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15

This often happens for 1 of 2 reasons: bottling too soon, as @LoganGoesPlaces suggests. This means the yeast has not finished consuming the sugar in the beer and continues to do so in the bottle which releases more CO2 than the bottle can handle. You can tell if the fermentation is complete by measuring the Original Gravity and the Final Gravity and ...


14

Why should you start lagering? Because you want to make a lager. It's a simple choice of preference, mate. Why brew a stout? Why brew an IPA? Brew whatever you feel like. But if the style of beer that you want to brew happens to be a Pilsner, Light Lager, Vienna Lager, Bock, Oktoberfest, Dunkel, Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, or any variant of those ...


9

I use the better bottle PET carboys for my lagers, and have noticed no oxidization. The amount of oxygen introduced through the carboy itself is negligible compared to the amount introduced through the stopper or when racking to the bottling bucket or transferring to keg. The Better Bottle page discussing permeability aims to show that plastic is fine for ...


8

This is what I am doing... Ferment at 50F. When the beer is 60% attenuated allow the temperature to rise to 59F. Leave at this temp for 48 hours for a diacetyl rest. Rack to a secondary Slowly bring the temperature of the beer down. 4F per day Once at lagering temperature (mine is 35F), leave it alone for 20 days. After 20 days, taste it, if it doesn't ...


8

Find a 4.2 cubic feet (or larger) minifridge on craigslist. I usually see them go for around $50 to $70, but YMMV depending on where you live. With the shelves removed, 4.2 cu. ft. should be large enough to hold a carboy. Grab a temperature controller and use it with the minifridge. This will allow you to regulate the exact temperature inside, making it ...


8

I would get hold of another sachet of yeast as a backup. If you have a local homebrew store, almost any type of yeast will work for this kit, but I'd recommend Safale US-05 if you can get that, since that will give you a cleaner profile. If they have liquid yeasts, then Wyeast 1056 or White Labs WLP001 will produce equivalent results. Once you've got hold of ...


7

The best choice is Kolsch Yeast. White Labs: http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp029.html Wyeast: http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=144 Only downside is 68-70 ambient temps. Those yeasts need to ferment around 65, so try to get the temp down a little more. Put your carboy in a water bath and drop in a few frozen water bottles ...


6

Bottles usually explode either because of bottling too soon before fermentation is complete or because too much primer was used.


5

If your yeast are in great shape and you are pitching the right amount, then there is no need for concern over it being a little sweet in the end. An extra half pound will raise the gravity by only 4-5 points for a 5 gallon batch. So go for it.


5

Beer absorbs more CO2 when it's cold than when it's warm. Since your beer has been cold, it's reabsorbed some of the CO2 created during fermentation. You need to take that into account, whether bottling or kegging, or your beer will be overcarbonated. Most priming calculators let you enter the temp of the beer to ascertain the amount of priming sugar or ...


5

The distinction comes from the beer's tradition and history. Strictly speaking, lagers are fermented with lager yeast (S. carlsbergensis) and ales with ale yeast (S. cerevisiae). Traditionally, ales ferment quickly near room temperature and are served fresh. Lagers ferment slowly, coolly and are stored near freezing for a period of months. The BJCP lists ...


5

Cheapest = Brew in the winter =P


5

My guess is that it's functioning as it should - most home thermometers that aren't calibrated are usually off by anywhere from 2-5 degrees F or more. Assuming your Johnson controller is the most accurate of the 3, then getting 45F and 52F can be considered within tolerance if the actual temperature is 50F. One other thing that may be a surprise is that ...


5

Tests at the homebrew level have shown that there is no benefit to racking off the trub. But it won't hurt, either, if you want to do it. So, the answer is, either way is fine. I'd be inclined to leave it based on the theory that the less you mess with the beer, the better off you are. In addition, I can't think of a major brewer that settles then racks ...


5

NEVER use bubbling as a measure of anything important. You MUST take actual gravity readings to know where your fermentation is. As a general rule, you should do a diacytl rest when you are about 70-80% done with fermentation. So for a "normal" strength lager (1.050-1.060 OG) I'll start the diacytl rest when the beer hits about the 1.020-1.022 range ...


5

Well first of all, you can't really turn around a 1.090 Lager in two months time (7/19 - 9/29). Its going to need 3 months of lagering minimum AFTER fermentation is totally done. So if you really want beer that's "more than good" for your wedding, then you need to brew a backup Ale right now that has a short maturation period. (I suggest a wheat beer, like a ...


5

Clarity and poly-phenol/tannins pretty much nails it. Lager yeast do tend to be weaker flocculators than ale yeasts, so more time at cold temp helps clear things up. I brewed up an all Munich malt beer with German Lager yeast. It tasted so good after a 4 week primary that I kept drinking it during "lagering" and it was gone before the lager period was ...


4

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 ...


4

You can, and I do, ferment and lager in the same vessel. No racking necessary. My lagers come out crisp and tasty. Control the temperature as you would for fermentation then lagering, but do not bother transferring between vessels.


4

I'll put in my two cents. I would say the best analog of the clean, crisp taste of a (pils) lager would be a California Common. Wyeast's WY2112 is actually listed as a lager yeast, but has a much higher temperature profile than standard lager yeasts. I do not consider WY2112 a lager yeast, but there it is. WLP001 is White Labs California Common yeast, ...


4

There are a number of ale yeasts that stay clean, but you'll be hard pressed to achieve that at those temps. And then keep in mind that you HAVE to cold condition the beer after fermentation to get anywhere near a lager. I don't find kolsch (WAY too fruity IMO) or CA common yeasts clean enough for pseudo lagers. My go to yeast for that is WY1007. ...


4

Bottom cropping yeasts are easier to rouse out of dormancy with higher temps than top cropping yeasts. I'd say that, even now, warming the fermenter up to 58 for the diacetyl rest would be totally appropriate and doable. I don't know that the time component is really important, unless it'd been so long that all the yeast was dead, and I don't think that's ...


4

It sounds like you underpitched by quite a large amount. As for options, you have some: Pitch an ale yeast. You'll want to bring the temperature up to at least 17 C to keep the yeast happy. You'll end up with an ale, not a lager, but still a good beer. Raise the temperature for a short while. If you can bring the temperature up to 15 C, you should start to ...


4

Probably no need for a secondary vessel step with this. Depending on your fermentation temps up to this point you may not need to diacetyl rest this beer. California Lager yeast is generally fermented higher than standard lagers so the yeast may have cleaned that up by the time its done. I'd taste a sample of it to be sure. If you want to truly lager this ...


3

The answer is yes and no at the same time. You need to have full control of the temperature over both the fermentation and the lagering period. Since you have to rack to secondary when fermentation is almost done to start the lagering, you obviously can't do any work with one fermenter. However, owning a second fermenter, I believe there is no harm if you ...


3

You could build a Son of Fermentation Chiller or a 36 DD Mother of Fermentation Chiller. Both are pretty close to your original idea of using a foam container with ice. Adding a thermostat or temperature controller will let you maintain a more constant temp.


3

"Best results" really depend on your taste (or the judge's if you plan on entering competition). Check with the supplier. WYeast and White Labs list preferred temperature ranges for all their strains. Most lager strains like 50° to 60° F. Many lagers also benefit from a diacetyl rest - raising the temperature to the high 60's F near the end of ...


3

It should be fairly easy to determine the actual temperatures your fridge stays at. Fill a bucket with water & put a thermometer in it. It doesn't have to be five gallons, two or three will do. The more water, the longer you must wait during step 3. Turn the fridge to the warmest setting and put the bucket in it. Allow the temperature to stabilize – ...


3

What you describe is exactly what I do. I move my fermenter from the basement (~50°F) to the study (~70°F) and leave it for 2-3 days before racking it to a keg for the lagering fridge. Since primary fermentation is done and most of the sugar has already been metabolized, there's little or no danger of creating estery off-flavors from the higher fermentation ...


3

Traditional German brewers would use a krausen from an actively fermenting batch to carbonate and this would also reabsorb the diacetyl. You can do the same thing by priming and pitching a pack of yeast and the secondary fermentation should do the trick. A diacetyl rest at this point will not effective since there is very little active yeast in the beer ...



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