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First lager, bottle or secondary?

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JonathanMSE

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I'm brewing my first lager, it was fermenting at 12c, I then raised the temp to 18.3c for 3 days for a diactyl rest just before it hit it's expected gravity.

But, I now need to condition it at 3c for 4 weeks.

Is it best to do this in a secondary or should I prime and bottle now and let it condition in the bottle?

If I let it condition in secondary, will there be enough yeast in suspension after the 4 weeks or would I need to add more yeast to bottle prime?
 

nickjdavis

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I usually rack mine to a secondary. When bottling I normally add a tiny bit of yeast (I use F-2 bottling yeast...comes in 22g packs and less than a gram is usually sufficient to add), though most folk will say that there will still be enough in suspension to carb up your beer.

There is nothing wrong with bottling first and then lagering though. Its all down to personal choice....obviously you wont need to worry so much about there not being enough yeast if you choose this route!!!

I guess my preference is driven by the fact that it is easier to store 1 23l carboy of beer in my lagering fridge than it is to store 40 bottles. Also, when racking to secondary I usually add a little bit of gelatin to aid the clearing process.

Its up to you, both methods work, don't let anyone tell you that one is wrong.
 

Cheshire Cat

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I lager in a secondary also usually for 14 days then take it out of the fridge for 1 day in the house, then bottle with brewing sugar. Don't have a problem with carbonation.
 

MickDundee

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It’s personal choice. I use a gen1 Fermentasaurus and do everything in primary - the collection bottle ensures I don’t have prolonged contact with the yeast so I can lager in primary.
 

JonathanMSE

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Thanks,
I think I'll rack to secondary as it's easier to whack a FV in the fridge than it is to put 40 bottles in.
Them bottle them in a few weeks time.
 

MrRook

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I'm brewing my first lager, it was fermenting at 12c, I then raised the temp to 18.3c for 3 days for a diactyl rest just before it hit it's expected gravity.

But, I now need to condition it at 3c for 4 weeks.

Is it best to do this in a secondary or should I prime and bottle now and let it condition in the bottle?

If I let it condition in secondary, will there be enough yeast in suspension after the 4 weeks or would I need to add more yeast to bottle prime?
I've lagered at 34f for three months and had no problems bottle carbing.
 

Ben034

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I've always lagered in the bottle as I don't have a second vessel and can just put the crate in the shed and forget about it for a few months (in winter) for lagering. Not traditional, and perhaps I would change method if I had room or were kegging the beer. This way also seems logical to me if priming in a bottle as it lagers after the secondary fermentation in the bottle and then has time to clear.
 
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