First attempt at Lager - White bubbles/foam - plus yeast on sides

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

michio

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Location
Florida
Hello just signed up but have brewed a few dozen times.
Did an all grains brew the other day and made a Vienna lager. I brewed this passed Sunday and its now Wednesday.

Monday I checked (have to drive to where the fridge is) in the fridge theres a white little foam or a collection of bubbles forming in certain areas at the top. I didn't notice it until i look backed at the pictures. Tuesday I noticed it a lot more and today i noticed it quite a bit and wiped off some condensation to get a better look at the inside of the carboy at the top and notice there was some more areas with this foam or bubbles in the center.
Curios to if the batch is ruined or not.

Also why is my yeast sticking to the sides of my carboy rather than floating to the top?

Apologies if the pictures arent good enough will take better ones tomorrow
https://imgur.com/a/2gmUYHZ

Thanks!
 

ebbelwoi

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
446
Reaction score
185
Location
Japan
That looks just about right, actually. It's sticking to the sides because as the yeast settles, it's landing on the rings that protrude inwards instead of falling to the bottom. Nothing to worry about. Lager yeast doesn't float on the top. It does its work from underneath.

The next time you check, it'll probably have a solid layer of foam (krausen) on top.
 
OP
michio

michio

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Location
Florida
That looks just about right, actually. It's sticking to the sides because as the yeast settles, it's landing on the rings that protrude inwards instead of falling to the bottom. Nothing to worry about. Lager yeast doesn't float on the top. It does its work from underneath.

The next time you check, it'll probably have a solid layer of foam (krausen) on top.
Appreciate the answer. Hope it is the case. I'll post a clearer photo tomorrow just in case.
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
614
Location
Earth
Looks like its going to be a yummy refreshing Vienna lager.

Lager yeast = bottom fermenting. bubbles still float up. slow. calm. cold, yeast eat slowly. ferments like a sloth. couple weeks to finish unless you pitch a lot of yeast.

Ale yeast = Schmutz on the top, bubbles everywhere, voracious and stormy. ferments like a tazmanian devil. few days to finish.

Smell the "my dog is rippin egg farts" sulfur fumes yet? Don't panic, that is normal and will go away during lagering.

Patience grasshoppah :)

 
Last edited:

schematix

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
4,562
Location
Chesterfield
Lagers can ferment pretty quick if you pitch enough yeast. Most people don't, and end up with beer that needs to 'clean-up'. Pitch 2-3x what you would for an ale and you'll be rewarded.

I do. On 1/25 i made a 1.046 lager. Fermented at 45F. No need for a d-rest. I racked it to kegs at 9 days (actually longer than usual) at 1.010, expecting a final FG of 1.008. It's now at 12 days, its fully carbonated and is lagering away. I'm planning to have it on tap in about 3 weeks. Super fresh clean crisp beer.
 
Last edited:

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
614
Location
Earth
Most people don't, and end up with beer that needs to 'clean-up'
Depending on the strain, the need for cleanup can be higher or lower. Even with a 3L starter going into 5 gallons of wort, there will be cell multiplication and that process will throw fusels, diacetyl, phenols, and other caca schmutz as part of the yeast cell life cycle. The question is how much are you willing to tolerate or detect. However, the trick to a D-Rest is getting the temp up while still having enough live cells to actually do the cleanup. Most people recommend bumping the temp at about 80% of the expected attenuation, which requires more testing than many people do.

One of the best things I learned and practice with starters, is to let the starter settle out, dump the clear stuff, and only pitch the starter slurry. Most of the nasties that were generated in the starter flask, go down the drain, not in my beer. It really does make a difference.
 

schematix

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
4,562
Location
Chesterfield
Depending on the strain, the need for cleanup can be higher or lower. Even with a 3L starter going into 5 gallons of wort, there will be cell multiplication and that process will throw fusels, diacetyl, phenols, and other caca schmutz as part of the yeast cell life cycle. The question is how much are you willing to tolerate or detect. However, the trick to a D-Rest is getting the temp up while still having enough live cells to actually do the cleanup. Most people recommend bumping the temp at about 80% of the expected attenuation, which requires more testing than many people do.

One of the best things I learned and practice with starters, is to let the starter settle out, dump the clear stuff, and only pitch the starter slurry. Most of the nasties that were generated in the starter flask, go down the drain, not in my beer. It really does make a difference.
3L into 5G can be pretty borderline for a lager.

These days I do a lot of back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back brewing to utilize re-pitching. Otherwise i piss away as much money on DME as i do on grain for the real batch. The first beer in the series is always a small-ish one to help build up the stock.

I'm also decanting *all* of the starter beer, or if its a repitch, the beer from that. I get it resuspended with wort from the batch and pitch that.

I've done a lot of different pitching rates over the years and every time i pitch more, the beer is better. I haven't found the upper limit yet.
 

seatazzz

Well-Known Bloviator & Pontificator
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
2,201
Reaction score
2,219
Location
Seattle
+1 to overpitching lagers. The two I've done that were underpitched had diacetyl out the wazoo and weren't stellar. I too have pitched on a fresh yeast cake and the difference is amazing. Much cleaner fermentation, crisper cleaner beer, just better.
 
OP
michio

michio

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Location
Florida
Looking good!

I'm just curious, though... what do you mean by:
Raising the temperature and cold crashing the the brew to a really low temperature. Unless Im using the wrong word.

Looks like its going to be a yummy refreshing Vienna lager.

Lager yeast = bottom fermenting. bubbles still float up. slow. calm. cold, yeast eat slowly. ferments like a sloth. couple weeks to finish unless you pitch a lot of yeast.

Ale yeast = Schmutz on the top, bubbles everywhere, voracious and stormy. ferments like a tazmanian devil. few days to finish.

Smell the "my dog is rippin egg farts" sulfur fumes yet? Don't panic, that is normal and will go away during lagering.

Patience grasshoppah :)
Will take note if there is an odd smell.
 

ebbelwoi

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
446
Reaction score
185
Location
Japan
Raising the temperature of a fermenting lager is called a diacetyl rest, and it's typically done when fermentation is about 75% complete. For me, that's around 7-10 days in. Primary fermentation is generally complete after 2-3 weeks, depending on a few factors. So I'm not sure where the 8 weeks figure comes from.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

My hop trellis brings the boys to the yard.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
7,316
Reaction score
12,658
Location
Long Island
@michio welcome to the forum. Your lager looks fine, as everyone has already suggested. One essential ingredient in beer that isn’t written in the recipe is patience. Let us know how good it was once it’s done.
 

schematix

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
4,562
Location
Chesterfield
How much starter should be done for a lager ?
Ideally 2.5 mill cells per mL per degree Plato.

Example.... there's roughly 20,000 mL that goes into a fermenter for a 5G batch (5.5G). Many lagers are in the 12P range. So that gives you.

So that's 2.5E6 * 20E3 * 12P = 600 billion.

I typically do a 2-step started. 1 pack into 1.7L wort, ferment, decant, pitch that to 3.5L of wort, decant and pitch that to a sub-12P lager.
 
OP
michio

michio

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Location
Florida
The lage ending up coming out fine. At first it was undercarbed in the keg. Then it was fine. Although a soapy flavor came in for a week at some point or so and disappeared and was back to normal.
All gone now. Very happy how it turned out.
 

ebbelwoi

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
446
Reaction score
185
Location
Japan
Glad it turned out well. It's always nice when someone follows up, for the sake of future reference.
 
OP
michio

michio

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Location
Florida
Glad it turned out well. It's always nice when someone follows up, for the sake of future reference.
Exactly. I know usually forums dont like bumping really old threads but I always like to see if things turn out ok. Someone eventually will appreciate it.
 
Top