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Lager ferment times?

How long do you guys usually let your lagers sit on the yeast cake?

Specifically, what I’m looking for is some type of “best practice” for typical lager fermentation times. I know many of you have a standard fermentation schedule you use for ales. Many of you report leaving your ales on the yeast for 3 weeks for complete fermentation and fermentation intermediaries clean up then straight to the keg. So do any of you recommend a certain ferment time for lagers. Also after your primary fermention is done how do you determine how long to lager before tapping?

ps: I know I can check for the FG every few days, risk infection and waste 6oz of beer every time but that’s not what I am asking. I’m looking for a more empirical approach.

This is how I would try my next lager.

http://www.brew-wineforum.com/viewtopic ... 08&t=59851

edit: correct link.

About three weeks, give or take. Average-gravity lagers will reach FG in about 7-10 days, IME. But I’m usually not worried about turning them around as fast as the ales, so I’ll leave them in the fermenter for about three weeks, then rack to a conditioning tank (keg) and lager for a month or more. There’s really no downside to lagering as long as you can manage.

+1. I primary my lagers about the same amount of time as my ales. About 3-4weeks on average. But I’ll then cold condition my lagers at least 4 weeks. They will usually get better with time. I lagered my 2011 Oktoberfest at 35F for 10 weeks. It was awesome!

At the risk of hijacking Duxx’s thread, any particular reason you leave the ales so long?

+2 although after two weeks I do a diacetyl rest in the low 60’s for about a week. This basically involves removing the fermentor from the chamber to room temp in the basement. Then I’ll rack to keg when I get around to it, add gelatin if I’m going to, pressurize the keg for carbonation and put it in the lagering chamber (high 30’s fridge in my case).

At the risk of hijacking Duxx’s thread, any particular reason you leave the ales so long?[/quote]

Usually just a matter of time. I like to brew whenever possible and hate to bottle. I have a kegerator now, but only 2 taps with one reserve keg. So that usually leads to fermentors sitting for at least 3 weeks or more. I also brew a lot of pale ales, ipa’s and often stronger beers so I like to give them time to condition or mellow.

I looked back at mine over the past two years.

Primary: 4-6 weeks
D-rest; 3-5 days
lager/secon: 8-16wks.

My schedule shows that i apparently make ales so I have homebrew to drink between lagers, lol.

:cheers:

[quote=“StormyBrew”]My schedule shows that i apparently make ales so I have homebrew to drink between lagers, lol.
:cheers: [/quote]
No kidding! I just make lagers for the challenge. Ales are my bread and butter.

I’m sorta digging Lagers right now. Mostly due to repitching the yeast I guess. With that said, I have been leaving the Lagers in Primary for 4 weeks, keg and lager for 4 weeks, harvest the yeast and then brew the next beer within a day or two of harvesting the yeast. The 4 week cycle seems to be working pretty good. With the first pitch of the lager yeast I’ll go 3 weeks but it’s usually a fairly low OG beer, almost a starter if you will. Ales are usually on a 3 week rotation (4 if I have other commitments) that includes repitching the yeast. Cheers!!!

Thanks guys this exactly what I was looking for. This forum is awsome.

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