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Old 01-29-2013, 03:06 PM   #11
Apr 2012
Collegeville, Pa
Posts: 915
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The first was all pilsner. I abandoned a decoction mash after the first decoction and just rested at 149. Ultimately that finished at 1009. This was 2 row, vienna, a lb of munich and less than a half lb of specialty grains. Single infusion mash at 151. I was expecti g this to read about 1012. Had a keg sanitized and ready to roll. Much to my surprise, the gravity fell well short of where I anticipated... especially with a stepped starter. The first yeast was wlp 800 this was 833 I think.

I tried to correct any mistakes I made with the pilsner.... thats why I so surprised to see a stuck ferment this time too

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:04 PM   #12
JLem's Avatar
Jan 2009
Attleboro, MA
Posts: 3,637
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Originally Posted by StoneHands View Post
JLem, I thought I'd chime in too since I like brewing lagers so much. Yooper pretty much summed it up. I think with an appropriate sized starter, pitched at or below ferm temps, you'll not see much activity for about 24 hours, then it'll slowly ramp up to a very tame krausen. I use WLP833 for most of my lagers now, I like the results I get with it. Made a helles with it on January 1, and I have a dunkel going with it now. After about 5 days, the activity will drop off, and it'll probably be finished after 7-8. I usually try to leave mine in the fermenter for about 2 weeks, and then transfer and lager in the keg. I've quit doing d-rests (with my luck this'll probably bite me soon), I've found with 833, with a proper pitch at 45 degrees or so, I don't get any diacetyl.
Thanks, StoneHands...the airlock is bubbling slowly right now. It's been not quite 36 hours since I pitched the yeast. I'd definitely feel better if it was more active....but I'm happy to see something going on. I haven't checked on the krausen...maybe I'll wait another day and see where it is at. Assuming everything progresses OK, I like your plan of 2 weeks in the primary and then lagering in a seondary vessel (I'll use a glass carboy). Before I lager it I will give it a taste to look for diacetyl and decide then if it needs a d-rest. It's fermenting at ~50°F now.

Anyone have experience using gelatin or other finings?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:26 PM   #13
StoneHands's Avatar
Jun 2009
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 430
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Taste it after 5-6 days for diacetyl. If you're sensitive to it, it'll show up then, I wouldn't wait two weeks to check on it if you feel the need to check at all (it'll be too late if you wait two weeks). The dunkel I have in primary, I was concerned about since I didn't see any surface activity in my carboy after 36 hours or so, I only had the slightest movement in my S-airlock. The surface of the wort/beer was clear, no krausen or anything. I gave it a swirl (one swirl mind you), and the airlock exploded. The next day I had a nice 1" krausen, which is about the most you'll get IMO with a proper temperature lager ferment. If you're seeing something, that's just fine, and I bet it's progressing fine.

I have used gelatin before, but after a month+ of lagering, you probably won't need it. I've used it on some English ales in the past with good results. Never needed it for a lager (yet). Let it lager before thinking about gelatin IMO. Cross that bridge then.

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