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Bottling a lager

Hey all, I finally have the means to lager with a fridge and temp controller, but I’ve heard concerns about too much yeast dropping out after the lagering phase, therefore affecting the carbonation process in the bottle. I don’t have the equipment to keg and force carb. Thoughts?

I have had no trouble getting lagers to carbonate even after 2 months of lagering.

I was going to ask this same question. I keg most all my beers but I have a Helles about ready and wanted to bottle a few bottles. I have a little corn sugar laying around but am unsure as to how much to add to each bottle. I would rather not buy carb tabs for only 6 bottles because I would have to mail order them. I have always always primed the whole batch in a bottling bucket. I don’t want any bottle bombs as I plan to give these away. Any thoughts? Can you use cane sugar as well?

Yes, you can use cane sugar also. Be sure to take the temp into account for priming. Cold fermentation will lead to more dissolved CO2, which means you need less sugar.

Good to know. Thanks Denny!

OK, but how much to add per 12oz. bottle?

OK, but how much to add per 12oz. bottle?[/quote]

No idea…sorry.

I’m a little confused by this question. You should have already removed as much yeast as possible from your beer before you even transferred it into a secondary fermenter for lagering, so there’s no question that the yeast will be very minimal. I don’t mean to be didactic, but lagering is a whole different process from fermentation, and if you haven’t gone through the trouble of clearing your beer of as much yeast as possible before you transfer it to your secondary fermenter, you’re not really accomplish the real task of true lagering, which is to develop the flavor of the beer without the yeast. You may very possibly have to add a little yeast at bottling time, but that’s to be expected. If you have enough yeast left in your fermentation vessel, just use it for priming. It’ll be just fine. If you don’t, get some more yeast of the same variety you used to ferment the beer, and use it for priming, just not a whole package. This is not a situation you need to feel overly challenged by.

You can figure the priming sugar addition by going to the “Learn” tab at the top of this page. Find the priming sugar calculator and plug in your numbers. It will figure the amount of sugar for you. Then boil that sugar in water(whatever amount of water you want-as little as possible). Measure the sugar water post boil and divide it up (I’ve used a measuring spoon) and spoon it in each bottle. I’ve done this to recarbonate a flat beer and it worked great.

Ex.-- 6 bottles =72 oz. 1 gallon is 128 oz. So you’re priming .56 gal of beer. Plug that in along with beer temp and desired co2 volume and you will have your sugar amount. I would be shooting for no more than about a tablespoon of sugar water per beer, so 6 tablespoons is about a third of a cup, so I’d be trying to boil down to that amount(or close). Then cool and find the easiest way you can to dose each bottle (eye dropper, small measuring spoon, etc.)

Hope this helps,
Ron

I did a pilsner that carbed fine after three months of lagering at 36f. Much more than three would get me a bit concerned. I’m planning an octoberfest in march that will lager until september and after that long I think I’ll add more yeast before bottling. I just have to decide which yeast to add, probably more of what I used to ferment the batch, and how much.

Same here. The amount of yeast in suspension during fermentation is huge. Even after most of that has dropped out during lagering, there is still enough left to get the bottled carbed - it may just take longer with the lower number of yeast cells.

I’m a little confused by this question. You should have already removed as much yeast as possible from your beer before you even transferred it into a secondary fermenter for lagering, so there’s no question that the yeast will be very minimal. I don’t mean to be didactic, but lagering is a whole different process from fermentation, and if you haven’t gone through the trouble of clearing your beer of as much yeast as possible before you transfer it to your secondary fermenter, you’re not really accomplish the real task of true lagering, which is to develop the flavor of the beer without the yeast. You may very possibly have to add a little yeast at bottling time, but that’s to be expected. If you have enough yeast left in your fermentation vessel, just use it for priming. It’ll be just fine. If you don’t, get some more yeast of the same variety you used to ferment the beer, and use it for priming, just not a whole package. This is not a situation you need to feel overly challenged by.[/quote]

Many yeast strains will stay in suspension for months… so I’m not sure what your point is here. As others have stated, lagers can be bottled after a few months of lagering without having to add new yeast. The only time I ever add extra yeast at bottling is when I’ve aged a high alcohol big beer for many months… like a 11%+ Barley Wine that fermented then sat in secondary for 6-9 months.

I don’t really even understand this statement “if you haven’t gone through the trouble of clearing your beer of as much yeast as possible before you transfer it to your secondary fermenter, you’re not really accomplish the real task of true lagering” Dropping the temp down and lagering IS the process of clearing up the beer and ALSO smooths it out. It’s not like you clear the beer then decide to lager. They happen at the same time.

I’m a little confused by this question. You should have already removed as much yeast as possible from your beer before you even transferred it into a secondary fermenter for lagering, so there’s no question that the yeast will be very minimal. I don’t mean to be didactic, but lagering is a whole different process from fermentation, and if you haven’t gone through the trouble of clearing your beer of as much yeast as possible before you transfer it to your secondary fermenter, you’re not really accomplish the real task of true lagering, which is to develop the flavor of the beer without the yeast. You may very possibly have to add a little yeast at bottling time, but that’s to be expected. If you have enough yeast left in your fermentation vessel, just use it for priming. It’ll be just fine. If you don’t, get some more yeast of the same variety you used to ferment the beer, and use it for priming, just not a whole package. This is not a situation you need to feel overly challenged by.[/quote]

Many yeast strains will stay in suspension for months… so I’m not sure what your point is here. As others have stated, lagers can be bottled after a few months of lagering without having to add new yeast. The only time I ever add extra yeast at bottling is when I’ve aged a high alcohol big beer for many months… like a 11%+ Barley Wine that fermented then sat in secondary for 6-9 months.

I don’t really even understand this statement “if you haven’t gone through the trouble of clearing your beer of as much yeast as possible before you transfer it to your secondary fermenter, you’re not really accomplish the real task of true lagering” Dropping the temp down and lagering IS the process of clearing up the beer and ALSO smooths it out. It’s not like you clear the beer then decide to lager. They happen at the same time.[/quote]

Perhaps I was making a rather absolute statement about removing the yeast. I know it’s impossible to completely remove yeast from beer without using finings, which can rob beer of flavor and aroma, but it is still possible to remove a great deal of it, and it definitely helps to promote a cleaner flavor to do so. I don’t know why this should be such a controversial statement, really. Even in ale fermentation, the whole point of transferring beer to a secondary fermenter is to let the flavor of the beer develop after the majority of the yeast has been removed. Lagering just takes that concept one step further and pushes the temp down to a point where the yeast becomes deactivated, thereby minimizing it’s flavor contribution. I guess I should restate what I originally meant. I don’t mean that you’re not really lagering if you don’t remove the yeast completely from the beer, I just mean that the process will be most efficient with maximum removal of yeast, so it’s worth the effort to do that.

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