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Racking Lagers

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JasonY

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I am currently fermenting my first crack at a lager (oktoberfest) using saflager 34/70 and maybee a few surviving wyeast czech pils yeasties.

It has been fermenting since about Monday week ago so 9 days so far at about 10degC bubbling is now pretty much stopped or very slow. Just took an SG reading and got about 1.020 (OG = 1.050). Tasting nice and malty :)

Now I want to brew on saturday and am thinking of doing a pils and racking onto the yeastcake in this one. Questions I have are:

1) Is it too early to rack given its a lager?
2) Should I do some sort of diacetyl rest?
3) Leave it and brew a wheat beer or ale on Saturday.

Hoping not too stuff this one up as it is the first time using a lager yeast.
 

Gulf Brewery

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Gudday

Given that you are not going to brew until Sunday, I would rack it late Saturday (assuming your SG is around the 1.015 or less mark, give or take a bit). A diacetyl rest at 15C for two days (Sunday am to Tuesday night) would help the beer.

Once I have racked the beer off, I usually wash the yeast in sterile water, pour off the good yeast for the next batch and leave the trub behind.

Cheers
Pedro
 

Darren

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I would leave the original lager on the yeast and buy two more packs of dry yeast for the new beer.
just my 0.02
 

pint of lager

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I agree with Darren, lagers need more time on the yeast. Another 2 cents.
 

SJW

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pint of lager said:
I agree with Darren, lagers need more time on the yeast. Another 2 cents.
I agree too. I used that yeast with a ESB Czech Pilsener and left in primary for 10 days including 2 days rest, then CC for 2 weeks and found that i should of left in primary for a full 2 weeks and should of CC'd for at least a month as it was still a bit cloudy. I know this now as there must of been some unfermented sugars in the wort as it is very gassy. I primed with 200 grams of dex for 21litres and that is normally ok.
So dont rush a Lager :angry:
 

RobW

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Jason

If it was me I would rack it and leave it in secondary for another week or so. Your OG should drop a few more points. Let it come up to 20oC for 24-48 hours if you want a diacetyl rest and then lager for 4 weeks. If you want to reuse the yeast, wash it as pedro says in cold boiled water or if you have time use some to make a new starter.
 

Snow

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I'm going to give you 4c. I've read pretty widely on this subject and, with this and my own experience, I suggest the following:

- Don't rack it until it has finished fermenting - lagers need all the yeast they can get and racking too early risks a stuck ferment.

- Take it out for the diacetyl rest when bubbling has finished and leave it in primary at 18-20C for 2-3 days. This ensures good diacetyl consumption and also ensures your beer will be fully fermented before the lagering phase.

Cheers - Snow
 

Gough

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What Snow said...

Don't rush your lagers. They take a little longer but are worth it in the end. :chug:

Shawn.
 

JasonY

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Thank you all for the excellent feedback. I think to be safe I will leave it another 5 days or so (2 weeks in all for primary) and then rack and do a diacetyl rest followed by lagering for as long as I can bear. ;)

Looks like I will have a shot at a wheat beer on the weekend to keep the stocks up. :rolleyes:
 

RobW

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Snow

Would you go to secondary after the diacetyl rest or straight into lagering? I've tended to follow John Palmer and rack to secondary when the bubbling in the airlock has "slowed to 1 or 4 bubbles per minute, and a hydrometer reading shows the beer is 3/4 of the way to the terminal gravity" and then go to the lagering phase after about another week.
 

johnno

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I'm only doing my second lager now. Is there any benefit to racking to secondary for a week then racking to the cube for refridgeraton?
I am leaving them in primary for 2 weeks, secondary 1 then refridgerate them. I didnt do the diacetyl rest on the first but will do it on this one befor its ready to go into cold storage.

cheers
 

Snow

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KenEasy said:
Snow

Would you go to secondary after the diacetyl rest or straight into lagering? I've tended to follow John Palmer and rack to secondary when the bubbling in the airlock has "slowed to 1 or 4 bubbles per minute, and a hydrometer reading shows the beer is 3/4 of the way to the terminal gravity" and then go to the lagering phase after about another week.
Ken Easy,

I have tried racking lagers to secondary at 3/4 fermentation a few times and found it has underattenuated each time, so i shy away from this practice. I'm unconvinced that this is a sound practice and I think it's unnecessary in average OG beers if you have aerated your wort well and have a good sized, healthy yeast starter. However, I guess it may be needed in some high OG worts, when the yeast need "rousing". I found I didn't need it in my recent tripel (OG 1.080, FG 1.015) or Bock (OG 1064, FG 1016).

At present, I just rack to a secondary fermenter after the diacetyl rest and put it straight into the fridge to lager, so I guess in effect, my secondary fermenter is my lagering/clearing vessel.

Cheers - Snow.
 

RobW

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Thanks Snow - appreciate your comments.
 

SJW

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What Snow said!
 

JasonY

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Well I racked the lager today after a 3 day dyactyl rest @ 18 - 20degC gravity was 1.012 so it is pretty well done. Nice and cloudy but tastes great from the primary :D

Now I just need to wait while it lagers ...... :( hope I don't run low on supplies!

Thanks for the advise all.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Should be nice in Nov-Dec


;)


Jovial Monk
 

JasonY

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I think this one will be lucky to live past its name sake ... october!

I have 26L so the overflow in bottles may make it that far :) I need to sample to see if I should brew another immediately :)
 

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