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I brewed my first lager (a doppelbock) about a month ago and I'm thinking about bottling it in about a week. I followed some advice from my LHBS on the proper schedule for a lager that I now question the validity of (after reading a book on lagering), but below is the odd schedule I followed (all degrees are in fahrenheit).

1 Day - 60 degrees
1 Week - 50 degrees
Switch to secondary fermenter
1 Week - 50 degrees
1 Day - 65 degrees for diacetyl rest
Dropped temperature about 5 degrees per day until reaching 37 degrees and holding for 3 weeks

The OG was 1.079 and it was down to 1.030 after the first 7 days. Obviously, I'll check the gravity prior to bottling, but assuming it's on target, should I do anything special before bottling? I intend to prime and store the bottles for at least three weeks at about 65 degrees before drinking.

How do I know if the beer still contains enough yeast to carbonate the beer? If I do have to add yeast, how much should I add for my 5 gallon batch? Is there a formula for determining this? Should I use the same strain (WLP838) I used during primary fermentation? Does 5 Oz. of priming sugar sound like the right amount to use for priming?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The profile sounds reasonable, apart from just 1 week before racking. Given your substantial SG (1.079) You want to leave the lager to get to within 3/4 of your final OG. I wouldn't rack until it hits 1.022, and for at least 2 weeks.

You can then rack to secondary, and be sure there's enough yeast to finish off the job.

You'll have plenty of yeast either way, it stays in suspension for quite some time and is stirred up by the racking.

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@senfo - I appreciate your accepting my answer - I hope it helps you get the beer you want. However, it's also a good idea to wait until others have given their contribution! Keep that in mind with your next question! – mdma Feb 22 '13 at 3:05

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