Author Topic: Fermenting temps  (Read 4978 times)

delhotal

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Fermenting temps
« on: June 07, 2004, 07:43:05 AM »
Should I let newly pitched lager yeast ferment at room temp for a couple of days before putting it into my refridgerator at the recommended temp, or should the new batch go straight to recommended temp when pitched?
Thanks,
Van

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2004, 11:10:18 AM »
If you are working with a lager, it is best to ferment it in the recommended temperature range.

Naturally this requires some refrigeration in most cases.

Cheers!
Brad
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delhotal

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2004, 11:35:31 AM »
So you pitch the yeast and put the carboy straight into the fridge?  I thought I heard somewhere that you should let it get started fermenting good at room temp before cooling it down to lager temps.  I always make my starters warmish on top of the fridge, but they are usually ales.
Van

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2004, 06:44:24 PM »
My apologies - but yes you do want to make sure that the beer is in active fermentation before you move it to the recommended temperature.  Basically as soon as the airlock is actively bubbling and head just starts to form (some 12-36 hours after pitching depending on your starter size).

I personally recommend a fairly large starter for lagers, as it reduces your startup time.

A simple lager profile might look like this:

- Pitch yeast at room temperature, leave it there until you have active fermentation.
- Move it to optimal fermentation temperature as recommended for particular yeast strain.  Ferment in primary for 7-10 days.
- Move to secondary - ferment for another 2-3 weeks (or longer!), still at cold temperature.  If you can, the temperature is often dropped 10 degrees or more below the active fermentation for this stage (don't freeze it of course!).
- Bottle or keg it.  If you bottle, you can leave it at room temperature for a week or two to properly carbonate before again cold storing it.

Some people also add a "Diacetyl rest" to increase the butterscotch/butter flavor in the beer (desirable in some cases).  To do this, allow the lager to warm to ~60F for one day before you move it from the primary to secondary.

Cheers!
Brad
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delhotal

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2004, 02:52:16 AM »
Thanks. That's exactly what I needed.  Is there any point to cold storing ales after they have fermented at the correct temp.??

Van

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2004, 10:57:00 AM »
After an ale has been fully fermented and carbonated you can cold store it.  The longer you "cold store" it the clearer it will get.  The cold temperatures help the yeast and proteins in suspension to fall out which usually improves clarity and taste.

In fact many of my kegs are by definition cold stored since I have them on tap for a few months each (depending on demand) in the refrigerator.

Cheers!
Brad
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Trev

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2004, 11:54:24 PM »
Brad,

Damn I hate to disagree with the owner  ;D but the "Diacetyl rest" is not meant to increase the amount of Diacetyl but rather to reduce it. The higher temp rest following almost complete fermentation allows the residual yeast to reabsorb any Diacetyl. From what I understand, the best method is a relatively slow increase in temp after initial fermentation, up to Ale temps for 24 - 48 hours over maybe a day or three, then cool back down to lagering temps for whatever lagering period you want.

The presence of Diacetyl in lagers is normally thought of as a fault, unlike certain Ale styles (Cream Ales?).

Oops, Trev
« Last Edit: July 01, 2004, 11:56:23 PM by Trev »

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Re: Fermenting temps
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2004, 06:28:44 AM »
Trev,
 You are dead on - I personally don't do a lot of lagering and I was working on my (somewhat unreliable) memory.

 The rest does help cut down on the butterscotch flavor.

Cheers!
Brad
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