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Fermentation, Cold Conditioning, Diacetyl Questions for a Ceverza

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johnno1

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Hi All,

I've just started a Mexican Lager (supposed to be a Corona clone) and am after some tips on the best process to take, eg. temps, times, etc. (My first lager so I don't really know what I'm doing here)

I am using White Labs Mexican Lager Yeast WLP940, and an all grain brew I bought pre-made from the brew shop so I can't tell you whats in it.

I pitched the yeast directly into the fermenter on 29/01/13 and started it at about 24C, dropped it to 15C the next morning and then 11C that afternoon which it will stay at for the rest of the primary fermentation, my main questions are;

Diacetyl rest - When? For how long? At what temperature? How quickly can the temps be changed?

Lagering/Cold conditioning - I dont have a secondary fermenter, can I lager in the bottles? Keep it in the fermenter after diacetyl rest? For how long? At what temperature?

I appreciate any tips or suggestions anyone might have.
 

razz

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Diacetyl rests are supposedly best about 3/4 of the way through the ferment. It means you need to take daily gravity readings but if done right it will allow the yeast to clean up the diacetyl. Usually approx 2-3 degrees above fermentation temp and for 48 hours then take the ferment temp back down slowly over a few days until you get to your lagering temp.
With bottles keep them at a steady 18-20 degrees for two - four weeks, until carbed up, and then keep chilled until ready to drink. The yeast in the bottle should clear up any diacetyl.
 

Camo1234

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Seeing as this is your first lager don't get too caught up in the technicalities of the different processes... The most important thing is to not rush it... trust me it will pay off.

Basically, (not technical advice but this is what works well for my lagers), when the kaursen dies down raise the temp to 16c and leave for a couple of days to finish off the fermentation and clean up after itself... once you have hit FG drop the temp to as close to 0c as you can get and then leave for as long as you can.... I would leave for 2-3 weeks as a minimum and even up to a month or two.

Once you bottle, carb as normal but expect them to take longer... the lager yeast takes longer to ferment and will therefore take longer to carb the bottle... Once they are carbed if you have fridge space, place them in there and enjoy! Try your best to leave some so that you can see the difference the "lagering" phase makes... Remember that "lager" means "to store", so the longer you leave them in the fridge the better they will become... to an extent.... leaving them longer will also expose flaws in your brewing such as oxidisation etc but they will get better up to a point and then you won't really notice the improvement.
 

dent

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I pitched the yeast directly into the fermenter on 29/01/13 and started it at about 24C, dropped it to 15C the next morning and then 11C that afternoon which it will stay at for the rest of the primary fermentation, my main questions are;
For future reference, pitch your lagers cold. Put that fresh wort kit in the fridge for a day before pitching, get it down to about 6 degrees or less for best results. Keep it there for a few days, then you can go to your regular ferment temperature. A much cleaner lager will be the result of your effort.
 

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