76shovel

how to handle a true lager?

28 posts in this topic

first Lager and my search-fu must be lacking.

 

I have Helles Bock fermenting at 55F. As I understand it at the end of my 3 weeks I should give it 3 days at 65-70F?  Then bottle and condition cold again? One Lager blog I read said to bottle then chill by dialing the temps down 5 degrees per day until it's a 35 then hold it there for at least a month.  I see nothing like this in the Helles Bock instructions. Sound right?

 

Any input appreciated.

 Mark

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I've never made a lager, but it was my understanding that the cold temps were associated with the fermentation only since lager yeasts ferments from the bottom. I could be wrong. The replies should be interesting.

DrMJG likes this

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As I'm going to be doing my first lagers in a couple of months, I'm looking forward to the answers too.

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I believe that is correct. Cool fermentation, how cool depends  upon the yeast variety, warm it up a couple of days, then cool lager period (not sure how cool). Once bottled, just like any beer. You probably need to rack to a secondary for lagering.  Keep us posted.

Creeps McLane and 76shovel like this

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With my Hops O'Plenty IPL (India Pale Lager), my schedule is as follows:

Primary for 10-12 days at 55.0 F until fermentation slows

Diacetyl Rest for 2 days at 65.0 F
Secondary for 14 days at 50.0 F ending at 45.0 F
Tertiary for 21 days at 45.0 F ending at 40.0 F

That was back when I was doing them all in buckets or carboys.  Now that I use conicals, it will all be in the same vessel.  The times and temps still hold true.
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Good info, kedogn, but that's for all-grain, right?  Things would be different for a MRB recipe, wouldn't it?

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24 minutes ago, Shrike said:

Good info, kedogn, but that's for all-grain, right?  Things would be different for a MRB recipe, wouldn't it?

Actually, I use the same schedule for that beer when I do it as AG or using DME.   I mean, I would think that fermentation is fermentation.   I wouldn't think it would matter much what you used to get there, especially since we are talking about temperature control for fermentation, ya know?

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I'd really love to see @MRB Josh R or @MRB Tim chime in for clarity.  Only one of the MRB lager recipe instructions mentions bringing it up to room temperature for the last three days (yes, I just looked at the instructions for all 15 lager recipes.  I'd say I need a hobby but this is one of them :) ).  Not-so-coincidentally, it's for the newest recipe, ChromosBeer.  I'm assuming the older recipes just haven't been updated to include the diacetyl rest.  Is this correct or is it not important for them?

Also, should we be carbonating these at room temperature and then conditioning at colder temps?  The only instructions that mention carbonating/conditioning temps are Saazquatch, Mad Ludwig. Baby Got Bock, Honey Maibock, May the Schwarz, and German Doppelbock.

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All my previous batches were of course ales and carb/condition in the bottle, I intended to do the same for this Helles bock lager, bad move? 

After the fermentation  then the "Diacetyl Rest for 2 days at 65.0 F"........ and bottle with the usual sugar cubes ( ok?)

..... and that leads me back around to the same question as Shrike,  then what? The usual 70-75F for 1 to 2 months or back in the fridge at 50F for a cool conditioning.?

 

Sorry, I guess I should have read ahead on lager brewing. :wacko:

 

 Mark

 

 

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look at my thread "Recipe for Helles".  I'm cold conditioning 80 bottles right now, and have explained what my procedure were.  Can't say it's the right thing to do, but no one has corrected me yet.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

look at my thread "Recipe for Helles".  I'm cold conditioning 80 bottles right now, and have explained what my procedure were.  Can't say it's the right thing to do, but no one has corrected me yet.

 

 

I have not found your thread yet MiniYoda but I did find a 2015 thread on Helles Bock bottling where MRB Josh R said to carbonate them at 70 then move them back to the cooler temps for conditioning.  That supports the posts from Brian and Kedogn too.

 

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14 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Sorry, guess I should have posted the link

 

http://community.mrbeer.com/topic/36452-recipe-for-helles/#comment-460608

 

 

Thanks. Since his is my first attempt at Helles Bock, and to be honest about it I have no other personal experience with this type of beer, whatever I make is going to be "Great!"  I should probably try to find something similar off the shelf locally so I have some frame of reference.

 

appreciate the info!

Mark

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On 9/17/2017 at 1:30 PM, Shrike said:

I'd really love to see @MRB Josh R or @MRB Tim chime in for clarity.  Only one of the MRB lager recipe instructions mentions bringing it up to room temperature for the last three days (yes, I just looked at the instructions for all 15 lager recipes.  I'd say I need a hobby but this is one of them :) ).  Not-so-coincidentally, it's for the newest recipe, ChromosBeer.  I'm assuming the older recipes just haven't been updated to include the diacetyl rest.  Is this correct or is it not important for them?

Also, should we be carbonating these at room temperature and then conditioning at colder temps?  The only instructions that mention carbonating/conditioning temps are Saazquatch, Mad Ludwig. Baby Got Bock, Honey Maibock, May the Schwarz, and German Doppelbock.

 

This is mostly correct. While I've made all of those recipes as-is and they were good, doing a D-rest for a few days before bottling will benefit them.

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Thanks for the answer!  Now, after carbonating at room temperature, will these benefit from conditioning at cooler temps?  My conditioning options are:
1)  Room temperature.

2)  In a wine fridge at a lowest temp of 55F.  I can fit two batches in this.

3)  Six-to-nine bottles at a time in my beer fridge.

 

In your experience, which would be best?  Worst?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Shrike said:

Thanks for the answer!  Now, after carbonating at room temperature, will these benefit from conditioning at cooler temps?  My conditioning options are:
1)  Room temperature.

2)  In a wine fridge at a lowest temp of 55F.  I can fit two batches in this.

3)  Six-to-nine bottles at a time in my beer fridge.

 

In your experience, which would be best?  Worst?

 

 

Unless I read otherwise, for the Helles I plan to finish the 55 degree fermentation then the rest at 70, carbonate in the bottle at 70 for 2 weeks then back to 50-55 for a month, then to the drinking fridge @ 40F.

If I am wrong, for the love of beer someone stop me! :lol:

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51 minutes ago, 76shovel said:

Unless I read otherwise, for the Helles I plan to finish the 55 degree fermentation then the rest at 70, carbonate in the bottle at 70 for 2 weeks then back to 50-55 for a month, then to the drinking fridge @ 40F.

If I am wrong, for the love of beer someone stop me! :lol:

 

This is correct. :)

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Thanks.  Remember that a true Lager isn't the easiest of beers to make, but well worth the effort.  Don't be discouraged if your first attempt isn't commercial quality.  Just sit back, enjoy the fruit of your labor, and try again

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3 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Remember that a true Lager isn't the easiest of beers to make,

I'm sorry, shouldn't that have been, "the easiest a true lager to make is not"??  ;)

 

P.S.. its my Friday at work ('regular' job) and I am feeling a little squirrely :)

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New ground for me.... I am getting close to the two day diacetyl rest.  There is a pretty healthy layer of Trub on the bottom but there is also what appears to be quite a layer of "floaties"  on the top. Does that settle out or is it going to increase as the mix warms? I do anything with this to keep it out of my bottles?

 

thanks

 Mark

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In my personal experience (others may beg to disagree), the floaties don't increase or decrease during Diacetyl rest.  And it won't settle out.  Basically, it goes into your last bottle of beer, which I always flag (sharpie X on metal bottle caps, sticker on PET bottles).  That's my "drink this first" bottle.  It tells me how the beer is conditioning, and due to settlement I don't give it to anyone.

 

I don't try to do anything to keep it out of the bottle.  I just accept it as the "drink this first" bottle.

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7 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

In my personal experience (others may beg to disagree), the floaties don't increase or decrease during Diacetyl rest.  And it won't settle out.  Basically, it goes into your last bottle of beer, which I always flag (sharpie X on metal bottle caps, sticker on PET bottles).  That's my "drink this first" bottle.  It tells me how the beer is conditioning, and due to settlement I don't give it to anyone.

 

I don't try to do anything to keep it out of the bottle.  I just accept it as the "drink this first" bottle.

I do that with every batch, this Helle's is my first that had anything of consequence floating on top.   Thanks! 

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