Quick Lager

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    • #3557
      AvatarPowell Royall
      Moderator

      Let’s face it. As Homebrewer’s, doing lagers can be a bit of a challenge from a wide range of issues we have. But one of the biggest issues we lean towards ales is that we can have it in our glass a whole lot quicker than we can a good lager. One of the reason I like brewing lagers as well is that I can get get great varieties of Ales from local Craft Breweries like Parish, Urban South and Gnarley Barely to name a few.
      But I do love me some good German Lagers so over the last few years I have really learned to embrace and love the quick Lagering methodology. My next brew I am going to be brewing a Helles Bock and hope to drink it before December and I also have other stuff I want to brew and need to free up my fermentor.

      So, one of the things I am going to do with the Helles Bock will be to do a decoction mash (that will be another post) and look to still be drinking this beer while the heat is still on here in South Louisiana.

      My primary focus after getting my wort into my fermentor is getting it down to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit before adding my yeast. The yeast almost always comes from a starter and about 12 hours before I plan on using the yeast I plug it into the fridge to cool it down so while my wort cools down in my fermentor, I take the yeast out of the fridge and decant it so that I have a nice yeast cake and allow it to warm up to around the same temperature as the fermentor. One thing to remember with lager yeast is you need about twice as much of our little single cell friends as we need for Ale’s and they take a bit longer to get going since we are working off of lower temps.

      Getting the beer in I let it sit until it is about 50% attuned. I thankfully have a handy sampling pot I can use but if pulling a lot of samples are tough for you because of just using up too much of your beer or the risk of contamination, there is a way to guesstimate when we get to this point. If you OG was 1.06 or less, then this is about 5-7 days (call it 6). If your OG was above 1.06, then you are looking at about 8-9 days. Once thing I will say is taking samples is better to get an accurate reading but if it is something you are just trying out, you can do educated guesses.

      This is when we begin ramp up. At this stage, we are going to raise our temp about 5 degrees every 12 hours until we get up to 65 degrees and then leave it there for about a week to final gravity. This also gives a good place where we get our Diacetalic rest.

      Once FG has been reach we can begin bringing the temperature down. I have plenty of friends who go straight at the cold crash from this point down to about 33 degrees and I have certainly done that as well but the method I prefer is to bring down the temp about 5 degrees every 12 hours and when I get to about 50 I will add in my fining agents before continuing on down to about freezing. After a few days you should have a nice clear beer that is ready to move into bottles or kegs to carb up and get ready to drink when Carbing is finished.

      In another club, we did a triangle experiment with the same brew, one that had been quick lagered and one that had been done the traditional 3 month long method and out of 27 tasters, we found no statistically meaningful evidence that people could accurately tell the difference between to two.

    • #3565
      AvatarTony Myers
      Moderator

      This is one of the best vids I have found regarding this subject. Quick room temperature lager fermentation under pressure. 15 psi.

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