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WY 2124 and DA rest

Long story short, I decided to use WY 2124 for a California Common that I brewed yesterday (OG 1.048, simple all grain recipe) and then to use the resulting yeast cake to ferment a Maibock (still working on that recipe). I’m now fermenting the CC at 53F and it seems to be going fine now less than 24 hours after pitching (I’m new to lagers, have brewed all ales until I developed a way to ferment at lower temps, so I was a bit surprised that the fermentation started so quickly).

I plan to let the CC ferment and then do a DA rest. I’ve read that you don’t want to raise the temp more than 9 degrees, so I plan to raise the temp to 60 for 3 days.

After the DA rest, I think I’ll drop the temp to 50F, transfer the CC to a secondary to lager it and transfer the Maibock wort onto the yeast cake and ferment at about 50F.

Questions;

What would people recommend regarding when to start the DA rest?

Are three days sufficient for the rest?

How rapidly can I drop the temp from 60 to 50?

How long and at what temp should I lager the CC?

Do you need to reduce the temp gradually to lager temps (my garage should be around mid to upper 30s by then)?

Thanks for your help!

I’m about to do a Mai-Bock with a schedule that Denny uses. Drop temp to 46, then raise to 50 for 5 days. Then raise 5 deg. every 12 hrs. till 65 deg. then hold to finish. That will be your D-rest. When finished Cold-Crash at 35 or so for 2-3 wks.

You may not even need a d rest. Only about 10% of the lagers I brew need one.

OK, Denny, I’ll bite – what are the characteristics of the 10% that require a rest and why don’t the other 90%?

I’ve been reading up in several books and I haven’t found that “no DA rest” was an option – they all seem to go right into the process of doing a rest. From what I’ve read, DA is created via at least a couple of routes and that the idea of a rest was to allow the yeast to “clean up” the DA or its precursor since the low lager fermentation temperatures would otherwise not allow the yeast to do so, especially if you go right from fermentation to lagering.

I’m certainly not challenging your findings, but I just can’t seem to find information to support it. Maybe the necessity of a DA rest runs along the lines of a myth that is perpetuated without justification. But it sure is a persistent myth.

I’ll check with the NB store I go to here in Mpls, but I’d be very interested to learn more about this issue since I hope to be brewing more lagers. Please provide any references you can.

Thanks!

For myself, I’ve never actually tasted diacetyl in my lagers and I tend to do one as a low effort “just in case.” I also like my lagers to dry out quite a bit so raising the temp tends to help squeeze out those last few gravity points.

Whoops, one more question – on the Wyeast website, for 2124 (Bohemian Lager), they say a thorough DA rest is recommended after fermentation is complete. Is this yeast different in that it requires a DA rest whereas the ones you use don’t? That is, is this 2124 a different animal, one that would be in the 10% of cases you lager?

Thanks again

[quote=“Antwerp”]OK, Denny, I’ll bite – what are the characteristics of the 10% that require a rest and why don’t the other 90%?

I’ve been reading up in several books and I haven’t found that “no DA rest” was an option – they all seem to go right into the process of doing a rest. From what I’ve read, DA is created via at least a couple of routes and that the idea of a rest was to allow the yeast to “clean up” the DA or its precursor since the low lager fermentation temperatures would otherwise not allow the yeast to do so, especially if you go right from fermentation to lagering.

I’m certainly not challenging your findings, but I just can’t seem to find information to support it. Maybe the necessity of a DA rest runs along the lines of a myth that is perpetuated without justification. But it sure is a persistent myth.

I’ll check with the NB store I go to here in Mpls, but I’d be very interested to learn more about this issue since I hope to be brewing more lagers. Please provide any references you can.

Thanks![/quote]

I’m not really sure, other than some vagary when I brew it. I simply taste the beer when I take a gravity reading to determine if fermentation is finished. If I don’t taste diacetyl, I don’t do a rest. I do long primaries with lagers, though, which probably eliminates the need.

[quote=“Antwerp”]Whoops, one more question – on the Wyeast website, for 2124 (Bohemian Lager), they say a thorough DA rest is recommended after fermentation is complete. Is this yeast different in that it requires a DA rest whereas the ones you use don’t? That is, is this 2124 a different animal, one that would be in the 10% of cases you lager?

Thanks again[/quote]

It is somewhat yeast dependent. For example, I don’t recall ever needing a d rest with WY2206. I just made a run of German pils using 2124 and there no diacetyl in any of the batches. while you certainly can get diacetyl in homebrews, I think the (over)caution came from the commercial brewing world where you try to rush through fermentation as fast as possible. also, using this fermentaion schedule pretty much eliminates the need for a rest.

http://brulosophy.com/methods/lager-method/

Thanks Denny. I’m a former research lab tech, so I suppose it’s only natural for me to look for answers in a book when a LOT of learning to brew is about trying things out and even occasionally having to throw out batches of beer.

Nonetheless, it’s very valuable for us neophyte brewers to learn from others’ educations by experience… Thanks for helping me overcome my reluctance to brew lagers and for learning at your expense. I’ll take a close look at the website you referred me to since, at first glance, it looks like it may answer many of my lager brewing questions.

If you like dry yeast, Safelager W-34/70 is the same strain as Wy-2124. I’ve used 2-pkts rehydrated in the past for lagers. Just threw that in.

[quote=“Antwerp”]Thanks Denny. I’m a former research lab tech, so I suppose it’s only natural for me to look for answers in a book when a LOT of learning to brew is about trying things out and even occasionally having to throw out batches of beer.

Nonetheless, it’s very valuable for us neophyte brewers to learn from others’ educations by experience… Thanks for helping me overcome my reluctance to brew lagers and for learning at your expense. I’ll take a close look at the website you referred me to since, at first glance, it looks like it may answer many of my lager brewing questions.[/quote]

FWIW, my philosophy has always been to ask questions, look at whose answers make sense, and try them out to see what works in my situation. Not so different from lab research!

OK, here’s the follow-up. My California Common, OG 1.046, has been fermenting at 52 - 54F for the past five days and I’m now slowly raising the temp to 62 for a DA rest. I don’t know if I can believe this, but the SG reading today was 1.006. I can’t taste any “off flavors”, seems nice and clean and hoppy. If there is any DA in it, I must not recognize the flavor.

I plan to use the yeast cake from this (WY 2124) for a Maibock that I’m planning to brew, hopefully next weekend.

Questions:

Do I need to still do a DA rest?

Would lagering the CC be beneficial and, if so, for how long?

So far, so good for my first lager! Thanks for all the input!

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