Lager Ferm Schedule

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Brewer #334545, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. Brewer #334545

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    Hey everyone,
    i have to leave for a work trip on april 10th and wanted to brew a lager this tuesday, do you think its doable?
    OG 1050-55?
    i am using WLP800
    my plan was

    10 days at 54F,
    5F increase every 12 hours till 65 for 2 day diacetyl rest (+3 days),
    8F decrease every 12 hours until 32F (+2 days)
    3 days at 32F transfer to keg and let lager in fridge??

    total of 18days seem reasonable?
    i have made 4L starter and have a blichmann oxygenation kit to make fermentation as fast and clean as possible.

    any recommendations or tweaks?
    thanks.
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Take my comment with a smidgin of salt but I think you've got plenty of time to ferment crash and get your bevvy lagering in 10 days:rolleyes:.

    Ive got a lager sitting in the fermentor I brewed 8 days ago it's ready to package.

    I honestly don't get all the whoharr about lager fermentation but then againI probably don't brew" real Lager"...;)
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    It's on the higher end of the yeast's recommended range so it will ferment fairly quickly depending on your pitch rate. You made a 4 liter starter and I'm assuming you are making 5 gallons. This should give you a quick start to the fermentation. Unless you drop the fermentation temperature, you should expect to hit final gravity in 5-7 days. Since you fermented on the warm side, a D-rest could be short or eliminated. Leaving it at 55F for 10 days should clean up the beer, there should be no reason for a D-rest unless you suspect or smell diacetyl. You could crash cool the beer at that point or wait a couple of days to be sure.

    As far as raising or lowering the temperature in slow steps goes, I personally don't do that. The raising the temp on the beer can be done in 1-2 days. Your only raising it 10 degrees, so there is no harm to the yeast, but as a rule, never exceed 68F. As far as lowering the temperature slowly, there is some debate among homebrewers, but this idea comes from German brewers who start dropping the temperature before the beer hits final gravity. If you are attempting this technique, then it is a must to lower temp slowly. But if the beer hits it's final gravity before crashing the temperature, then you can go from fermentation temp to 32F in a day with no detrimental effects, in fact this may be better because it drops out the yeast quickly.

    My lager schedule starts with a massive pitch at 42-44F, then slowly raising the temp to 46-48. I hold it there for 7 days. Lag times are anywhere from 18-32 hours depending on the yeast. After 7 days I raise the temperature to 54-55F for 6-7 days. This will clean up any thing the yeast may need to clean up. I then "crash cool" the beer to 32F as fast as possible, usually 24 hours. I also spund carbonate during the second week, but that's another subject.

    If you pitch the right amount of yeast and fermentation goes well, you lager only long enough to clear the beer, 2-4 weeks. I brew mostly lagers and I compete with them. I find lagers to be challenging, but if you can pull off a lager, ales are a piece of cake in comparison.
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    You're best off to go by gravity readings rather than days. Depending totally on pitch rate and pitch temp, your main fermentation could be done in 5 to 7 days easily. Allowing to rise naturally to diacetyl rest isn't hard on the yeast as long as you're far enough along.Once it's at gravity, it's done - no need to let it sit longer.
    For a beer like that, I'd pitch at around 60 with a cell count of 1.5 million or better with good aeration, preferably 30 seconds of O2 per 5 gallons. Drop to 54 over 12 hours. Allow to ferment for 3-4 days and start taking gravity readings. When it gets to between 1.015 allow to rise to no higher than 68 degrees. Continue to take gravity readings and when you hit the same gravity (preferably 1.008 or so) 2 days in a row, it should be done. Never hurts to wait that extra day to make sure gravity isn't creeping down. At that point you can start chilling for lagering.
     
  5. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who brews tasty lagers. He sets the temp at 53 (f) and leaves it there until it gets a diacetyl rest at the end of fermentation. No need to be too anal. IMO.
     
  6. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I been doing this so long, I don’t take gravity readings until after I crash cool the beer. If the pitch is correct and aeration being good, it works like a clock.

    That being said, a gravity reading when the fermentation looks like it’s done is a good idea when the first couple times brewing a beer that your not familiar with. I would recommend pitching as cold as you can, below your fermentation temperature. Pitching high and dropping the temperature works, but avoid if you can. The pitch rate looks good and I see no advantage to pitching yeast at a higher temperature with a large pitch.
     
  7. Brewer #334545

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    Thanks Everyone, I really like Voltages points.
    I will pitch as cold as can (hopefully around 45), drop my ferm temp to 50 for week one and 55 for week 2. I don’t have a pressure capable fermenter unfortunately but I really appreciate everyone chiming in.
    I have made some stouts and IPAs and finally got the confidence to go for a lager. I tried a pseudo Pilsner with kviek but didn’t get great attenuation and finished too sweet for my liking.
    For this one I am trying an all 2-row lager and a 2nd batch that’s 60% 2 row and 40% 6 row.
    Both getting the same hop additions of Hallertau trad. Tertnang and a hop I found call BC lumber Jack that they use in Molsons Canadian. And don’t worry I made a 4L starter for each batch plan is to make them back to back.
     

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