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Old 03-20-2007, 11:50 PM   #1
Hogsooey
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Okay, I got my 3rd brew going. It is an Oktoberfest - my first lager (extract). The original gravity was about 1.067. Fermentation was never really vigorous, but it did get going pretty good for a couple of days. After those couple of days, I have been getting airlock activity about once or so every 30-50 seconds for 1.5 weeks. Today is exactly two weeks of fermentation in the primary. I took a reading today and it was at 1.05. I forgot to warm it up to 60ish to get a more accurate reading (my fridge is set at 50). That reading seems high to me after 2 weeks. I know lagers can take longer to ferment, but I am worried about leaving it too long in the primary. I just can't see the hydrometer reading decreasing that much in a week. I've heard that after 3 weeks in the primary, off flavors can begin to creep in. They may have been for ales, though? Anyways, I'm open to suggestions on what I should do - especially if my hydrometer reading isn't where it needs to be in a week. Is it okay to leave longer in the primary? Should I transfer to secondary after a week regardless? If I do transfer, should I wait before really "lagering" (i.e., decreasing the temp in the fridge) so it can ferment some more? Thanks. I will try to RDWHAHB (a Toad Spit Stout - it is quite tasty).


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Old 03-21-2007, 12:29 AM   #2
carpe3dm
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If the gravity is still up at 1.05 definately keep the temp where it is. What type of yeast did you use, and what temp did you pitch at? I've noticed lager yeasts take a little longer to get going, and aren't as vigorous as many ale yeasts (which makes sense since the colder temps slow the metabolism). As long as you are getting bubbles in the airlock leave it alone, I wouldn't be concerned about leaving it in the primary too long if the yeast is still working.


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Old 03-21-2007, 12:57 AM   #3
Hogsooey
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I used White Labs Oktoberfest/Marzen liquid yeast. I pitched in the upper 60s. I can't remember the specific temp.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:36 AM   #4
Kaiser
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It looks like you have way to little yeast in the beer for a good primary fermentation. This can have many reasons:

- insufficient aeration (how did you aerate)
- insufficient pitching rate (how big of a starter did you make) or insufficient yeast growth. (how long did you keep it in the 60's until you moved it into the fridge)

I feel that you should add some more fresh yeast. But the problem is that the yeast in the beer already comsumed most of the necessary amino acids which means even fresh yeast won't be able to grow the way it can in freshly brewed and aerated wort. So you need to compensate for that with a larger pitch of yeast. The best yeast source for that would be the cake from another lager's primary.

If it was my batch, I would get a few packs of dry lager yeast, rehydrate and pitch them. Maybe even rack to another fermenter to get it off the trub/yeast.

Kai
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:36 AM   #5
Hogsooey
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Either one of those could certainly be a possibility. I aerated by shaking the heck out of my carboy for a few minutes. My starter wasn't very big - maybe two pints. I read somewhere that a larger starter is better for lagers - oops. I kept it in the 60s for about 2 days - I saw signs of fermentation on the 3rd day, so I dropped the temp down. Based on what you said Kaiser, I'm sure all of the above combined for too little yeast.

Is the taste going to be thrown off very much by pitching a different yeast? Any particular yeast that will have the least effect on flavor? Not that it matters I guess - I gotta do something or else I'll just have a carboy full of sugary ditch water.


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