I was listening to Jamil’s “Brewing With Style” podcast on July 24th and made a lager temperature profile based on his recommendations. He was talking about Heretic’s Helles and he mentioned the Narziss method of starting low (47F or 8.3C) and letting it rise to fermentation temperature (50F or 10C) over the first day or so. Then, he said he bumps it up a degree or two each day until at diacetyl rest temperature (62F or 16.6C). I plan to cool my wort in my chest freezer to starting temperature before pitching the yeast, since I’m sure I can’t get that low with my wort chiller. I will also hold fermentation temp for several days before slowly rising to the rest. I know there’s a lot of approaches out there and many are much faster than this, but this is my first lager and I am in no rush.
I thought I would share my most recent lager profile. I started at 50 degrees but did not see any activity after 48 hours. 50 degrees is the bottom of the temperature range for WLP830 so I bumped it up to 52 and fermentation started about 6 hours later.
Here is my profile:
And here is the fun part of brewing in Austin, Texas in August. This from 9:00pm. My fermentation chamber is in my garage where it is currently over 100 degrees.
With those temp changes, have you seen your air lock suck air in backwards as the fermenter cools back down? Mine keeps doing that.
I’ve read about suck back with both airlocks and blow off tubes. I do crashes a little slower with no more than 2-3 deg C drop per day, mainly to not stress the yeast. I take my blow off tube out of Star San and attach a sanitary air filter. The air filter might be overkill but it puts my mind at ease with the potential suck back during the crash. Many others do a rapid crash like this one with great results.
I have not noticed the airlock sucking back in. This batch had a regular airlock since it was a lager. I do this with my high gravity ales with a blow off tube and have not seen an issue. Although I may go ahead and switch the blow-off tube to an airlock just in case.
Also at this point I am not worried about the yeast since I done with it.