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Lagering my Lager with Lager yeast

So I made a Lager, (Czech Pilsner SG: 1.045, from extract). I am using Saflager WB34/70 yeast. I am trying to figure out how long to keep it at what temperature as it is fermenting. I want to see how clear I can make this beer … fyi; I pitched the yeast on Sunday.

From my reading, Start fermenting at room temp, then bring it down to ~50 until fermentation is done (2 more weeks), then bring to 62 degrees for a “few days” for diactyl rest… honesty I if my unfinished basement is at 62, that can happen, otherwise I will do my best… then rack to secondary and put in cold area (under my bilco door was the idea, it is damn cold there) for 6 week to “Lager”. (which sounds a lot like cold crashing…

Depending on what my wife buys from Costco, I may be able to make some space in the garage fridge for a week… but not for this 6 week period on Lagaring…

Any advice to make this beer as lagered as possible?

Thanks in Advance - MFED

I never start lagers warm. Chill the wort as close to 50 as I can get it and keep it there for 7-8 days, then let it rise to room temperature.

Lagering (cold conditioning) should be as close to freezing as you can get it for as many weeks as you can stand to wait. haha . I lager after kegging in a temp controlled chest freezer.

I believe some guys lager after bottling but I’ve never done it. I’d guess you’d need to carbonate first or your yeast may lose viability for carbing with cold conditioning.

Check this link:

I ferment lagers exactly like @dannyboy58 outlined above. I had to think back to remember the process with bottling lagers ( I keg all my lagers now). I definitely primed and bottled after the D rest and then lagered in bottle. I didn’t secondary and still came up with nice clarity.
Forgive me for posting this picture again, a German Pilsner I bottled in 2015 or so…and reminds me of our old house/yard which we sold in December(still not able to move in or brew yet at new place…).

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ok… moving the carboy to the basement now.

I didn’t do lager when I bottled but I think what your doing is good. Keep it as cold as you can for a month then bottle. I would probably add a bit of yeast at bottling can’t hurt

Well I will be kegging, so it seems like I can lager in the keg, which takes a few steps out of the mix.

So… the workshop is about 60 and the Bilco door is 45… so I put it by the bilco door… should I worry if that area gets below 35 or so during these first 2 weeks?

-Mark

Nope the colder the better but of your kegging why don’t you just keg it and then lager. Your keg is actually your secondary

35* would be a bit cold for lager fermentation, but it would be perfect for lagering. I would shoot for @ 50* as stated above for the first 1-2 weeks of lager fermentation.

I would think if the workshop is a cool 60* then you could ferment in a large basin of water with minimal effort to keep it @ 50* with changing out frozen water bottles.

Lagering as @brew_cat said is very easy with a keg.

Another thing you can do is use Wyeast 1007 German ale yeast. It’s an altbier yeast and likes to work at 55°-65°. Ive done alot of my lager recipes and truth be told you would be harrd pressed to know the difference

I agree. Start fermentation at fermentation temps, 50°. Let it ferment to completion and bring up the temps. 62° will work just fine. Plenty of yeast in suspension to clean up. Actually if you pitched a healthy amount you’ll likely not need a d-rest.
After about a week at 62° keg the beer and lager it in your keg. You can actually force carbonate at this time so by time the lagering period is over your CO2 would be hydrated and provide you crisp carbonation.

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ok… so I have two places to keep the carboy:
The Bilco door closet which is 45 degrees , the workshop which is 62 … both temps are surprisingly stable (+/- 1 degree over 48 hours)

The Yeast packet says idea fermentation is 53-59 deg, and the “Temperature Range” is 48-71… So I am worrying that I am killing all my Lager yeast by keeping them at 45 degrees… is this unreasonable?

I am thinking or should I just bring it out to the workshop, finish fermenting at 61, then after I keg, lagger it at 45 in the bilco room for a few weeks? …comments?

I’ve only done a couple lagers but I set the temp in my fermentation chamber to 45-48 and after fermentation starts the wort temp ends up in the low 50s. I’d try the 45 degree closet with a blanket around the fermentor.

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The lager yeast will not die at the bilco temp… It will take longer… Put it there… Then once every few days… Grab a brew and watch the air locker… Again relax… If it takes, say 20 minutes to drink a brew whilst watching, and you get one burp… they are OK… When it doesn’t burp whilst imbibing 2 brews… Time to come up to room temp … mid to upper 60’s…
Sneezles61

Leave it in the bilco room. The exothermic properties of fermentation will bring it nicely into the 50° range. Once it is completed move it to the 62° room for a week. After that keg it and lager it for about a month.

ok well here we are, after a day and a half in the kitchen, 12 days in the Bilco room with a blanket, and the SG is 1.009… recipe called for 1.008, so we are there. The rest has occurred and it was close to 63, perhaps 61 was a better guess, but I am assuming the proteins can not read a thermometer. Being the rebel that I am, I racked it to a carboy and put it back in the Bilco room, without blanket and we will plan on keging it on 6 weeks… I have 2 dark beers on tap, there won’t be room on the tap until april so no rush.

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