General lager help (especially the lagering)

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Gggsss

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Hello all.
Hope I have this in the correct section.

Basically been brewing for around 18 months with fairly decent success with ales, stouts etc. I think now is the time to attempt lagers. I have the ingredients for a Vienna I plan to knock up shortly. The uncertainty I have is the overall process especially lagering/packaging. I’ve read plenty of info online but it all seems to be based on kegging and I’m only able to bottle ATM.

So what I’m curious to find out is whether I lager in primary or secondary or in the bottle?

Also if you don’t mind just a general start to finish process. How long to ferment/temp, how long to raise for the diacetyl rest/temp, how long to cold crash.
Then when the main ferment is done what to do next (bottle and condition, primary to condition then bottle, secondary to condition then bottle etc?????).

Im BIAB and have good temp control.
Im using M76 full 10g pack for a 10L brew (but just need a general lager process that translates to most lager yeasts).

I know there is loads of lager info but nothing I can find that fits what I’m looking to do.

Sorry to ramble on.

A million thanks in advance.
 
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MrRook

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I have good results with 2-3 weeks in primary at around 50f (10C) then I bottle and leave at room temperature for 2-3 weeks and into the fridge they go.
I never bother with a secondary or a cold crash.
I've never needed to do a diacetyl rest, but I've never used M76
 

NotSure

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Hello all.
Hope I have this in the correct section.

Basically been brewing for around 18 months with fairly decent success with ales, stouts etc. I think now is the time to attempt lagers. I have the ingredients for a Vienna I plan to knock up shortly. The uncertainty I have is the overall process especially lagering/packaging. I’ve read plenty of info online but it all seems to be based on kegging and I’m only able to bottle ATM.

So what I’m curious to find out is whether I lager in primary or secondary or in the bottle?

Also if you don’t mind just a general start to finish process. How long to ferment/temp, how long to raise for the diacetyl rest/temp, how long to cold crash.
Then when the main ferment is done what to do next (bottle and condition, primary to condition then bottle, secondary to condition then bottle etc?????).

Im BIAB and have good temp control.
Im using M76 full 10g pack for a 10L brew (but just need a general lager process that translates to most lager yeasts).

I know there is loads of lager info but nothing I can find that fits what I’m looking to do.

Sorry to ramble on.

A million thanks in advance.
To state the obvious with regard to lagering...at some point you need to let the beer sit in a container, undisturbed, and close to freezing. From my experience, the amount of time is anywhere from two weeks for a lowish ABV simple lager to three months for something like a Bock. If you intend to only bottle, the lagering can take place before or after the beer has been carbonated by the yeast. If you lager before bottling (especially after a long period of lagering or if it freezes), you should add some fresh yeast before bottling.

Regarding the process... I've used a bunch of different lager yeast and follow their specifications for the acceptable range of temperature. Some strains can benefit from a d-rest more than others. I usually do a d-rest for everything simply because it coinsides with getting the yeast to gobble-up the last few points. So, when my airlock activity becomes significantly slower (a few glugs a minute), I start to slowly raise the temperature about 5°C or a bit more over the course of a day or two. Let it sit at this temperature for a few days to a week or longer if you have something better to do.

Once you're done with the d-rest, either (1) prime/bottle and let the bottles sit a couple weeks at room temp to carbonate, then lager, or (2) drop the temp and lager in your FV, then bottle.

Hope this helps!
 

obscure

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I put off making a larger for a good few years until last year I decided to just give it a go, my utility room is cold enough this time of year that simply not adding a heat mat and some insulation to my fermentor I was able to keep it at a steady 12°C or so and it worked it fermented out in a couple of weeks and after a few weeks in the house followed by a few in the garage gave me a rather nice larger. It might not be perfect, but it was pretty damm good and left me thinking why the hell I had waited so long.

Just as in the summer I brew Saison or use Kveik I can see myself brewing largers in the winter months. Seriously the best thing to do I reckon is just to give it a go.k
 

MickDundee

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So many people have different lager methods that you’ll probably get about 2 different answers. My process is as follows (I pressure ferment in a Fermentasaurus):
  • Ferment at 11C for a week (I usually count a week from first signs of activity rather than a week from pitching)
  • I then raise the temperature by 0.5C every 12 hours (first thing in the morning and after tea) until I reach 18C
  • Hold it at 18C for a week
  • Lower the temperature by 1C every 12 hours until I reach 2C
  • Hold at 2C until I have an empty keg
  • Keg and carbonate as usual
Before I was kegging I would hold at 2C for between 4-8 weeks then bottle carbonate as normal.
 

dipso76

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I don’t think it matters how you lager. One of the best beers I ever made was a 100% pilsner brewed with S189 and left for 6 weeks in primary. No diacetyl rest, just a long time at 11 deg. Tasted beautiful straight out of the fermenter.

I also notice that my lagers are noticeably nicer after a month in the gassed up keg compared to the first week. It’s just that I usually drink them too fast so they don’t get to that stage of maturation.

Just my 2 cents.
 

DocAnna

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Good piece here on the methods : Lager Method

OK the short version is (and yes it's a very doctory thing to say) that it depends. You can make a beer that tastes like a good lager at home by fermenting at the lower end of a lager yeast's range, then put it somewhere in the mid to high teens of temperature, then as close to zero as you can get. That will do for the taste. For clarity, some people use gelatine, personally I don't and that's partly about not wanting to add oxygen by opening the lid to add it, and partly because I don't want to exclude my vegetarian and vegan friends from drinking my beer. Otherwise if you can leave it somewhere cold for as long as you can then it will eventually clear. I agree with many of the comments above, that the longer you can leave it at the end cold stage the better.

At this time of year it is possible in a lot of places to make a lager using a combination of garage, cool room, and outside temperatures. Unfortunately this year at least in Scotland it has been far too warm which has been a right royal pain in the rear end.
 

Gggsss

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Hello all..
Sorry for the short hiatus, and thanks for the replies…

Knew there would be a few different preferred methods, there’s me being lazy as usual looking for a simple way. Loads of info to digest and consider. For now I think I will split the batch and see what happens (using the above info)..
 

Dorst

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I tend to lager at 12C for about 2 weeks, let it slow rise to about 18/19 degrees and keep it there for 2 full days (diacetyl rest). I cool crash it to 4C and transfer it to a keg (which is where I lager the beer).

Because cold fermentation is quite harsh on the yeast I make sure to use yeast nutrient. If you can you should treat your water because it makes a difference.
 

MrRook

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I don’t think it matters how you lager. One of the best beers I ever made was a 100% pilsner brewed with S189 and left for 6 weeks in primary. No diacetyl rest, just a long time at 11 deg. Tasted beautiful straight out of the fermenter.
Sounds good; my next scheduled batch is 100% pilsner malt fermented with S-189.
 

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