Lager questions

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impulsoren

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I've made a light american style lager recently, other than the gravity never going below 1.020, it worked out fine, ended up tasting perfect and carbonating perfectly. Bud-mil-pabst-ener in a brown bottle.
I recently made a higher gravity lager, with LDME, a couple pounds of pilsner malt and a pound of corn in a partial mash. This has been in primary for 15 days. 1.052-1.020 at 49F. When I checked the gravity, I tasted it. I have been concerned because I didn't smell sulfur like last time (used dry lager yeast last time, White labs american lager this time).
Tastes like liquid band-aids. I'd read about it but never tasted it in many many batches. WTF happened? Will this go away after some more fermentation and some lagering?

My other question, why do my lagers seem to stop at 1.020, which seems high?
 

menschmaschine

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Band-Aid flavors are typically associated with the use of chlorine-based sanitizers (bleach). If you use bleach, in the future, rinse with pre-boiled water to avoid this.

As for the sulfur odor, different yeasts produce different amounts of hydrogen sulfide. WLP840 produces minimal hydrogen sulfide.

Your attenuation problem could be due to several things. As long as you're fermenting in the right temperature range, it could be one or more of: yeast pitch rate, lack of adequate wort aeration, and/or high mash (or partial mash) temps. Keep in mind that lagering (for the appropriate time and at the appropriate temp) will eat away another 0.5 to 1 point of gravity.
 
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impulsoren

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Thanks. I don't use any chlorine bleach, I uber-filter my water, and rinse everything before the wort hits it.
Here's to hoping it goes away with time.
 

Stevorino

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The band-aids are phenolics. I wish I could tell you more, but I'm sure a quick googling would tell you a lot.

For the higher ending gravity and sulfur smells, i'd initially say that your lager yeast didn't fully attenuate-- did you pitch enough? 49 degrees F is pretty low for a fermentation, even with Lager Yeast. Usually 55 is considered a pretty average Lager fermentation temperature by my standards.
 
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