Quantcast

Lagering question

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

kmlavoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
186
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
I made a Vienna a few weeks ago, my first lager. Everything as far as primary fermentation went fine. I tasted some when I racked, and immediately decided never to brew extract again. When I brewed extract, it never tasted like beer until i opened a bottle. With all-grain, I could tell the difference straight off.

So here's my question: I live in Chicago, and am using a poorly insulated laundry room closet to lager it. When I transferred the weather was around 30 degrees (Friday night). I checked the temp Saturday afternoon, and it had gone down about 8 degrees in the carboy over the 24 hours. When I woke up Sunday, the outdoor temperature was 1 or 2 degrees, and there is no temp showing on the fermenter thermometer. It's not frozen or even slushy, but I'm guessing it's hanging around 34 degrees. I put some blankets around and under it to try to insulate a little. But, did I let the temp drop to quickly? Is there a chance I dropped the yeast out, and I'm going to have trouble carbonating? I pitched from a starter, so I had a pretty good amount of yeast. And when I was racking, I accidentally let the racking cane dip into the yeast at the bottom. So I've probably got more in there than I normally would. Should I be concerned, let it warm up with the weather, or just leave it and pretend like I know what I'm doing?

I suppose I could always draw some off in a few weeks and try carbonating it in a plastic bottle with a carb tab. Kind of a pain, but probably better than having 2 cases of uncarbonated beer.
 

bluelou6

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
You could always put another smack pack of the same yeast into the bottling bucket.
 

Got Trub?

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
12
Location
Washington State
You will be fine. Unless you leave it for a really long (many,many months) or filter there will be plenty of yeast to carbonate. Lagers will take longer to carbonate then ales so be prepared to wait 3-4 weeks if bottle conditioning.

GT
 

cheezydemon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
15
Location
The "Ville"
If you are in secondary, you are mostly just clearing anyways. Let it bulk for 2 months or so and add yeast at bottling to be safe.
 
OP
K

kmlavoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
186
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
As I mentioned in another thread, I managed to freeze this beer. A little upsetting, but I'm not freaking out too much, especially when you consider that I have the same yeast cake fermenting another batch.

Last night I pulled a few cups of yeast off the bottom of that fermentation. I have the frozen beer nearly thawed. The stuff I pulled off the bottom has turned into another little mini starter.

Should I add it now, or wait til bottling? I don't really have a good way to keep it uncontaminated for the next two or three weeks until I was going to bottle. Also, I think adding it now would let any trub I may have picked up settle out before bottling as well. I pulled about 600 ml of fluid/yeast out of the batch. With it fermenting some more in my flask, does that sound like enough?

Any thoughts would be great. I'm fully prepared mentally at this point to have this batch not carbonate (I bottle condition due to lack of space/funds/extra fridge), but I'd be thrilled if it ended up turning out alright.
 

WBC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2,164
Reaction score
10
Location
La Puente, CA
Lager yeast are very strong resilient little buggers. They may be seemingly be dormant at real low temps but when warmed a bit and fed they come on with a vengence. Too much heat can kill them though ( above 95 F). You can always test their viability by using a sterile wine theif and taking a sample from the carboy and pitching it into your next starter wort. Make sure they are not more than 10 degrees F from each other so as not to shock them. It should take off in a few hours if the viability is high.
 
Top