Lager fermentation time

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Lager fermentation time

Postby 1putt1up » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:47 pm

I have a Steam beer kit that I have been brewing with lager yeast and I am surprised at how long it's been going. I pitched it on July 5. 40 days later it's still going.

Background: I didn't use a secondary fermenter. I pitched it at 70 degrees; brought it down to 50 degrees and waited a couple days for it to start up. I then brought it down to 35 degrees where it's been until yesterday. It has been active this whole time with a slight amount of foam at the top and bubbles constantly rising.

Yesterday, I brought it back up to 50 degrees and it became very active again - foaming into the fermentation lock.

This is my first experience with lager yeast. I was told to keep it at as low a temperature as possible for best results. Is this norma?

I'd appreciate your insight.
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Postby brewer13210 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:39 am

Hi,

By definition, a steam beer is made with lager yeast, but fermented at the lower end of typical ale fermentation temperatures, so a cool fermentation of this beer really isn't to style.

Looking over the temperatures you've posted, you've gotten a little ahead of yourself. Lager means to store, and 35 deg F is fine once primary fermentation is complete, but too cold for the yeast to do anything but at a snails pace. The primary fermentation is typically in the mid 40s to mid 50s (but check the specs for the particular strain). After that, you can lower the temp and actually lager the beer.

For example, if you look at the Wyeast specs on their California lager strain, it lists the fermentation temperature range as 58 - 68 deg F. The Bohemian lager fermentation range is 48 - 58 deg F.
http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain ... cfm?ID=131
http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain ... .cfm?ID=30

Todd
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Postby 1putt1up » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:03 pm

Todd,

Thanks for the clarification. I was taking direction from the owner of a supply store I frequent. Perhaps I missed the part about allowing for primary fermentation. I caught the instructions on the Wyeast packet (California Lager), but ignored them for what I thought was custom instruction.

Steve
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