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How do I condition my lager so it minimal sedimentary deposits I am new to this and have tried only sugar

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A big thankyou for the information As I said is new to this but seem to be getting good results and have now got my neighbour hooked on brewing and we were pondering the finer points after a few Kind regards steve –  Steve Jul 18 at 17:58

2 Answers 2

There are two ways to get carbonated beer in bottles: natural conditioning, and force carbonation.

Natural conditioning is a process in which a small amount of fermentable sugar is added to the beer at bottling time. The yeast in the beer will ferment the sugar, adding carbon dioxide and a small amount of alcohol. Because the yeast become active to produce the carbon dioxide, there will be small amount of yeast sediment in the bottles when the conditioning is complete. This is unavoidable unless you want to resort to disgorging, as is done with traditional Champagne.

Force carbonation is where the brewer carbonates the finished beer in bulk, usually in a keg of some description, and then bottles the carbonated beer. In order to keep the beer carbonated during the bottling process, the bottling must be done under pressure. A counter-presure bottle filler is indispensable for doing this well. Provided the beer was crystal-clear and stable prior to bottling, it should never drop a sediment.

In both scenarios, if the beer is not crystal clear before bottling, the amount sediment in the bottles will be greater. You can reduce, but not eliminate, sediment in naturally conditioned beer by ensuring the beer is clear before bottling.

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To build on what tobias said:

In both scenarios, if the beer is not crystal clear before bottling, the amount sediment in the bottles will be greater. You can reduce, but not eliminate, sediment in naturally conditioned beer by ensuring the beer is clear before bottling.

The more sediment you start with, the more you will end up with. There are several points in the brewing process where you can reduce sediment.

The first is a better cold break. If you quickly chill your beer after the boil is over, more proteins will precipitate out then and there and you'll have a much clearer beer from the start.

The 'right' handling during fermentation and racking can also give clearer beer. Keep your fermenter still. Don't shake it, don't move it around, don't carry it up and down stairs to show your friends, etc. Once you've put where it should be, leave it there.

Part of this is good planning - how are you racking your beer? If you're using an auto-siphon and not a pump, you need your primary fermenter to be higher than your secondary fermenter/bottling bucket - so you should put your fermenter on a a table/milk crate/etc to start with and then you won't need to move it around and disturb the yeast bed before racking.

Another good idea is a sort of secondary cold break - chill your fermenter in the day before bottling. This will cause more precipitates to fall out and give you clearer beer. In many cases this goes against the first bit of "DON'T MOVE YOUR FERMENTER!" advice, so unless you have a setup where you can change the temperature of the fermenter without moving it, this is probably not for you.

When you're ready to rack, be careful:

  • Try not to disturb the yeast bed.
  • If you do, give yourself an hour or two before racking so it clears back out.
  • Don't tilt your bucket/carboy to get the last dregs.
  • When you start seeing some yeast/precipitate in the line, STOP racking.
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You can also filter the hot wort through a cheese cloth when it goes in the primary fermenter. –  Robert Jul 19 at 15:16
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A sanitized cheese cloth! –  harwig Jul 22 at 17:12

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