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antiwraith

5 Gal Batch - When to move to secondary?

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So my first 5 gallon batch has been in the garage doing primary fermentation for 2 weeks now (it's a lager). I bought it in yesterday morning for 24 hours of diacetyl rest. The airlock stopped bubbling at all around day 10, but I let it sit for the full 2 week. My understanding of a diacetyl rest is that the yeast wakes up from being in a warmer area and eats up the diacetyl and that I should see renewed airlock activity. And I am. :)

However do I need to leave in a warm area and wait until there is no more airlock activity before I move to secondary and remove the yeast bed from the equation? The papers and books say no, after a 24 diacetyl rest, move it to a carboy and put in the fridge. Is that what I should do? Seems like an obvious answer, but this is my first 5 gal and first lager. Don't want to mess it up. ;)

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I would go for 2 or 3 days on the diacetyl rest to allow enough time for the yeast to clean up properly. You are doing a lager so you are obviously in it for the long haul anyway so don't short change this step.

Be aware that the airlock activity you see likely has nothing to do with your gravity changing, though. You went from a cold environment where a lot of CO2 is absorbed into the beer to a warmer environment where it is now being released.

In any case, give it an extra day or two and then rack to your carboy for lagering.

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OK, took a Hydrometer reading. Came in at 1.0.20, should be between 1.012 and 1.014 according to the instructions. Though that is FG, so I'm not sure if lagering it for a long period of time will change anything. Either way, if it reads again at the same number I'll transfer to a carboy. If it's still changing, it'll sit until it stops.

I do have it sitting in the house, so it is not cool like it was for fermenting. I guess just call this an extended diacetyl rest? Though most things say that should be for 24-48 hours and tomorrow morning will be 48 hours.

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I'm a day or two from it being lagered in the carboy @ 35 degrees or so for a month. Since this is my first lager, is that long enough? I know lagers can go longer than 1 month, but has this been long enough? Basically i'm asking if it is too soon to bottle....

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You can bottle now if you want, then carb and lager some more. I normally bottle my lagers after a week of cold crashing post d-rest, carbonate at room temp, and then lager for an extended period.

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Hmmm.....I barely have room to lager it in a 5 gallon carboy. No way I have room to lager it in bottles in the fridge. Since I have layered so long in the carboy, can I bottle/carb/cool in fridge for a few days/drink like I do my ales? Or is lagering in bottles also important?

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