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Wasabi

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So, nearly 5 years of brewing and I've never tried a lager. Shame on me? Well maybe.....but you know how it is, if the standard Australian garden variety is anything to go by, can you blame me.

Winter is especially cold up here on the central coast so I have decided to try make myself a standard pils.

My question is, what sort of behavior should I expect from my first week? I did what the books say and and fermenting it at around 12 Degrees with a SAFLAGER yeast, but not a lot seems to be happening.

I followed all my usual procedures in prehydrating my yeast, but the aitlock hasn't moved. How long should I be patient for? Is this normal?


HELP?
 

kingoftheharpies

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No worries. Lagers are usually slow and constant and should take about 7-10 days in the primary whereas ales go much faster. Its all because of the temperature.

Make sure you raise the temp to about 16C for 2-3 days for a diacetyl rest and then drop the temp down to about 1-2C for about 1 month. The lagering will slowly consume the rest of the sugars and it should come out nice.

Advice for next time would be to use a liquid yeast, like Wyeast Bohemian Pils or White Labs Czech pils
 

Wasabi

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Kris,

Thanks. I was thinking of using a liquid yeast, but they're still a bit pricey to use in something I could easily stuff up.

Its now 36 hours and the airlock hasn't moved so I'm just comforting myself with the fact that the yeast is still replicating.

"diacetyl rest " after about 10 days in primary do you think?
 

Wasabi

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4 days and no sign of disturbance in the airlock, though there is a thin white head on top of the beer.

Maybe my airlock is faulty....grrrr, wasting more beer on gracity tests.

Am I being too impatient or is it time to re-pitch?
 

kbekus

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Also I've heard, but not sure of it's accuracy, that with a lager yeast, pitch with the wort at around 18 degrees and then allow the temperature to come down slowly to the 12 degree mark over a few days. Anyone else know anything of this?
 

Linz

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What I've read and loosely remember is .....

Pitch the lager yeast at normal temps(20oC) allow to get a start and then cool slowly to lager temps in the next 12 hours or so..this creates some diacetyl(?)(butter flavour) and means that a diacetyl rest is needed at the 4-7 day mark..

Or cool starter and wort to lager temp and pitch and keep at lager temp for duration of ferment also avoiding diacetyl formation allowing you to go straight to lagering from the ferment.

Although a rest to ensure all diacetyl is consumed by the yeast despite witch method is used can't be all that bad.......as previously mentioned If I've got it wrong someone is bound to let us know
 

Wasabi

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Guys, thanks for that. I think I may have pitchd my yeast a little cool. I got some foaming, but not as much as usual.

Anyway, I took my gravity reading today, and in the last 4 days it's dropped from 1.044 to 1.034. Guess my airlock seal is RS. At least the beer is fermenting (phew).

Will definately do the diacetyl rest, though lagering it at 2 degrees may be a bit tricky, especially ever since it has decided to heat up the past few days. Going to have to buy some ice......
 

Trev

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Wasabi,

Did my first few lagers over the last month - I've been leaving the fermenter in the coldest part of the garage.

I used a Czech Pil (2278) liquid yeast and like you I was surprised at how little froth and bubble occured. Used the same yeast to make an extract Bock :p

I've made up some starters from the original yeast so you can pick one up next time we're at the Nags' Head.

Trev
 

kbekus

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Wasabi - another thing I forgot to mention and I'm sure about this is that you need to pitch double the amount of yeast for a lager than you would for an ale.... so pitch 2 packets of Saflager into a 22l fermenter, not one. This is a standard rule, double the yeast for a lager.
 

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