Interesting Lager Predicament: Too fast?

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VMCosco

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I took my first crack at brewing a lager last Saturday (6 days ago). My recipe came out to 1.048 OG.

I opted to use WLP940 Mexican Lager. Beersmith called for a 1.8L starter. Due to an error on my part, my started ended up at 1.6. I spun it for 3 days and chilled it for 1 day before letting warm to about 60 on brewday.

I mashed at 150 for 60 mins and batch sparged. I boiled for 75 mins. Pre-boil and original gravity were spot on. I decanted the starter and pitched at about 60 or 62.

I maintained temp at around 60 and saw no airlock activity for about 30 hours. I then had minimal airlock activity for about 12-18 hours at which time I dropped my ambient temp down to 52. Air lock activity stopped shortly after. Had a nose-burning odor of CO2 in the fermentation chamber the whole time. I had to go out of town for a few days so I just let things lie and figured I would take a gravity when i got back.

Got back tonight and did just that. Gravity read 1.011. So clearly things have been moving along. I tasted the sample and there was no sign of diacetyl.

My question is...where do I go from here?? I had my temperature schedule all worked out for 52 degree fermentation for 14 days (or until I reached 75% of FG). Bump temp to 65 for 4 days for diacetyl rest. Rack and lager at 34 for for 4 weeks.

Any thoughts?
 

itchygomey

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If there is no sign of diacetyl and it's done, I'd rack and then chill to lager temp.
 

Yooper

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Most of my lagers have an active fermentation of about 5 days or so, so I think you're right in there. You can still do a diacetyl rest (won't hurt) to make sure it's done before lagering, and to ensure that any diacetyl is cleaned up even if it's currently below the taste threshold. After the diacetyl rest, you can rack and lager.

Leaving it at 60 degrees for 60 hours may mean that it fermented quite a bit at that temperature, and you may have some esters as a result. A diacetyl rest is a good idea in a case like that as well.
 
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VMCosco

VMCosco

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Thanks guys. Regarding the temp...I only chilled to 60 because of a time crunch. I checked my log and I did actually have my fermenter chamber set to 54 ambient. The temp of the wort was also at 54 when the airlock started. I then bumped it down. Hopefully I avoided the esters.

Think I will still start warming for the directly rest today and progress as normal.


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