John Palmer's book- lager issue

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Brewer #330266, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Brewer #330266

    Brewer #330266 New Member

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    I have finally managed to get John Palmer's book on brewing- everyone said this was the best book. But I am getting conflicting info on lager brewing. Palmer says all newbies make the mistake of fermenting too cold. He says you should "give the yeast a chance" - now all other posts and advice I have read is that the lager yeast (especially the bottom-fermenting strain that I am using) prefers a cold fermentation straight away in the region of 8- 12 degrees Centigrade! This is contrary to what Palmer recommends. Who is right?
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Good question most brewers chill to at or below pitch temp pitch and let it free rise up to ferm temp.

    Me I'll pitch at or around ferm temp and use the freezer to get me the rest of the way there.

    Cooler ferm temps = cleaner beer in the lager world with a adequate yeast pitch.

    But I guess where Palmer is comming from is the lag phase between pitch and active fermentation. Yeast are happier at warm temps they multiply quicker so if you pitch at let's say 18 c then turn fridge on to drop to lager ferm temp of 12 ish c you may get quicker cell acclimatization and larger beginning cell count from higher pitch temp.
     
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  3. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    This is also what I do (typically 10-12c). Sometimes I'll start cooler and let it free rise up to my ferm temp.

    As far as who is right... I guess that would depend on what Palmer's recommendation was after he made the comment about giving yeast a chance...

    - Personally, I learned a few things from Palmer's book early on but have rarely ever picked it up since.. I find it a bit too technical... Meanwhile, I have quite a few other books that I have read over and over.
     
  4. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit, I really like Palmer's book and find myself going back to it time and again. Like a new car off the lot, every book starts to depreciate the moment its published, but Palmer provides a solid brewing foundation. Other books may get more in depth on particular matters but How to Brew is a great overall reference. Brewing 101.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I have to concur. John's advice is not gospel but until you know enough, it's good to follow. It was my foundation, I've learned things that John did not cover and for my unique situation, some of his ideas don't work. And it can be technical - it's a brewing course in a single book. To the specific question, I've found references that go both ways. The "pitch warm then chill" is to make up for the fact that most homebrewers underpitch their lagers. Cool to or below fermentation temperature and pitch more yeast is the best way to start a lager but if underpitched results in slower starts and the possibility of off-flavors.
     
  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    It is literally a text book, all business, I have not referred back to it for quite some time now. I learned a lot from it, but to be honest, I have learned far more here on this forum.
     
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  7. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Agreed!
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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  9. Donoroto

    Donoroto Member

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    Ah, but Palmer says this hurts the yeast: cooling after pitching forces yeast to re-acclimate to the temperature.

    Good book, yes somewhat technical, but mostly solid advice. As Nosybear wrote, not gospel and not everything works for me, but a great primer that I do refer to from time to time. But for specific questions that aren't covered, this forum is the place for answers.

    Palmer's book is worth reading, particularly for someone just starting out.
     
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  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    True that Id go with what Palmer said for sure.
    I did this on my latest Vienna Lager brewed it less than a week ago 1.060 so not a baby for lager fermentation. I transfered wort that was around 20c onto a yeast cake set ferm chamber temp to 11c. It took all afternoon to drop to this.
    A couple days later it's sitting at 1.014 - 77% attenuation.
    The proof is in the pudding I suppose :).

    I think with brewing do what suits you best with the tools you have at your disposal. There is more than one way to brew a beer as long as your getting satisfactory results with your beer with the methods your using then carry on :).
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's a complete brewing course in one volume. You decide if you need it.
     
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  12. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    It also has some good reference information that is hard to find elsewhere.
     
  13. Donoroto

    Donoroto Member

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    Absolutely, but if can get confusing and contradictory at times. That's why this forum exists, for asking questions. Everyone here was a newbie at one time (and some of us still are!) so ask away. There are no dumb questions.
     

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