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Old 09-07-2012, 12:48 AM   #1
Derek2k3
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Default Lager advice needed

Hello all, I'm in need of your collective expert advice yet again

I brewed my first lager (Extract kit from "The Home Brewery") on 8/28. Everything went well, based on the advice here I pitched 2 packets of S-23 at 50 degrees and put it in my fermenting fridge. After about 12 hours I had airlock activity, so I know it was working.

I was concerned because my damned fridge wouldn't get any warmer than about 45 degrees, well below what I was told to be "ideal" (50). So, I had a friend check on it 7 days later (I'm on vacation, great timing ) and take a reading.

OG was 1.036, target FG is 1.009, and the reading he took on Tuesday was 1.022. He just checked it again, and it's still at 1.022, so about halfway.

He's moved it to a warmer area, about 65 degrees, hoping it will "wake up" and finish. Should I gently rock the fermenting bucket as well?

I'm guessing this would qualify as "stuck", and although he said it tasted pretty good (No butterscotch or "tang" tastes) I'm guessing I really need to get it closer to that 1.009 mark.

Thoughts/advice?



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Old 09-07-2012, 01:18 AM   #2
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Good thing pitching 2 packs, always want to go high with lagers. I would think that the temp and a couple swirls would help. You may have to give it a rest afterwards to eat up diacetyl. Give it another day.



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Old 09-07-2012, 01:30 AM   #3
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Hmmm...that's about 5 weeks and you're at 1.022? It's certainly possible that it could be stuck, but I would definitely raise the temp to 65 F for the D-rest. I bet you it will finish up and get you to (or close to) your target FG.

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Old 09-07-2012, 02:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukebrewer View Post
Hmmm...that's about 5 weeks and you're at 1.022? It's certainly possible that it could be stuck, but I would definitely raise the temp to 65 F for the D-rest. I bet you it will finish up and get you to (or close to) your target FG.
Crap, I meant 8/28. So, it's been about 10 days. My only children was that it fermented from 1.036 to 1.022 in a week, then didn't move at all for 2 days. Regardless, I'm glad to hear raising the temp sounds good/like it will work. Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:35 AM   #5
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Lager fermentations are slow. Just put it in perspective. You dropped 14 points in 10 days, so you can't really expect much to happen in 2 days. You'll be fine. Cheers!

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Old 09-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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S-23 is good down to about 48. At 45 ambient temp, you were likely pretty clost to 48-50F actual fermentation temp, so that's a good thing. At that lower end temp, fermentation is going to be slow...BUT a SLOOOWWWW fermentation is a CLEEEAAAN fermentation!! So slow is a good thing.

You REALLY need to practice some patience with this lager. I fermented my last lager at the low end with Saflager W-34/70, and it took 5 days before active fermentation even started, 14 full days to get down to 75% of FG, and two more full days of diacetyl rest to get to FG. THEN six more weeks of lagering.

So, under similar conditions to yours, my lager was fermenting for 21 days. At 10 days, I would expect you to be around 1.022, becuase you are still in the middle of fermenting. If I were you, I'd keep it in the fridge for a good 8-10 more days, then pull it out and let it sit for 2 days at room temp, rack to secondary, then start lagering at about 34-36F for 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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ya 45 degrees ambient is probably just perfect. I used this yeast and had it at 50 ambient and saw my internal temp was close to 60!!!

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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Try leaving the door on your fridge cracked, assuming your beer is the only thing in there. I have a similar problem with my fridge. It will actually freeze anything in it if the door is shut. So, I crack the door an inch or so, check the temp once or twice a day, and open the door less or more to adjust. I am able to keep the beer within a couple degrees of where I want it. I'll eventually get a probe thermostat when I have the extra hundred or so bucks. Grab one if you can.

In the meantime with your beer that has maybe stalled, bring it up to the low 60's for a couple of days. The yeast should wake up and finish fermenting, and you will be doing a diacetyl rest. Diacetyl is the buttery taste that the yeast produces as a byproduct. At warmer temps they will eat the diacetyl. With all lagers, you want to do this. Search the forums for more info. If that doesn't work, I'd keep it at the low 60's and pitch another yeast packet. After a day or two you can transfer to a secondary then leave it at 45 for a while (several weeks to several months, This is lagering).

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM
S-23 is good down to about 48. At 45 ambient temp, you were likely pretty clost to 48-50F actual fermentation temp, so that's a good thing. At that lower end temp, fermentation is going to be slow...BUT a SLOOOWWWW fermentation is a CLEEEAAAN fermentation!! So slow is a good thing.

You REALLY need to practice some patience with this lager. I fermented my last lager at the low end with Saflager W-34/70, and it took 5 days before active fermentation even started, 14 full days to get down to 75% of FG, and two more full days of diacetyl rest to get to FG. THEN six more weeks of lagering.

So, under similar conditions to yours, my lager was fermenting for 21 days. At 10 days, I would expect you to be around 1.022, becuase you are still in the middle of fermenting. If I were you, I'd keep it in the fridge for a good 8-10 more days, then pull it out and let it sit for 2 days at room temp, rack to secondary, then start lagering at about 34-36F for 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!
Oh, I'm planning on being patient, I just wondered if it was common for there to be reasonably significant activity for 7 days, followed by nothing for 3.

My buddy already pulled it out and set it at about 65 yesterday, and when I finally get home Saturday or Sunday I'll do another reading and hopefully be able to rack and lager soon.

Thanks everyone! I'll update when anything new happens.


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