Lagering and bottle conditioning

So I’m making a lager soon and intend on cold lagering for a few weeks. In addition, I am intrigued by the thought of starting to lager my ales as well to help improve clarity/stability/flavor.

My question is, with the additional cold storage, there would be much less yeast left in suspension (kind of the point), so how would this affect the amount of yeast left over for bottle conditioning? Without a cold storage period I still get pretty clear beers with plenty of yeast in suspension for carbonation, but I’m concerned that there wont be enough yeast if I crash it cold for a few weeks or longer. I certainly don’t want to add yeast at bottling to any of my lagers, and dont really like the idea for ales (except belgians), but I want to start lagering all my beers for a short period. This may be me worrying about nothing and there would still be enough yeast, but I wanted to check with you all.

Does anyone brew lagers, or lager ales, and then naturally condition the beers? And have you had success without adding anything additional (extra yeast, more priming sugar, changes in temperature)?


  • Craig

I bottled (and bottle conditioned) about a gallon of my Oktoberfest after it had been lagering for about 6 weeks (kegged the rest). After 2 weeks in the bottles with priming sugar, there is a good 1/4-1/8 inch of sediment, and there appears to have been enough yeast.

You can always add a tsp or so of dry yeast to a whole batch if you are really worried about it not having enough. It won’t hurt the beer.

There will be plenty of yeast to do the carb work. I’ve left ales lagering for a month and got good carbonation.