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Lager Fermentation

Hi all:

I made a Munich Helles this over a long weekend and I have a question as to when I should do the DA rest (time frame)

Background:

I made a 2L starter with two Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager smack packs and let it go on the stir plate for 24 hours. Following that I crashed the starter in the freezer chest at 50 degrees F for about another day and a half. I decanted to wort from the flask and pitched it to my Munich Lager wort which was about 58 degrees and properly aerated.

By this morning I saw low krausen, so it appears that fermentation is underway. I am using a 30L speidel fermenter so it is very difficult to judge how much krausen I have.

Now onto my question, if I let it go for say three weeks then raise the temp to 60-65 for a DA rest, would that be too late? I know the most accurate way would be to take a gravity reading, but I really do not want to run the risk of contamination being that this type of fermenter has a rather large top and may let some funk in and the less time I spending opening and closing it up will make me feel much better.

So if I am not way off base, could I let it sit at 50 degrees F for about three weeks, raise the temp for a DA rest for about another 4 days, rack to a carboy, and drop to lagering temp and let it sit another 6-8 weeks?

I have read so much conflicting info that my head may explode.

Thanks

FWIW generally I leave my lagers in the primary until it appears active fermentation is complete (~3 weeks). Then the carboy sits at basement temps for a couple of days until I rack to secondary and lager. I have not used that yeast strain but this procedure has worked for me with very good results.

My SOP for lagers is ferment around 50F for a week, then slowly raise the temp 1-2 degrees a day until it gets up to 64F. This usually take 7-10 days. Let it sit at 64F for a day or two then drop it down to lagering temps. So far all my lagers have come out well except one. The one that did not work out had a few off flavors including diacetyl. With this lager I did exactly what you did, let it sit at 50F for three weeks then raised the temp for 2 days then dropped to lagering. Not saying that’s what caused the issues because I have no idea, but I’ve since gone back to my normal process.

@dobe12

Did you transfer to a secondary fermenter prior to getting it to lagering temps?

I am nervous to leave it on the yeast cake for too long.

Thanks

I’ve done it both ways. If only lagering for a few weeks I’d think you’d be ok leaving it on the cake. If lagering for months, I’d probably rack to secondary first.

Glad you posted this question. I just realized I dropped a lager down to 34F over the weekend while still in the primary. Not a huge deal, but I want to collect the yeast.

[quote=“andymag”]@dobe12

Did you transfer to a secondary fermenter prior to getting it to lagering temps?

I am nervous to leave it on the yeast cake for too long.

Thanks[/quote]

You could leave it on the yeast for months without problems.

Hi Denny:

If I follow Dobe12’s protocol, I will have about 17 days for the primary fermentation (including the DA Rest) and I plan to lager for another six weeks at 32-34 degrees F. This in total would be two months on the yeast cake.

In your opinion I should have to worry about autolysis or any other off flavor? I truly do not want to have to move this brew around until I rack to the keg, so if I am interrupting what you are saying correctly, than this is news to my ears.

I will leave in one vessel for the entire two months (fermenting + lagering).

:smiley:

[quote=“andymag”]Hi Denny:

If I follow Dobe12’s protocol, I will have about 17 days for the primary fermentation (including the DA Rest) and I plan to lager for another six weeks at 32-34 degrees F. This in total would be two months on the yeast cake.

In your opinion I should have to worry about autolysis or any other off flavor? I truly do not want to have to move this brew around until I rack to the keg, so if I am interrupting what you are saying correctly, than this is news to my ears.

I will leave in one vessel for the entire two months (fermenting + lagering).

:smiley: [/quote]

Why not rack to a keg and lager there? I give my lagers 3-4 weeks in primary. At that point I give them a d rest if they need it (seldom). Then I rack to a keg, hit it with CO2, crash to 35Fand lager fot a cpouple months.

[/quote]Why not rack to a keg and lager there? I give my lagers 3-4 weeks in primary. At that point I give them a d rest if they need it (seldom). Then I rack to a keg, hit it with CO2, crash to 35Fand lager fot a cpouple months.[/quote]

If I do that do I just hit the keg with enough CO2 to seal it (say 5 psi with a few purges)? Also, once completed (lagering) do I need to transfer to another corny keg or do I just hook up the gas to same (lagering) and pop it in the kegerator?

If I do that do I just hit the keg with enough CO2 to seal it (say 5 psi with a few purges)? Also, once completed (lagering) do I need to transfer to another corny keg or do I just hook up the gas to same (lagering) and pop it in the kegerator?[/quote]

I put about 30 psi on mine 9after purging) so that’s it’s pretty much carbed by the time it’s lagered. If you rack carefully when you xfer to the keg, you shouldn’t need to xfer it again. I seldom do.

Thanks Denny and Dobe12. That what’s great about this forum, I learn something new each day… :cheers:

Denny,

Not to be a nudge, but do you leave the gas on the keg the entire time it’s lagering?

As in purge, seal at 30 psi, then drop to 8-9 psi (lagering at 34 degrees) and lager for 6-8 weeks with the gas on constantly on the keg?

If you have the open co2 line, you can carbonate it while you lager it. Vent the gas before you hook it up to 8-9 PSI though so you don’t get backflow into your co2 lines.

Thank you.

I feel much more comfortable with this process now… :cheers:

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