From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!polstra!norm (Norm Hardy)
Subject: Long Ferments
Date: 1990-04-29 00:46:35 GMT

Making a homebrewed lager can entail a long time before bottling or kegging.
I have had some that took 2 months before bottling. Looking over my log of
beers, I discovered that the best lagers took about 3 weeks in the primary, at
about 48-54f, and from 2-4 weeks in the secondary thereafter, at about 40f.

Leaving the primary ferment beyond 5 weeks seems to start giving the beer some
off flavors from the decaying yeast (autolysis?). The best way would be to
have a fermenter which allows you to drain off the yeast after a certain time
without disturbing the wort; sort of like the inverted carboy systems that I
have seen advertised before.

The question of priming sugar and viable yeast often comes up after a 6 week
or longer ferment. I have yet never had a problem with bottles getting proper
carbonation after enough time (3 to 4 weeks in the bottle).

Yes, patience is quite necessary when making a lager at home. From my
experience, it is worth the time.

Norm in Seattle

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