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Old 06-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
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Default Lager Fermentation Question

I brewed my first lager on Memorial Day, a Dortmunder Export. OG was 1.053. I made an extra large starter with 2 packs of 2206 (I used a 2L flask and half gallon growler jug). I pitched right around 52 degrees and kept the temp around 50-52. Saw fermentation beginning in less than 24 hrs I checked the gravity after about a week and it was about 1.022, so I warmed it up to 63 for the diacetyl rest. That was this past Tuesday. I checked the gravity again on Thursday night and it's only at 1.020 and again today with the same result. I'm not sure what's gone wrong and why my fermentation has stopped. Any ideas?

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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I brewed my first lager on Memorial Day, a Dortmunder Export. OG was 1.053. I made an extra large starter with 2 packs of 2206 (I used a 2L flask and half gallon growler jug). I pitched right around 52 degrees and kept the temp around 50-52. Saw fermentation beginning in less than 24 hrs I checked the gravity after about a week and it was about 1.022, so I warmed it up to 63 for the diacetyl rest. That was this past Tuesday. I checked the gravity again on Thursday night and it's only at 1.020 and again today with the same result. I'm not sure what's gone wrong and why my fermentation has stopped. Any ideas?
I don't know why it'd stop there. What was the recipe? I don't think it would have crystal malt or anything not fermentable, but that's the only thing I can think of at all.

Did you check your hydrometer in plain water? That'd be one thing to do to make sure the reading is accurate.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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9lbs pilsner
1.5 lbs Munich
.5 lb Carapils

It was from an all grain kit from Grape and Granary. I did check the hydrometer in water and it read at 1.000. I'm scratching my head.

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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9lbs pilsner
1.5 lbs Munich
.5 lb Carapils

It was from an all grain kit from Grape and Granary. I did check the hydrometer in water and it read at 1.000. I'm scratching my head.
Hmmmm. I wonder- did your mash accidentally get too warm, or is it possible that you mashed higher than about 152?

PS- this is off topic but my very first "real" boyfriend was from Louisville. Just remembering that brought a big smile to my face. It was over 30 years ago, though! (I'm from Youngstown).
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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Ahhhh I bet that's it. I had some thermometer issues during the mash and my temps did get a bit higher than 152. So did I extract unfermentable sugars during the mash? That's a bummer if so. Should I just rack it and lager and accept that it will taste off? I probably got all kinds of tannins from the hotter mash.

I'm not from Louisville originally but I've lived here a few years. That's funny though. I've vacationed in the UP many times and I'd gladly abandon Northeast Ohio! Thanks for your help.

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Old 06-10-2012, 08:12 PM   #6
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Ahhhh I bet that's it. I had some thermometer issues during the mash and my temps did get a bit higher than 152. So did I extract unfermentable sugars during the mash? That's a bummer if so. Should I just rack it and lager and accept that it will taste off? I probably got all kinds of tannins from the hotter mash.

I'm not from Louisville originally but I've lived here a few years. That's funny though. I've vacationed in the UP many times and I'd gladly abandon Northeast Ohio! Thanks for your help.
It probably won't even taste "off"- just maybe a bit sweeter than you'd desire. Carbonation provides carbonic acid, so it might actually turn out pretty well balanced even it is a bit too sweet for a dortmunder. I predict it'll still be great!

I left NE Ohio in 1982, and come back to visit a couple of times a year. In fact, I'll be there in right after the Fourth of July. I'll visit, and enjoy my family, and be thrilled to come back to the UP.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:37 PM   #7
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Ahhhh I bet that's it. I had some thermometer issues during the mash and my temps did get a bit higher than 152. So did I extract unfermentable sugars during the mash? That's a bummer if so. Should I just rack it and lager and accept that it will taste off? I probably got all kinds of tannins from the hotter mash.
If your pH was OK, it's very unlikely you extracted tannins. pH is a much more important factor than temp.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Great, thanks for the help. I'm going to buy a digital thermometer before my next round of brews so this isn't an issue again. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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Old 06-10-2012, 09:27 PM   #9
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Great, thanks for the help. I'm going to buy a digital thermometer before my next round of brews so this isn't an issue again. I'll let you know how it turns out!
Just so you know, just using a digital thermometer is not a guarantee of accuracy.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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Is there a particular type of thermometer you'd recommend? I have a dial thermometer and a floating one but the floater reads boiling water 20-30 degrees low. My dial isn't super accurate either despite calibrating it. I'd appreciate any input. Thanks!

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