Quantcast

Lagering And Bottling

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
hey guys,

i just made my second brew, and it went okay short of a few pitfalls of the wort temp being too high initially and having to wait for it to cool before pitching. it's now sitting happily in the ferment fridge since yesterday at 12C.

i understand lagering to be storing the beer at cold temps, which i can do, but i'm curious about a few things temperature-wise. at this stage, i'm going to let it ferment until FG is almost reached, then d-rest for a few days to get it right to FG. so the wort's now gone from ~30C, to 20C (pitched) and now at 12C...i'm then to raise it to 20C for d-rest, and then here is where i'm a bit confused.

if i lager it for 3 weeks or months etc at 1C, how will i eventually carbonate/bottle it? is it best to bottle right after d-rest THEN lager at 1C for ages?

thanks for any help you could offer. i'm not stressed or worried, bust just curious so i can try and prevent as many off-flavours as i can. i'd like it to be as clean/crisp as possible even though i probably didn't do everything super-tight and to the book :)

EDIT: splening mistaks
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
Joined
19/1/11
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
857
i understand lagering to be storing the beer at cold temps
Not quite. Lagering is a conditioning process that aids clarity, not long term storage. You drop the beer's temp by a degree or two over a few days to help drop yeast etc out of suspension. Once you've finished lagering you package (be it keg or bottle) and then ideally store at larger fermentation temps (or lower if possible).

if i lager it for 3 weeks or months etc at 1C, how will i eventually carbonate/bottle it? is it best to bottle right after d-rest THEN lager at 1C for ages?
You'll have to leave in in the fridge for quite a while for there to be insufficient yeast for carbonation. If you leave it for a month you'll still have enough yeast for bottle conditioning. Just because it is clear doesn't mean there isn't any yeast there, it just might take a little longer to fire up.

Do a D rest, then lager. Its the warmer temps that help the yeast mop up any unwanted stuff in the beer.

JD
 

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
Not quite. Lagering is a conditioning process that aids clarity, not long term storage. You drop the beer's temp by a degree or two over a few days to help drop yeast etc out of suspension. Once you've finished lagering you package (be it keg or bottle) and then ideally store at larger fermentation temps (or lower if possible).



You'll have to leave in in the fridge for quite a while for there to be insufficient yeast for carbonation. If you leave it for a month you'll still have enough yeast for bottle conditioning. Just because it is clear doesn't mean there isn't any yeast there, it just might take a little longer to fire up.

Do a D rest, then lager. Its the warmer temps that help the yeast mop up any unwanted stuff in the beer.

JD
thanks JD!

so, if i understand you correctly, i should probably:

1. leave to ferment almost to FG give-or-take
2. d-rest until FG is reached, a few days
3. slowly lower temps from 20C to about 1C (drop by 2 or 3 C every day?)
4. wait for (how long? longer is better? what is minimum?) time - lagering
5. bottle
6. put them back in fridge at lagering temp (1C) for how long?

i think i understand you. let me know if that's off though, and thank you SO much :)
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
Joined
19/1/11
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
857
thanks JD!

so, if i understand you correctly, i should probably:

1. leave to ferment almost to FG give-or-take
2. d-rest until FG is reached, a few days
3. slowly lower temps from 20C to about 1C (drop by 2 or 3 C every day?)
4. wait for (how long? longer is better? what is minimum?) time - lagering
5. bottle
6. put them back in fridge at lagering temp (1C) for how long?

i think i understand you. let me know if that's off though, and thank you SO much :)
You want to make sure there is enough sugar left in the brew to allow for a sufficient D rest. I'd make sure you're at least 6 points off your expected FG when you start it.

2 degrees a day works well, if you're hooked up to a temp controller it is easy, just dial it down each morning until you reach your desired lagering temp. You can leave it as long as you want, but 2 weeks would be the minimum. 3-4 seems to be about average. How patient are you?

When you bottle you need to warm them back up to fermentation temps to rouse the yeast from their cold induced slumber. Once carbonation is complete then store them at carbonation temp (12-14 degrees) or put em back in the fridge, depends on how much space you've got.

JD.
 

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
You want to make sure there is enough sugar left in the brew to allow for a sufficient D rest. I'd make sure you're at least 6 points off your expected FG when you start it.

2 degrees a day works well, if you're hooked up to a temp controller it is easy, just dial it down each morning until you reach your desired lagering temp. You can leave it as long as you want, but 2 weeks would be the minimum. 3-4 seems to be about average. How patient are you?

When you bottle you need to warm them back up to fermentation temps to rouse the yeast from their cold induced slumber. Once carbonation is complete then store them at carbonation temp (12-14 degrees) or put em back in the fridge, depends on how much space you've got.

JD.
thank you thank you!

i can be patient if i know it's gonna be a good reward so i'm happy to wait for 3-4 weeks to lager before bottling :)

and how long does carbonation take at 12C? haha (roughly), i'll keep them at that temp to carbonate then am happy to keep them back in ferment fridge at 1c (or even in the normal fridge at 3ishC, whatever's a normal fridge temp is so i can make another brew) for as long as is need - maybe a few months or so.

Edit: for some reason my OG was only 1044, not 1048/9 like I'd hoped. Does that mean my FG will be different too?
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
Joined
19/1/11
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
857
thank you thank you!

Edit: for some reason my OG was only 1044, not 1048/9 like I'd hoped. Does that mean my FG will be different too?
Shouldn't make too much difference. Just start your D rest when your a few points away from your expected FG.
 

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
Shouldn't make too much difference. Just start your D rest when your a few points away from your expected FG.
thanks for your help so far JD.

she's still slowly fermenting away, dropping down slowly, hope to be finished by week's end to begin the d-rest, and just wanted to ask - is it fine to lager on the yeast cake? i don't have a secondary fermenting vessel that fits in my temp controlled fridge (not yet anyway). does this matter? i'd love to rack to secondary but don't have the $$ at this stage to do it.

i'll look at bottling after about 4 weeks (should be able to wait that long hopefully) then store them at normal fridge temps until they're drunk.

also, i tasted this evening, at it's nice so far, no off-flavours i can really notice, but it seems quite malty (just a simple coopers goo cerveza can with malt and maltodex), is it too late to dry hop? i have a pack of saaz pellets, about 12gms. how can they be added? i'd maybe like to try popping them in, but don't want the saaz flavour to totally over power it.
 

bignath

"Grains don't grow up to be chips, son"
Joined
3/11/08
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
40
also, i tasted this evening, at it's nice so far, no off-flavours i can really notice, but it seems quite malty (just a simple coopers goo cerveza can with malt and maltodex), is it too late to dry hop? i have a pack of saaz pellets, about 12gms. how can they be added? i'd maybe like to try popping them in, but don't want the saaz flavour to totally over power it.
you certainly can just throw them in mate, however some brewers feel dry hopping with "noble" hops (think traditional european varieties) can give a grassy note to a beer. As far as noble hops go, Saaz is usually considered the most common noble hop variety.

Either way, you'll need a lot more than 12gm of Saaz to overpower a beer mate, so no stress there. Unless you brewing 1lt batches..

EDIT:
Actually, just to be sure, i'm talking about Czech Saaz (the original Saaz). Other derivatives of Saaz exist - US Saaz, Motueka (B Saaz) and Riwaka (D Saaz) etc.
The Czech variety is by far the most gentle of all derivatives.
 

yum beer

Not in the house, you've got a shed..
Joined
12/3/11
Messages
2,239
Reaction score
422
You should be right to lager on the yeast mate but maybe not for 4 weeks.

I always found the coopers cerveza to be fine with 7-10 days at fridge temps after hitting FG.
They will carb fine at 12c but will take a little longer, possibly as much as 6 weeks from experinece.
I suggest to let them carb at room temp for 2 weeks then keep them cool till your ready to drink...ole
 

Bribie G

Adjunct Professor
Joined
9/6/08
Messages
19,838
Reaction score
4,393
If you can get your fridge to -1 then a week to ten days would do the trick. Beer won't freeze at that temperature as the alcohol acts as antifreeze.
 

Charst

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/10/09
Messages
851
Reaction score
93
Sorry what yeast did you use? I know your talking about lagering so all the replays are based on you using a lager yeast, but I can't see (on phone) where you mention the yeast you using. Being its you second brew are you just using the yeast on top of the tin? If so some of the info regarding temperatures is based on a lager yeast which will be active as say 12 degrees,doesn't work for ale yeast. Carving at 12 degrees for example. if your using the yeast on top of the tin it's 99% an ale yeast which needs temps around 18 to work.
 

slash22000

Stereotypical Lupulin Addict
Joined
2/7/12
Messages
887
Reaction score
231
if your using the yeast on top of the tin it's 99% an ale yeast which needs temps around 18 to work.
Actually, Coopers do provide a legitimate lager yeast in their lager kits (except the Original Series lager which is an ale yeast). International Series European Lager and Thomas Coopers Selection Pilsener have "real" lager yeast provided under contract.

The Cerveza kit being used by OP actually has a mix of lager and ale yeast. I'm really not 100% sure why Coopers do that, but a number of their kits come with a 50/50 mix of ale and lager yeast. If anybody can explain to me why Coopers do that, I'd be interested.
 

yum beer

Not in the house, you've got a shed..
Joined
12/3/11
Messages
2,239
Reaction score
422
Actually, Coopers do provide a legitimate lager yeast in their lager kits (except the Original Series lager which is an ale yeast). International Series European Lager and Thomas Coopers Selection Pilsener have "real" lager yeast provided under contract.

The Cerveza kit being used by OP actually has a mix of lager and ale yeast. I'm really not 100% sure why Coopers do that, but a number of their kits come with a 50/50 mix of ale and lager yeast. If anybody can explain to me why Coopers do that, I'd be interested.

I have usually brewed the cerveza at 15c for good results but I dont think there would be a problem starting at 20 and dropping to 12.


Coopers gives you an each way bet with the yeast because I think the reality is the cerveza works quite well at both ends of the spectrum, as a pure lager or
more like a Kolsch at ale temps. The cerveza I would imagine would have to be one of the most popular kits so seems logical to keep it accessible to all brewers regardless
of temp control abilities.
 

Charst

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/10/09
Messages
851
Reaction score
93
I have usually brewed the cerveza at 15c for good results but I dont think there would be a problem starting at 20 and dropping to 12.


Coopers gives you an each way bet with the yeast because I think the reality is the cerveza works quite well at both ends of the spectrum, as a pure lager or
more like a Kolsch at ale temps. The cerveza I would imagine would have to be one of the most popular kits so seems logical to keep it accessible to all brewers regardless
of temp control abilities.

Cheers I assumed all there kits were ale yeast.

That being said I wouldn't be advising anyone to make going from 20 degrees start to 12 degrees finish as a desirable fermentation schedule. I realise you not suggesting that to be best practice and only that it'll still work.

@Fletcher,

Ideally you start your ferment at the right temp for the yeast ie 10-12 for lagers, 18 for ales, hold for the first few days till yeast growth is complete (avoiding the high temps during yeast replication) and then raising slowly as you ferment.

This means as the alcohol goes up and the environment gets a little harder for yeast to live in, the temps raising making it a little easier for them continue fermenting,

bare in mind yeast would much rather operate at blood temps, its us that want them to operate at lower yum beer flavour temps.

So start at your lowest fermenting temp and raise over the course of the ferment (I usually do ales at 18 for the first 3 days then half a degree a day till 20 degrees,, check hydro, taste, leave for about a week (two weeks ferment total) check, taste, crash chill (-1 degrees) for Lagering for two weeks, bottle and leave at 20's, Wait, Enjoy.

Same Principle for lagers but at the temps suggested by other post's
10-12 for lagers, raise for D-Rest when there is a few points left for ferment out.
Crash Chill and Lager, Bottle and Leave at 18-20, Wait, enjoy
 

MaltyHops

Well-Known Member
Joined
21/1/10
Messages
870
Reaction score
93
... and how long does carbonation take at 12C? haha (roughly), i'll keep them at that temp to carbonate then am happy to keep them back in ferment fridge at 1c (or even in the normal fridge at 3ishC, whatever's a normal fridge temp is so i can make another brew) for as long as is need - maybe a few months or so. ...
If you bottle a few in PET bottles (assuming you're not bottling all in PET bottles) and keep them with the other bottles wherever you put them, the hardness of the PET ones will give you an idea of the carb level. Keep in mind the PET bottles do leak CO2 very slowly through the plastic and definitely noticeable after about a year but should be good up to 6 months at least.

... i don't have a secondary fermenting vessel that fits in my temp controlled fridge (not yet anyway). does this matter? i'd love to rack to secondary but don't have the $$ at this stage to do it. ...
I've started to lager in 10L cubes in the household fridge - if you can get to an crownconcepts type place or look around, the 10L aren't that expensive - ~$10 at a Euro wholesale foods place here in Adelaide.

post

If you can get your fridge to -1 then a week to ten days would do the trick. Beer won't freeze at that temperature as the alcohol acts as antifreeze.
Not necessarily true - I've had a cube form a big block of ice while cold-conditioningat ~3C and I've read quite a few people reporting frozen fermenters. Maybe the porcesses causing this might not affect beer in bottles as much but I wouldn't depend on beer not freezing at 0C.
 

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
wow! thank you guys, i didn't expect so many helpful posts. i appreciate it.

@charst and slash22000 - i'm using 2 packets of s23 yeast. i decided not to use the packet goo yeast as i wanted a cleaner ferment and have read and heard from many on here it's a better quality yeast. i boiled up the pack yeast and used half the pack as dead yeast nutrient when i poured in my ingredients. it's in another post (i'm a post wh0re haha) but is below for clarification:

1.7kg can coopers cerveza
250gm dextrose
250gm maltodextrine
500gm light dry malt
2 x saflager s23 yeast
1/2 kit lager/ale yeast (nutrient)

i'll be bottling in PET and using carb drops.

instructions to myself are as so:

1. when beer gets to approx 1.020 gravity, raise temperature in fridge to 20C.
2. leave here for ~3 days (d-rest) then test gravity - aiming for 1013, hopefully lower.
3. once 1013 is reached, lower temperature of fridge by 2C every day until 1C is reached.
4. store at 1C for 4 weeks
5. bottle and store at 20C for approx 2 weeks (carbonation)
6. test for carbonation, and once carbonated, back in normal fridge, approx 3C (normal fridge temp)
7. leave as long as possible but test every 1-2 weeks

i tested gravity last night and it had come down from OG - 1.043 to about 1.033. if it's worthwhile slowly raising temperatures up to 20C to get to FG at 2 weeks ferment time, i'm happy to do that. at this stage it's just staying on 12C. is it better practice? or just preference?
 

Charst

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/10/09
Messages
851
Reaction score
93
instructions to myself are as so:

1. when beer gets to approx 1.020 gravity1018? no major. Taste(buttery?butterscotch? Needs D-Rest. Other compound can be blown off with the temp raise too, just taste to have a baseline idea prior to raising), raise temperature in fridge to 20C.
2. leave here for ~3 days (d-rest) then test gravity - aiming for 1013, hopefully lower. Taste for change, if still some buttery, wait
3. once 1013 is reached, lower temperature of fridge by 2C every day until 1C is reached.Wait till gravity is stable (same gravity for say 3-4 days) before dropping the temp.
4. store at 1C for 4 weeks
5. bottle and store at 20C for approx 2 weeks (carbonation) if you lager for 4 weeks is may take longer than 2 to carb up fully
6. test for carbonation, and once carbonated, back in normal fridge, approx 3C (normal fridge temp)
7. leave as long as possible but test every 1-2 weeks

i tested gravity last night and it had come down from OG - 1.043 to about 1.033. if it's worthwhile slowly raising temperatures up to 20C to get to FG at 2 weeks ferment time, i'm happy to do that. at this stage it's just staying on 12C. is it better practice? or just preference? I usually only ramp the ferment temp by a couple degrees over the ferment, not out of knowledge gained from experience, from books. Theory sounded good to me though.
 

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
just took a reading, it's been 7 days and it's already down to 1.020 from the initial OG of 1.044. i'm guessing it's now fine to raise to d-rest? is this strange for a lager to be so quick or par for course? it's been at 12C but had 2 packs of s23. expected FG according to the spreadsheet is 1.013 - i'd hoped it would be lower.

am happy to d-rest now, just want some opinions so i don't jump to conclusions.
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
Joined
19/1/11
Messages
2,232
Reaction score
857
just took a reading, it's been 7 days and it's already down to 1.020 from the initial OG of 1.044. i'm guessing it's now fine to raise to d-rest? is this strange for a lager to be so quick or par for course? it's been at 12C but had 2 packs of s23. expected FG according to the spreadsheet is 1.013 - i'd hoped it would be lower.

am happy to d-rest now, just want some opinions so i don't jump to conclusions.
Lagers aren't necessarily slow fermenters, they just take a bit more time due to the whole lagering process.

If you're predicted FG is 1013 then raise it for your D rest, complete fermentation and then start cold conditioning.

Just remember that opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.

JD
 

fletcher

bibo ergo sum
Joined
19/8/12
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
632
words of wisdom mate, thank you
 
Top