Lager question

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Cheers guys

Just in regard to yeast pitch. I understand that brewing at lager temps requires a hell of alot more yeast than ale. Is 2x Saflager 34/70 fine or should I go 3 sachets? Gets pretty expensive using 2 or 3 but if it's definitely better then I'll go with it. Thinking of brewing at 12 degrees with straight pilsner malt and hallertau at 60, 20 and 5(?) For a Euro type lager
Two packs in 23L is about right. Yes, it's expensive but you can step up. A stir plate is best but, for years I used 2L wine bottles (flagons) and step up with about 1.5L of 'wort' made up to 1.040 with DME and allowed to ferment out. Add oxygen if you have it otherwise shake the shit out of it. That keeps the cost in check.

Go one step better, add a small amount of 'wort' to your starter at the beginning of your brew day, when it comes time to pitch, you're adding actively fermenting yeast to your beer, it starts fermenting straight away with no lag time - perfect.
 

SHLACKS

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so if pitched at around 14degrees how long would you lager for and would you keep the temp the same or change and after how long?
 

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so if pitched at around 14degrees how long would you lager for and would you keep the temp the same or change and after how long?
Lagering kind of falls into two stages. Stage one is when the yeast is still active and cleans up fermentation by-products. This can happen down to as low as 3C but if you crash chill it won't work as well. Slowly down is the key. Stage two is holding the beer at or below 0C for a length of time to allow polyphenols (tannins) to drop out. This can be sped up with gelatine and PVPP and can be done in the keg or left in the fermenter.
 

MHB

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Gelatin wont work on the haze formed during lagering, Isinglass will, perhaps some of the Silica (see Biofine) products people are talking about, but gelatin simply cant react with haze the way it can with say yeast and trub.
PVPP isn't a fining either, it chemically binds the Polyphenols that are one half of the haze formation equation.
There are also blends of Silica Xerogel and PVPP (bit of a pain to use, but very effective), the Silica Xerogel binds the key proteins, the other half of the process involved in haze formation. See Polyclar 70/30, Brewman has some I don't think anyone else stocks it.

Shlacks - How long is going to be a piece of string type of question, too many variables based on the info available, 14 is a very hot ferment for a Lager 8-10oC is pretty common, 12oC is referred to as "Warm Fermentation". the warmer the faster, the cooler the less esters produced, the more lager like, the more yeast you need.
 

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Gelatine, as far as I am aware, doesn't work on starch haze or chill haze where haze forms at low temps but always thought that gelatine being almost pure protein in itself would attract the other grain proteins to make larger protein particles that become heavy enough to drop out. PVPP I bought from a major wine supplier specifically states that PVPP is for dropping out polyphenols - how true that is I don't know??

From personal observation, when I do add a gelatine/pvpp mix into very cold beer in the fermenter it leaves the beer very clear within 24 hours - from observed cloudy to observed clear
 

MHB

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Chill haze is exactly why you lager beer - to chill proof the beer. Either form the haze and wait for it to fall, or speed up the precipitation by using a fining that does work on chill haze (there is more to Lagering naturally but just talking about fining).
I suspect the choice of terms, in this case dropping out - is misleading PVPP is insoluble, it falls through the beer (or is layered onto filters commercially) it chemically binds the tannins, but doesn't precipitate them, however their concentration is reduced so, a poor choice of words.

When it comes to Proteins well there are a ridiculously large number of them, just thinking that an animal protein is going to bond to a plant protein, the way you want it to - because they are both proteins - is well to put it gently, fallacious.
Mark
 

TheSumOfAllBeers

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Gelatine acts on chill haze too. Won't do anything for starch haze though.
 

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I think water plays a huge part in making a tasty lager and also a couple of small adjustments. You will generally not have a lot of strong flavour to 'hide' behind like you would in say a stout or IPA. For example, I recently did a run of adjunct lagers: 80% JW Pils, 17% flaked maize and 3% Vienna. 12 IBU of saaz. In order to get the profile I was after I purchased RO water and blended that with Illawarra tap water. Mind you that meant that I had to buy about 40L which cost $35!! I then used lactic acid and a tiny bit of cal chloride to get to the target PH and to an acceptably low mineral profile. I did a 4 hour mash at 62/63 to get a nice dry and crisp finish. Yeast nutrient and brewbrite added too. I ferment cold until the beer hits around 1.02 then free rise to 18 until it's well and truly done. Step down to 1C over a few days, transfer and cold store for a month. I gelatin in the keg.
 

TheSumOfAllBeers

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I made a good lager with London tap water which is quite hard . I think it was about 85:15 bohemian Pilsner malt and 15% Vienna. Motueka to ~30ibu lots of mangrove jack Bavarian lager yeast, and a schedule similar to Shacked above i.e. Relatively warm. Came out a great beer [emoji482] if a bit fruity. Good pils malt is important.

I spent a lot of time obsessing over it, until I just made one. A lot of the processes are not essential unless you are trying to nail a specific style
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Well, this one's almost done now with the 95% pils malt and 5% sucrose mashed at 64 degrees. It's down to 1.006..! I can't believe it! Smells and tastes really good. I'm aiming for a megaswill Bali Bintang type pils. If anything it's a tadd to flavoursome, will try 10% sugar next time but it's bloody nice as it is now. Conditioning will tell
 

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Next up is the same done with ale malt instead as an exBeeriment you could say. I'll throw in 7-10% sucrose and maybe a tadd less bittering (latest done at 30 ibu which I wouldn't have thought would taste so bitter, must be the light malt)
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Damn thing's now 5.5% too with such high attenuation. I just want a nice clean easy drinking lawnmower beer for once! Haha. Maybe I can water it down a little
 

Gloveski

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Damn thing's now 5.5% too with such high attenuation. I just want a nice clean easy drinking lawnmower beer for once! Haha. Maybe I can water it down a little
If you are going to water down as your expecting a higher ABV better to do it before fermentation or look at mash schedule if FG is lower than expected
 

warra48

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5.5% is still lower than Coopers Sparkling Ale.
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Hehe

I still remember when dat shi' was 7.8%

It was the go-to liquid for me and my teenage hombre's
 

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Chill haze is exactly why you lager beer - to chill proof the beer. Either form the haze and wait for it to fall, or speed up the precipitation by using a fining that does work on chill haze (there is more to Lagering naturally but just talking about fining).
I suspect the choice of terms, in this case dropping out - is misleading PVPP is insoluble, it falls through the beer (or is layered onto filters commercially) it chemically binds the tannins, but doesn't precipitate them, however their concentration is reduced so, a poor choice of words.

When it comes to Proteins well there are a ridiculously large number of them, just thinking that an animal protein is going to bond to a plant protein, the way you want it to - because they are both proteins - is well to put it gently, fallacious.
Mark
Good points MHB, in a traditional lager, cold conditioning does most of the work, chill haze forms and drops out - over time, and of course the key to traditional lagers is time. I prefer the old ways of doing things here allowing time to do the job but you're looking at 5-6 weeks for a an average lager.
I am making a fast condition lager right now using Cali lager yeast and gelatine and PVPP to help clear the beer plus cold temperatures and I don't like what I see or taste so far. The finings haven't really done as good a job as I thought. Like a traditional lager I'll hold it at -1C for a week and see what happens, if I have to hold it more than that, I might as well go back to traditional lagers.
 

MHB

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Contrary to some opinions cooking gelatin doesn't attach to chill haze, so I'm not surprised your beer clearing slowly.
It will attach to residual cold-break material, yeast and some other bits and bobs, just not Protein/Polyphenol complex (chill haze), as a lot of peoples beer has more crud in than a typical commercial beer might, the fact that gelatine removes this does make the beer clearer - just not the way people think.

Personally I have never found a way to get lager into what I regard as first class condition in less than 4 weeks, and that for very light/pale lagers. For more robust styles I find 6 weeks pretty much a minimum.
Clarity is often a function of the yeast chosen, some lager yeasts just don't flock, Ca and pH can also make a very big difference.
If you can measure the pH, a bit of tweaking at or around 4.2pH can make a big difference (I use Potassium Bicarbonate (usually in Ciders) or Lactic Acid) Making sure you have a reasonable amount of Ca in the beer at the end of fermentation really helps the yeast flock, I usually start with around 150ppm in the mash. Am setting up to be able to measure Ca so hopefully will soon be able to pin some of the variables down a bit tighter.
Mark
 

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Contrary to some opinions cooking gelatin doesn't attach to chill haze, so I'm not surprised your beer clearing slowly.
It will attach to residual cold-break material, yeast and some other bits and bobs, just not Protein/Polyphenol complex (chill haze), as a lot of peoples beer has more crud in than a typical commercial beer might, the fact that gelatine removes this does make the beer clearer - just not the way people think.

Personally I have never found a way to get lager into what I regard as first class condition in less than 4 weeks, and that for very light/pale lagers. For more robust styles I find 6 weeks pretty much a minimum.
Clarity is often a function of the yeast chosen, some lager yeasts just don't flock, Ca and pH can also make a very big difference.
If you can measure the pH, a bit of tweaking at or around 4.2pH can make a big difference (I use Potassium Bicarbonate (usually in Ciders) or Lactic Acid) Making sure you have a reasonable amount of Ca in the beer at the end of fermentation really helps the yeast flock, I usually start with around 150ppm in the mash. Am setting up to be able to measure Ca so hopefully will soon be able to pin some of the variables down a bit tighter.
Mark
Some very interesting information there Mark and will definitely take it on board. I follow simple basic rules but of course, lager is more than just about clarity.
My favourite yeast was Wyeast Danish 2042 (deleted line) because it didn't floculate very well and stayed in suspension cleaning up fermenation by-products but dropped clear at minus temps.
 

Quokka42

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Contrary to some opinions cooking gelatin doesn't attach to chill haze, so I'm not surprised your beer clearing slowly.
It will attach to residual cold-break material, yeast and some other bits and bobs, just not Protein/Polyphenol complex (chill haze), as a lot of peoples beer has more crud in than a typical commercial beer might, the fact that gelatine removes this does make the beer clearer - just not the way people think.

Personally I have never found a way to get lager into what I regard as first class condition in less than 4 weeks, and that for very light/pale lagers. For more robust styles I find 6 weeks pretty much a minimum.
Clarity is often a function of the yeast chosen, some lager yeasts just don't flock, Ca and pH can also make a very big difference.
If you can measure the pH, a bit of tweaking at or around 4.2pH can make a big difference (I use Potassium Bicarbonate (usually in Ciders) or Lactic Acid) Making sure you have a reasonable amount of Ca in the beer at the end of fermentation really helps the yeast flock, I usually start with around 150ppm in the mash. Am setting up to be able to measure Ca so hopefully will soon be able to pin some of the variables down a bit tighter.
Mark
Agree. I think gelatin is a great fining agent - especially if you are using a lot of dry hops or a low flocculation yeast, but it won't make any difference to chill haze (protein haze.) Chill haze becomes history once you are able to chill below 60C in less than 20 minutes (officially, but I get below 60 in about 10 and no longer get chill haze - I do use 1/4 Whirlfloc at 10-15 minutes as well.)
 

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