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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > I Need Some Lager Advice
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:25 AM   #1
John_Trappist
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Default I Need Some Lager Advice

I’m brewing an Einbecker Ur-Boch Dunkel that is a Beer Captured recipe. I started it the first week of November and got lazy, so it only had one fermentation. It fermented for 9 weeks and I was worried about some off flavor because of single stage fermentation, but it was no problem.

I was going to bottle a few days ago and stopped because the gravity was at 1.040 and not 1.020 that the recipe calls for. The target recipe OG is 1.070 and my actual OG was 1.090. So I added another puffed up smack pack of lager yeast and put it back in my garage to ferment the additional .02 sugars out. But it’s been two days and there are no real signs of fermentation. The water in the fermentation lock is being pushed, but not bubbling at any measurable rate.

This is my first lager and it’s fermenting in my shop in northern Idaho, where the temp is between 33 and 48 degrees day and night.

Should I let it go or bottle it at 1.040 FG? Is it going to ferment anymore? If I bottle at 1.040 and not 1.020 am I going to have exploding bottles?

I hope you brewers can help me because I’m getting really thirsty. It’s been 9 weeks since I started this lager.

Thank you,

John

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Old 01-12-2008, 01:53 AM   #2
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Is this an all grain batch or extract? 1.04 is really sweet yet but if you mashed really hot, it might be the best you're gonna get. By the way, you really need to keep the wort at 50F or higher during fermenting.

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Old 01-12-2008, 07:05 AM   #3
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The batch is a mini-mash, where I used some extract and some grains. I guess the temp is a factor for sure, but it did ferment really well and it tastes good now. Also, I mashed at the temp called for which was boiling for an hour like every batch I've ever done and they all finish at about 1.01 to 1.02.

This one is currently at 1.04. I wonder if I raise the temp if it will ferment more. I seems like it will, but will I get the fruity overtones that ale gives and ruin my lager?

Wondering still.

John

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Old 01-12-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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I'd think that you might have had a real cold snap that might have done your yeast in ans stopped fermentation prematurely. Trying to restart a stuck ferment takes some doing. Try making a starter of 1 cup light DME and your yeast, get it going strong then pitch it in your beer. Be sure that the beer and thestarter are about the same temp when you pitch, somewhere around 50 *F. Let the ferment get going good before you SLOWLY cool it off. I don't think you could have mashed at too high a temp to get unfermentables on a PM. Free advice, TIFWIW
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:10 PM   #5
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Thank you for the advice. I'll see how this yeast I pitched from a smack pack two days ago does before I do anything else.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Thank you,

John

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Old 01-12-2008, 07:18 PM   #6
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The best advice I can give it to keep it at 50 degrees until it's finished, then rack it and then lager it. You shouldn't start the lagering process until the beer is finished. In the temperature range of 33-48, there is way too big of a temperature shift, and it's not really going to be warm enough to ferment it properly. Keep it at a steady temperature, not allowing it those fluctuations. Oh, like maybe in a cooler with water in it, so the temperature shifts don't cause the beer temperature to fluctuate. If you bottle at 1.040, you will certainly have bottle bombs.

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Old 01-14-2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thank you for the advice. The last smack pack I added seems to be fermenting the remaining sugars. I have high hopes and plan to move it to a cool closet in my basement tomorrow.

Thank you again!

John

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