Lagering Help

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Lagering Help

Postby caughtinamosh87 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:23 pm

I'm about to make my first lager (Oktoberfest) and have been reading a bunch of old posts on here about how to do so, but now i'm more confused than before. Can someone please answer the following questions for me?

1) How long should it be in the primary and at what temp?

2) How long should it be in the secondary and at what temp?

3) Once bottled, what should be the temp it should be stored at to properly lager it? I believe once its carbonated, the temp gets dropped again. Is this correct and to what?

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Lagering Help

Postby slothrob » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:43 pm

caughtinamosh87 wrote:I'm about to make my first lager (Oktoberfest) and have been reading a bunch of old posts on here about how to do so, but now i'm more confused than before. Can someone please answer the following questions for me?

1) How long should it be in the primary and at what temp?

2) How long should it be in the secondary and at what temp?

3) Once bottled, what should be the temp it should be stored at to properly lager it? I believe once its carbonated, the temp gets dropped again. Is this correct and to what?

1) Until it's finished fermenting (i.e., the FG has stabilized), but about 2 -4 weeks around 50F.
2) The secendary is the lagering step and should be 4-8 weeks as cold is possible, typically in the 30's.
3) The secondary was the lagering step. Once bottled, you need to hold the beer for 2 weeks or more at close to 70F to carbonate. Then the beer needs to go into the fridge for 3-5 days to get the CO2 into solution. If the yeast hasn't dropped yet, you may need to hold it cold for a couple weeks if you want to get clear beer.
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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:27 pm

Thanks slothrob. Guess I didn't really need to ask how long it should be in the primary. DUH! :oops: I was more concerned about the temp.
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lager

Postby slothrob » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:11 pm

caughtinamosh87 wrote:Thanks slothrob. Guess I didn't really need to ask how long it should be in the primary. DUH! :oops: I was more concerned about the temp.

Yeah, it's always the same answer, but it's nice to have a rough estimate of how long to expect it to take. Some go colder than 50F, which will take toward the longer end of the time estimate.

Most of the lager yeasts give optimal temperature ranges. Take a look at the Wyeast and White Labs web sites.
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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:38 pm

Ok, so this has been fermenting now at about 50 degrees for 3 weeks and the gravity has only dropped to 1.028 from 1.051 with an expected final gravity of 1.013. The airlock is still bubbling about every 20-30 seconds. Should there be any cause for alarm? I'm thinking not, but since this is my first lager, I'm in uncharted territory and nervous about it.

Plus I can't make another till its done. :lol:
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First lager

Postby slothrob » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:23 am

Hopefully it's not finished at 1.028, but it sounds like it still has a way to go.
I'd give it another week to get down into the teens, then you might consider bringing it up to ~62°F for a couple days to finish it off, but the more fermentation that occurs cold, the better.
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Postby caughtinamosh87 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:01 pm

Cool thanks. I'm pretty sure its not done as there is still airlock activity.
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