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Old 09-01-2011, 11:19 AM   #1
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Default Pitched a lager to warm

Been reading these old threads trying to figure out if I can make the most out of the Sam Adams clone that I have started fermenting at too high temp. Using WLP830 German lager yeast, I pitched at about 78-80 deg. Ferment started and I thought I had the fridge set to cool slowly before going to work but when I got home (this is 24 hours after pitching) the temp is still at 78-80 deg. Ferm is going strong with a high krausen, I'm trying to cool it without stalling.

What should I do to get the most out of this brew? Extended lager time? I'm kinda freaking out about off flavors of the high ferm temp.

I didn't know you could cold pitch at those low temps.

Update: so to put the numbers to it....

Pitched at 78 F airlock activity after 12 hours.

At 24 hours full krausen rapid airlock activity and wort still at 78 F.

At 31 hours wort is down to 58 deg.

So it had at least 24 hours of fermenting time at 78+. I guess I will let it finish out to to 75% and raise the temp to 60-65 for a couple days for a D- rest? Then rack it & dry hop and start pulling it down to 35-40 deg to lager it for 3-5 weeks?

Thoughts?

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Old 09-01-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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Not much you can do at this point, except to hope for the best. Maybe it won't be too estery and sulfury when it's finished.

I always pitch at fermentation temperature- ales and lagers, both. 78 degrees is even too high for an ale, let alone a lager. I pitch my ales at no higher than 65 degrees if possible, and usually lower. I pitch my lagers at 48 degrees.

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Old 09-01-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Yup, just hope for the best. Lager the hell out of it.

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Old 09-01-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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On the plus side, yeast love to reproduce at warmer temperatures.
Lager it for a few months and call it a steam beer.

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, guess I will hope for the best…
You know I’m fairly a noob at home brewing, I’ve brewed maybe 20-25 extract kits since 2008, and I have always pitched at 80F because the kit instructions say to. I’m beginning to think that they want you to pitch at a high temp just to MAKE SURE it starts and you don’t call them because I’m sure they get many call from people who are just starting???
I have never had any other homebrew other than mine and a buddies who started brewing at the same time as me and we both just followed the directions. While we both have had some good and mediocre batches I don’t feel like I have ever had an OUTSTANDING batch. There’s always some off flavors.
I contributed it to “Hey, that’s just home brew” and the inferiority of extract kits. But, your advice here (and in some of your other threads) makes me think my biggest problem it my pitch temp.
I was just always afraid that if I didn’t pitch fast enough I was more likely to get an infection, and off flavors from the wort sitting too long.
Thanks again sharing knowledge here.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Fermentation temperature control is incredibly important when it comes to making good beer. You need to make sure you pitch lots of yeast (use the pitching rate calculator at mrmalty.com to figure out how much) and ABSOLUTELY pay attention to temperatures. Personally I go to the low end of the range for most yeasts (not Belgians, etc.). Right now I have a couple of lagers chugging along at 46 degrees. Most of my ales get fermented in the low 60s (again, depending on the yeast).

When you start paying closer attention to pitching rates and fermentation temperatures, your beer will be sure to improve. Good luck!

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Old 09-01-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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It's gonna be nasty, end of story. Live and learn. If I could ferment lagers warm and get good results, I would have 3 less chest freezers.


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Old 09-01-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450
It's gonna be nasty, end of story. Live and learn. If I could ferment lagers warm and get good results, I would have 3 less chest freezers.

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Nasty? Really you think?
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkbrew View Post
Nasty? Really you think?
Yup, i'm not going to blow sunshine up your dress, there's a reason why lagers are fermented in the low 50's.

Maybe not disgusting, but not good. I wouldn't even pitch an ale yeast at 80f, unless is was a specific strain (saison).

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