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Old 01-28-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
yournotpeter
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Default Lager Ferementation - When Does It Finish?

Tomorrow will have been 4 weeks since I had brewed a Mai Bock. My intent was – tomorrow - to rack the Mai Bock from my carboy into a keg for lagering and then brew a traditional bock and just use the Mai Bock yeast cake. The problem, however, is that I took a gravity reading last night and it was only at 1.028 (recipe called for FG of 1.017).

Do you see any issue with racking the Mai Bock to a secondary carboy to continue fermentation so that I can still brew tomorrow and use the Mai Bock cake? Do you think there will still be enough yeast in suspension to finish the fermentation process? Or am I asking for trouble by not letting it finish out completely in that primary fermentation vessel?

Any ideas/suggestions?

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:25 PM   #2
michael.berta
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Sounds like you got a stuck fermentation. Taking the beer off of the yeast cake and racking it into another fermenter would not likely result in continued fermentation.

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael.berta View Post
Sounds like you got a stuck fermentation. Taking the beer off of the yeast cake and racking it into another fermenter would not likely result in continued fermentation.
One thing I failed to mention is that I'm still getting bubbling in the airlock every 30 seconds....does this still mean fermentation is stuck? I'm thinking if I'm getting bubbles that it's still churning away.

I should also add that I'm using WPL833 and is fermenting at exactly 50 degrees. (I was also able to get the wort down to 50 degrees before I pitched).
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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All grain or extract?
If all grain mash temperature please
How big was your yeast starter?
Bubble arent necessarily a sign of fermentation, beer that is done fermenting will pus CO2 out of an airlock.

I would warm it up to 60 and then check it after a few days.
DONT rack it until you at least do that.

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Old 01-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babalu87 View Post
All grain or extract?
If all grain mash temperature please
How big was your yeast starter?
.
All grain - mashed at 155

Yeast starter - I pitched 2 vials of WLP833 into 6 liters of starter wort. I had a nice big cake.....
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:27 PM   #6
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The only way to know if the ferment is complete would be consistent gravity readings on 2 or 3 consecutive days. I'm with babalu, I'd warm it up and give it a gentle swirl.


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Old 01-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babalu87 View Post
Bubble arent necessarily a sign of fermentation, beer that is done fermenting will pus CO2 out of an airlock
+1. A bubbling airlock just means that CO2 is coming out of solution. CO2 is created during fermentation but it is held in suspension in the beer. Once it reaches saturation level the CO2 comes out of solution and we see the airlock bubble. The level of saturation changes by temperature so if the fermenter warms up and/or cools down you will notice more or less airlock activity but that doesn't have much if anything to do with the actual fermentation.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yournotpeter View Post
I took a gravity reading last night and it was only at 1.028 (recipe called for FG of 1.017).
It is also my opinion that too many brewers spent too much time worrying about chasing numbers. Your beer might be great as is. Without knowing the original gravity or recipe it's hard to say exactly what happened or predict what it is going to taste like but it might be an awesome beer. Your hydrometer might be off as well. If the gravity has been the same for more than a few days it's done and read to bottle/keg.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:31 PM   #9
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Just wanted to bring some closure to this - I ended up bringing up the temp to 60 and within about 24 hours I had a bubble every 10 seconds as compared to the one every 30 seconds. It appears as if the warmup kicked the fermentation up a bit and hopefully will now finish out.

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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i too have been held up at around 25 on a maibock...OG was 1.074.

it's only been two weeks tho.

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