Author Topic: german pilsner how long in primary  (Read 8953 times)

Offline tws

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german pilsner how long in primary
« on: December 08, 2011, 10:51:44 AM »

last saturday i brewed a pot of Grants Classic Pilsner per instructions given to me by my local brew store.

see recipe:

after pitching the yeast i shook the carboy well for 5 mins and added oxygen after that. i let the brew remain indoors at approx 65 degrees over night (to be sure fermentation began) than moved it to my garage and covered it with three blankets and directed a ceramic heater at it on low... a digital thermometer placed inside the blankets read 50 degrees next morning after a 26 degree night - high pressure clear cold here now.

yesterday - 5 days into fermentation - there appears to be little or no more fermentation... no more bubbles coming from my siphon tube into a gallon jug of starsan.

this is my second batch of brew and is a lager - since the yeast was saflager S-23 bottom fermenting commercial yeast.

i would like to know what to expect and how long i should ferment this beer... no where can i find instructions beyond the initial cooking info.

should i rack the beer into a secondary carboy and leave it for several weeks? or longer? i'm pretty confident that i can keep the wort between 45 and 55 degrees indefinitely this winter in my garage.

if anyone has experience with this type of beer can you give me some advice on how to continue and what to expect.

i will be racking the finished beer into a corny keg and forcing carbonation.

thanks for a great forum.


Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: german pilsner how long in primary
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 04:51:40 PM »
The word "lager" comes from the German verb "to store".

My two cents would be to let it clear a bit before racking, then give it at least four weeks before kegging it.

At that point you want to drop the temp to near freezing and keep it there for at least a month. That's the "to store" part.

My last lager I put in a keg to force carbonate, and dropped the temp to 32.  I tasted it and it wasn't that bad but it wasn't that good.  I continued to give it a taste every week or so as it sat at near freezing, and the taste changed every time. Off notes disappeared as the malt and hops became prominent.   It was an interesting evolution.

What I concluded was that from now on when I do lagers I will give them at least a month at near freezing temps before consuming them.

I suggest you try it for yourself.  Put it into a secondary, let it hibernate for a month or so, then put it into a keg. Assuming you have the technology to artificially cool it to near freezing, do so. Then taste it. Wait a week and taste it again. It will taste different.  Repeat until it's done. You will know because the flavor will have stopped changing.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline ECarroll

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Re: german pilsner how long in primary
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 11:24:08 AM »
This is how I do them, now i been brewing lagers almost for 5 years here in germany and this is how I do them here, I format at 46-47° for 9-10 days after that i put it in my Keg with  about 1 liter of my unformetted Wort that i took before formatting the main batch and then put the keg in my refrigerator set to a temp of also about 44-45°  and lager it another 21 days then it is ready. Not saying that dropping the temp to near freezing is wrong but i see really no big deference in taste

My 2 cents

Offline tws

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Re: german pilsner how long in primary
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 03:09:56 PM »
Thanks Maine HomeBrewer and ECarroll,

this is EXACTLY the information i seek.

i shall proceed as advised.  i did not keep any unyeasted wort but will remember for next time...

lager's are my favorite beer and i hope to get accomplished at brewing them.

i do have a keezer/chest freezer that my controller is keeping at 38 degrees.  i've room for two corny kegs and a 10lb CO2 bottle... in goes my porter tomorrow.

i will keg the larger once it gets very clear and store/lager in my keezer.

thanks again!