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Eddie

4 weeks now

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My Czech Pils has been in the fermenter 4 weeks now and still hasn't totally cleared. Initially I was going to bottle after 3 weeks, but it was still bubbling.

I don't have experience brewing lagers as I've been brewing ales until now.

The brew is an average sized beer for the style (should be around 5.0% ABV), and it's been fermenting with Saflager S-23 at 50-52*F.

I'd rather not have loads of trub in the bottles, but I don't want off flavors from sitting in the primary fermenter too long.

Help!

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I assume you didn't use a hydrometer 'cause you didn't say you did, so did you taste it? If it tastes like a beer you left open all night long then bottle her. It will clear up in the carbing and conditioning.

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Blue Crab Brewery wrote:

I assume you didn't use a hydrometer 'cause you didn't say you did, so did you taste it? If it tastes like a beer you left open all night long then bottle her. It will clear up in the carbing and conditioning.

Thanks for the advice, BCB. I've brewed 119 batches of ale so far, but this is only my second lager. I'm not totally familar with what to expect, especially since the lagers bubble instead of krausen like the ales do. I appreciate your help. Have you been brewing cold with lager yeast very long?

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Whether it's cloudy or clear is not a good indicator of being ready to bottle. Mine are usually cloudy at bottling. It'll clear up during conditioning.

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I have no experience whatsoever with doing a lager but I would think (from what I've read) that lagers would take longer to ferment. If your hydrometer reading is good and cobsistant then I'd say bottle it up. If you don't use a hydrometer I would do the taste test. It'll definately clear up with conditioning. I would think after a month in primary it would be done with a beer at around 5% abv.

Just my thoughts. Good luck!

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Eddie -- I am only on my 3rd lager, but I am curious...you don't plan on doing a secondary? All of mine have been pretty cloudy when I transferred them into the secondary, but since I am doing secondary in my fridge, I am pretty confident they will clear up since I am giving them all at least a month long secondary, over and above the 3-4 week primary. Then another month or more in the bottle. Age is goooooood for lagers.

David

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bigd wrote:

I have no experience whatsoever with doing a lager but I would think (from what I've read) that lagers would take longer to ferment. If your hydrometer reading is good and cobsistant then I'd say bottle it up. If you don't use a hydrometer I would do the taste test. It'll definately clear up with conditioning. I would think after a month in primary it would be done with a beer at around 5% abv.

Just my thoughts. Good luck!

Yeah, they do take longer to ferment. I have a "Vienna Lager" that's been fermenting 12 days now and has just now become completely covered on top with large bubbling activity.

I do have a hydrometer, but hate to use it because the kegs are so small and I want to sqeeze every beer I can out of them... but I think now that I'm doing lager I may need to start sacrificing that 1/2 a beer just to make sure they're done. :lol:

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SiriusDG wrote:

Eddie -- I am only on my 3rd lager, but I am curious...you don't plan on doing a secondary? All of mine have been pretty cloudy when I transferred them into the secondary, but since I am doing secondary in my fridge, I am pretty confident they will clear up since I am giving them all at least a month long secondary, over and above the 3-4 week primary. Then another month or more in the bottle. Age is goooooood for lagers.

David

David, you are absolutely right about aging. My intention is to lager this one in the bottle 2-3 months. I was tempted to use two 5 liter mini-kegs as a secondary, but discarded them instead (I read something about them rusting easily).

I'm going to bottle sometime before the day is out, and start using my hydrometer on all lagers in the future. Thanks.

I'm glad to see others on this board brewing lager style beer. Prost! :chug:

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gophers6 wrote:

Whether it's cloudy or clear is not a good indicator of being ready to bottle. Mine are usually cloudy at bottling. It'll clear up during conditioning.

gophers6, please tell me how you do your extended lagering. Since you said your lagers are still cloudy when you bottle is it safe to say you lager in the bottles rather than a secondary?

I'm much interested to hear how that works out for you. I'm bottle lagering mine in the fridge for 2+ months on this one. I know a secondary would be better, but I don't have a proper vessel to put it in.

I appreciate your insight into lager brewing. It's very helpful. Thanks.

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Eddie wrote:

gophers6 wrote:

Whether it's cloudy or clear is not a good indicator of being ready to bottle. Mine are usually cloudy at bottling. It'll clear up during conditioning.

gophers6, please tell me how you do your extended lagering. Since you said your lagers are still cloudy when you bottle is it safe to say you lager in the bottles rather than a secondary?

I'm much interested to hear how that works out for you. I'm bottle lagering mine in the fridge for 2+ months on this one. I know a secondary would be better, but I don't have a proper vessel to put it in.

I appreciate your insight into lager brewing. It's very helpful. Thanks.


I don't have a secondary, just lager in bottles. My basement is 58 degrees now, works good.

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gophers6 wrote:

I don't have a secondary, just lager in bottles. My basement is 58 degrees now, works good.

58F is barely cold enough to ferment a lager let alone store.

Are you referring to an ale, because I specifically needed help with experience in brewing lagers?

I already know what to expect from an ale.

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Blue Crab Brewery wrote:

I assume you didn't use a hydrometer 'cause you didn't say you did, so did you taste it? If it tastes like a beer you left open all night long then bottle her. It will clear up in the carbing and conditioning.

I hear that. Plus, I'm realising that some of your more simpler recipes do not need two weeks in the fermenter. I didn't trust myself as a taster until I realize .. WTF??? If anyone can tell me if that's all beer or still part sugar .. I CAN DO THAT! '

And, I suspect, if you don't leave in the fermenter longer that need be, you must have more active yeasts left to jump on that carb job. But I could be wrong about that ... I was totally wrong when I guessed if filling bottle higher on the neck aided carbonation ...

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