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Old 07-05-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
Ace
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Default First Time Lager

This is my first attempt at a lager. I have several ales under my belt that turned out great. First off, I cold pitched a tube of German Lager WLP830 with no starter on 6-20-09. After a few days of watching no fermentation starting and reading on the internet, I realized I under pitched severely. No worries, I headed to the brew shop, they were out of WLP 830, so I bought the German Bock strain WLP 833, and made a 1 liter starter. I pitched the starter, and removed the carboy from the refrigerator. After the warm up to about 68 degrees F, and signs of fermentation started, I placed the carboy back into the refrigerator and brought temp down to 50f. It fermented for about a week with visible signs of activity. Now the yeast has seemed to have slowed down. My OG was 1.041, and my reading the last two days has been 1.018. Should I give a lager more time before comparing readings, or is it safe to say that I did not pitch enough yeast, and the primary phase is complete? Or should I just relax and let it go another week, and take another hydro reading then? I am not familiar enough with lager fermentation to know if the bottom fermenting yeasties are working at such a slow rate that I can not see signs of active fermentation. There were quite a bit of carbonation bubbles from in my sample. Is this a sign of active fermentation?

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Old 07-05-2009, 09:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ace View Post
This is my first attempt at a lager. I have several ales under my belt that turned out great. First off, I cold pitched a tube of German Lager WLP830 with no starter on 6-20-09. After a few days of watching no fermentation starting and reading on the internet, I realized I under pitched severely. No worries, I headed to the brew shop, they were out of WLP 830, so I bought the German Bock strain WLP 833, and made a 1 liter starter. I pitched the starter, and removed the carboy from the refrigerator. After the warm up to about 68 degrees F, and signs of fermentation started, I placed the carboy back into the refrigerator and brought temp down to 50f. It fermented for about a week with visible signs of activity. Now the yeast has seemed to have slowed down. My OG was 1.041, and my reading the last two days has been 1.018. Should I give a lager more time before comparing readings, or is it safe to say that I did not pitch enough yeast, and the primary phase is complete? Or should I just relax and let it go another week, and take another hydro reading then? I am not familiar enough with lager fermentation to know if the bottom fermenting yeasties are working at such a slow rate that I can not see signs of active fermentation. There were quite a bit of carbonation bubbles from in my sample. Is this a sign of active fermentation?
No, bubbles aren't a sign of fermentation. CO2 is more easily dissolved into solution in cold liquids, so that's why the beer seems bubbly. You can go ahead and raise the temperature for the diacetyl rest now. Keep it at 65 or so for 48 hours, and then you can rack the beer if the SG is still the same. It may not go any lower, depending on the recipe.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:42 AM   #3
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+1 on the above.

You could raise it now, though I'd leave it as is for another week and then I'd move it up. It's only been 1 week right?

I ferment my lagers for 2 weeks at 50F, then after 2 weeks I'll go up to 60-65F for a D rest if needed.

Cheers.

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