.
     

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