Lager Fermenting Time

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

tonyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/12/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
3
Hi all,

I've only used ale yeast and i want to do a lager soon. What can I expect as far as fermenting times as apposed to the ale yeast. And just to make sure i don't start to panick, will air lock activity start around same time as the ale??? and will the activity be as active or is it calmer due to the lower temps?

Cheers
 

angus_grant

Custom Title Now Available
Joined
25/10/11
Messages
1,596
Reaction score
635
Location
southsideFoLyfe, Brisbane
Hi Tony,

I am currently brewing my first lager. It took about 3 days for noticeable airlock activity after pitching, although it was mentioned in other places that Morgans yeast can take a while to activate.

Airlock activity once started is very slow. An air pop about every 1&1/2 seconds. Certainly a lot calmer than ale fermentation. I am guessing it will take around 3 weeks for complete fermentation. Kind of puts a halt to my fermentation processes. :)

Cheers,
Angus.
 

tonyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/12/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
3
Hi Tony,

I am currently brewing my first lager. It took about 3 days for noticeable airlock activity after pitching, although it was mentioned in other places that Morgans yeast can take a while to activate.

Airlock activity once started is very slow. An air pop about every 1&1/2 seconds. Certainly a lot calmer than ale fermentation. I am guessing it will take around 3 weeks for complete fermentation. Kind of puts a halt to my fermentation processes. :)

Cheers,
Angus.
Thanks Angus,

If you remember, can you please drop us a line when ferment finishes and approx how long it took?

Cheers
 

Bats

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/11/10
Messages
295
Reaction score
14
It all depends on what temperature it ferments at.

The lower the temp the slower it will ferment and less noticeable activity.

Lager yeasts will still ferment quite quick if the temp is on the higher end.

Generally, Lagers should be fermented at about 12C for a few weeks. For better results, ferment at 12C then let it lager at 4C for a month. That's if you can wait that long.
 

warra48

I've drunk all my homebrew and I'm still worried.
Joined
16/7/07
Messages
3,297
Reaction score
663
Location
Corlette NSW
I ferment my lagers at 9.5 to 10C, but I generally use liquid yeasts and pitch at fermentation temperature. I always allow 3 weeks. Activity will be slow to almost non observable. If you have healthy yeast, trust it to do the job.

If you can't control your fermentation temperature, you are probably better off sticking with ale yeasts. If you want a neutral dry ale yeast, use US05, or even Nottingham.

Having said that, the last brew I bottled was fermented with 4 packets of S23 dry lager yeast. It was rehydrated in about 100 mil of cooled boiled water, and pitched into my brew and aerated. You don't need 4 packets, generally 2 packets of dry yeast will be sufficient for a 23 litre brew. One pack will probably underpitch and cause you some yeast stress flavours or esters you don't need.

Another thing, I don't use lids or airlocks. Go the double layer of clingwrap, and use the seal from inside the lid to hold it in place. It's fun to see what actually happens, much more pleasant than worrying about the absence or frequency of airlock bloops.
 

angus_grant

Custom Title Now Available
Joined
25/10/11
Messages
1,596
Reaction score
635
Location
southsideFoLyfe, Brisbane
Hi Tony,

My lager has ended up crapping out. Not quite sure what went wrong but it seems to have picked up an infection. It never really seemed particularly happy. The gravity never really dropped below 1020 after 3 weeks with OG of 1042. First batch of beer I have lost since I started brewing about 10 years ago. A sad day...

I had it temp controlled the whole period so not quite sure. I had finished reading Charlie Papazian's book and he mentioned boiling tins to get a fuller flavour of beer so I tried that with the lager. So maybe that destroyed the integrity of the tinned extract or something. There was always something not quite right with the beer. So won't bother boiling extract again. I am building up parts for BIAB, so will start trying that sometime soon.

I am thinking next time of doing a starter of the yeast so it can really power into the fermentation straight away. But I'd like to get my two kegs filled so I am good for beer for 2 months or so before starting another lager. That will have to wait until end of April when I will have stock up.

Thanks,
Angus.
 

tonyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/12/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
3
Hi Tony,

My lager has ended up crapping out. Not quite sure what went wrong but it seems to have picked up an infection. It never really seemed particularly happy. The gravity never really dropped below 1020 after 3 weeks with OG of 1042. First batch of beer I have lost since I started brewing about 10 years ago. A sad day...

I had it temp controlled the whole period so not quite sure. I had finished reading Charlie Papazian's book and he mentioned boiling tins to get a fuller flavour of beer so I tried that with the lager. So maybe that destroyed the integrity of the tinned extract or something. There was always something not quite right with the beer. So won't bother boiling extract again. I am building up parts for BIAB, so will start trying that sometime soon.

I am thinking next time of doing a starter of the yeast so it can really power into the fermentation straight away. But I'd like to get my two kegs filled so I am good for beer for 2 months or so before starting another lager. That will have to wait until end of April when I will have stock up.

Thanks,
Angus.
[/quote
Hi ANGUS,
I put down my lager not long after this thread, it was a asahi clone. Used S 23 at 12 d, it took almost 3 weeks to finish .My wife loves it, it is a dry light lager, almost like a corona. Anyhow like you said, unless you have time, better of sticking to the ales

Cheers
 

roverfj1200

Well-Known Member
Joined
15/4/09
Messages
548
Reaction score
28
With my lagers most with s23 I find that if I pitch dry yeast at about 20 deg and leave it for about 12 hours and drop to 12 deg things work well.

You should look at your sanitising processes and really nuke everything when going the lager way as the wort can be in there for sometime.

My lagers at 12 deg with S-23 take 2 weeks and sometimes a few days longer 34-70 closer to 3 weeks I don't look at the air lock I look at the wort to see if fermentation is rolling along.

Cheers
 

angus_grant

Custom Title Now Available
Joined
25/10/11
Messages
1,596
Reaction score
635
Location
southsideFoLyfe, Brisbane
Once I have two stocked kegs I will have a crack at another lager, use my own yeast, and make a yeast starter so I know it is firing and ready to go.

I think one thing I may have done incorrectly was to pitch at 18 degrees and then drop the temp down to 13 degrees over-night instead of leaving at 20 degrees to allow the yeast to start firing and getting up healthy numbers.
 

Latest posts

Top