Stop! Lager Time

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My standard procedure for making a lager, which I am quite happy with, is as follows.

    Primary fermentation at 55° for about 3 weeks
    Check for diacetyl (never discovered yet, so I have always skipped the D rest)
    Rack to secondary carboy, and lager for 4 weeks at 34°, stepping to that temp 3°/day
    Bottle with corn sugar and condition for 3 weeks

    This process means that even with 2 setups, I drink faster than I brew. Anything I can do to shorten that time without sacrificing taste would be great. My last batch that I did I decided to lager for 2 weeks instead of 4. I'm not sure that was the answer. I decided to do that before I decided to keg. I was set up to keg when I would've bottled that batch, so I did keg it at 2 weeks.

    Here's a change to my process I'm considering. At the lager step, which I've always done for 4 weeks, make it 2 weeks instead. Then I could keg the beer and throw it in my serving keezer for 2 more weeks, and just hook it up to my serving pressure manifold (10 psi) rather than my force carb manifold. At the end of 2 weeks, it should be carbonated just fine. The difference would be that instead of 4 weeks of lagering at 34°, it'd be 2 weeks at 34° and 2 weeks of 38°. That saves the 3 weeks of bottle conditioning time, and frees up the fermenting chamber to start another lager. I might be close to brewing as quickly as I drink at that point. Are there any considerations to carbonating while finishing up lagering? Does anyone use a similar procedure as the one I'm suggesting? I believe I'm going to try this for a batch or two anyway, but I'm interested in input.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    what I do is a very short process similar to what your talking about doing, and it works perfectly, I ferment for 2 weeks, near the end raise the temp to room temperature for at least 3 days then go strait to the keezer at 34 for 2 weeks while carbing, then transfer from that keg to another leaving the last bit of yeast behind and drink, Ive always had great lite beers and lagers "but" I will say it depends on your water, it should be very low in everything
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    That's encouraging, thanks!
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    one tip and it involves more than this topic, its called carbonation bite, the longer on co2 the more carb bite the beer gets and that tastes like high ibu so check it periodically and when carbed perfect either lower your gas or unhook it, this will allow it to age without getting carbonation bite
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Unhooking it would be the only option. I'll have 6 kegs on the same manifold. I'm surprised at how much more carbonated my Munich Helles is compared to 2 days ago. That's the beer that was giving me such a headache. It's behaving okay now. But it's got lots of nice little bubbles in it. Hopefully it stays this way, and doesn't get out of control. I don't want to have to constantly disconnect and reconnect the different kegs.
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    in that case you will need to purchase a regulation set with valves on each keg, they run $200 but if doing a bunch of different beers like you it may be worth it
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Do you want to tell my wife or should I? I've got to use the KISS method on this. Keep it simple, son!
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    If CO2 infusion is strictly a result of CO2 pressure and pressure, I'm fine with all my beer having the same 2.4 or so volumes of CO2. That's really in the range for what I like to make, anyway. I do have a double regulator, so if I'm not force carbing with the other side, I can use it to supply a different serving pressure. But then I would probably have to reconsider serving line lengths. Back to KISS!
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Is that your setup? Wow!
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    no I have a 4 keg set up on all the same co2 level like yours
     

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