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Starting to plan for an ocktober fest lager

I my son wants a lager so I am thinking of doing the NB ocktober fest all grain kit. This will only be my second all grain brew, and I wanted to try the batch sparge this time ( did the fly sparge on the last one).
Should I consider adding to the base malt if in fact the batch sparge is not as efficient as the fly sparge? I don’t even know if that is the case, but I have read some conflicting opinions on the subject so I figured I should ask the experts… :slight_smile:


I doubt that’s necessary. How was your efficiency on the fly sparge?

It’s always good to have some DME on hand but probably won’t need it

I am not sure what my efficiency was… I need to figure out how to calculate that. I did take a sample of the wort, let it cool to room temp and measured with the refractometer. I drained a small amount of the mash after about 15 min and measured 5.23 with the ph meter, not sure if it is useful info but I had the meter and figured I would test it and note for the future.

When I opined about pH in an earlier thread, I didn’t mean to imply pH isn’t important. If you could juggle your first or second all grain brew day and get your pH meter to work in a timely fashion, more power to you!
pH is absolutely important and useful. All the water chemistry I employ is geared toward achieving via the program the proper pH. I have come to trust the programs and get good beer, with ales and lagers exhibiting good lively mouthfeel and appearance. I just hate my meter and it hates me.

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I understand regarding the ph meter…I was almost going to return it after reading all the instructions etc. but I found a you tube video from the company explaining it all and so I decided to give it a try. I was done with the mash by the time I tested the sample.

For efficiency… I brewed the Dead Ringer IPA kit, target OG was 1.064, I got 1.060 on the refractometer and I think I started with about 7 gal in the boil kettle. Oh wait… I took the reading after the boil… So I can’t really calculate, no wonder it was showing 90+%… I will have to remember to take two readings next time, pre and post boil.

I have to make a little cheat sheet to reference during the brew frenzy so I don’t forget these things.

The first brewing got a little crazy, I had my foot operated on a few weeks ago ( big toe cartilage implant) so I had just gotten the stitches out, trying to get moving on it. Still painful when flexing it, so I am pouring my heated sparge water into the cooler on my deck, my foot experiences a searing pain …thinking I am just stressing it too much, I look down and the ball valve on the sparge cooler is open and shooting a thin stream of hot water onto and into my shoe… So I had surgery on one side and a second degree burn on the other side of the same foot. I spent the rest of the day limping around my brew deck like Igor. Won’t make that mistake again anytime soon.


OUCH!! I’m sorry to hear… On to efficiency. I do mine as a simple how much grist, and how much finished product you’ll have. The sweet fermentable has a points per pound value. Just a simple follow along here, and thats how I like to keep it… SIMPLE!.. I want 5 gallons of brew… I will use 12 pounds of barley, pale malt. The pale malt has a potential (points per pound) of 1.037… So, multiply 37,( you don’t need to clutter up your equation with 1.0… ) times 12 (your total pounds of barley)… You get 444. … Now lets divide that by your desired finished product of 5 gallons… you get… 88.8… That is what the gravity would be at 100% extraction… I know my system is 70% efficiency… I will take the number 88.8 and multiply by .7 (which is 70%)… I end up with 62.16… ( scrap the .16) Now you can put the 1.0 infront of the number 62… 1.062!!!.. not hard to figure, and once you get the hang of it, you will be able to adjust your grain bill to match the ABV you want!.. Let us know if this works for you! Sneezles61


Nice summation professor!

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Wow, thanks! I will have to drink a couple of my irish reds tonight and step through that.

another question if I may… with a lager when it says age for 2 months… should that be in the secondary before carbonation I assume? It reads like that on the NB recipe sheet, but on Beersmith its hard to tell if they are saying to put it in the keg with co2 first and then age.

Thank you for all the help!

Do a test run, find your answer, post the question, and see if we get the same answer… Now I’m not much up on how to lager, but the ones I did, I racked to a lagering vessel (secondary or keg) and got it cold… for a few days, then proceeded to carb… I left as long as I could… One got 1-1/2 months… There are two peeps, that do many lagers and hopefully they will chime in with an approved way to do this! Heck, now I’m doing this with some ales… only because I’m doing 10 gallons… Sneezles61

I don’t use a secondary vessel, and I can’t speak as to how bottlers lager. My lagers go from the fermentation vessel to keg and into the lagering fridge on gas. I like to give them at least 4-6 weeks lagering but they’re pretty good after 2-3 weeks if I"m in a hurry.


I think that post belongs in “what your favorite brewing day mishap?” thread. OW!

Thanks! Good explanation.

I’ll throw this over simplified idea out. I have had a 20 gallon HERMS system from More Beer for almost ten years. At first I had no idea what to expect for efficiency and still have no idea what % I get. All I did was brew and read the OG. After a few (hundred) batches I know how much base malt I need to get the desired OG. On the way I got some great beer. When in doubt add more malt. After all bigger is better.

Some kind of cheat sheet is a great idea. I still line up any additions in order on a table, marked with times, on brew day. I set a timer with them so I don’t forget. Anything you can do to simplify the process takes some stress out of it and makes it more enjoyable.

Sorry to hear about the OUCH! Hope both sides heal up well.

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I didn’t start to lager until I kegged the whole sediment in the bottle thing. In winter I’ll cold crash and keg then leave the kegs burrow in a snow bank doesn’t much matter carbed or not. Then I sometimes push to a fresh keg. I do have a pisner lagering now and two ofest fermenting. What I did with the pilsner and plan on with the ofest is after 3 weeks fermentation cold crash for 2 days then rack with gelatin to a purged keg. Cold crash another 2 days then hook up gas blow out the crap and push into another purged keg. Then leave it in a corner of the basement until I bring it on line when I hook up the gas and slow carb very cold for 2 weeks. Much easier in the winter when I have plenty of cold storage

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For lagering and bottling you want to bottle condition first. When you’re absolutely sure it’s carbonated you can then Lager them away.

Thanks for all the info. I am definitely going to keg the lager.

Foot is healing well, to look on the bright side I was glad all the damage was concentrated on the same foot. :).

I guess I may need more kegs…and maybe a second regulator. I guess those little mini reg systems would not be reliable enough for lagering.

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Where’st he throwing up emoji when I need him? Do you really think you need the powdered cow feet for it to clear when you’re lagering the beer? I know I’ve probably given you $#^* about this before…just can’t help myself.


I don’t use it when I make lagers in the winter. This is the first time I’m doing lagers this late in the year. I already put it in the pilsner. Actually I only used gelatin once before don’t remember it being bad. I’ll see how the pilsner comes out before doing the ofest

Just giving you a hard time. Lots of people use it and swear by it. I just remember growing up on a farm and seeing where cows feet go. Don’t like the idea of their hooves in my beer…haha

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