Fermenting lager - steps?

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Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby majk » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:36 am

Hi guys, I'm new to this and learning the trade (& my first brew day is coming, yay! :)

I'm still a little bit confused about the steps in the fermentation of lager - BeerSmith has 1/2/3 step fermenting profiles that moves up to 18C, BrewFather has 4 (but short) steps... So I'm still a little bit confused If there is any holy grail of fermenting steps or how to calculate it etc... Thanks for tips!
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby Onthebrew » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:08 am

if i were you id start with an ale first to get into the swing of things- or at least e a Kolsh. i am also looking in to doing a lager soon and it will be my first attempt at one. i will probably follow the quick method but will need to read up on it again first. As i recall, it involves ramping the temp up in stages ( every 12 hours i think ) for a few days once halfway to final gravity has been reached. someone on here should be able to post a link to a thread on it.
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby majk » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:36 pm

My background is Czech so I'm straight to Pilsners/ Lagers.. ;) I kind of have the equipment (fermentation fridge, Inkbird's temp controller, TILT hydrometer etc) so technically I should be OK. But I'm not sure what would be the best setting to start with.. anything like a 'lager's golden standard' or so...)
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby grooves » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:22 pm

I don't often bother with a step mash, but here are some pointers I've collected -

40C = 104F, glucanase rest (breaks down gummy stuff)
52C = 127F, Protein rest. 127F, Protein Protein rest.
63C = 145F, Beta amylase rest for dry beers (pils). .
67C = 153F Beta amylase rest for thick beers (bock) 153F, Beta amylase amylase rest for thick beers (bock).
72C = 158F, Alpha amylase rest for dry beers (pils). .
75C = 167F Alpha amylase rest for thick beers (bock) 167F, Alpha amylase amylase rest for thick beers (bock).
78+C = 172+F, mash out range.

See more here - there's a Pils step program -

https://byo.com/article/the-science-of-step-mashing/

I used the following - dough in 55c 15mins / 64c 30mins / 70c 30mins / 77 15 mins - for a dark lager recently and it came out great.
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby majk » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:11 pm

Thanks Grooves for the tip. Yeah, the mash has a number of different approaches and I think I will do OK with what I have. How about fermentation of lagers - what would be the steps you recommend (temperatures & days)
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby Sladek789 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:05 am

French background but living and brewing in Prague, Czech Rep :) .... so I HAVE to brew lagers for my lager thirsty friends and colleagues.

I have been brewing my Czech premium pale lager recipe for 1 year, over and over to master it (6-7 batches so far), and despite not yet been totally happy with it, my mashing schedule and malt bill are now good and fixed. I keep tweaking the hopping part and the yeast/fermentation temp to be used.

My Malt bill (Czech premium pale lager), usually OG 12.5-13 Plato.
+ Pils malt (92.7% of grain bill) - ideally floor malted
+ Melanoidin (7.3% of grain bill) - to artifically replicate the decotion taste which cannot not done (or not easily) with a BM. Not an exact taste equivalent, but the closest I could find.

Mashing schedule:
+ Dough in - 35C (mini Acid rest) - 5 mins
+ Protein rest - 52C - 15 mins
+ Beta amylase - 63C - 45 mins
+ Alpha amylase - 72C - 30 mins
+ Mash out - 77C - 10 mins
(Total mashing time, including temp raise and pump pauses is approx 2h45mins)

In terms of hops, use only CZ Saaz to be fully authentic.
I will not share my detailed hopping schedule with amounts as I'm not yet satified with it. But you need mini 90 mins boil (120 mins to fully reduce DMS) and I personally do 4 hops addition: First Wort Hopping + 20 mins addition + 10 mins addition + 5 mins or flamme-out. Again, some guidelines only, I have not found yet my ideal hopping schedule.

It is key to cool the wort as fast as possible to avoid biulding up DMS (my main issue I have at the moment with this beer).

In terms of fermentation schedule, the primary fermentation temp depends of the yeast you used, a lager yeast obviously. You want to be on the cold side of the ideal fementation temperature range communicated by the yeast supplier, but not too cold to stress the yeast (which leads to off-flavors), ususally around 11-13C . Primary fermentation is done in 5 days generally, on morning of day 6 I stop the cooling and let the temp rise naturally to 18C. I leave it at 18C for approx 24 hours and then cool it back to 12C. All of this is done on evening of day 7 when I transfer to a secondary fermenter for a 4 weeks lagering at 3C.

Dej bůh štěstí! :beerbang:
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby Snakebite1969 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:19 am

I recently made this Pilsner Urquell clone (still at lager stage), looks to be an interesting recipe to try:
https://byo.com/recipe/pilsner-urquell-clone/

For yeast, I used Saflager W-34/70 (2 packets per 25L), fermented at 12 deg C for 10 days, then raised to 18 deg C for 4 days. Slowly dropped to 0 deg C over the space of a week.
https://fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/SafLager-W-3470.pdf
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby majk » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:34 am

[quote="Snakebite1969"]I recently made this Pilsner Urquell clone (still at lager stage), looks to be an interesting recipe to try:
https://byo.com/recipe/pilsner-urquell-clone/

Hello. Did you do the decoction? I'm planning to brew a non-decoction recipe -
https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/ ... n-version-

Question about the decoction - a number of recipes suggesting "bring and hold" temperature ... What would be your tip to hold the temperature? I kind of thinking that I will try this in the future and use Braumeister - for the mashing and do the decoction in the pot on the gas stove - but not sure what is the best practice how to hold temperature on the kitchen gas stove... mmmmmm, practice? :))
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Re: Fermenting lager - steps?

Unread postby wobdee » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:38 pm

All I brew are Lagers and have tried many different fermentation schedules. The key to a good lager ferment is to use a ton of yeast. I start out using 1 wyeast smack pack per 4 liters wort, no starters, then I reuse the slurry for my next batches which usually is about half the slurry in the fermenter. There are many yeast calculators out there and I use Brewers Friend Pro Brewer 2.0 Lager as my guide. My current schedule is 9c for 13 days, transfer to keg, crash to 0c, force carb and lager 5-6 weeks before tapping. This gives me great attenuation with Wyeast 2124 of 80% for a 12-13P lager. I've never had Diecetyl problems since i pitch a ton of yeast.

My mash schedule for just about all my brews is,
55c 5min mash in
62c 20min
64c 20min
67c 20min
72c 20min
76c 10min
Full volume, no sparge. Boil 60 min, never a problem with DMS.

Ive also done some PU clones where i change up the mash schedule where i mash in at 55 and go straight up to Alpha rest at 72 for 60 min which gives me a lower attenuation similar to PU.
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