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-   -   BB Oktoberfest gone bad? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/bb-oktoberfest-gone-bad-386043/)

MoreCowbell 01-30-2013 11:35 PM

Recently I brewed a batch of Brewers Best German Oktoberfest. I didn't take a SG prior to pitching the yeast due to grabbing the wrong kind of hydrometer at my LHBS.

I pitched the yeast a 64F and put it my garage which has been steady 52-58f. Prior to pitching I shook the Carboy for about 15-20 seconds. After pitching I didn't observe any noticeable airlock activity for a week (which I wrote off to my lack if checking frequently) and racked to a secondary where it's been for two weeks now.

Since then I have replaced the hydrometer and took a sample which read 1.05. I should also add that there was a brief jump in temp to the mid 60's and there is a new layer of foam/krausen on top of the beer. I assume this means my yeast went dormant in the primary and due to the brief temperature increase things got started again. My fear is that since things didn't get started until after moving it to a secondary the beer will be highly under-attenuated. The sample tasted fine other than being sweet and seemed to look ok.

Can anyone suggest if i need to do anything to save this beer or should I just let it go another month at temps in the mid 50's before trying to bottle (pending a normal FG reading).

zzARzz 01-31-2013 09:59 PM

Lagers are "lazy" beers and need a good long time to completely ferment out. You would be best to just leave it another month as you said and maybe check it weekly to see if it is still progressing. 52-58F should be a good environment for them to work and the temp spike probably just put them into shock which is why your fermentation slowed down.

It may be wise to keep your carboy in a cooler with some water and/or ice bottles to limit how much fluctuation the yeast experience. Just be sure to take temp measurements inside the cooler to make sure it stays around your 52F mark.

MoreCowbell 02-01-2013 01:34 AM

Thanks for the tip. I put an airlock on it today and its going crazy! Will their be any negative consequences with the delayed start (3 weeks) and by transferring to a secondary before fermentation began? I'm afraid by racking too soon it won't be fully attentuated. In other words not enough yeast may have made to the secondary to get the job done.

zzARzz 02-01-2013 02:27 AM

I really wouldn't mess with it too much and just give it time. I think patience is the hardest skill for home brewers to develop ;)

If after 2 more weeks you still have the same gravity reading you could try repitching some SafLager S-23 with some yeast nutrient as a last ditch effort.

By the way, did you mean that the gravity reading you took was 1.050 or 1.005? The former means the yeast still have a lot of work to do and the latter that you're probably ready to bottle.

MoreCowbell 02-01-2013 10:49 AM


I'll let I ride a while and keep checking the gravity. Thanks for the help!

patthebrewer 02-01-2013 12:19 PM

I hate when a good Oktoberfest goes bad:D

MoreCowbell 02-01-2013 03:39 PM

Not giving up on it yet! Fermentation has been going strong for about three days now.

If I do this one again, I'll be sure to pitch at or above 60F to get the yeast started before cold fermenting in the low 50's.

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