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Old 01-15-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Pilsner STILL at high kruesen after a month!

I pitched a Classic American Pilsner on December 19, 2010 - a day short of a month ago. I've kept it fermenting at a constant 45F using WLP800 since then. A week ago I let the beer rise to 65F for a 48 hour diacetyl rest. A few days later I planned to transfer to a secondary vessel for lagering but, to my surprise, the beer was at high kreusen. I checked again today - a month after pitching - and the beer was STILL at high kreusen.

I'm aware that lagers take longer to ferment than ales, but high kreusen, a month after pitching, seems a little extreme to me. Is this normal? If so, should I leave the wort on the yeast cake for another week, or transfer to a lagering vessel now? Should I conduct a second diacetyl rest?

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 01-16-2011, 03:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by pericles View Post
I pitched a Classic American Pilsner on December 19, 2010 - a day short of a month ago. I've kept it fermenting at a constant 45F using WLP800 since then. A week ago I let the beer rise to 65F for a 48 hour diacetyl rest. A few days later I planned to transfer to a secondary vessel for lagering but, to my surprise, the beer was at high kreusen. I checked again today - a month after pitching - and the beer was STILL at high kreusen.

I'm aware that lagers take longer to ferment than ales, but high kreusen, a month after pitching, seems a little extreme to me. Is this normal? If so, should I leave the wort on the yeast cake for another week, or transfer to a lagering vessel now? Should I conduct a second diacetyl rest?

Thanks for the advice.
You should take a gravity reading. The activity you are seeing may just be due to the change in temp and the resulting lowering of CO2 solubility, but the only way to know is to use a hydrometer.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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Did you check the gravity before moving to the diacetyl rest? It almost sounds like it was laying dormant til you raised the temp.

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Old 01-16-2011, 05:41 AM   #4
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Keep in mind you are fermenting your lager 5 degrees below the optimum fermentation temp as set forth by White Labs. Chances are 45 degrees put the yeast into dormancy and it is just taking a long time to ferment out. I can't speak for others but I usually ferment my lagers at 50ish and then lower it once the fermentation has taken place.

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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I like the dormancy idea. Raise the temp to 55, then a second diacetyl rest, then lager

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Are you sure that it is still fermenting, and not just that the krausen didn't fall? It might be done....a gravity reading will tell you for sure...

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Old 01-16-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Gravity's still at 1.03, so it's definitely not done.

Here's a side question: if the kreusen still hasn't fallen when the beer does finish, is it viable to top-crop?

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Old 01-16-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Gravity's still at 1.03, so it's definitely not done.

Here's a side question: if the kreusen still hasn't fallen when the beer does finish, is it viable to top-crop?
If you want to top-crop, why not just do it now?
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:05 PM   #9
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I wouldn't top-crop a lager yeast, as it seems the "optimum" yeast cells are the ones working where they should - on the bottom. But that's just me.

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Old 01-18-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Good points to both of you. I'll skip top-cropping for now and, if I like the way it turns out, maybe I'll experiment with top cropping the second batch. If it's hazy, I'll know why.

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