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Old 01-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
Danam404
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Default First Lager... Someone tell me I'm not stuck!

Hey Guys,

I brewed up a schwarzbier for my first lager.... Still pretty new to brewing in general so go easy on me. I made a few mistakes right off the bat, and I'm really hoping I didn't ruin the batch. I used W2007 yeast... Smack pack. Mistake #1 I didn't make a starter. I read the smack packs are good to pitch, but I guess lagers def need a starter. Anyway, I smacked the pack, and it did swell a bit, but when I opened it I only burst one of the two nutrient packs inside. I cut the second and pitched the whole pack. I left the carboy at 68F until about 18 hours later I finally saw a few foam bubbles, and brought it down to 50F. By about 24-30 hours there's was a nice layer of krausen and I was getting about 6 bubbles/minute at the airlock. Since 48 hours or so the airlock activity has stopped.

I'm now on day 5, and there's still a layer of krausen but no airlock activity whatsoever... Just stared at it for 15 mins.

Am I stuck? When is it too late to re-pitch? Should I re-pitch?

I haven't gotten much into taking gravity readings yet, and I know this would tell a much better story, but I can't imagine it's done yet.. It definitely couldn't have finished in 48 hours at 50F

What do you think?

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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Well your right u should have made a starter. Lagers need about 400 billion cells and 1 pack is about 100 so u definitely under pitched. Pitching warm might of helped and u might hit your gravity but u might get off flavors that in a lager u will definitely taste. I make a 2000 ml starter with one vial wait two days put in fridge two days make a 4000 ml starter and add only the yeast to that and it gives me about 400 million cells and a very good lager.

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
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It most certainly could have finished at 48 hours at 50, especially since you had started at a higher temp. Don't fret, just take a gravity reading. Without one your flying blind. Don't even consider re-pitching until you have a gravity reading.

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Okay. If it is finished, how long would you let it sit at 50 before going down to lagering temps? I was planning on 3 weeks before dropping the temp.

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Old 01-30-2011, 08:08 PM   #5
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Since you started at a high temp there is a good change you have created some diacetyl. Since you'll be taking a gravity reading, you can taste the sample. If it tastes buttery or like butterscotch, then you have diacetyl. So, once it's finished you can do a diacetyl rest by raising the temp by 10 F for 24-48 hours. There really is no need to go longer than that. Once the d-rest is done, then begin dropping temps 1 to 2 F per day till you get to 34/36 F.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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Unfortunately it seems like what I feared came true. I just took a reading. 1.036. What now??? Agh.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:19 AM   #7
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On a better note... Just gave the same a taste... Tastes great, no off flavors that I can detect... Pretty much what I was looking for so far. Someone tell me it can be saved!

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danam404
Unfortunately it seems like what I feared came true. I just took a reading. 1.036. What now??? Agh.
What temp was the sample you were measuring?
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:34 AM   #9
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50F. Just did the correction the gravity is actually about 1.034.

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:38 AM   #10
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If it doesn't taste bad then you can pitch a active starter and it should start back up. Or maybe raise the temp and swirl the carboy might get it going. Worst come to worst make it a sour beer pitch some sour yeasts and wait it out

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