If you had one Lager yeast what would it be.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Foster82, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    So I just bottled a black lager this weekend, and it has very noticeable alcohol burn. I used w-34/70 at 54F that I had saved from a previous batch of the same brew. The flavor reminds me of the taste you get when making a mixed drink with vodka. You don't notice it until you swallow and then it kinda hits the back of you tongue. I am suspecting my remaining stock of this yeast needs to go just in case, considering it was saved from bottle dredges. However it did hit 80% attenuation in just 7 days (6% ABV) even at 54F.

    So longer story short, I am looking to replace my lager yeast and was wondering if you had just one what would it be. I say one, because I only do lagers a few times a years and don't want to try and keep multiple ones in my stock.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've used several. For flavor, the Urquell strain is my favorite, dang it makes a fine pilsner! And the hot alcohol isn't the yeast's fault. If you held the beer 54°, you shouldn't have gotten fusels from the yeast unless you pitched warm. I'd start by checking the temperature, although usually you get esters if you ferment too warm. Then I'd check for a sanitation error. According to Kai at Brewkaiser, you can generate fusels through warm pitching. Also, warmer fermentation tends to produce more hot alcohol. So I'm zeroing in on temperature as the problem, either at pitch or during the primary fermentation. Were you measuring the temperature of the beer (by taping the probe to the fermentor) or the air in the fermentation chamber? If the latter, your beer could have gotten quite a bit warmer than you planned and than the thermostat said.
     
  3. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    WLP940 Mexican Lager. I didn't get any lager off flavours at all which I usually get from the lagers I have made. I haven't done a lot of lagers since they didn't turn out the way I wanted. I plan on making another one this spring.
     
  4. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I pitched at 64F, which I would not think is excessively warm. Within 24 hours the wort temp had dropped to 53F. During fermentation my temp probe was in open air as I had two fermenters going at the same time, but I was keeping an eye on my stick on temp strips, and adjusting my chamber temp accordingly.

    I am not so sure the taste is coming from fusels, as I had this back in my early days of brewing and will never forget the flavor. Lets just say if you want to make turpentine use lager yeast, and then let your fermenter in a 80F closest for 3 weeks.

    At the end of the day my sample of w-34/70 may very well be contaminated, and at the cost of replacing it I can't justify trying to use it again just to see.

    I am also hoping that some conditioning will mellow this brew out. I have read that alcohol burn will subside with time as long as it is not being caused by fusels.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I think if you play around with this software you'll see that most lagers temp range are around 50
     
  6. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I went for 54F because according to Fermentis the range for W 34/70 is 48F-71F, with 53f-59F being ideal temp. Also here is a nice review on this site stating the same thing http://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/12/06/yest-review-saflager-w-3470-dry/.

    Ultimately, I am just trying to feel out what everyone's go to Lager yeast is?
     
  7. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    My favorite lager yeast would be WLP833 Bock lager, the Ayinger strain, although I have used the Weihenstephan 34/70 and 206 as well with great success. All these are fine lager yeasts, but need cooler temps to ferment properly. I do the JZ method of pitching cool, and raising the temps slowly over the next two weeks of primary. I will put the carboy in the ferment chamber along with the starter and allow to cool to 48F over night and then pitch the next day. That way both wort and yeast are the same temp at pitching. Give it a couple of days to get past the growth stage, then raise the temp a degree or two a day until I get to about 58F. This method will also hinder diacetyl production and reduce the need for a D rest. If you are having off flavors look at your process first.
    Important:
    1) Aerate well. Cool temps make for slower fermentation, and the yeast need to be healthy.
    2) Big Pitch. Lagers need more yeast to complete fermentation at the cooler temps. The less stressed the yeast is the less off flavors and esters are produced.
    3) Ferment cool to warm
    4) Patience. Give it time to do its job and don't be in a hurry to get it off the yeast cake. The yeast is still working even in the cold.
    5) When moving to the lagering stage, cool the beer down slowly, about 5 deg F a day. This is not a cold crash. You want the yeast to remain active as the temps go down. let it hover around 40 deg F for a week, then proceed down to 34 F for the remainder of the lager. Cold crashing will shock the yeast and they may just drop out. It is possible that the yeast will still clean up the beer after a cold crash, but it is likely to do it more slowly. Keep them yeasties happy.
     
  8. mrhappy

    mrhappy New Member

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    Great information. I am trying to get up the nerve to make my first lager in 15 years (CAP Jeff Renner recipe) and this here info makes it sounds easy. :)

     
  9. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    I have listened to the Brewing Network and the WLP833 Bock Lager rates high on their lager yeast.
     

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