Steam beer experience

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by soccerdad, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    Hopefully some of you have Steam Beer (California Common) experience to share. I think I made an extract steam beer long ago before I knew what fermentation temps or cold crashes were. I'm now trying an AG Steam Beer and things seem to be going ok. Second day of fermentation at 60 degrees with a bit of a pillow atop the fermenter. But here's what I wonder .. many articles say that Steam Beers are made with Lager Yeast at Ale Temps. Then they say ferment at 60 degrees for 10 or more days. Now ale temps for me are 65 to 68 degrees, not 60. 60 is more of a warm fermented lager. I guess if I have questions, they are these .. 1) am I right to ferment at 60 rather than 'ale temps'? 2) do I not 'ramp down' like you would with other lagers? 3) I assume that I rest it for a day at higher temp before lagering? 4) and last, simple cold crash for a few days, or lager for a few weeks? .. ok really last, last .. fine with something like gelatin, or no?

    Ps .. sorry for all the Fahrenheit references. I don't know a Celsius from a centipede
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Most of us here work in Fahrenheit but to convert, F=9/5*C+32. Bob and Doug MacKenzie's conversion formula works pretty well, too, twice the Celsius temperature plus 30. 60 degrees will be "cleaner", lower esters, 65 will be "fruiter", more esters. Your choice as the brewer. Cold crash may not be required, I've never "ramped down", just thrown it in the fridge and let the temperature drop however quickly it wants to drop. Diacetyl rest - likely not needed, you're fermenting warm for the yeast's taste anyway and finally, lagering and fining are simply your choice but the original wasn't lagered and likely wasn't fined. Again, your choice, you're the brewer. If it's cloudy and you want it bright, fine it!
     
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  3. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I do a lot of metric to SAE conversions. kilograms and grams are a lot easier to do math with than pounds and ounces.
     
  4. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I recon a great steam lager yeast would be good old 34/70 ive fermented that at 18c (ale temps) and got good results on an O'fest type beer actually brulosophers Moctoberfest it twas...

    Anyhow as Nosey said your the brewer the ball is in your court. If it was me id cold crash skip the ramp down i drop in two stages 10c rhen 0c only to give the poor freezer a break. The fin with gelatin as per usuall in my book.
     
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  6. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    Thanks all
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I just ask my phone to convert, but I doubt anyone here doesn’t know how to get it done one way or another.
     
  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    So long as that’s what you are used to. ;)
    I’m good with my old non-metric world. :D
     
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Best temp is very dependent on yeast strain. There aren't many ale yeasts that won't work well at 60, though some really produce more interesting beer at temps in the upper 60s or low 70s. As for lager yeasts some may be very finicky, but many are quite happy at temps up to 70 or even higher. I don't necessarily call my beers steam lagers, but when I do lagers I most often use S-23 dry yeast at around 60 degrees for a few days and ramp up to 68 or so over a couple of days and let it sit for 10 days or more, depending on whether I cold crash. Makes great beer that way.
     
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  10. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    #10 soccerdad, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    This one is with WLSF Lager yeast. I wanted to be as true to Cal Common as possible with this first go round. Interesting experiences with S-23. I'll have to try it one day. I tend to be lazy with lagers .. set freezer at 55 understanding that yeast may run the beer temp up to 60. Set it and forget it. 24 hour room temp rest as kreusen drops. Reset freezer to 40 and cool it for 2 to 3 weeks. I end up being very limited in how many lagers I can brew. Probably could do one a month if really hard core focused, but more likely one very 2 months.
     
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  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't like having to convert rods to hogsheads in base 16 to measure.
     
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  12. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    I hate dealing in $hit tons. I don't mind short tons and long tons.
     
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  13. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    #13 Mase, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    I've been in the construction business for 30 years. Too late for me to change now.:rolleyes: All measurements (Length, Area, Volume, etc., etc. are in good ole Inches, Feet, Yards, Miles, pints, quarts, gallons, Cubic Feet, inches and yards), are too embedded in my mind to change now. Fortunately brewing uses those same units. If not, I'll convert them. And don't knock hogheads.... they're great for soups. :D
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And head cheese.
     
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  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    The fun part of being Canadian is I have to do those conversions on the fly all the time. At least most mechanical things have begun standardizing on metric in the last decade or two. Needing to carry around archaic SAE tools is such a hassle. ;)
     
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  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and I'm not Canadian. While I lived in Germany I got fluent in Metric so using all these 12ths, 16ths, 8ths, 4ths and so forth is just a hassle. But I continue to do so because Metric is my second measurement language.
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Metric is also my second measurement language. In fact, it’s everyone's unless it’s their first!!
     
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