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Old 05-12-2012, 12:43 AM   #21
Dazdog
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I am brewing this for a third time, turns out great each time:

1. 5g split into w1272 and s-189 @ 14C (57F) - fast faux lager
2. 4g into w3787 @20C (68F) - belgian pils?
3. 6.5g into w2278 as OP fermentation schedule. - hopefully, the real deal.

Thanks Sudbuster. This recipe will be a regular brew during Aussie winters.

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Old 06-01-2012, 12:38 AM   #22
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hi all,

so i have decided to enter the PU competition in SF at the end of july and needless to say i am excited and cautious at the same time. by cautious i mean, i don't wanna fail i hate nothing more.

my fear comes from never having brewed a lager, never brewed all-grain, never brewed a enhanced dbl decoction and never lagered beer! WHOA! i'm ready for the challenge though, and have been spending that last week reading as much as i can about the processes and gathering info on recipes, including this thread.

i've attempted to parse this as well, given it's from the source and thought that would be a good guide. http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique...3/urquell.html

here's what i've ordered from NB:
9lbs - Bohemian PIlsner
2 packs - Wyeast 2001 Pilsner Urquell
3oz - Saaz pellets
5.2 buffer
2000ml Yeast starter kit
Wyeast nutrient blend
Irish moss
Wort chiller


here are the things i am still unsure of:

Yeast:

- do i generate the starter with water at the temp i plan to ferment at? i've read that this is helpful to get the yeast used to working at that temp.
- do i add the second packet of yeast after a few days with a little more DME to supercharge it?


Brewing:

using this decoction chart (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index. ... _Decoction) and the video referenced a few posts up.

- dough-in: would 1.7qts./lb be the right ratio? am i just dumping 105F water onto grain in cooler MTL?
- hop rate: i'm planning this... 350g/26.4gal, which is...13.25g/gal = 66.25 g (2.34oz) for a 5 gal batch
- hop pitch schedule: seen a bunch of diff. suggestions so i'm not sure what wold be best
- does one need to water soften? if so, how is that done?
- when/where am i adding the 5.2 buffer?


Fermenting & Lagering:

- is a bucket going to be ok for a 11 day fermentation? i've only done ale recipes of ~7 days so i'm not sure if it'll become oxygen permeable before my 11th day.
- since wort chiller won't get me down to 39F, should i get it into the bucket (post-chiller) and then seal it and put it in fridge to get it down to 39F
- once at 39F i'll aerate the wort & pitch the yeast from starter (at same temp)
- i am planning to ferment at 39F for 11 days (bucket)
- i plan to raise the temp to 48F at the end of 11 days, do i do that slowly in the fridge or just take it out into the garage?
- once it reaches 48F am i moving it to my secondary vessel (carboy) and then putting it back in the fridge to lager? i plan to lager at 39F for 35-40 days.


Bottling:

- since i am going to bottle this...do i lager in the secondary, then just bottle at the end with priming sugar? or, do i need to bottle at some point in my 35-40 days and let it lager in bottles?
- if i need to add gelatin for clarity, when/where do i do that? in secondary or bottle?
- do i have no chance of my bottles carbonating fast enough, a few days give that i'll have only a few days to spare after ferm/secondary/lagering? if so, kegging here i come

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFHomebrewer View Post
hi all,

so i have decided to enter the PU competition in SF at the end of july and needless to say i am excited and cautious at the same time. by cautious i mean, i don't wanna fail i hate nothing more.

my fear comes from never having brewed a lager, never brewed all-grain, never brewed a enhanced dbl decoction and never lagered beer! WHOA! i'm ready for the challenge though, and have been spending that last week reading as much as i can about the processes and gathering info on recipes, including this thread.

i've attempted to parse this as well, given it's from the source and thought that would be a good guide. http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique...3/urquell.html

here's what i've ordered from NB:
9lbs - Bohemian PIlsner
2 packs - Wyeast 2001 Pilsner Urquell
3oz - Saaz pellets
5.2 buffer
2000ml Yeast starter kit
Wyeast nutrient blend
Irish moss
Wort chiller


here are the things i am still unsure of:

Yeast:

- do i generate the starter with water at the temp i plan to ferment at? i've read that this is helpful to get the yeast used to working at that temp.
- do i add the second packet of yeast after a few days with a little more DME to supercharge it?


Brewing:

using this decoction chart (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index. ... _Decoction) and the video referenced a few posts up.

- dough-in: would 1.7qts./lb be the right ratio? am i just dumping 105F water onto grain in cooler MTL?
- hop rate: i'm planning this... 350g/26.4gal, which is...13.25g/gal = 66.25 g (2.34oz) for a 5 gal batch
- hop pitch schedule: seen a bunch of diff. suggestions so i'm not sure what wold be best
- does one need to water soften? if so, how is that done?
- when/where am i adding the 5.2 buffer?


Fermenting & Lagering:

- is a bucket going to be ok for a 11 day fermentation? i've only done ale recipes of ~7 days so i'm not sure if it'll become oxygen permeable before my 11th day.
- since wort chiller won't get me down to 39F, should i get it into the bucket (post-chiller) and then seal it and put it in fridge to get it down to 39F
- once at 39F i'll aerate the wort & pitch the yeast from starter (at same temp)
- i am planning to ferment at 39F for 11 days (bucket)
- i plan to raise the temp to 48F at the end of 11 days, do i do that slowly in the fridge or just take it out into the garage?
- once it reaches 48F am i moving it to my secondary vessel (carboy) and then putting it back in the fridge to lager? i plan to lager at 39F for 35-40 days.


Bottling:

- since i am going to bottle this...do i lager in the secondary, then just bottle at the end with priming sugar? or, do i need to bottle at some point in my 35-40 days and let it lager in bottles?
- if i need to add gelatin for clarity, when/where do i do that? in secondary or bottle?
- do i have no chance of my bottles carbonating fast enough, a few days give that i'll have only a few days to spare after ferm/secondary/lagering? if so, kegging here i come
So, where to begin. Judging by the date of your post I will guess you've already brewed but if you're still interested:

In my personal opinion you will want to get some familiarity with all-grain brewing before decoction mashing or you run the risk of destroying your enzymes and getting poor attenuation. Combined with the fact that you have never made a lager before, this leads me to suspect you may end up with a very sweet product. Of course this is based on my own experience with lagering. I find it difficult to get the same attenuation you would expect from ale yeast with a lager yeast, even when you pitch a ton of yeast. Lager yeast are fussy creatures and don't forgive mistakes.

As for your specific questions:

Yeast - Follow the directions on Mrmalty.com and you will be far less likely to mess up the starter. http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php. Of course he would recommend a 3 L starter with the two packs as well. My guess is that if you add more DME later you will in fact get less yeast growth, but that may be arguable.

Dough in: 1.85 L/kg comes out to ~.9 q/lb. You will lose some temperature when you dough in so you need to use a calculator like this one to calculate your dough in temperature.

Hop Additions: The hop schedule given in this recipe should be fine for a PU clone.

Water: Without knowing your water profile you cannot "soften it" as such. I believe that Poland Spring (spring water, NOT distilled) is fairly close to the water profile in Plzen. Some people get good results by mixing distilled water 50/50 with their tap water. Of course, that is a shot in the dark if you don't know your water profile.
5.2 Stabilizer is a buffer, so you will want to add it to the mash.

Fermentation: The bucket will be fine, don't worry about it. You can leave beer in a bucket for a month with no problems unless you open it. You should be able to seal the beer and refrigerate it over night without infection. You ABSOLUTELY CANNOT ferment lager at 38 F, you need to pitch at 38 f then slowly raise to 48. My guess is that it would be fine if you pitched it low and then let the temperature rise even over a day or two, but there are some who would disagree. You will need to let it ferment for at least a week at 48 F, probably closer to 2 weeks. Personally, I ferment a lager at 52 F for 2 weeks before I even think about opening it, so it seems to me that 48 for 12 days would be cutting it close but if you're confident in your yeast health it could be fine. You will need to verify that you have finished fermenting before you drop to lagering temperature (read: you must verify that you have hit FG with a hydrometer). Tradition would dictate that a 12 Plato beer be lagered for at least 6 weeks; however, that may not be strickly necessary.

I didn't have any problems bottling after lagering, but I have heard of people who did. If you are worried about it you can always pitch a packet of clean ale yeast into the bottling bucket with the sugar. You would add the gelatin to secondary after you are done lagering (maybe 2 days or so you want to bottle). It will probably take at least a week for the bottles to carbonate (and if you want to take good marks in the competition you will want a lot of time for the priming yeast to drop out, that's why people say 3 weeks to bottle carb).

Anyway, good luck with your brew/fermentation/lagering/competition. It should at least be a learning experience.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #24
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Pivovar,

thx for getting back to me. i had in fact already brewed the beer and it's now sitting in the fridge at ~48-50F but i am not seeing much gas-off from the airlock. :/ let's get back to that in a second.

as you suggested i did end up with a sweet wort and it tested out at 1.051 OG. the decoction process was really fun to do but it was def a lot of time. i didn't end up hitting the mash-out temp exactly. i was right around 160-161F.

i used 60% distilled and 40% tap in all phases (decoction and boil). i added the 5.2 as well to the water before dough-in.

i created the starter, at least i think i did , and added more DME after a day or so to build it up. one thing i am not sure about is what temp i should have been creating the starter. john palmer says to do it at pitching temp, which i did for the first DME infusion but since i didn't see any real obvious fermentation when infused the second DME i left it out at around 60F. again, i didn't see much sign of fermentation other than the foamy stopper that comes with the kit from nor brewer was leaking some bready/yeasty smells.

i tried to decant the wort before pitching but i ended feeling like i was gonna lose a lot of yeast so i stopped and just pitched it all in there.

stuck fermentation? so i pitched at 39F, and after 24-36hrs saw no visible signs of ferm., so i called N.Brewer and asked them what might be up and they i needed to get the temp up to upper 40s and that i should pop the lid and re-aerate (making sure to sanitize my stirring device and splash lid well, i did both, resealed bucket and raised up the temp to 48-50F, where it is now and has been for 24hrs.

still no bubbles in airlock. i haven't taken a gravity reading yet but i guess i could.

on the positive side... the beer has a great pilsner color and strong hop nose. i've been sipping it when taking gravity readings. it also seems quite clear for not having settled out much at all in ferm or secondary. i think that has something to do with the decoction process because my MTL had a huge amount of protein/scum on top of the grain when i lautered-out.

- any ideas on what i might have done wrong, if anything?
- is it fermenting but i'm just not used to a lager that doesn't actually get all crazy and bubble like mad?
- next steps or things to look out for?
- and for curiosity, i use star san and i'm totally confused by the no-rinse concept as i would imagine that the acid in it would kill yeast. no?

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Old 06-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #25
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Yeah, I think the cold pitch is sort of an "advanced" technique. If you are worried about diacetyl formation, its one strategy for suppressing that. You don't really have to do it and it could cause unnecessary worry of the type you are having. Wyeast says that 48 deg F is the minimum temperature for that yeast. My guess is that the reason you are not seeing airlock activity is that you have a low cell count (due to your unfamiliarity with starters) and low temperature (which reduces the rate of fermentation).

Since this is your first lager and you are not confident in the strength of your starter (i.e. yeast cell count) and you have not seen fermentation yet, you might consider raising your temperature to ~52 deg. F if you don't see signs of fermentation in a few days. Of course you should not expect to see the same sort of airlock activity you would expect in an ale, you might get a bubble every 5-10 seconds instead of 1-2 seconds.

As far as things to look out for, I would allow it to finish fermenting completely before racking to secondary for lagering. Also, you probably should check for diacetyl as not having enough yeast can encourage diacetyl formation; probably can just take a hydrometer sample to check that you've hit the gravity you were aiming for then taste that, if it tastes like butterscotch than you will need to do a diacetyl rest. Which basically means allow the temperature to rise to ~60 deg. F for a couple days. When you rack, it should be about as clear as an ale you would drink. The picture you posted above is too cloudy to begin lagering (obviously, because it hasn't fermented yet).

Star-san is acid based, meaning that it only is an effective sanitizer at high concentration (pH<3). You pour out the sanitizing solution leaving a few mL of the solution in the bucket, when you fill the bucket up with ~20,000 mL of wort the solution is completely diluted thereby destroying its effectiveness as a sanitizer.

Since you are asking I imagine your chemistry is rusty, but basically an acid is a molecule that likes to shed hydrogen in solution leaving the solution full of reactive hydrogen ions. These hydrogen ions go around reacting with any molecule susceptible to attack by acid. The aggressiveness of the solution is measured by pH with numbers around 7 being neutral, numbers below 7 being acidic, and above 7 being basic. So pH ~0-1 would be aggressive acid solutions and pH~13-14 would be aggressive basic solutions (remember the lye in fight club? Lye is a strong base). By comparison the pH of a mash is ~5, the pH of fully fermented beer is ~4, and the pH of vinegar is ~3. The remaining acid from the sanitizer is negligible compared to the acidity of the wort. If you were to be worried about starsan you should worry about the dodecylbenzesulfonate part, not the acid part. Phosphoric acid is not a concern unless it is highly concentrated.

P.S. Glad to hear your decoction went well, I have had a similar experience with a ton of protein left in the mash tun after decoction mashing. I believe that this is due to the fact that you are boiling a portion of the wort and thereby making a hotbreak and denaturing the proteins.

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:08 PM   #26
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I am no expert but this is how I built up 2278 to start a 7g batch of this recipe.

1.25l starter with one pack, then
9l (2.5g) batch of 11P lager pitched at 6c, main ferment at 9c (48f?), then use 2/3 of yeast cake to
27l (7g) batch of 12P pilsner knock off pitched at 6c.
(sorry I live in metric land)

I got a strong krausen forming within 24 hours.

A have a cube of schwarzbier ready to go after the pilsner. I no chill.


I think if you follow the instructions for a decoction they aren't hard just time and attention consuming.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:38 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pivovar_Koucky View Post
Yeah, I think the cold pitch is sort of an "advanced" technique. If you are worried about diacetyl formation, its one strategy for suppressing that. You don't really have to do it and it could cause unnecessary worry of the type you are having. Wyeast says that 48 deg F is the minimum temperature for that yeast. My guess is that the reason you are not seeing airlock activity is that you have a low cell count (due to your unfamiliarity with starters) and low temperature (which reduces the rate of fermentation).

Since this is your first lager and you are not confident in the strength of your starter (i.e. yeast cell count) and you have not seen fermentation yet, you might consider raising your temperature to ~52 deg. F if you don't see signs of fermentation in a few days. Of course you should not expect to see the same sort of airlock activity you would expect in an ale, you might get a bubble every 5-10 seconds instead of 1-2 seconds.

As far as things to look out for, I would allow it to finish fermenting completely before racking to secondary for lagering. Also, you probably should check for diacetyl as not having enough yeast can encourage diacetyl formation; probably can just take a hydrometer sample to check that you've hit the gravity you were aiming for then taste that, if it tastes like butterscotch than you will need to do a diacetyl rest. Which basically means allow the temperature to rise to ~60 deg. F for a couple days. When you rack, it should be about as clear as an ale you would drink. The picture you posted above is too cloudy to begin lagering (obviously, because it hasn't fermented yet).

Star-san is acid based, meaning that it only is an effective sanitizer at high concentration (pH<3). You pour out the sanitizing solution leaving a few mL of the solution in the bucket, when you fill the bucket up with ~20,000 mL of wort the solution is completely diluted thereby destroying its effectiveness as a sanitizer.

Since you are asking I imagine your chemistry is rusty, but basically an acid is a molecule that likes to shed hydrogen in solution leaving the solution full of reactive hydrogen ions. These hydrogen ions go around reacting with any molecule susceptible to attack by acid. The aggressiveness of the solution is measured by pH with numbers around 7 being neutral, numbers below 7 being acidic, and above 7 being basic. So pH ~0-1 would be aggressive acid solutions and pH~13-14 would be aggressive basic solutions (remember the lye in fight club? Lye is a strong base). By comparison the pH of a mash is ~5, the pH of fully fermented beer is ~4, and the pH of vinegar is ~3. The remaining acid from the sanitizer is negligible compared to the acidity of the wort. If you were to be worried about starsan you should worry about the dodecylbenzesulfonate part, not the acid part. Phosphoric acid is not a concern unless it is highly concentrated.

P.S. Glad to hear your decoction went well, I have had a similar experience with a ton of protein left in the mash tun after decoction mashing. I believe that this is due to the fact that you are boiling a portion of the wort and thereby making a hotbreak and denaturing the proteins.
i have it at around 50-52F now and the "float" in the airlock is pegged against the top but not seeing bubbles. i'll take a longer look and see if i see anything over a minute or 2. i have 2 smack-packs of 2278 that i could add if i need to boost cell count but what's in there now is 2001. i guess as a last ditch effort it would work, no? thoughts?

should i pop the top and stir it up really gently? leave the top on and shake the S*$T out of it? pitch 2278 and do one of those?

when would you suggest i take a gravity reading to see if anything is actually fermenting?

thx for the info on diacetyl and how to diagnose and cure it, and for the star san. i am def not a chemist so most of that was news to me i loved doing the decoction simply for the super geeky, old skool way of doing things. i plan to make an Oktoberfest for my upcoming wedding and might employ that again, but on the other hand i'll need to make 2-3 batches to drink ~120 people so maybe that'll just be too much. we'll see. you have an Oktoberfest recipe you love?

in your opinion, is this beer doomed? or just delayed and will eventually do its thing?
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:55 PM   #28
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good news! bubbles are finally coming up the airlock. 1 bubble approx. every 5 secs. i guess i'll let it do its thing then pull a gravity check in a week or so. i'll also sniff it for butterscotch and plan on doing the rest if needed. this lag is def gonna shorten my lagering time so we'll see how that ends up.

any tricks to speed up lagering?

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Old 06-17-2012, 03:21 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by SFHomebrewer View Post
good news! bubbles are finally coming up the airlock. 1 bubble approx. every 5 secs. i guess i'll let it do its thing then pull a gravity check in a week or so. i'll also sniff it for butterscotch and plan on doing the rest if needed. this lag is def gonna shorten my lagering time so we'll see how that ends up.

any tricks to speed up lagering?
I think if you get Greg Noonan's book "New Brewing Lager Beer" he has some different schedules you can use. Some of which are faster than others.

If you are really in a hurry, you could probably check the gravity after 1 week fermentation and if you are more than 75% through your fermentation allow the temperature to rise to ~60 F for a day or two. That could cut a couple days off your process and might help your beer clear faster.

I don't remember if you said you were kegging or bottle conditioning, but if you were kegging you could probably carb the beer while lagering. I have heard it said, though I don't know myself, that the CO2 "scrubs" the beer which, if true, might help clean up the beer faster.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #30
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Hey- I got a question for people. Should I be looking at using Weyermann's regular Bohemian pilsner malt or the floor-malted stuff? I'd like to save a couple bucks but if there's a difference, I'm fine with using the floor-malted malt.

I'll be entering this in the homebrew contest and want a long lagering time because it'll be going at 38-39 F, not ideal.

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