Lager Attempt

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Frankenbrewer, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I want to take a shot at a lager. I have read, that once primary fermentation is complete, leave the beer on the yeast cake to lager at 33F - 37F for 6 to 8 weeks. I have also read that you should move the beer to a secondary to lager. What would you recommend? I'm going to brew a 2.5 gal batch. Is one pack of dry yeast enough for 2.5gals?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Flip a coin? There's no science at our scale to tell what is the "best" approach. Either will work: You're not leaving the beer on the yeast long enough for autolysis to set in nor are the yeast doing a lot other than settling during lagering. And finally, yes, one pack should be enough for 2.5 gallons.
     
  3. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. The air is foggy with information.
     
  4. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Being fairly new to lager yeasts myself....I don't see any reason to leave the beer in primary after fermentation has completed. Bump up your temp for a couple of days to get everything cleaned up and bottle, IMO.
    So far, in my very limited experience, at cooler temps, I have after 2 - 3 weeks (in the bottle) a much more well carbonated and drinkable beer with W-34/70 than with US-05!
     
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  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    And tradition and myth and tens of other things obscuring the picture, especially in lager brewing
     
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  6. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I brew mostly lagers. There are a few things to keep in mind when brewing lagers.

    1. If you brew it right, you shouldn’t need much over a 2-4 weeks of lagering. It can be sped up by the use of gelatin, but you risk oxygen ingress. If you need to lager 8 weeks to get a good beer, you probably messed up somewhere.

    2. You can lager on the yeast cake. I ferment, carbonate, lager and serve from the same vessel. I transfer to a keg after 4 weeks of lagering to avoid autolysis.

    3. It’s really tough to overpitch a lager. Most homebrewers underpitch lagers. There is no harm in using 2 packs of 34/70, in fact I would strongly recommend it if it’s your first lager. That would give you a +2.0 pitch. I rarely pitch below 2 billion cells/ml/ degree Plato. German brewers typically pitch very hard, 2.0-2.5. The big pitch helps the mature much quicker, plus lag times are much shorter.

    4. Pitch as cold as you can. I pitch 34/70 at 44F and let it rise to 48F. Let it set there 7-9 days and if you want you raise it to 60F or you can leave it set at 48-52 for 2 weeks total. After that crash it to 32F for lagering.

    There is a lot of fog out there about a lot of brewing subjects. Lagers are a little tougher than ales. Mistakes stand out with lager, so they require a little more attention. But when you get them down pat, you get used to the extra details and work. It’s worth the effort.
     
  7. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit confused with your #2 comment. While serving, you then move to another keg if 4 weeks have passed in the original vessel?
     
  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I ferment in a modified sanke keg. I can put 7 gallons in it, so I carb it and lager it and start drinking it after just a few days after crashing. I have to drink it down anyway to get the rest in a corny keg. The fermenter has a floating pick up, so I only draw from the top where the clearest beer is. With ales, I just serve right from the fermenter, I rarely keg those.
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree 34/70 is a great lager yeast to cut your teeth on And great for brewers like me who bend the boundaries a very forgiving yeast and versatile I must add.
     
  10. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to use the Lallemand Diamond Lager dry yeast. I have had very good results with the Lallemand dry yeasts overall.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't, at most 3 weeks before I keg it to lager and I'm happy with all my lagers, but I don't expect it would hurt anything.

    1 pack is plenty in my opinoin.
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Holy hell is that true.
     

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