First Lager Bummer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Minbari, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    But I still wouldn't shoot for that as a goal.
     
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  2. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    @J A Fair enough, I'm not a fan of lagers, nor do I make them. I was relaying what I've been told by people coming in.

    That being said, I ALWAYS pitch my yeast high, and then bring it down to the temps it enjoys. I get quicker, wholly fermented beers this way, with zero esters.
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    You can go over or near the yeast's maximum temperature recommendations, but it often doesn't do the beer any good.

    If the yeast is pitched at a lower temperature and the conditions are good, there usually isn't any big problems if the temperature spikes above the high temp mark as long as it isn't too severe. Starting out on the high end is usually problematic. As BarbarianBrewer has pointed out, yeast exothermic activity can cause a large spike in temperature that few homebrewers have the capability to control.

    Brewing lagers at the high end will produce esters reminiscent of an ale as J A has already pointed out. A good way to get into lagers is start with ale yeasts and ferment them on the low end. Wyeast 1007 is a really clean yeast at 58-60F, S04 is clean at 62F. After that start playing with lager yeasts like 34/70 @ 58-60F. Once you get a feel for it, start pitching at lower temps. This will get you over the problem of "My beers smells like farts!" anxiety. It's totally fine.

    I personally believe the lager needs to be pitch below it's optimal temperature and then bring it up to or slightly below it's optimal temp. These temperatures will bring out the most sulfur from the yeast, which is okay because it goes away the exiting co2 and lagering. Pitch rates also need to be very high because you are asking a lot out of the yeast. The finished beer should be super clean, no esters. The only things that shines through are the malt and hops.
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Pitching high isn't a bad way to go at all and I do the same. With lager yeasts, though, pitching high usually means maybe 60F and lowering to low-mid 50s. And when you say "zero esters" that doesn't really make sense with ale yeasts at just about any temperature. The esters are part of the flavor profile. :)
     
  5. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    In the sense that you aren't getting anything phenolic. No yeast burn, etc

    Lol, I see you like to challenge :)
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    More like clarify. ;)
    It's not my intention to be confrontational but you're using terms and presenting information in a way that's not really accurate nor, for that matter, particularly pertinent to the conversation about lagers, specifically. :D
    Esters, phenols and fusels (which I think is what you're intending to reference) are all different things and have specific sources and levels of undesirability according to various styles. Sometimes local vernacular is a little different ("yeast burn" isn't a term I've ever run across) but I think it's important to keep terms and technicalities straight in order to avoid confusion. :)
     
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  7. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    conversations do tend to be somewhat organic.

    but lagers fermented at such high temps arent going to accomplish what you want and if esters and phenols are an issue. you did it wrong. I didnt have those issues. it has a nice crisp flavour with a nice malt forward taste to it. I literally just couldnt get it clear as I wanted.

    next batch I do will, I just have to alter my transfer technique. coupled with having a chiller that will hold 34°F now, it should work.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've been using Biofine Clear and it works really well. It's a little expensive in the small, one-dose size but I do big batches and can justify buying in bulk. I don't think I calculated my dose rate on the last batch quite right because it usually clears beautifully in about a week but I kegged 10 days ago and though it's plenty clear for drinking, it's still not quite brilliant. :)
    I brewed that batch 4 weeks ago so having a very presentable lager in that amount of time is really nice. :)
     
  9. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    I got 4oz of it to try next time, if for no other reason than to compare to gelatin.
     
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  10. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm with you, I don't have the chemistry aspect of brewing down yet. I have recipe building, hop scheduling and systems management as my strengths. Chemistry of what off flavours taste what isn't my thing yet.

    As a good friend of mine says, brewing is half art and half science, I'm good at the art part with a basic understanding of the science.
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes when I do it it's half art, half science and half-assed. :D :D :D :D
     
  12. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I got the half ass part down pat.
     
  13. Rockhead

    Rockhead Active Member

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    ^what he said
     
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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes half arsed is half good it's the other half that you gotta watch out for!:confused:
     
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  15. hundel

    hundel Member

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    Congratulations! A true achievement.
     

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