First warm pressure lager ferment - Being old caused a problem?

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Oct 4, 2016
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Late last week I had an opportunity to change up my brewing process and experiment with some new methods.

A smart man probably would have picked one new method and started with that. I am not a smart man.

Whereas I normally do BIAB and ferment in a bucket and control/monitor with Inkbirds and iSpindles, this time was going to be a:
  • warm ferment lager
  • under pressure
  • in a serving keg with a floating dip tube
...all of which were new territory.

The brew itself didn't go bad except for the fact that I remembered why I stopped using my stainless steel hop spider about 45 min into the boil, well after all the hop additions had been made. The mesh size is too small and gets clogged. I ended up dumping the hops into the kettle, which is what I normally do but I was trying to limit material that was going to end up in the bottom of the keg. Not sure when exactly the mesh got clogged but assuming it will impact IBUs ... its a marzen anyway so didn't have huge hops to begin with.

Rest of brew and cooling goes nominally. Next process change is that instead of using the spout on the kettle to transfer I was using my auto siphon to pull clear wort off the top. That actually went fairly well but I ended up with only about 3 gallons in the keg before hitting the settled protein break / hop layer which caused the siphon to clog. Switch back to the spout which brought a lot of hop material over ... material that wouldn't have been there if I would have used any of the dozen hop bags I have lying around instead of trying to use the stainless steel spider.

Got enough wort to get to the weld line on keg. Temperature sitting right at 70 F. Close enough to the 68 F I was going to pitch at so I sprinkled 34/70 on the top. Sealed it up. Pressurized to 15 psi and put the spunding valve on.

Now to sit back and wait.

I check on it last night (72 hours post pitch) and it was reaffirmed to me that my eyesight is going and getting old sucks.

Instead of setting it to 15 I had set the valve to 1.5 - bars instead of psi. I bled off the excess back down to 15 PSI.

Which leads to my question:

Anyone with experience with warm pressure fermenting 34/70 at 22 psi instead of 15 psi?
Curious if I should expect esters, under-attenuation, etc?
I’ve never used 34-70 under pressure,I use wlp925 for that,but I think you’ll be fine.
Just fyi, because you pressure ferment doesnt mean you wont pull off esters from the yeast. It helps a bit but ive done about 6 beers under pressure(15) and you still have to keep it cool. Ill do like 15 at about 63-65 to make sure i suppress as much esters as i can
Your beer should be done by now, but 22 psi is totally fine. At high kräusen I ramp all ales and lagers to serving carbonation based on temperature and xfer them to the serving keg like that. You can use pressure and temperature at various levels during the ferment to reach your target goal. It's a handy tool in the toolbox.
So far so good.

Transferred to kegerator to cold crash and cleared the floating dip tube with CO2.

Really young but I think it has potential.
You may notice smokey, burnt match and even brothy hints when young. They will fade as the yeast whittles away at it while cold. By 21-28 days it starts getting right and by 5 weeks if you have any left it should hit its stride.