Lager fermentation, when to rack?

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Top Cat
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Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by Top Cat » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:36 am

I’m new to brewing Lager, but as I’ve kitted myself out with a brew fridge, I thought I’d have a go.
Fermentation went well, brew OG 1043 10 days @12c, beer now resting 4 days @ 15c.
I was going to drop the temperature down to about 3c to aid clearing for about 4 days, then rack off sediment into cornie, fine,and put remainder in a few bottles, then continue ‘lagering’ at the same temperature for a few more weeks before trying.
I understand I may need to increase temperature of bottles if priming to get yeast active.
Is this procedure okay or can I leave on sediment longer?
Incidentally the yeast in the brew is S-23.
Thanks in anticipation guys.

Robwalkeragain
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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:33 am

Sediment won’t hurt it on this scale and will actually protect it somewhat, so don’t worry about it. Your procedure of racking to a sealed vessel and lagering in there sounds good, that's basically what commercial lager breweries do.
You probably won’t get it clear in 4 days at low temperature, if you’re looking to remove chill haze you’ll probably need a fining. If light haze isn’t an issue for you, it’s tasteless so again, don’t worry

Top Cat
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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by Top Cat » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:52 pm

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:33 am
Sediment won’t hurt it on this scale and will actually protect it somewhat, so don’t worry about it. Your procedure of racking to a sealed vessel and lagering in there sounds good, that's basically what commercial lager breweries do.
You probably won’t get it clear in 4 days at low temperature, if you’re looking to remove chill haze you’ll probably need a fining. If light haze isn’t an issue for you, it’s tasteless so again, don’t worry
Thanks for your input, it’s given me the confidence I needed, I think all I need now is a dollop of patience!

aamcle
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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by aamcle » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:10 am

Just ignore the nonsense you find on the net and keep it simple.

If you have used the right amount of yeast (2*the amount for ale) ferment of 7-10 days at 12°C then ramp up to 17-18°C over the next 7 days. Check the SG cold crash at 5°C for a few days and transfer to what ever your going to lager in.

Atb. Aamcle

Top Cat
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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by Top Cat » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:48 pm

aamcle wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:10 am
Just ignore the nonsense you find on the net and keep it simple.

If you have used the right amount of yeast (2*the amount for ale) ferment of 7-10 days at 12°C then ramp up to 17-18°C over the next 7 days. Check the SG cold crash at 5°C for a few days and transfer to what ever your going to lager in.

Atb. Aamcle
Fortunately I did use two packs of S-23 for 23ltrs, could have probably gone up a few degrees when ramping up.
Beers in cold crash now, will probably transfer to cornie tomorrow and continue with 3-5c.
It’s been a bit of a learning curve, I’ll know if it’s been worthwhile when I taste the damn stuff!

j444fog
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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by j444fog » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:57 pm

Your process sounds good to me. Very similar to what I've done in the past and had good results.
As others have suggested, I may have gone a little higher on the temp for the diacetyl rest, but I'm not sure it will make a lot of difference in the long run. It would be interesting to hear your taste opinion when you eventually drink it.
Your cold crash seems reasonable as well, I normally go for two weeks before transferring to Cornie, but not sure if I'm a bit OTT. I tend to carbonate and then leave to condition at c5c in my serving fridge anyway which tends to drop the final sediment particles out anyway.
One thing I did notice was that when I kegged a lager, gassed and conditioned it, and then 'hid' it to stop me drinking it, when I got round to drinking it, about 6 months later, it was bloody lovely. Now it may be that it was just my perception, and it was the same as the lager that I was drinking after 3 to 4weeks of conditioning, and there had been several other brews inbetween, but I think it tasted better 😉.
Only thing that I would mention in addition to the other posts above, is to check your FG hydrometer reading had bottomed out at the 1010 (or the reading you want it at), to ensure fermentation is complete. As it's a lager fermenting at low temp, it can take a while to finish up satisfactorily.
Let us know how it turns out!
P. S. Did you use protofloc or similar for the cold break? Also did you chill down quickly after boiling prior to dropping in the FV? Both of these will significantly reduce any haze issues you may encounter, luckily I've never had to use any post boil or fermentation finings, and nearly always have clear beer in three weeks after fermentation.

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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by Top Cat » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:44 pm

j444fog wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:57 pm
Your process sounds good to me. Very similar to what I've done in the past and had good results.
As others have suggested, I may have gone a little higher on the temp for the diacetyl rest, but I'm not sure it will make a lot of difference in the long run. It would be interesting to hear your taste opinion when you eventually drink it.
Your cold crash seems reasonable as well, I normally go for two weeks before transferring to Cornie, but not sure if I'm a bit OTT. I tend to carbonate and then leave to condition at c5c in my serving fridge anyway which tends to drop the final sediment particles out anyway.
One thing I did notice was that when I kegged a lager, gassed and conditioned it, and then 'hid' it to stop me drinking it, when I got round to drinking it, about 6 months later, it was bloody lovely. Now it may be that it was just my perception, and it was the same as the lager that I was drinking after 3 to 4weeks of conditioning, and there had been several other brews inbetween, but I think it tasted better 😉.
Only thing that I would mention in addition to the other posts above, is to check your FG hydrometer reading had bottomed out at the 1010 (or the reading you want it at), to ensure fermentation is complete. As it's a lager fermenting at low temp, it can take a while to finish up satisfactorily.
Let us know how it turns out!
P. S. Did you use protofloc or similar for the cold break? Also did you chill down quickly after boiling prior to dropping in the FV? Both of these will significantly reduce any haze issues you may encounter, luckily I've never had to use any post boil or fermentation finings, and nearly always have clear beer in three weeks after fermentation.
There’s no chance of me leaving it three or four months, I’m too bloody impatient ha ha.
Yep, profloc used and a quick cold break achieved. I can normally tell, if the beer is clear when going in to the FV at pitching temperature all will be well clarity wise later.

FG after correcting was 1008, so I was happy with that.
I did use my normal isinglass finings when kegging yesterday. I’ve got a cornie in the brew fridge at 5c and a small 5ltr keg in the garage at about 10c. It will be interesting to see if there’s any difference in taste.
The cornie has been carbed at about 12psi, I don’t know whether I will get much CO2 absorbed into the beer at 5c. what do you think?

j444fog
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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by j444fog » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:49 pm

Yeah, I carbonate mine at low temps, and it has always been fine for me.
I have to hide my long term projects behind stuff in the garage, otherwise I'd never be able to wait. It helps that I've normally got 3 or 4 on the go at any one time, otherwise I'd have to raid the hidden cornies!

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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by PeeBee » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:24 pm

Top Cat wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:44 pm
… The cornie has been carbed at about 12psi, I don’t know whether I will get much CO2 absorbed into the beer at 5c. what do you think?
You'll get more CO2 absorbed at 5C (than higher temperatures, at the same pressure). Check the "carbonation calculators" to show this. I don't know if carbonation takes longer at colder temperatures, but that shouldn't be an issue.

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Re: Lager fermentation, when to rack?

Post by Top Cat » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:55 pm

TBH, I don’t like lager too gassed anyway, can’t drink so much ha ha!
I reconnected the gas to the cornie to replace any CO2 that had been absorbed.
I’ve had to take it out of the brew fridge to make way for fermentation of next batch of ale, mind you it’s only 7c in the garage at the moment. I’ll leave it now for the next few weeks, and sample then.
Thanks for all your help guys.

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