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After adding priming sugar and bottling a lager, does the temperature need to be raised (if so, for how long) to ensure carbonation?

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2 Answers 2

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Carbonate the bottles at 60-70F like ales is fine. There is so little fermentation going on you have very little "non-lager" character contributions from the yeast carbonating at that temp.

When worrying about the temperature remember that many brewers routinely ramp up the temp for a couple days to perform a diacetyl rest and that temp bump doesn't harm the beer. So carbing in the bottle at 60-70F is better than waiting 3X longer for them to carb up at 40F in your lagering space.

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I think the flavors generated during a diacetyl rest evolve out of solution and escape through the airlock. –  Dean Brundage Jan 19 '10 at 13:38
    
I don't think so. The diacetyl is taken up by the yeast and then used as an energy source. The resulting compounds from that catabolism are smaller in complexity and relatively flavorless. At least that's what I thought. –  brewchez Jan 19 '10 at 17:39
    
I don't think so. The diacetyl is taken up by the yeast and then used as an energy source. The resulting compounds from that catabolism are smaller in complexity and relatively flavorless. The end product from yeast enzymatic reduction of diacetyl is butanediol, which is relatively flavorless in the beer at normal levels. Its stays in solution and does not escape via airlock. At least that's what I thought. –  brewchez Jan 19 '10 at 17:42

In my limited experience, raising the temperature of a lager when it is in the bottle is not necessary for carbonation. If the bottles are kept cold, they should still carbonate but it will happen at a much slower rate than if the temperature is raised. Depending on a number of factors, leaving the bottles in a warm environment may actually induce off flavors in your beer. I typically keep my bottles at ~60 degrees farenheit for short term storage (~3-6 months).

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