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Old 06-22-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
Bamsdealer
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After 2.5 weeks in primary, and airlock activity dying down to 7 sec I decided to take a reading. 1.021. To take my reading, I moved some of the solid yeast cake aside before dropping my hydrometer in. I had more vigorous fermentation immediately and think it was due to rousing more yeast than an increase in temp.

I'm in the process of raising the temp to 60 now. Should I really expect the beer to finish in 48-72 hours after dropping only 75% after 2.5 weeks? This is my first time using lager yeast so I don't exactly know what to expect. Should I lager as cold as possible or is anything in the 30s fine? How long should I lager for.. 4, 6, 8 weeks?



 
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:56 AM   #2
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I'd let it sit in primary for a few more weeks, or longer, at the high end of the recommended temp range for the yeast strain you are using. Take another gravity reading in a few weeks. Once you are satisfied with the gravity, rack to 2ndary and let it lager a minimum of 4 weeks, the longer the better, at 37ish degrees F



 
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:11 AM   #3
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Roger that.

I had a nice addition of saaz towards the end of the boil and at flameout. I would like them to come through in the beer. Would such a long primary and secondary... say 2.5 months with another 3 or 4 weeks to bottle condition kill some of the hops?

Any thoughts on an ounce of dry hops with a week left in the lagering? Never thought about dry hopping a pilsner till now...

 
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:20 AM   #4
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If a lager is taking so long to get to FG, it seems like something isn't quite right. The first thing that comes to my mind is underpitching, as most beers should easily finish in 7-10 days.

Anyway, after the diacetyl rest (and yes, 48 hours is more than sufficient unless you've got a ton of diacetyl or don't reach a stable FG in that time), the lagering period is determined more by the OG than anything. I like one week for every 8-10 points of OG, at the coldest temperature possible (without freezing). So, for a 1.060 lager, I'd do 6-8 weeks of lagering at 32-34 degrees.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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This is slightly OT, but will yeast continue to ferment during layering or should the beer be at FG before that phase begins?
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by Piratwolf View Post
This is slightly OT, but will yeast continue to ferment during lagering or should the beer be at FG before that phase begins?
It depends on your lagering temperature. If you go beneath the temp at which the yeast are active, then no more fermentation will occur. Or if you have already hit FG during your d-rest (as you should), no more fermentation will take place regardless of temperature.

In a nutshell, fermentation should not be part of the lagering process IMO.

To the OP, I hope your "nice" late Saaz addition is completely or almost completely lagered away--since it's out of place for the style anyway.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Well, it was definitely underpitched. I wanted to do a stepped starter, but it didn't go well as I tried to do my starter at fermentation temps. 24 hours and still sweet, so I moved it to a warmer area, but by the time my starter got going after a couple days, my brew was chilled so I cooled it down to 50 and chucked in the entire starter and hoped for the best. The next morning I had activity so I just let it go.

osagedr, out of place for the style or not... my favorite pils, Victory Prima Pils, uses Saaz towards the end of the boil... and may even hopburst with it, so I was looking for something similar out of mine.

 
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:15 PM   #8
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Thanks, osagedr!

oP--love that beer too!
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:09 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by Bamsdealer View Post
Well, it was definitely underpitched. I wanted to do a stepped starter, but it didn't go well as I tried to do my starter at fermentation temps. 24 hours and still sweet, so I moved it to a warmer area, but by the time my starter got going after a couple days, my brew was chilled so I cooled it down to 50 and chucked in the entire starter and hoped for the best. The next morning I had activity so I just let it go.

osagedr, out of place for the style or not... my favorite pils, Victory Prima Pils, uses Saaz towards the end of the boil... and may even hopburst with it, so I was looking for something similar out of mine.
Never had that one; I'll have to look for it.

I used to do starters at ferm temp but don't bother anymore--the upside is far from clear to me and the downside, as you discovered, is the risk of underpitching, which can lead to serious headaches.

I now generally try to plan at least a few brews back-to-back with the same yeast. Repitching slurry is where it's at. I'm going to do a Schwarzbier next week pitching 4th gen 2352 slurry and 2nd gen S-189 slurry into a split batch.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamsdealer
Well, it was definitely underpitched. I wanted to do a stepped starter, but it didn't go well as I tried to do my starter at fermentation temps. 24 hours and still sweet, so I moved it to a warmer area, but by the time my starter got going after a couple days, my brew was chilled so I cooled it down to 50 and chucked in the entire starter and hoped for the best. The next morning I had activity so I just let it go.

osagedr, out of place for the style or not... my favorite pils, Victory Prima Pils, uses Saaz towards the end of the boil... and may even hopburst with it, so I was looking for something similar out of mine.
I hopburst my pils with saaz, and I would never brew it a different way. Comes out fantastic, but its a bo pils. I used 8 ounces starting with 20 mins left in a 90 min boil.

I'm a fan of prima pils myself, and am lucky enough to live so close to their brewery. I believe they make more of a German style pils. Meaning lower Ibus and aroma than the Bohemian counterpart.



 
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