First Lager

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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First Lager

Postby BillyBock » Sun Dec 08, 2002 3:30 pm

Need some advice from experienced lager brewers. After 3 years of brewing, I've taken the plunge into making my first lager, an Octoberfest. It's grain bill: 8# Pilsner, 8# Munich, 8# Vienna, .5# Aromatic, and .5# Caramunich, hopped to 24 IBUs w/ Northern Brewer and Hersbrucker. Total output 11.5 gals, OG=1.054 (68% extraction, first time brewing in 6 months, way out of practice). I pitched a starter of Wyeast 2308 (Munich Lager) and got immediate positive pressure in the airlock (love it when that happens).

Anyway, today marks the end of 2 weeks in the primary carboys at 50*F. All indications are a successful ferment so far. It appears the primary ferment is just about finished. Talk about rotten egg odor! Boy this one was a stinker!

Now comes the hard part I think. Does a diacetyl rest need to be done for this yeast? If so, how many days at room temp? As far as the secondary, what's the best temp to use and for how long before packaging?

My inclination is to do a 1 day diacetyl rest at room temp. (71*F), followed by a 2 week lagering at 32*F-35*F, then followed by packaging in mini-kegs where it'll get 2 more weeks of lagering at the same temp. before serving.

So I ask the collective, what dost thou think? Am I on the right track with my fermentation management? Oh, btw, my temp. controlled chest freezer is in the garage--ambient temp. hovers around 55*F.

v/r
Bill

-- "Light beer is for people that just like to pee alot."
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ooh,ooh I know.

Postby Freon12 » Mon Dec 09, 2002 1:09 pm

The only thing I would do is after the room temp. rest is lager at 45f. I think lowering the temp. to 32f only slows the process and has no effect on final product.

Cheers.
Freon

P.S. Just love that german lager better than that munich yeast!
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Sounds Good

Postby BillyBock » Tue Dec 10, 2002 3:27 pm

Thanks for the reply, Freon. What don't you like about the Munich yeast?
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Well........

Postby Freon12 » Thu Dec 12, 2002 2:59 pm

It's not that I hate it, it is my second choice for fest beers. The German has that malty-sweet quality that the Baverian touch requires for my vision of fest.

The munich has a tad too much "ale quality" when young for my taste and I can still pick it out after it matures. I have trouble clearing this yeast without doing some push-ups and Fest should be crystal clear light brown-ambery.

The third choice is Baverian because of the alka-seltzer taste in the green beer, that I can also detect after it finishes, and it also does not clear as well.


I know, picky picky.

I think I posted my Oktober02, try it next time using German(not southern)!


Steve
Oh-yeh.... That O.G. is perfect!
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Munich Question

Postby BillyBock » Fri Dec 13, 2002 2:59 am

Thanks, Steve.

Is that Wyeast 2206 you're using? Sounds like you have a pretty discerning pallette.

I pulled the carboys into the house the other night to let it diacetyl rest. By morning, the temp of the beer was 60*F and I noticed increased activity (I thought it was done). I took a gravity sample and got 1.020.

I'm used to the time phasing for ales--but not lagers. It'll be in the primary 3 weeks this Sunday. I pitched a starter, in-line aerated, and maintained the ferment temp at 50*F. Is Munich just a slow fermenter? Should I wait for it to finish and do the d-rest in the primary, or just transfer to the secondary and finish things up there?
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nope

Postby Freon12 » Fri Dec 13, 2002 1:52 pm

It's white labs wlp830, not wyeast.
Be patient, lagers take time, and it is that time that makes the difference.

Think in terms of weeks not days.

It's a different, mind set for lagers, it is for people that can relax and have a homebrew during lagering.
Laid back type of brewing, and waiting.
Leave the beer to do it's thing for two months type waiting.

Yes?
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No Homebrew

Postby BillyBock » Fri Dec 13, 2002 2:10 pm

My six month hiatus due to my move means...I have no homebrew :-( (save commercial stuff during the interim) I want to cry. I need to work on a couple of ales to get my stocks replenished, maybe my stock pale ale and a porter. Hmmmmm....
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Welcome back to brew time

Postby Azorean Brewer » Sat Dec 14, 2002 1:52 am

Hey Billy,

Until 2 years ago this coming January, I took a 3 year break from brewing, moving 4 times (due to work relocatons and all) now I am back in it ... I made the move to all grain about 18 months ago and I brewed a Marzen last August, it turned out great. If you brew your Oktoberfest again, check out my "Autumn in Bavaria", it uses Styrian Goldings and Tettnanger (more traditional hops for this style, it will knock your nose off. Good chatting at you ... Happy Holidays,

Paul.
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Mmmmm Beer

Postby BillyBock » Sun Dec 15, 2002 6:57 am

Hi, Paul, I checked out your recipe, looks good and tasty. I'll have to try my hand at another one of these soon. I'll be washing/saving the yeast. I plan on transferring the beer to the secondary tonight, I hope it's closer to the FG now. How long were your primary and secondary phases? Did you diacetyl rest? Do you remember your gravity at the time you transferred to secondary? I'm just curious if it's normal for lagers to be transferred while they're still approaching terminal gravity.

Thanks
v/r
Bill
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