Diacetyl rest time, skunking risk

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Finn

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Hi guys! I have a couple quick questions I'm hoping somebody can help me figure out. (Dang it. I shoulda known better than to start off with lagers. Winter just isn't my season.)

1. My dopplebock. It's been in primary for a month. Finally today I couldn't stand it any more -- and even though it's still bubbling along, I racked it. It tasted a bit buttery, so I put it up for a 48-hour diacetyl rest. Wrong thing to do? It's attenuated from 1.080 down to 1.030, so it's still got at least 10 points to go, probably 15.

2. My mutant pilsner tasted great when I racked it; now, it tastes skunked! But the only time it spent in the light was six hours on the back porch, out of direct sunlight. Is that enough time to skunk beer? Or have I maybe got some kind of nasty infection to deal with? Another possibility -- this was the first beer I did since college, and I got the instructions confused and thoroughly aerated the wort at about 100 degrees. So oxidation damage is guaranteed -- perhaps this is what I'm tasting? I was hoping I'd get away with just drinking it up real fast before it had a chance to exhibit flavor stability issues, but maybe lagering was enough time to do it?

Thanks again!

--Finn
 

BarleyWater

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Lagers aren't really any harder, but they do require more time, something only someone with a decent stock of homebrew should attempt. ;)

1. Your Doppelbock. It may have some estery flavors, but it's a doppelbock so you should be able to get away with it and it shouldn't be too bad, but next time you may want until it has a little lower SG, but I don't think it will be a huge problem.

2. Your Pilsner. I have never heard of anyone actually getting any ill-effects from hot side aeration, it's like a homebrew urban myth, so I don't think that's your problem. However, from what i understand about sunlight, it is definatley not good for your brew and can start effecting the hop oils immediatley, so in a pils which is highly hopped, even indirect sunlight is probably going to affect your flavors.
 

shafferpilot

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1. Don't do the diacetyl rest until it's really close to FG. The idea is to warm it up right at the end of fermentation to keep the yeast active long enough to finish up the diacetyl. So now you know for next time.

2. Oxygenation can ruin a beer, but it tastes different than skunking. Oxydation damage tastes like wet cardboard. skunking is light damage. Use your old sweatshirts and small blankets to keep your carboys covered at all times. SWMBO laughs at me when I "get my beer dressed up like it's my kid or something". Come on now, Wheaty, hands up.... There ya go nice and warm..... and dark. Now you play nice with Red Ale and if Stout gives you a hard time, you just kill him with kindness. kiss kiss; I'll see ya tonight.
 

Warrior

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Finn said:
Hi guys! I have a couple quick questions I'm hoping somebody can help me figure out. (Dang it. I shoulda known better than to start off with lagers. Winter just isn't my season.)

1. My dopplebock. It's been in primary for a month. Finally today I couldn't stand it any more -- and even though it's still bubbling along, I racked it. It tasted a bit buttery, so I put it up for a 48-hour diacetyl rest. Wrong thing to do? It's attenuated from 1.080 down to 1.030, so it's still got at least 10 points to go, probably 15.

2. My mutant pilsner tasted great when I racked it; now, it tastes skunked! But the only time it spent in the light was six hours on the back porch, out of direct sunlight. Is that enough time to skunk beer? Or have I maybe got some kind of nasty infection to deal with? Another possibility -- this was the first beer I did since college, and I got the instructions confused and thoroughly aerated the wort at about 100 degrees. So oxidation damage is guaranteed -- perhaps this is what I'm tasting? I was hoping I'd get away with just drinking it up real fast before it had a chance to exhibit flavor stability issues, but maybe lagering was enough time to do it?

Thanks again!

--Finn
What temp are you fermenting the Doppelbock at? Did you use a large enough starter for the 1.08 doppel? You should've probably had at least a quart size starter for that high of a gravity lager.

The time on the back porch definately skunked your pils. Pour a beer in a glass and put it in the window sill for 5 minutes worth of sunlight and see how fast it skunks.

Don't worry this is all part of the learning process when learning how to brew. Don't give up on your lagers you will be making great ones in no time.
 
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Finn

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Warrior said:
What temp are you fermenting the Doppelbock at? Did you use a large enough starter for the 1.08 doppel? You should've probably had at least a quart size starter for that high of a gravity lager.

The time on the back porch definately skunked your pils. Pour a beer in a glass and put it in the window sill for 5 minutes worth of sunlight and see how fast it skunks.

Don't worry this is all part of the learning process when learning how to brew. Don't give up on your lagers you will be making great ones in no time.
Both of 'em have spent the last month or so at 45-50 degrees. I racked the doppel because I figured a month on the trub was just too much, but I made sure I captured some of the yeast with it so that it wouldn't quit on me.

Guess I'll pull 'em both back into the shop for some more quiet time. I don't so much mind skunky beer -- I used to enjoy Beck's that way before I realized it was a defect -- but I'm shocked by how fast it happened! And in the shade even!

Starter was too small but the doppel started like a house afire anyway.

Cheers!

--Finn
 

Warrior

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Finn said:
Both of 'em have spent the last month or so at 45-50 degrees. I racked the doppel because I figured a month on the trub was just too much, but I made sure I captured some of the yeast with it so that it wouldn't quit on me.

Guess I'll pull 'em both back into the shop for some more quiet time. I don't so much mind skunky beer -- I used to enjoy Beck's that way before I realized it was a defect -- but I'm shocked by how fast it happened! And in the shade even!

Starter was too small but the doppel started like a house afire anyway.

Cheers!

--Finn
Your temp should've been okay. One other question was this an all grain beer? If it was what was the mash temp? If it was extract what type of extract? Some DME such as Laaglander have a lot of unfermentable sugars.
 

Dr Malt

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Finn:

A suggestion, you might find it most helpful to visit with Joel at Corvallis Brewing Supply and consider taking one of his home brew classes. He can help you with these questions and you can refresh your brewing knowledge in a short class.

Dr Malt :mug:
 

malkore

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Direct sunlight can skunk a glass of beer in 5 minutes. (someone here tried it)

so 6 hours of indirect sunlight...I'm sure that'd skunk it.
 
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Finn

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Dr Malt said:
Finn:

A suggestion, you might find it most helpful to visit with Joel at Corvallis Brewing Supply and consider taking one of his home brew classes. He can help you with these questions and you can refresh your brewing knowledge in a short class.

Dr Malt :mug:
Come fall I might do that -- Joel is my LHBS guy and does a fantastic job ... I've dropped a couple hundred bucks at his place since December this year. Right now, of course, it's way too late in the season to be starting any more lagers, so it's back to good old ales for me until the frost is on the pumpkin again in September. (I refuse to buy a special fridge for this -- I'm rolling with the seasons -- which means brewing enough beer to get me through the three months of summer when it's too hot to ferment anything!)

Warrior, these were both extract-and-steeping-grain recipes using Briess pale and pilsner extracts, respectively.

I pulled both carboys out of the ale area, put the doppel back in the 50-degree shed and the pilsner into the lagering area. At this point, I've made it a lot less drinkable by screwing around with it, so I think the best thing to do is put it up and forget about it until the first day of spring.

Thanks guys!

--Finn
 

david_42

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Unfortunately, UV "sky bounces" and even indirect sunlight can skunk beer given enough time.
 

Warrior

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Finn said:
Come fall I might do that -- Joel is my LHBS guy and does a fantastic job ... I've dropped a couple hundred bucks at his place since December this year. Right now, of course, it's way too late in the season to be starting any more lagers, so it's back to good old ales for me until the frost is on the pumpkin again in September. (I refuse to buy a special fridge for this -- I'm rolling with the seasons -- which means brewing enough beer to get me through the three months of summer when it's too hot to ferment anything!)

Warrior, these were both extract-and-steeping-grain recipes using Briess pale and pilsner extracts, respectively.

I pulled both carboys out of the ale area, put the doppel back in the 50-degree shed and the pilsner into the lagering area. At this point, I've made it a lot less drinkable by screwing around with it, so I think the best thing to do is put it up and forget about it until the first day of spring.

Thanks guys!

--Finn
The breiss pale extract is a very fermentable extract. My last suggestion might be that you didn't oxygenate it enough. This can lead to a stuck fermentation. In the future make a starter for a gravity that high and make sure you shake the **** out of the carboy to oxygenate the yeast. They need a lot of oxygen especially in a high gravity lager to get a good start and be able to ferment it down enough. That may be why the diacetyl level is high. I would try possibly making another starter and shaking the crab out of the carboy. I actually have a solid stopper that I put in the carboy and pick up the whole carboy to really get the qxygen mixed in. Good luck.
 

Got Trub?

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Warrior said:
What temp are you fermenting the Doppelbock at? Did you use a large enough starter for the 1.08 doppel? You should've probably had at least a quart size starter for that high of a gravity lager.
MrMalty.com calculator says... 9.0 liters!!!

When brewing a beer like this I would brew a lower gravity lager, something around 1.050 and then use the resulting yeast cake slurry from the primary to pitch the big beer. The first beer is essentially the starter for the second.

GT
 
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Finn

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Got Trub? said:
MrMalty.com calculator says... 9.0 liters!!!

When brewing a beer like this I would brew a lower gravity lager, something around 1.050 and then use the resulting yeast cake slurry from the primary to pitch the big beer. The first beer is essentially the starter for the second.

GT
Good call. I'll do that with the next biggie I make. Although so far (knock on wood) the doppel is behaving like a perfect gentleman, and it's the "regular strength" pils that I'm having trouble with ...

Thank God for ales. I'm working on a pint-six of nut brown right now, as I type this ... good stuff, mate. Done in three weeks, unlike certain lagers I could mention.

Slán!

--Finn
 
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