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Old 03-25-2006, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default long lager primary ferment

i am working on my second lager style beer
it has been two weeks today since pitching the yeast(mauri brew 497) dry lager yeast from a 1 litre starter.
i had bubbles in the air lock after 6 hrs so i put the fermenter in my cold box with ice and got the temp down to 50 degrees over the next two days
i popped the lid today to take a gravity reading before the diacetyl rest ,but to my surprise found 1" of krausen still there
this is only my second lager attempt,the first had no krausen at the two week mark.
is this normal?
starting gravity was 1.050

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Old 03-26-2006, 02:17 AM   #2
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It's normal from my experience, if that's any help. I've done lager with Morgan's dry lager yeast, and it took forever... like, it wastn't done after 3 weeks @ 10 C.... and now I have a Wyeast Budvar on the go, and it's been in primary for 2 + weeks, and it's still bubbling once every 20 seconds or so... still Krausen on top too... so, I'll let it sit awhile. I know Chairman Cheyco had a Marzen that took over a month in primary, and it's coming along real good... tasted fabulous at bottling, he says.

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Old 03-26-2006, 02:35 AM   #3
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thanks for the assurance
i will leave it alone another week
did another hobgoblin clone today but this time lashed out and bought the wyeast 1187 activator pack instead of the nottingham dry i had been using
hope the taste is closer this time

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Old 03-26-2006, 03:36 AM   #4
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rod,

Lagers are notorious for taking a long time. The time seems to depend on pitching rate and fermentation time. Since you don't want to raise the fermentation temp to much, you will have to increase the pitching rate if you want it to ferment faster.

I experienced a wide range of primary fermentation times with my lagers (2 wks - 4 wks) and they all came out just fine. Surprisingly the fasted was my biggest brew so far (SG 1.080), a doppelbock that I pitched with a lot of yeast from the primary of a previous lager batch. This showed me how important the pitching rate is.

BTW, commercial German Lager breweries can do the primary fermentation at 50F for 12*P beers in 7 days. But they also have the ability to pitch a $hitload of yeast.

Even a 1L starter is significant underpitching for a 5gal lager batch. But don't worry, it will come out fine. If you are in for lagers, start thinking about yeast propagation (starter aeration, stir plate etc.), especially if you want to pitch cold (~50F) like the pros. I don't have all this gear yet, but I try to grow as much yeast as I can before I brew lagers.

Kai

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Old 03-26-2006, 01:09 PM   #5
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thanks,next time i will double up the starter by saving yeast from this one

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Old 03-26-2006, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rod
thanks,next time i will double up the starter by saving yeast from this one
You save the yeast cake from this lager and I guarentee you will have a happy ferment with a faster time. I usually make 1 gallon starters for my lagers and have them brew out to completion in 2 weeks including a diacetyl rest if needed for the brew.
Nottingham is good but not to make a true lager in which you need liquid yeast to get that crisp lager bite. Of course you need to brew at the right steady tempertures and to really lager the beer for a couple of months at near freezing tempertures to acheive it. But then you get what you want, a nice clean tasting lager.
I find Wyeast 2308 and 2272 good and have just tried 2278 for a pilsner. Good luck with that. I have never tried Mauri brew yeast, so I don't know what you should expect from it.
Cheers.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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Isn't there a ratio of how much yeast you should pitch based on your batch size and fermentation temperature? Too little will cause you to have longer fermentation periods and higher diacetyl levels. Too much, however, may cause off flavors and the possibility of autolysis. I thought I read this in Palmer's book. Is this not correct? Have you had problems with OVERPITCHING?

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