lager in a conical

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lager in a conical

Postby jward on Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:23 pm

My next scheduled beer will be a schwarzbier as I can finally step up to lagers using the a Brewers Hardware conical https://www.brewershardware.com/8-Gallon-Stainless-Steel-Glycol-Jacketed-Conical-Fermentor.html. I was wondering if lager yeast is bottom fermenting then a conical might be a less optimal shape? Clearly, a conical will work great as I have had awesome lagers that were made in conicals. On an AB/Budweiser tour I saw that they use 16 foot diameter by 100 yard long fermenters, essentially a giant tube laying on its side, loaded with beachwood boards for more surface area. AB said they use beachwood as it does not contribute any flavor and it provides more surface area for the yeast so the beer finishes faster. My lager starter krausened a bit or foamed a lot and the yeast seemed active in the column just like with an ale. I'm speculating that the yeast does primary fermentation while in the column and the bottom vs top fermenting is really more of the yeast tends to float or tends to sink issue? Maybe the lager yeast do their secondary fermentation sitting on the bottom?

Any yeast fanatics know what is really going on?
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Re: lager in a conical

Postby Justin H on Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:55 am

It’s my understanding that top fermenting ale yeast are generally more flocculant than their bottom fermenting lager counterparts, and it is the release of CO2 combined with the more flocculent nature that drives the top fermenting/ale yeast to the surface. This is particularly evident in some English strains that are incredible top croppers and highly flocculent. Conversely, lager strains tend to be less flocculent and stay in suspension longer. I wouldn’t hesitate to ferment a lager in your conical. Your most active yeast will likely remain in suspension.
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Re: lager in a conical

Postby indianajns on Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:19 am

Justin spittin' knowledge!!!
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