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Old 04-28-2008, 01:10 AM   #1
pietastersdnd
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Default Slow fermenting lager

I'm fairly new to home brewing and have just tried my first lager. I think my beer may be brewing a little too slowly. First I’ll give you the recipe I used.

6.6 lbs - Briess Pilsen Light liquid malt extract
1.0 lbs - Muttons Extra Light dry malt extract
1.5 lbs - Crosby Baker Rice Syrup Solids
2.0 oz - Crosby Baker Crystal Hops
0.5 oz - LD Carlosn Cascade Hops
1.0 Tbs - LD carlson Irish Moss
1 bottle- White Labs WLP800 Liquid yeast

Min In boil
60 - 6.6 lbs - Briess Pilsen Light liquid malt extract
- 1.0 lbs - Muttons Extra Light dry malt extract
50 - 1.0 oz - Crosby Baker Crystal Hops
30 - 1.0 oz - Crosby Baker Crystal Hops
20 - 1.5 lbs - Crosby Baker Rice Syrup Solids
15 - 1.0 Tbs - LD carlson Irish Moss
5 - 0.5 oz - LD Carlosn Cascade Hops


I made a 5 gallon batch and fermented it in a glass carboy. I have a mini fridge that I've set at a constant 50 degrees throughout the entire fermenting process.

While cooling my wart I poured the bottle of yeast into a cup of warm water to get it started. After about 20min I then added the yeast/water to the 5 gallons of wort in the carboy. I left the carboy in room temperature overnight for 8 hours and then put it in the fridge.

For the first 1-7 days I saw some slow activity in the carboy and everything looked ok. Days 7-10 I saw much greater activity. The airlock was bubbling much more then it did the previous week. Days 10-14 I saw the activity in the carboy start to slow down. Right now I am on day 14 and although the activity has greatly slowed down from a few days ago it still seems to be fermenting steadily. I can see the clumps moving around the carboy and a lot of bubbles at the top of the wort.

I decided to see how far along the beer was and test the specific gravity. My original reading was at 1.0058. When I tested it today it was only down to 1.0040. It seems to me that I am only 1/3 of the way there after two weeks.

Now I'm not in a rush to get this done quickly. My concern is the yeast going bad before the beer is done. I've read that after 21 days yeast will stop working. This is where I would like some input.

1 - Is it normal for a lager to take 4-6 weeks to ferment?

2 - If so should I add more yeast or leave it as is?

3 - Is it possible there is something wrong with the yeast causing it to ferment slowly?

4 - Could the high OG of 1.0058 be effecting the ferment time?

5 - Will yeast die off after 3 weeks?

6 - Am I just totally overreacting to all of this?



Any help or thoughts to this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Guys!

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:18 AM   #2
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You are fine. I've had ales take 2 weeks, so a lager can take longer. The yeast is fine. The only way to really tell it's done is to take a gravity reading. The higher starting gravity may be why it's going slower.

By the way, you do not need to pour the White Labs vial in water first. That's only for dry yeasts. It's ready to pitch, but you should look into doing starters, especially for lagers and stronger beers.

The yeast will not die in 3 weeks. You need months for that.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:19 AM   #3
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Well, lagers do take longer as a rule, because of the cooler fermentation. I've never heard that yeast stop working in three weeks- I'm not sure where you heard that but that's not true.

Usually, for a lager, I make a HUGE starter, then chill to 48 degrees. And pitch that into the 50 degree wort. It sounds like you shocked your yeast quite a bit- taking cold yeast, putting it in warm water (don't do that!) and then pitching it into warm wort, then chilling it. Just let it be, and when it's done, you'll know.

Just relax and let it finish up. It's working, albeit slowly, so it's alive and plugging along. Next time, you'll have some different techniques to help it along before you even brew the batch. But for this time, it'll be fine.

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Old 08-05-2008, 10:21 AM   #4
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that helped me also thanks

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Old 08-05-2008, 10:44 AM   #5
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You have a high OG for a lager and you underpitched. You should have used 2 vials or made a starter.
Because of this fermentation may take a while, but don't worry, just give it time.

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Old 09-15-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
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i havent done a lager yet (in my 3 years of brewing) and was wondering about the fermentation process. currently i only have 3 fermenting buckets, no carboy. is it possible to lager in a plastic bucket and do i need a blow off hose/ airlock or does it need to be sealed? 2) once the wort is cooled to 50 degrees and i pitch the starter, how long do i wait to place in the fridge? I've read plenty of material on this process but i'd like to hear it from you guys because its hard tryin' to follow some of the instructions i read.(not really a reader)

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