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Octoberfest Fermentation Temps

Brewmates,
Just got done putting my Octoberfest in the primary. This is my first lager. I’ve heard different information on temperatures, and time in primary. I was going to set my temp at 52, but I heard from the LHBS that I should start a little higher to kick off fermentation? It’s at 58 now. Also, my plan was to ferment in primary for 21 days, rack to secondary/keg, then slowly reduce the temp by 2 degrees per day to 34, then lager about 6 weeks.

Does that sound about right? Your thoughts?
Chet

Set your temp where you want to ferment at. If you set it higher, fermentation may take off 10 minutes after you leave for work. Now the temp spikes to the mid 60’s for the 9-10 hours you are away. Then you set the temp lower and it take 5-6 hours for the wort/beer to cool.

As Denny says, let the beer tell you when it’s done. If it’s not done fermenting in 2 weeks, transferring it at 3 weeks may be a bad idea.

Here is one idea on making lagers. http://www.brew-wineforum.com/viewtopic … 5b47d740a5

Make sure the yeast and wort are at the same temp, typically 5 degrees below fermentation temp. before you pitch. Fermentation temp for a lager is between 48-52F. The colder you ferment it the cleaner it will taste. After you pitch the yeast reset the controller to the fermentation temp you prefer and let the temp rise. As far as how long to let it sit on the yeast; I let my lagers sit at fermentation temp until they’re 80% complete (By gravity reading) then raise the temp 10 degrees and hold it there until I hit my final gravity. (Run a fast fermentation test to determine your FG) I then reduce the temp 3 degrees per day until I hit 34F and hold it there for two weeks before I rack the beer to a keg and then continue to lager it. The beer sits on the yeast for 4-5 weeks, and lagers for a minimum of 8 weeks. You don’t want to pull the beer off the yeast quickly because the yeast is cleaning up the byproducts it produced during fermentation. With a lager patients and solid technique is essential.

Thanks for the posts. I’ve already dropped the temp down to 52. I had good fermentation within 24 hours. I do have my probe attached and insulated to the carboy, so temp fluctuations are less of an issue. I do like the idea of increasing the temp at the end of the ferment to clean the beer up. I will incorporate that into my lager brewing (if I ever go down this road again)!
Thanks!
Chet

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