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Old 09-01-2008, 12:25 AM   #1
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Default First lager - sulphur and yellow foam

In the middle of fermenting my first lager after a few various ales over the past year. Followed sanitation procedures obsessively along with the recipe. It's been fridged at 60 - 50 degrees the entire time, with dry yeast being pitched at the higher end. Checked it a few times after no activity from the airlock, but always saw some bubbling and read in a few different places that lagers don't always present as vigorously as ales. Now I'm a week in and a check reveals a vigorous white foam across the wort, but with a yellowish patch and a slight sulphuric smell. Was getting ready to do a gravity check and then bottle, but am wondering whether it is contaminated, and if so, whether it is worth keeping. Your thoughts?

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Old 09-01-2008, 03:06 AM   #2
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Pics please They would really help. I doubt it is contaminated

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so barley is a leaves of hops? or barley is a different plant? and blend with hops? I need that to be cleared thanks..
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:51 AM   #3
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here's some pics - while I had it open, I took a gravity sample and it does remind me of a ginger beer I made back in the day, a little bit of a sulphuric taste but not unbearable
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:29 PM   #4
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It looks completely normal and aroma you're getting is normal. It's not contaminated yet, you're working on getting it contaminated with all the opening and fussing though. Lagers typically take 10 days with a good pitch rate.

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Old 09-01-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
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Sorry for putting out that obligatory "I killed it!" post, and I guess there isn't much to do but wait it out and hope it doesn't smell or taste like that by the end of all this. Starting an aussie-style ale now and have doubled my precautions.

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Old 09-01-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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What kind of lager yeast are you using? Lager yeast at high (above 52 degrees) temperatures tends to be sulfurous and very stinky.

Lagers usually take me about 12 weeks- to ferment in primary (2 weeks usually), do a diacetyl rest (if needed), rack, and then drop the temperature 5 degrees per day until it's at 34 degrees, then lager about 8 weeks. Then it's bottled or kegged. So, the moral of that story is patience!!!!

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Old 09-02-2008, 01:35 AM   #7
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Thanks Yooper. Used a dry European Lager Yeast (SafLager W-34/70), and the temperature has been fluctuating more than I am comfortable with due to this being my first lager and having to realize that my minifridge desperatly needs an external thermostat. I realize that time might very well heal all problems but everything is a little magnified when I can only brew one lager at a time and have to wait for this one to finish to determine if it was wasted. Makes me appreciate the Cooper's ale I have in my closet just happy to be alive. God bless ales. I do love a challege, though.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by fast_rodney View Post
Thanks Yooper. Used a dry European Lager Yeast (SafLager W-34/70), and the temperature has been fluctuating more than I am comfortable with due to this being my first lager and having to realize that my minifridge desperatly needs an external thermostat. I realize that time might very well heal all problems but everything is a little magnified when I can only brew one lager at a time and have to wait for this one to finish to determine if it was wasted. Makes me appreciate the Cooper's ale I have in my closet just happy to be alive. God bless ales. I do love a challege, though.
Well, the temperature would explain the "stinky" factor! Patience is definitely required for lager brewers. It's always nice to have a few (or 10) ales in reserve waiting for the lagers!
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