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Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

https://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21424

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Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:55 am
by Mills
I have been a full on Jamil disciple since the fourth batch I brewed four years ago. I have been doing the pitching and letting it ferment at temperature listed in BCS with a slight temp bump toward the end of fermentation.

Recently Tasty and Chad have talked about driving fermentations after growth phase. This has coincided with my need to crank out some beers quickly for competition/festival. As a result, I allowed my beers to get through growth phase, then began dialing up my fermentation temps (up to 71-72) sooner than I would following the JZ schedule I have adhered to, and prob will when I am not in a crunch for time. My beers finished and cleared sooner than usual and I am pleased with the finished product.

So this takes me to lager brewing. Is it possible to drive a lager fermentation with positive results? If I were to pitch at 44-45 and allow it to ramp up to 48 on its own until it hits high krausen, can I continue to notch that temp slowly up to 55 with negative effect on my beers versus the set it and forget it at 48?

I know that the easy answer is try it, and I will, but I always try to get as much info as possible before diving in. I am looking for people with experience on this topic to bless me with their knowledge. :)

Mills
:bnarmy:

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:19 pm
by TastyMcD
I served my Tasty APA at a friends party last Saturday and the beer was a few hours short of being 10 days since flameout. 1.056 to 1.012. I cooled in at 66F and let it rise to 68F. After two days it was at full Krausen. On day three I measured the attenuation at 80% to terminal gravity and raised the temp to 70F. On day 5, I raised it to 72F and dryhopped. I racked on day 8, and filtered/carbonated on day 10.

My Dortmunder Export (1.050) takes two weeks from flame to glass. I raise the temperature in response to the level of fermentation I see in the blow-off. A typical regimen would be 50F for about three days, 52F for another two days, 55F for two days, 60F for two days, 70F for 3 days. Then I rack and crash on day 12, filter and carbonate on day 14. I use WLP833.

The beer tastes fine. It doesn't have that creamy lager texture but it's clean and has even won some second round medals.

The principal here is that even though a portion of the fermentation is taking place at the higher temperature, that portion is a small enough percent that it's ill effects are overshadowed by the portion that took place at the lower temperatures.

I'd like to give credit to the craft brewer who told us about this two-week method in one of our interviews but I haven't been able to find it in the archives. Help appreciated there.

Tasty

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:53 pm
by Mills
Wow, thanks for the detailed notes. That is some awesome production style brewing on the home scale.

If you were to lager that Dortmunder for 4-6 weeks would it capture that creamy lager texture you speak of?

What do you find the peak of the Dortmunder to be?

Are you pitching that 833 at 50 as an active starter (old wort decanted and fresh 50 degree wort replaced until krausen is achieved in the flask?)

Will the peak of that APA still be in the 5 week range?

Mills
:bnarmy:

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:16 pm
by TastyMcD
Mills wrote:If you were to lager that Dortmunder for 4-6 weeks would it capture that creamy lager texture you speak of?

I can only go by what I've tasted from true lager brewers and I'd say yes, much creamier mouthfeel when lagered.

Mills wrote: What do you find the peak of the Dortmunder to be?

Mine starts out a little hoppy so it takes about four weeks to reach it's prime but it's very drinkable on day 15.

Mills wrote:Are you pitching that 833 at 50 as an active starter (old wort decanted and fresh 50 degree wort replaced until krausen is achieved in the flask?)

On brew day (night actually) I pour the still "beer" off the starter and replace it with some of the wort I just made. I put the starter into the same 50F space as the fermenter and pitch the next morning when the starter is active and at 50F like the fermenter.

Mills wrote:Will the peak of that APA still be in the 5 week range?

Yes, although quite drinkable early, it's better when about 5 weeks old.

Tasty

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:32 am
by HedgehogBC
Mills wrote:Wow, thanks for the detailed notes. That is some awesome production style brewing on the home scale.

If you were to lager that Dortmunder for 4-6 weeks would it capture that creamy lager texture you speak of?


Having had the opportunity to brew at a brewpub that specialized in German style beers for a summer while I was unemployed, I can say that if you have a good process and follow good brewing practices, you can turn out a tasty lager with only 2 weeks of cold conditioning. The pub I was at had 5 fermentation vessels, only 3 lagering tanks, and 7 bright/serving tanks. So the space crunch was always in the lagering phase, and to keep beers on tap we had to shorten a lot of the lagering from the optimal month to sometimes as short as a week. After only 1 week, it was still pretty green, but after 2 weeks it was definately very drinkable and very tasty but not jaw dropping. On a couple beers we got lucky with our brewing schedule and tank availability to let them lager for the full 4-5 weeks, and they were simply amazing.

I'm not sure if my experience conditioning beers on a 8.5 bb system translates to the 5 gal scale, but I feel that if you need to get the beer out the door after 2 weeks of lagering, it will still be very tasty, but if you can wait the 4-5 weeks, then do it.

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:41 am
by Mills
I have been looking fro it but I cant remember where it was. Where is the recipe for the dortmunder?

Mills
:bnarmy:

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:41 am
by TastyMcD
Mills wrote:I have been looking fro it but I cant remember where it was. Where is the recipe for the dortmunder?

Mills
:bnarmy:

I've posted my Dortmunder recipe on this forum before but it was at 65% efficiency. Here's the recipe again but I'm now getting 71%.

Batch Size (Gal): 12.00
Anticipated OG: 1.050
Anticipated SRM: 4.9
Anticipated IBU: 23.4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Min

11.50 lbs. Pilsner
3.50 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)
3.50 lbs. Munich Malt
2.75 lbs. Flaked Wheat
2.00 lbs. Cara-Pils

1.50 oz. Santiam Pellet 6.00 AA 60 min.
4.00 oz. Hallertauer Whole 4.00 AA Hopback

White Labs WLP833 German Bock Lager Yeast

Intermediate Rest Temp : 143 Time: 10
Saccharification Rest Temp : 151 Time: 30
Mash-out Rest Temp : 170 Time: 15
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 45

Tasty

Re: Tasty: Driving Fermentation and Lagers

Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:08 am
by JohnF
With the same yeast I do something very similar to Tasty with lagers (I don't start raising until the krausen drops) and I think they taste fine at 2 weeks and better with some lagering.

I did score a high 30s and a low 40s in the second round this year with that method, but no hardware.

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