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Old 11-28-2011, 02:54 AM   #1
MaynardX
 
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"Re-posting here. Might have had the wrong forum."

I brewed my second lager a couple weeks ago (A Munich Helles using wlp833). My first lager had a bit of diacetyl left in it, so I made sure that didn't happen this time, except I might have pulled it out of refridgeration too early!

I pitched arount 60 degs and set the fermenter in a chest freezer set at 50 degs. I had signs of fermentation in under 24 hours. After 8 days of fermentation, bubbles from the air lock slowed down to 1 every 6 seconds, so I pulled them out of the chest freezer to let them warm up to room temp (about 65 degs).

The next day, the bubbles were up to 2-3 per second and four days later, they have all but stopped (1 every minute or so). Now, I know I screwed up by not taking a gravity reading, but does anyone experienced with lagers have any thoughts on whether or not I will get much ester formation? I am assuming I will....
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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I wouldn't say you screwed up. It sounds like you will be fine. I don't usually use White Labs since my LHBS carries Wyeast. However the description of the yeast is a very clean and well balanced yeast. I wouldn't worry about ester formation. I would just ease the temp back down for secondary or conditioning.

 
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:25 PM   #3
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Not enough info. Did you do a proper starter? How big was it? Or did you just pitch a vial of yeast? Obviously as you know, gravity readings are important, especially when trying to do a proper D rest. When I first started brewing I did a few lagers without proper sized starters and poor temp control and they all had various faults.

At this point I'd take a gravity reading and more importantly a taste, then relax and see what happens. If you wind up with the dreaded D you can clean it up. See Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Techniques - Kräusening: Techniques

 
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:00 AM   #4

Next time use gravity readings. It's a bit of a pain, but so is a ruined batch because you were too lazy to pull a sample.

8 days at 50 would get you very close to the correct timing for a d-rest depending on the yeast strain and whether you pitched the proper amount. If your Helles was in the proper gravity range I like your odds after 8 days of having gotten your beer at least down under 1.025 before your d-rest.

My guess is that it's fine, but next time follow protocol.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:33 AM   #5
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Yes I should have pulled a gravity reading. Im hitting myself in the head for not doing so. I knew better! As for the yeast, i did a 3 liter starter for each 5g batch. I was shooting for a 1.055 OG, but my efficiency shot up unexpectedly (I was playing with the crush) and I hit 1.06. So, I slightly underpitched, but it still should be ok as far as the pitch rate goes. The only thing that freaked me out was how hard it started to ferment after I brought it to room temp. Im sure I pulled it out a slight bit too early, just not sure how it will effect the flavor. Not too worried. Im just (as always) looking for the perfect beer.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:07 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by MaynardX View Post
Yes I should have pulled a gravity reading. Im hitting myself in the head for not doing so. I knew better! As for the yeast, i did a 3 liter starter for each 5g batch. I was shooting for a 1.055 OG, but my efficiency shot up unexpectedly (I was playing with the crush) and I hit 1.06. So, I slightly underpitched, but it still should be ok as far as the pitch rate goes. The only thing that freaked me out was how hard it started to ferment after I brought it to room temp. Im sure I pulled it out a slight bit too early, just not sure how it will effect the flavor. Not too worried. Im just (as always) looking for the perfect beer.
Well outside the style guidelines for a Helles; sounds like you might have made a Dortmunder Export! Hopefully it will turn out well.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:59 AM   #7
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As you raise the temperature, the beer is going to outgas more as the CO2 becomes less soluble in solution...another reason why airlock activity is a poor indicator of ferementation activity.

You should be fine.

 
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:21 AM   #8

Let lagers go for 3 weeks minimum. Don't try to rush things. It may not look like its doing anything but it is. This will make sure the yeast has cleaned up, thus reducing diacetyl. Then bring up to room temp for a day or two then rack. Now you can lager and low temps for whatever time you can stand!
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:40 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
Let lagers go for 3 weeks minimum. Don't try to rush things. It may not look like its doing anything but it is. This will make sure the yeast has cleaned up, thus reducing diacetyl. Then bring up to room temp for a day or two then rack. Now you can lager and low temps for whatever time you can stand!
Disagree. If your lager is ready for a d-rest after five days, seven days, ten days or whatever, then do one. You can still leave your beer on the yeast for three weeks if that turns you on (not sure why it would).

Bottom line is that your hydrometer, not your calendar, tells you what to do. D-rest should be done about eight points above expected FG. It's an attenuation thing, not a number-of-days thing.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:42 AM   #10
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Damned if this didn't happen again! BYO magazine published a December article on lagers (of course a month after I brew one). They say that its the obvious! (every yeast strain is consistent, but different and pitch rate is key!) The two brewers also recommend either the california lager yeast or the wlp833. They said some lager strains need a d-rest more then others. Will let everyone know how this beer turns out with such a short cold fermentation.
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