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Old 05-25-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Long fermentation lag Maibock

Hi there i brewed up AHS Anniversary Maibock saturday. Hit all my numbers and temps, pitched yeast and put it into my new fermentation chamber set at 65 per the instructions. The instructions say to leave at 65 until you see signs of fermentation, then drop the temp 1 degree per hour until down to the 52-55 range.

Well last night, Tuesday i still had no fermentation. I had stirred it up on Monday, then Tuesday night i took a hydro reading. It had not moved from brewday. So i shook up the fermenter again, put it back in the fermentation chamber and planned to go pickup another pack of yeast today. I did not use a starter, this is the last time i brew and don't make a starter.

Anway this morning i've got action in the airlock so fermentation has started thank goodness. I have 2 questions:

1. if it started fermenting sometime during the night will it effect anything since it was fermenting at 65 for at least 4-6 hours?

2. since i work during the day, i won't be able to drop the temp 1 degree per hour. Before i left for work today i dropped the temp to 60, then on my lunch break i plan to go home and drop it to 55, then when i get home from work tonight i'll drop it the last 3 degrees 1 degree per hour. Will dropping the temp 5 degrees in an hour have a negative effect?

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Old 05-25-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Big changes in temp could thermal shock the yeast. So take it easy on the temp changes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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Is 5 degrees too big of a change?

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Currently fermenting:
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6gal carboy -
5gal carboy -
5gal bucket -
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Bottled:
Rogue Dead Guy Ale | Apfelwein | Autumn Amber Ale

Kegged:
Hop Valley Alphadelic IPA

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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Did you make a starter?? Because lagers like BIG starters. Especially something stronger like a Maibock. I usually make at least a half gallon starter.

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
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No, i talked about that in my original post

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Currently fermenting:
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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Idk,I made a doppel bock that was only OG 1.044,& it came out great. And I only made a quick,1 1/2C starter with 1/4C DME for 3.5 hours till pitch time. By wee hours of the morning,krausen was trying to blow the lid off! Maibocks aren't all that heavy. 5 degrees is a big change if done too quickly. That's why the gradual temp change is best to use over a day or two.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Is 5 degrees too big of a change?
In one hour? That sounds like too much of a shock to me (assuming you can achieve such a rapid change). That's one of the problems with pitching lager yeasts warm. You have to carefully lower the temp to avoid losing some cells that will drop out early. IMO, instead of counting on a lot of cell growth in the wort, it's better to pitch a lot of yeast at low temps.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #8
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Well live and learn. I went home to check things and the airlock is still bubbling away. I know that doesn't mean its definitely fermenting, but its something. Temp was steady at 60, so i dropped it to 57. Then i'll do the drop 1 degree per hour this evening.

I'll just have to RDWHAHB in the meantime

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Currently fermenting:
Ale Pail - Mohave Red
6gal carboy -
5gal carboy -
5gal bucket -
3gal carboy -
Bottled:
Rogue Dead Guy Ale | Apfelwein | Autumn Amber Ale

Kegged:
Hop Valley Alphadelic IPA

Next up: IPA of some sort
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:51 PM   #9
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I would drop that **** quick! Fermenting a lager warm is much worse than anything else you could so.

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Old 05-25-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impur View Post
Is 5 degrees too big of a change?
Quote:
Originally Posted by impur View Post
Well live and learn. I went home to check things and the airlock is still bubbling away. I know that doesn't mean its definitely fermenting, but its something. Temp was steady at 60, so i dropped it to 57. Then i'll do the drop 1 degree per hour this evening.

I'll just have to RDWHAHB in the meantime
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Originally Posted by tesilential View Post
I would drop that **** quick! Fermenting a lager warm is much worse than anything else you could so.
I really HATE those instructions! They aren't going to give you the best lager. Why they tell you to start warm and then drop the temperature (both in the kit instructions and on the yeast manufacturer's website) is to compensate somewhat for gross underpitching. The theory is that the yeast will reproduce faster at a warmer temperature, and then you can "catch" it and drop the temperature for fermentation.

The problem is that there is an overlap between reproductive phase and fermentation. By the time you get to 50 degrees, the bulk of fermentation can be over!

A lager fermented too warm can have some esters that will NOT go away, as well as diacetyl issues. In other words, if it's at 57 now, set your chamber to 49 now, and allow it to drop. It takes a LONG time for 5 gallons of fermenting beer to change temperature so it shouldn't stall fermentation.

For your next lager, pitch three times the yeast (or more!) and pitch at 45 degrees (yeast and wort).
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