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Another 3 Simple Questions

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bL@De

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Ok guys another billion questions for you, geez I could make up the FAQ by myself and you guys could answer them hehe

Basically I am not stupid (some may think otherwise) but what I am trying to achieve is the best possible result out of beer and do the right things along the way. Since I've been here I've a number of things I have been doing wrong and have corrected them so for some n00b home brewer coming in through the door at least see's these sorts of questions and knows them already.

Firstly how long should you leave a beer to ferment in 1st fermentation before racking? I have heard mixed answers to this ranging from 3 - 4 days right through to the end of the fermentation.

Second question while racking how much do you leave in the bottom? I have generally tried to get the maximum out of it (as you would) and stopping it once the line starts to get cloudy. Is this a good idea? How can I be sure I'm getting the yeast?

Lastly once the beer has fully completed fermentation and I place it in the fridge what is this actually doing to do the beer as the yeast I am using comes with the can and I thought it would have freezed it arse off literally? Can I bottle after it has been in the fridge for 'x' amount of weeks, someone mentioned in another thread about having some kind of rest at room temperature, what's that all about?

EDIT:
Thanks
Cheers
Darren
 

Barry

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Good Day
There is no exact answers to your questions so i will tell you what I do and others can give their opinions.
Some say you should rack when it reaches 25% of OG ( eg if it starts at 1.060 you rack when it reaches 1.015). However I find that some beers might not reach this point ( many yeasts have attenuations of less than 70%). A given number of days doesn"t work because a lager at 10oC might be dropping 2 to 3 points off OG each day while an ale might drop 4 to 6 points a day. If I estimate that the FG to be 1.010 then I will try to rack at 1.012 to 1.015. Usually I rack when I have the time and when it is a point or few above FG.
There is enough suspended yeast carried over to keep fermentation going (unless it has been in the primary for weeks and even then it should be OK). A bit of trub will just settle out so don't worry.
When my lagers have finished fermenting I bottle, keep them at cool temps under the house till they have carbonated then put them into the fridge and lager. Ales I bottle, store cool and drink when ready.
Hope this helps
 

dane

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Barry said:
When my lagers have finished fermenting I bottle, keep them at cool temps under the house till they have carbonated then put them into the fridge and lager.
Regarding this Barry, what sort of temps are they at when they are under the house? I thought with lagers it was advised to store bottled in the fridge, as by doing this, keeps the secondary fermenting to a minimum and doesn't produce fruity flavours.

I will be interested to hear what others opinion on this is?

I think I need to start putting some of these threads togeher are forumalting a comprehensive lager FAQ!
 

bL@De

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Thanks Barry, it seems I am doing that part right although really I can't go wrong.

That's a great idea fiscus, I want to do lager's but really not so sure what to do different besides the fridge part.
 

dane

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Yeah I want to brew lagers, but get conflicting info on when to cool, when the pitch, how to store, etc.

I have one that I put on over the weekend. I pitched the yeast not long after I filled it with water - temp was around 27c. But I had been told as long as it was below 30c if you pitch and put it into the fridge, that cooling period will be enough time for the yeast to get started and start fermenting. After two days of no bubbles (the fermenter at 13c) I decided to pitch some more yeast.

After I pitched withing a couple of hours I was getting lots of bubbles through the lock. Maybe it has something to do with the pitch and ferment equal 30c - I think that is somethig to strive for next time.

Other people have suggested to pitch a larger at room temp - wait till the first signs of fermenting and then put it fridge - but that method isn;t going to fit into the above 30c rule.

Next time I think i'm going to fill volume - cool in fridge till we are down to 16-17c and then pitch. With my fermenting temp around 12-13c that should balance things out. I'm not to sure why my batch started bubbling after re-pitching in the cold, but it seemed to work (another variable may have been that the yeast that I pitched the second time had been stored in the fridge, so it was cold).

I will be trying this method for my next batch :

Fill water to volume.
Cool to 16/17c
Pitch yeast
Cool to 12/13c
Let ferment
Move to secondary at about 10days - or as Barry mentioned around 25% OG
Leave in secondary until FG is reached.
Bottle and store cold (fridge cold)

Hopefully that will be the right conditions for a great lager! B)
 

bL@De

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Don't worry Fiscus I know exactly how you feel.

Different people tell you different things and it's really hard to work it out what to do without trying it for yourself.

Beer brewing is all about experimentation :D Only 2 ways to learn, stuff it up yourself or get some guidance.
 

sboulton

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the pitch + ferm temp is known as the german yeast law ( regb and myself were discussing it on another thread ) it goes like this if ferm is 18 deg and the yeast ferm temp should be 12 degree ( = 30 ) this is ok


but...... apparently this is only for Wheat beers and only with a certain strain of yeast
i asked the question on the craft brewers site

hope this helps

simon
 

dane

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Until I really test this out - my Salfalger seems to like this 30c (combined temp rule)

If i pitch when it is still warm and then put in fridge to cool nothing much seems to happen. If i pitch when the batch is cooler (ie. 17c) and i ferment at my normal 12-13c it seems to get right into the fermenting!
 

sboulton

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yeah i also pitched saflager yeast at approx 18 and then fermed at 12 deg ( = 30)
hmmmm
maybe we re onto something

anyway i guess you stick with what works for you
im going to pitch my next lager the same also :D
ferm at 18 deg approx

simon
 

Barry

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Good Day
Due to a lack of fridges I only brew lagers in winter. The temp under the house is around 10 to 14 most of winter but for conditioning the bottles for two plus weeks it will have have little negative impact and higher temps will help the yeast to "clean up" the lager ( but don't get too warm for too long ie less than 20oC ). Opinions differ but I am drinking a Maibock at present which I have just left under the house for 4 months at 12oC slowly increasing to 20oC at present and it tastes good to me ( I have several bottles of it in the fridge for the last 10 weeks and they might/will be better most likely to a small degree ). The fridge is best after they have carbonated but a cold/cool storage area with low temp flucuations is also OK especially if you have several hundred bottles maturing.
All the best, Barry
 

SIMO

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I mature all my beer under the house and don't bother drinking it for 3mths or so . (i've always got enough and i like em matured not green)
I don't worry to much about the storage temp as i fully ferment/lager before i bottle.
The warmer it gets under the house the faster the beer matures. (max temp so far 30c)
I do however like to have the beer in the fridge for a minimum of 4 days @0-1c before i drink it.
This settles the carbonation down and drops any chill hazes/non flocculated yeasts etc.

Not a perfect practise i know but as i don't have a cold room/cellar for 300 bottles it works bloody well for me !!!!!!!

SiMo
:D
 

SIMO

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Oh Yeah Barry, and anyone else who's interested,

Put fermenter in big plastic storage box (crazy clarks $20) with towels wrapped around it (insulation)
Add water and ice bricks ( bottoms of old 3lt plastic milk bottles or icecream containers make good ice bricks).

the more ice you add the lower the temp.
I make lagers all year round this way and control the temp for ales too.
2-4 additions of ice a day will maintain 10c even in 32c heat here in Brisvegas.
I can fit two fermenters/carboys in these boxes at a time. One primary/one secondary.
I lager in the fridge at 0-1c with the drinkin beer. (THATS MY PRODUCTION LINE)
In winter you hardly need an ice at all (OF COURSE).
JUST THINK HBS'S SELL HEATING MATS/BELTS IN QLD (STRANGE ESTERS HERE).

SiMo

:rolleyes:
 

dane

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sboulton said:
yeah i also pitched saflager yeast at approx 18 and then fermed at 12 deg ( = 30)
hmmmm
maybe we re onto something

anyway i guess you stick with what works for you
im going to pitch my next lager the same also :D
ferm at 18 deg approx

simon
Yeah this seems to definately be the sweet spot for the Saflager yeast.

Twice I have pitched when it was too warm and places straight into the fridge - maybe the temp difference in such a short time 'stuns' the yeast - both times I have had no signs of fermenting.

When I re-pitch at around 18c and leave at 12-13c it seems to get along fine.

For my next batch I will definately be using this method and hopefully I will be right with my first pitch!

Gradually learning! :blink:
 

SIMO

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Just to put the cat amongst the pidgeons,

All grain beers seem to have the nessasary residual nutrients (free amino nitrogens /maltose etc) to mature well over extended periods of time.
Extract beers in my experience have a tendency to stop maturing at a certain (earlier) point .

Mt theory is that the yeast dyes of and starts to eat itself (autolysation) producing off flavours and compounds over time. In all grain beers this process seems to take much longer. (the yeast have enough food to keep going)
Of course the yeast strain has alot to do with it as well.
I only use liquid yeasts now as i find that even the good dried ones have problems fermenting an all malt wort to it's target gravity and the flavour is comprimised . One good liquid yeast will make 5-6 brews if you treat it right (harvesting/repitching etc) !!!!!!!

BREWERS MAKE THE WORT
YEAST MAKES THE BEER

Shit am i the first to use that cliche on this group ???

Back to the fridge !!!!!!!!!!

SiMo
:ph34r:
 

bL@De

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I'm not sure how many of you guys have pits but I have found this place ideal for brewing. It sure is a mongrel getting the fermenter down the ladder but being a big bloke that's not too much of a headache.

The temperature yesterday got to 42 degrees outside, about 50 - 55 degrees in the shed, yet down in the pit a nice 17.3 degrees and the brew at 21 degrees as I have it all thermostat controlled.

I really have to try a lager, my brother fixed my beer fridge last night :) so I'll be able to stock up and enjoy it during the warmer months.
 

dane

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SIMO said:
I only use liquid yeasts now as i find that even the good dried ones have problems fermenting an all malt wort to it's target gravity and the flavour is comprimised . One good liquid yeast will make 5-6 brews if you treat it right (harvesting/repitching etc) !!!!!!!
SIMO,

What is your procedures with your liquid yeasts?

While I have mentioned the so called sweet spot for the Saflager yeast I am yet to try this method on a completely new batch - both times I have had to re-pitch with the 17c/13c rule and only then it will start to ferment.

I would be interested to know how you grow/prepare your liquid yeasts (espeically for a lager brew).
 

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