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MitchBastard

Getting to lager temps

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howdy,

ive just got my hands on an inkbird and have cleared out an old freezer. Next brew will be the oktoberfest https://www.diybeer.com/au/recipe/oktoberfest.html

keeping in mind Ill be using an actual freezer, im just wondering if its better to have the freezer already on and running at lager temps to put the FV into, or is it better to have it at ambient temps and then use its "quick chill" feature to get it to 12 degrees?

or would it not really matter?

 

TIA

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Either or really. But try to pitch your yeast with the wort around 12. Thats the key. If you cant get it to 12 then get it down as fast as possible to 12 after you pitch the yeast. The first stages of fermentation are very important to the overall end flavour. 

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There's a fairly simple approach that I like to employ for kit brews. Sanitize a couple of big plastic containers (I use 4l Sistema ones), fill with pre-boiled water and freeze. Add these ice bricks into the fermenter first, then top up with hot wort and cold tap water to your desired volume. Will get the temp right down.

Cheers,

John

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Hey Mitch

I did a Robust Bavarian Lager a few weeks ago.  Started at about 21° and pitched Saflager W-34/70.  Put FV in freezer that was already at around 3° (from cooling my water that I added to the brew).  Set controller on 12°.  I reckon it stabilised within about 24 hours.

Brew not finished yet, now dropping the temp back to cold crash temps after letting it rise to 18°.  Reckon I will get a decent beer out of it.  Maybe not perfect, but good for my tastes.

Cheers Shamus

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Yes pitching lower is the preferred method. I find the beer cleaner than pitching warm and dropping it down. Bear in mind if you do this you'll need to pitch more yeast than if you pitch it warm. 

Have a look at the Braukaiser page on fermenting lagers, there's quite a bit of very good information in it, as well as a guide for beginners. 

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10 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

Hey Mitch

I did a Robust Bavarian Lager a few weeks ago.  Started at about 21° and pitched Saflager W-34/70.  Put FV in freezer that was already at around 3° (from cooling my water that I added to the brew).  Set controller on 12°.  I reckon it stabilised within about 24 hours.

Brew not finished yet, now dropping the temp back to cold crash temps after letting it rise to 18°.  Reckon I will get a decent beer out of it.  Maybe not perfect, but good for my tastes.

Cheers Shamus

Cheers mate, thinking I’ll do a combination of pre chilled/boiled water along with a cold freezer in order to get it down quick to pitch yeast at a lower temp quicker. Just curious, would you do a diacetyl rest on the receipt I posted?  

Hopefully the robust Bavarian turns out for ya. Keep us posted. 

M

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10 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

Bear in mind if you do this you'll need to pitch more yeast than if you pitch it warm. 

 

Thanks OVB. Is this why that particular recipe would call for the kit yeast aswel? 

 

M

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Lagers are usually pitched with more yeast because of the lower ferment temp and also it makes for a cleaner flavor, however if pitching at or a bit under ferment temp the extra yeast also ensures that the lag time isn't too long. Naturally, the yeast work slower at lower temperatures. 

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1 hour ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

Lagers are usually pitched with more yeast because of the lower ferment temp and also it makes for a cleaner flavor, however if pitching at or a bit under ferment temp the extra yeast also ensures that the lag time isn't too long. Naturally, the yeast work slower at lower temperatures. 

Gotcha!

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12 hours ago, MitchBastard said:

Cheers mate, thinking I’ll do a combination of pre chilled/boiled water along with a cold freezer in order to get it down quick to pitch yeast at a lower temp quicker. Just curious, would you do a diacetyl rest on the receipt I posted?  

Hopefully the robust Bavarian turns out for ya. Keep us posted. 

M

Hi Mitch

What OVB said - He's forgotten more about lagers than I will ever know.

I do the same as you describe for most of my brews these days.  Especially if doing some type of boil of grain wort or hops.  All that hot water in the fermenter is not going to cool down quickly without some pretty cold water added in. I use a couple of the 10 Litre water containers from the supermarket, refilled with tap water and popped in the temperature controlled freezer at 1 or 2° a day or two before brew day.

I would do a diacetyl rest on the Oktoberfest.  Both yeasts are lager yeasts.  Following something like OVB advises, I ferment at 12° for a week.  On the 7th day, set temperature controller on 18°.  Takes a few days to rise to 18°.  Once I get stable SG readings (about the 14th day) I drop temperature by 4° every 12 hours until I get to 1°.  Leave it at that for about 4-5 days.  Then bottle.

This beer is probably best after at least 3 months.  I did a plain Euro Lager as one of my first brews, left it for 3 months.  It was one of my better brews to date.  The Robust Bavarian is only my third proper lager.  Looking forward to trying it.

Cheers Shamus

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When I get my second ferment fridge I'm gonna try the traditional lager fermentation described on braukaiser as well as a guy on ahb who is working at a German brewery as I'll have the time to do it while the other one takes care of ales. He posted some really interesting info over there recently. It shouldn't really take any longer in the fermenter than my current process though, maybe an extra week. 

In that method, the fermentation never gets above about 9 degrees the whole time. (Roughly) it starts at 6, rises to around 9 over a week or so, then gets slowly brought back to around 2-3 degrees where it's left until it's ready to drink. I'll probably rack it to the keg after 4 weeks in the fermenter and continue the lagering in there like usual. It'll be interesting to compare to my usual process.

Edited by Otto Von Blotto
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A local yeast company had given us vials of 3 different yeasts with instructions to ferment at 21° in a very simple German pilsner grist 

I got vials marked A so just did as ordered and and came out with a super clean,  well attenuated Beer 

Others got what tasted like an English ale and a wheat beer. 

Even highly experienced judges couldn't find any ferment faults in beer A,  turns out I'd been supplied with 34/70 but enough healthy, vital yeast that even at such high temps it was still uber clean 

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23 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

Hi Mitch

What OVB said - He's forgotten more about lagers than I will ever know.

I do the same as you describe for most of my brews these days.  Especially if doing some type of boil of grain wort or hops.  All that hot water in the fermenter is not going to cool down quickly without some pretty cold water added in. I use a couple of the 10 Litre water containers from the supermarket, refilled with tap water and popped in the temperature controlled freezer at 1 or 2° a day or two before brew day.

I would do a diacetyl rest on the Oktoberfest.  Both yeasts are lager yeasts.  Following something like OVB advises, I ferment at 12° for a week.  On the 7th day, set temperature controller on 18°.  Takes a few days to rise to 18°.  Once I get stable SG readings (about the 14th day) I drop temperature by 4° every 12 hours until I get to 1°.  Leave it at that for about 4-5 days.  Then bottle.

This beer is probably best after at least 3 months.  I did a plain Euro Lager as one of my first brews, left it for 3 months.  It was one of my better brews to date.  The Robust Bavarian is only my third proper lager.  Looking forward to trying it.

Cheers Shamus

Thanks mate. Good info. Will take on board for my first lager attempt

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23 hours ago, Mark D Pirate said:

A local yeast company had given us vials of 3 different yeasts with instructions to ferment at 21° in a very simple German pilsner grist 

I got vials marked A so just did as ordered and and came out with a super clean,  well attenuated Beer 

Others got what tasted like an English ale and a wheat beer. 

Even highly experienced judges couldn't find any ferment faults in beer A,  turns out I'd been supplied with 34/70 but enough healthy, vital yeast that even at such high temps it was still uber clean 

34/70 does seem amazingly temp resistant. I did a pils a little while ago with wlp802 that I ramped too quickly and ended up with banana pils. The other half is a wheat beer lover so thought it was great but it was a pass for me. Such a weird taste - graininess of the pils combined with the banana reminiscent of a hef. Yikes. 

OTOH I've brewed 34/70 at 15-18 and it's always been super clean...

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Local brewery tried using 34/70 for a steam lager,  came out too clean. 

Was a sad day watching them dump the test batch 

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