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First lager advice

I am wanting to brew a lager, but I was wondering how everyone got their wort cooled to 50 degrees before pitching their yeast. I only have a 25’ IC. Can I cool the wort as low as I can get it with the IC and then place it in my keezer to cool it to the appropriate temp, or is that too long to wait before pitching my yeast? Thanks in advance.

i saw this on another forum from Denny Conn so i will be quoting him.

the orginal poster asked
“Is it recommended practice to pitch a lager yeast starter into wort that has already cooled down to fermentation temperature (50-55 degrees), or is it OK to just chill the wort to around 68-70, pitch the yeast, then continue chilling the wort down to proper lager temp?”

Denny Conn’s response
“My experience is that all my lagers taste better when I chill them to fermentation temp or slightly below before pitching. I’ve found that too many esters are created (for my own tastes) if I pitch before cooling them down.”

here is the link:

http://www.tastybrew.com/forum/thread/268718

I’ve only done a few lagers, but what I have done is to get everything sanitized and transfered to the fermenter, and put it in the lager fridge WITHOUT pitching the yeast. Then I pitch the yeast the next morning when the wort is at the fermenting temp. Probably not the preferred method but it’s worked well for me.

Wait until you get to fermentation temperature. The lower temperature will inhibit bacterial growth…because it’s in a fridge!

You can do it that way if you are confident with your sanitation. I have done it this way a handful of times with no problems.

If you want to do it quicker here is what I do. I use my IC and get it as low as it will go. I then use a utility pump (NOT a pond pump as they just don’t move enough water) submersed in an ice water bath to drop the temp the rest of the way. If you go this route pay attention as I accidentally cooled my wort to 40* and had to wait for it to raise about 5* before pitching. I liked this way much better as I can cool and pitch on same day without worry of off flavors/contaminants.

+1 This is what I always do. I can’t get the wort cool enough using my IC. If I had the room (which I don’t cause I live in a condo) I’d run the tubing BEFORE the IC into a bucket of ice water to get it real cold first. But since I can’t, I just get the wort as cool as possible and then put the fermentor in my fermenting fridge over night. By the next morning it’s ready for the yeast.

+1 This is what I always do. I can’t get the wort cool enough using my IC. If I had the room (which I don’t cause I live in a condo) I’d run the tubing BEFORE the IC into a bucket of ice water to get it real cold first. But since I can’t, I just get the wort as cool as possible and then put the fermentor in my fermenting fridge over night. By the next morning it’s ready for the yeast.[/quote]

+2. works great every time and is painless.

:cheers:

I’ll typically only make lagers in the winter time, and that time of year the water coming out of my tap is at most 45F. No problems at all getting it cooled quickly.

So my advice is to move to a sub-arctic climate.

+1 This is what I always do. I can’t get the wort cool enough using my IC. If I had the room (which I don’t cause I live in a condo) I’d run the tubing BEFORE the IC into a bucket of ice water to get it real cold first. But since I can’t, I just get the wort as cool as possible and then put the fermentor in my fermenting fridge over night. By the next morning it’s ready for the yeast.[/quote]

+2. works great every time and is painless.

:cheers: [/quote]

+3 my way as well.

I do this as well but I wanted to point out you may need to lower the t-stat more to get the wort to your desired temp with an overnight rest. Do not assume you are hitting your pitch temp because your wort sat overnight in the fridge with your t-stat set to your desired pitching temp. Measure first. Maybe all you guys do but I just always assumed…

Recently been measuring overnight fridge pitch temps and found some interesting results. IE most recent beer was an ale chilled with IC to 82F. Immediately went into the fridge set at 50F about 10pm. When I checked it at 9am next day wort was still 70F! Cranked it to 30F and got it down to 60F in 2 hours.

Next time I am going to try setting t-stat to 40F for an overnight chill for an ale and I would prolly do 30F to hit 50F for a lager. Probably slightly different results in cooler seasons.

[quote=“zwiller”]I do this as well but I wanted to point out you may need to lower the t-stat more to get the wort to your desired temp with an overnight rest. Do not assume you are hitting your pitch temp because your wort sat overnight in the fridge with your t-stat set to your desired pitching temp. Measure first. Maybe all you guys do but I just always assumed…

Recently been measuring overnight fridge pitch temps and found some interesting results. IE most recent beer was an ale chilled with IC to 82F. Immediately went into the fridge set at 50F about 10pm. When I checked it at 9am next day wort was still 70F! Cranked it to 30F and got it down to 60F in 2 hours.

Next time I am going to try setting t-stat to 40F for an overnight chill for an ale and I would prolly do 30F to hit 50F for a lager. Probably slightly different results in cooler seasons.[/quote]

why would you even start with a fridge at 50? that’s just silly…and not even cold. no wonder your beer was still 70.

my fridge normal temp is 33-35F and so an overnighter for the wort is enough. but, regardless, as you’ve pointed out, ALWAYS be sure the temp is right for pitching. It doesn’t matter if it’s been in the fridge or just chilled with ice or swamp cooler, best to KNOW exactly what the temp is before you pitch. Best rule of thumb is never pitch unless you know the temp is right. Like the old saying, good enough is only good enough in horseshoes, hand grenades, and gubmint work. :wink:

cheers.

I chill overnight as well. One tip: Do not put water in an airlock before the chilling! The temp drop will suck the water down into your beer.

[quote=“Duxx”]

+3 my way as well.[/quote]

Same here, I used to pitch it at ale temps then chill…never noticed anything bad come from it, except feedback from forum nazis. So now I just let it chill in the fridge overnight and pitch the next day, works great. Make sure ya pitch plenty of yeast!

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