First Lager Update

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by RobertE, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. RobertE

    RobertE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Today marks day 7 in my Oktoberfest/Marzen beer ferment. I just checked the gravity and it dropped to between 1.016-1.017. The beer has fermented for almost 7 days at a temperature of around 55-57 degrees. My OG was 1.066 and my FG should be 1.018 so I'm not far off. The real question is should I have been checking the beer earlier? Can I still perform a diacetyl rest? I was going to let the beer sit around 60-62 degrees for a bit then up to 68 degrees. My yeast must have been on steroids. The beer tasted "good" for this stage in the process. Got some nice malty bread flavors, no fruitiness and hardly any if at all butter flavor. Got a little sulphur, but that should clear. Hops were undetectable, but certainly in the background. Mouthfeel was clean and dry in finish. After the beer cleans itself and clarifies it should be a great beer, just a little hotter than I wanted or expected.
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I'd raise it up to 68 for a couple of days just in case, but it's probably good and done. I usually check mine after about 4 days if the fermentation has been vigorous and start to raise temp. Raise the temp relatively slowly. I set my temp about 5 degrees higher every 12 hours. If your ambient is relatively cool, you can just let it free-rise. Check the FG again after it sits a couple of days. It probably won't have changed. Then drop temp for clearing and lagering or bottling.
    Congrats! :)
     
  3. RobertE

    RobertE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Awesome! This is my first lager and second solo attempt at brewing so I'm quite the amateur. I've read a lot of books and articles and watched tons of videos to educate myself. I tried to ferment just like they say in the books so I wasn't expecting it to be finished this soon! I was quite surprised. Next time I will check it earlier especially since I had a nice strong and healthy ferment. I moved the bucket of beer to the basement where it's a nice 60-62 degrees. After around 12 hours I'll move it upstairs to room temp of about 68 degrees and let it hang out for a few days before beginning the lagering phase. The taste was actually quite clean for a beer only a few days old. It will only get better!
     
    J A likes this.
  4. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Sounds like you've done well. I don't check my gravity until three weeks. I ferment at 50 for two weeks then get it into the 60s for a week then check. I guess you can check and rush it along but what's the point it's a lager. If I want to go from grain to glass quickly I would brew an ale.
     
    Bevis likes this.
  5. RobertE

    RobertE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Do you see any benefit in keeping the beer in the fermenter for a couple more weeks even though it has pretty much reached it's final gravity? Wasn't expecting to get there this fast. Perhaps keeping the beer in contact with the yeast would help clean up the beer prior to lagering. I'm not in a hurry, but I'm kinda scratching my head asking myself "now what?"
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Different people, different methods. I rack from primary at 3 weeks, lager for 2-4 weeks, then keg.
     
    Brew Cat and J A like this.
  7. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I'm not a big proponent of racking to secondary . Not worth the very small risk of oxygenation or contamination. I only do it when adding fruit or something to ales with the belief the oxygen would help start the fermentation again. I go three weeks in primary then cold crash a couple days then keg and Lager
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I like secondary for lagers because I can transfer to a 5 gallon carboy and free up a primary after a couple of weeks or so rather than waiting 4 weeks until I keg. Handy for pitching on the cake, too. I've used dry yeast a number of times and the single packet seems fine for a low-gravity beer, but the second pitch always does a nicer job and I can up the OG and get robust fermentation and very clean beer.
    Sanitation should be a problem as long as a good regimen is in place and oxidation is a non-issue if you purge the carboy completely with CO2 prior to racking.
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I also like my 5 gallon carboys. I have a plethora of them. I've never purged with CO2 before racking.
     
  10. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,455
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    There definitely are benefits to leaving beer on its yeast but as you see there are lots of different ideas and most all of them are what works best for each brewer. You say still a hint of sulfur, not to worry, either time or a D rest will probably clear that up. Whatever you decide will probably be fine. You've done everything right so far it looks like.:D
     
    Brew Cat and jeffpn like this.
  11. RobertE

    RobertE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    The lager has been sitting in the 60s since yesterday and it tasted much better today when I sampled it. Should I leave it in the dacetyl rest period for another day or two then let it sit on the yeast for another week or two in the 55 degree range before lagering or would you start the lager process right after the dacetyl rest. I'm in favor of keeping the beer in contact with the yeast for a bit longer since it will continue to clean itself up right? The sample I tasted was actually quite good. Got a little bit of ester flavor on the back end, no bubble gum or butter flavors noted either. I also believe in trusting your senses and tasting the beer. The beer sometimes tells you when it's ready or not, but at this stage what would you do next once the rest is over being only 9 days old?
     
  12. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I personally would leave it alone another week or two let all the yeast finish scrounging. Then cold crash to get her to drop. After that keg and Lager then push to another keg and carbonate and serve
     
  13. RobertE

    RobertE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    What temp would you let sit around at for another week?
     
  14. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2017
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    550
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Cold crash it
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Push to another keg? And people criticize me for using a secondary!
     
  16. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I would leave it at 60. Sure you could cold crash and hope for the best but nine days is young. I baby my lagers along this way you can shorten the lagering phase. I find using the first keg as a bright tank gets the beer in a clean keg without the sediment when you push it over. Nothing worse than getting a Chrystal clear lager only to have it cloud up after moving the keg. Technically it could be called a secondary but I carbonate it in the first keg and let it lager carbonated this way I can bottle it from there or push it to another keg
     
  17. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    By the way you don't have to carbonate it in the first keg but then as soon as you move it it's ready to drink. Kegs make excellent storage vehicles you can leave the beer indefinitely
     
  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,512
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    #18 Trialben, Feb 27, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
    And reducing oxidisation through purging head space is another bonus. Ive went grain to glass in 3 weeks with my lagers yes my impatience maybe holding these back from perfection but in my honest opinion their pretty drinkable. Plus frees up my fermenter and chamber for next brew bro
     
  19. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Look up how long some American big boy breweries take to push a lager out of the factory. It ain't very long.
     
  20. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Well they also filter
     

Share This Page

arrow_white