Lagering!

Beer brewing, wine aging, whiskey fermenting, soda pop carbonating.  Talk about it here.
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GORDON
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Postby GORDON » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:11 am

Lagers are fermented with a bottom fermenting lager yeast (Saccaromyces pastorianus). These yeasts are able to ferment at lower temperatures than the top fermenting ale yeasts (Saccromyces Cervesiae). The result of this low temperature fermentation and maturation is a beer with a cleaner flavor profile (less esters, less higher alcohols) than its top fermented counterpart. The extended cold storage (lagering) also makes these beers more shelf stable than ales which explains why most of the world's beers are of the lager variety.

Because lagers ferment at lower temperatures than ales and yeast metabolism works slower at these temperatures, they take longer to ferment and also require more attention than ale fermentations, which makes them less attractive for most home brewers.


Bought a commercial Johnson Controls temperature management unit a while back from amazon, it cost about $70. It has a temperature probe that I stick into the 5.1 Cubic foot deep freeze I just bought (basically, about the smallest freezer you can get) for $180. I open the JC unit with a screwdriver and set the jumpers to kick off when the SP temp is met... in this case, 50 degrees. This means when the freezer cools down to 50 degrees inside, the power is cut off.

I set it to have a 1 degree range off SP before it kicks on and off, with a 1 minute minimum duration between when it can kick on after it kicks off (to keep it from turning on/off every second when at the threshold temp).

If we are at stable temps tomorrow.... brewing an Octoberfest lager. Exciting!

On a side note, The current Sam Adams seasonal is the Octoberfest... it is prolly my fave commercial beer available in Ohio (that I have discovered so far). Try it. It is why I am brewing my own.
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Postby GORDON » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:34 pm

After 5 days I wasn't getting any fermentation. No bubbles, and the gravity hadn't changed at all (this indicates the yeast is inactive and not altering the structure of the wort). Went to my beer place and got a packet of WYeast for $8.... it is a liquid yeast packet that, when you break the inside nutrient packet about 3 hours before you need it (like a cold pack or a light stick), balloons up so you know the yeast is alive and growing. So I did that, and I had some bubbling at 52 degrees last Sunday before I went out of town.

When I got back home Friday afternoon, it is still bubbling! This is the longest fermentation I have ever done. Instructions say it will be fermenting 10-14 days (my ales are supposed to ferment 5 days, or so, but I have never had one go beyond 2).... so, next weekend I start adjusting the temperature down to 35 degrees for a month. That is the "lagering" period.

Exiting times.




Edited By GORDON on 1379187298
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Postby GORDON » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:40 pm

It actually bubbled for about 2 weeks. Then I moved it into a secondary fermenter, and lowered the temperature 2 degrees a day until I was down to 36F. Then it sat for 2 weeks, and I bottled.

Let the bottles condition for 2 weeks to carbonate, and I cracked the first one open tonight.

I think this is the best batch of beer I've ever made. Takes over twice as long as an ale, but you can tell the difference. Superior look, flavor, and taste to anything I've made before. I'd take the Pepsi Challenge with my Gordonopolis Octoberfest against a Sam Adams Octoberfest right now.
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Postby GORDON » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:08 pm

2nd batch of Octoberfest in the cooler right now, bottling this Friday, ready to drink by the 24th. The brewing got delayed for 2 weeks by some damned thing, I don't remember.... but it will still be drinkable in October, which was the goal. Just made it.
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Malcolm
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Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:12 pm

I'd take the Pepsi Challenge with my Gordonopolis Octoberfest against a Sam Adams Octoberfest right now.

Ship a case and I'll see if I can confirm that.
Diogenes of Sinope: "It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours."
Arnold Judas Rimmer, BSC, SSC: "Better dead than smeg."

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Postby GORDON » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:29 pm

Nigga please, I don't share the good stuff.

It crossed my mind to open a kickstarter for money to get an Ohio commercial brewing license and equipment for big batches. I would only need about $15k to start making 50 gallon batches to sell, and I bet I could easily raise $50 on kickstarter.
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Malcolm
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Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:44 pm

Diogenes of Sinope: "It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours."
Arnold Judas Rimmer, BSC, SSC: "Better dead than smeg."

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Paul
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Postby Paul » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:47 am

Years ago I bought a thermometer that regulated the power to an electrical outlet, to turn the refrigerator off and on. They do this because normal refrigerator thermostats don't go that warm.

I made lager one time. It takes soooo much longer that I gave up on it.
If I had more room and more equipment I might have made more.
I think I gave my thermostat to a friend who wanted to try lagering.

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Postby GORDON » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:27 am

I used the thermostat and a mini-freezer... it has worked perfectly. And yeah, 3-4x longer than a 30 day ale. I make my Octoberfest in July so it is ready by mid-October... I may do late June next year. It's cray. But I like the extra clarity and flavors of the Octoberfest and Helles lagers, so I will keep at it. I have enough equipment to both lager and ale at the same time.... and I have been on this diet which has seriously cut into my drinking... grrr... so I'm good.
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