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Lager Yeasts (liquid)

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sluggerdog

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I am a lager lover so when I started brewing I hunted and hunted for a good fermenting fridge so I could start using lager yeasts.

however saying this, I have not been happy with any brews that I have made with lager yeasts.

They all seems to be full of sulphur tasting and very cloudy. I thought I just wasn't lagering long enough so I bumped this up from 2 weeks to a month, but still I have the sulphur taste overpowering my beer.

So my question is, am I doing something wrong? I have make better 'lagers' using safale.

My process is as follows:

- Pitch yeast at around 25C
- Place in fermenting fridge at 10C for 14 days (primary)
- Remove and rest for 2 days at around 25C
- transfer to cube and place back at 10C for 2-3 days (secondary)
- Cold conditon for anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.

Any tips or suggestions you can give me would be great, I am using wyeast pilsen lager tomorrow and I also have whitelabs german lager.

MAYBE:

- Should I up the amount of days I am leaving in primary to maybe 3 weeks?
- Or maybe increase the amount of time in secondary to a week?
- Or cold condition for 6 weeks?
- all of the above?
 

Gulf Brewery

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SD

Would be interesting to know what yeasts you are having this hassle with. Normally a diacetyl rests scrubs a lot of those aromas out as well as the CO2 starts escaping from the wort as it comes to 25C. Maybe another day or 2 at 25C - it won't hurt the wort as long as there isn't too much yeast.

I gather from what you have posted, you do diacetyl rest on the full yeast cake. If so, it should be fine.

Cheers
Pedro
 

sluggerdog

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Pedro, I have done this with both wyeast Pilsen lager and white labs german lager.

I was always a little scared of leaving it for long in the rest incase it got some off flavours. I cannot monitor the temperature when I rest it as I just have it on my fridge floor.

I might give 3 days (even 4?) a go at around 25C and see if this fixes the problem.

Thanks
 

Ross

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Slugger,

I'm no expert on lagers, but from what I've read, you need to do the rest just as the krausen is dying back & when the FG is just under 1020 - if you leave it too long the yeast hasn't enough left in it to clean up your beer. I think that at 14 days & pitching warm this may be your problem...
 

Gulf Brewery

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I normally wait until fermentation is almost complete - around the 1.016 mark which is lower than what Ross says (no right or wrong implied here Ross, just my way). This is also related to when "I get around to it".

The yeast still has plenty of life in it and when it gets warmed to 25C, it does work, but not so much at producing alcohol as removing the wastes like diacetyl.

Cheers
Pedro
 

sluggerdog

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So pitching warm is a no no?

Should I maybe fill the fermentor, place in the fridge with the bottle of yeast, wait until they are at 10C then pitch the yeast? Would this help?

ALSO with the rest as you have mentioned ross, i thought that I have seen people ferment for 3 weeks without a drama and I was wondering if I was onder doing it...?
 

Ross

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Pedro,

I got my info from an online forum with guest Chris White (president of Whitelabs), He recommends a week rest as well, but I think 48 hrs seems to be the norm - anyway here is a short transcript of the discussion:

[dgonzalez] i think some of the guests might find this topic interesting. can you describe, in simple terms, how a diacetyl rest works? it's benefits? and downfalls of not doing one?
[cwhite] yeast make a compoud called acetolactate.
[ale] Excellent question, DG.
[cwhite] This goes outside the cell, where it is later oxidized to diacetyl.
[GSchmidt] ?
[cwhite] If yeast are still there and are metobolicly active, they will reabsorb it. If the yeast are removed, or are done, they might not reabsorb the diacetyl.
[cwhite] For lagers, you need to raise the temperature to ~65 for 1 week, starting when the beer is about 1.020. If you go much lower then that, the yeast will not be working strong enough to take up the diacetyl.
[cwhite] For ales, you only need to go 24-48 hours post terminal gravity, since you are already at ~65 F temperatures. This is why lagers will taste buttery later, you can't taste the precurser, and once you remove the yeast, it will turn into diactyl later.
[cwhite] end

++++

There again, isn't the rest just to remove the butterscotch flavour, whereas sulphur is supposed to dissapate during lagering? So maybe just a longer lagering period needed? Guess one for the experts...
 

Gulf Brewery

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Sluggerdog
The big hassle with pitching warm is getting the wort down to the fermenting temperature within 24 hours. I normally try and get it around 17/18 and drop it to 11/12. That way the yeast gets off to a good start and the temperature is slowly reduced.

There is another school that says you should pitch at or below fermenting temperature, but I prefer to get my yeast into the wort ASAP to prevent and bacteria getting a head start.

Ross, I like the 7 day idea. Raise to 25C on a Sunday, keg on the next sunday (or the one following)

Cheers
Pedro
 

Jim - Perth

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Slugger
My view is that you should pitch at a lower temp. (around 12 deg.) & use a higher volume of yeast whether it be liquid or dry.

Otherwise, I believe, you run the risk of producing the off flavours that you get from brewing with lager yeast at to high a temp. before the brew gets to drop from pitching temp. to lager brewing temp.

Refer to my comments & those of others under the heading "Diacetyl Rest Question" 4th April on this site.
Jim
 

AndrewQLD

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Sluggerdog,

25c is way to high to pitch a lager yeast, as Pedro said 17-18 max, then into the fridge and drop ASAP to 10-12. Starting at 25 and then trying to drop to lager temps is going to take more than 2 days, and that is way to long at a high temp.
The other thing to note is that a lot of Lager yeasts produce that sulphur/rotten egg smell, but it usually fades away as the beer is aged (prior to bottling).
The White Labs German Lager yeast is my fav, I pitch @ 18c and drop to 10c and ferment until my estimated terminal gravity, then I raise the temp to 18c and leave for a further 3 days before racking and lagering for a MINIMUM of 6 weeks @ 4c, any less and you are losing the benefit of lagering. I have never smelt any kind of sulphur from this yeast, so my guess is your fermenting too warm.
Also I have found that while the temp in my fermenting fridge might read 12c, the actual temp of the wort is usually 3c higher so I always set my fridge for 3c lower (9c).

Don't give up on these yeasts as they make a really nice drop, I am drinking a pils I brewed 3 1/2 months ago and lagered for 3 mths and it is one of the smoothest and tastiest beers I have ever drunk, yumm.

Cheers
Andrew
 

sluggerdog

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Thanks for the comments guys, I think next time I will drop the temp of the wort to around 18C before I pitch and also rest for about 4 days and see how this goes.

thanks!
 

mje1980

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Might get flamed here, but i pitch my lagers up to 28c. However, my fridge is already set at 10c, and by the next morning, i find the brew fermenting great at 10c exactly. I also d rest at 20c for 4-6 days. After this, the beer is lagered at 5c for at least a month, and i have absolutely no dramas whatsoever with sulphur flavours. Im not saying what i do is correct, but, i have never made a sulphury lager the way i do it. It's lazy, and easy, but that's the way i like it.

P.S, i have pitched cold before, and i did not see any difference in flavour. This was with the same yeast as i had used previously ( Wyeast czech pils 2278 ).

Like i said, i know the way i do it is not "correct", but it works fine for me, and my lagers are great.
 

sluggerdog

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Do you guys, after rests for around 4 days move onto secondary (8 - 12C) for a week or so or just go to CC temps (0-4C)?

Will be buying a thermostat tomorrow so I can rest properly at 18-20C and this way I don't have to worry as much. (Plus try the above tricks)
 

Ross

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sluggerdog said:
Do you guys, after rests for around 4 days move onto secondary (8 - 12C) for a week or so or just go to CC temps (0-4C)?

Will be buying a thermostat tomorrow so I can rest properly at 18-20C and this way I don't have to worry as much. (Plus try the above tricks)
[post="61870"][/post]​
Slugger,

I rest for 48 hours & then CC down to 2c for 1 month - Only done 3 lagers, but they sure taste good....
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Pitch the yeast warm, cool down to lager temps, diacetyl rest etd.

I then rack into a cube, and put into fridge at 0C for a month, then raise fridge temp to 3C and lager as long as I can stand it, up to 5 months for a high alcohol lager

Jovial Monk
 

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