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First Lager Blues

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EZFrag

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Ok. I got an American Light Lager Kit from Austin Homebrew. Followed the directions to the best of my ability. The instructions called, at one point, to drop the temperature 1 degree per hour and it was gonna go over 12 hours. I couldn't do that directly. But over a few days, I slowly lowered the temp to the one specified in the directions. That was the only variation that I did from the instructions. I was told to expect a sulfer like aroma during fermintation. I did. I let it sit in secondary fermenter a few weeks later to allow everything to mellow. I put it in my keg. Let it carb up a week. Went to taste it.....and that sulfer taste was there. And it's strong. What can I do?
 

Nateo

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I'm pretty sure most lagers age a few months, not a few weeks. Sulfur will dissipate with time, but it won't go quickly.

A better option is to brew psuedo-lagers with cold-temp ale yeasts, like German ale or Koelsch or something like that. They will condition faster and be drinkable more quickly.
 

SwampassJ

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I don't keg (yet) but can't you carb and purge using the relief valve? I think that would blow off some extra sulfur smell, in the meantime let it sit. I've had some lagers really stink of sulfur leaving the primary and some not so much but it all cleared up after 2+months at 34 degrees.
 

Malticulous

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The CO2 will push the sulfur to the top so pulling the release valve will let some out. It will go away. At least it's not diacetyl.
 
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EZFrag

EZFrag

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What temp did you lager at for a few weeks?
Well, Yeast was Wyeast American Lager 2035. I pitched at 75 degrees. Around 36 hours later, when i was sure there was fermentation, I slowly dropped the temerpature to 53 degrees. The Instructions said to drop it a degree per hour. Since I can't go out to my fermenting chamber for 22 straight hours, I would drop it 4 to 5 degrees in the evening after work when I was home, and 2 degrees in the mornings before work. Over about 3 days I slowly got the temp down to 53.
 

eastoak

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Ok. I got an American Light Lager Kit from Austin Homebrew. Followed the directions to the best of my ability. The instructions called, at one point, to drop the temperature 1 degree per hour and it was gonna go over 12 hours. I couldn't do that directly. But over a few days, I slowly lowered the temp to the one specified in the directions. That was the only variation that I did from the instructions. I was told to expect a sulfer like aroma during fermintation. I did. I let it sit in secondary fermenter a few weeks later to allow everything to mellow. I put it in my keg. Let it carb up a week. Went to taste it.....and that sulfer taste was there. And it's strong. What can I do?
like they say in some parts of oakland, "you doin' too much". a lager takes time as a homebrew. i brewed my first lager about a 1-1/2 months ago and i pitched the yeast at 60 degrees and went down from there, never got any sulpher smell at all. used wyeast 2001.
 

mlg5039

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I think the sulphur may br a result of high fermentation temperatures.
It should go away after a while chilled in the keg. But next time, I would pitch around 65, give it a few hours tops, and then start lowering the temp down to 53 over the next 12 hours.

I think if you pitched at 75, and then it took 4 1/2 days before it was at a fermentation temp of 53, I'm betting that the yeast had already fermented many of the sugars before they were at an appropriate temp. This would cause some nasty smells/tastes.
 

jigidyjim

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Well, Yeast was Wyeast American Lager 2035. I pitched at 75 degrees. Around 36 hours later, when i was sure there was fermentation, I slowly dropped the temerpature to 53 degrees. The Instructions said to drop it a degree per hour. Since I can't go out to my fermenting chamber for 22 straight hours, I would drop it 4 to 5 degrees in the evening after work when I was home, and 2 degrees in the mornings before work. Over about 3 days I slowly got the temp down to 53.
But did you do a lagering phase? Sounds like you are describing the fermentation. Lagering is usually done 32-40 degrees.
 
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EZFrag

EZFrag

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But did you do a lagering phase? Sounds like you are describing the fermentation. Lagering is usually done 32-40 degrees.
I followed the directions of the kit. I never got it that cold. 53 was the coldest. Then toward the end, the directions instructed to raise the temperature back up toward 70.
 

944play

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The AHS instructions will make beer, but not the best beer possible.

Harvest the yeast, brew it again, but this time pitch at or below ferment temp (45-55ºF, pick one in that range) and keep it there until the kraeusen starts to fall, at which point you can raise it to room temp (although you probably won't have to, as the dreaded diacetyl precursors will probably not have been formed in great quantity) for a couple days, rack (preferably to keg), then lager at fridge temp for ~4 weeks.

I prefer to buy my American Light Lager by the 12-pack, but I guess it could be a mildly interesting challenge to brew at home.;)
 
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