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Mai-bock lager question well lager in general question

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sparkyaber

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Here is what I did:
9.3 lbs. Pilsen liquid malt extract
8 oz. Carapils
8 oz. Caramel 10°L
3 oz. of hallertau hops
Wyeast bavarian lager yeast 1/2 liter starter room temp.

Steeped grains at 155 for 30 min, added 6 lbs of malt at boil along with 2 oz hops. boiled for 45 min added 3.3 lbs of malt and irish moss. finished with 1 oz of hops at 58 min total, took off heat at 60 min. cooled with immersion chiller to aprox. 70 degrees. pitched yeast and left in basement (50-55 degrees) for 7 days. Great krausen fermented like crazy. checked gravity 1.022. Moved to a smaller carboy. Placed in refrigerator at 40 degrees for 9 weeks. (Jan 28- March 5). Checked the gravity today, guess what 1.022. I am bringing the temp up slowly. Well, it is sitting on my cold concrete floor in the mechanical room. I tasted the sample, it tasted fine, but that gravity seems too high. I think I should wait until it warms up a little, swirl the yeast to get it back in suspension? I gave it a little swirl when I removed the carboy from the fridge, letting some of the yeast come up.
Any Ideas?
 

brewmasterpa

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how quickly did you lager down to 40, and is that yeast ok at that low of a temp. usually you drop temp no more than 5 degrees per day, and the temp shouldnt go below 45-48. you might have put your yeast to sleep. id bump the temp to 46 and wait 14 days and see what your gravity is.
 

menschmaschine

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What brand of LME was it? Different brands have different proportions of fermentable sugars.

You probably racked too soon. For homebrewers, it's generally best to wait until primary fermentation is complete for lagers before racking. That's at least 2 weeks on average for me.

Also, just to make sure... you're accounting for temperature on your hydrometer reading right? A 40°F measurement will read higher than a 60°F measurement.

Otherwise, I'd let it warm up and see if fermentation starts up again.
 
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sparkyaber

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What brand of LME was it? Different brands have different proportions of fermentable sugars.

You probably racked too soon. For homebrewers, it's generally best to wait until primary fermentation is complete for lagers before racking. That's at least 2 weeks on average for me.

Also, just to make sure... you're accounting for temperature on your hydrometer reading right? A 40°F measurement will read higher than a 60°F measurement.

Otherwise, I'd let it warm up and see if fermentation starts up again.
Good call, I thought of that when I first checked it, but during the last two months I forgot about the temp adjustment. I will warm it up and see what happens.
 
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sparkyaber

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I believe that I used Briess malt extract.
As for the yeast, fermenting temps are between 46-58 degrees for wyeast 2206.
As for how fast I dropped the temp, that is a big question mark. Just put it in the fridge, hoping it would take a day or two to drop that 10 degrees.
 
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sparkyaber

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Ok, bring this back to the top. It has been a week, and there has been really no change with the gravity. Soooooo, do I just bottle this stuff???
 

menschmaschine

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I guess. If nothing's happening, then there isn't much you can do. If your ABV and IBUs can handle it, you might consider watering (pre-boiled/cooled water) it down to 1.020. 1.022 is a little thick for me. The upper end of the style is 1.018.

Use this equation to calculate your gravity, ABV, and IBUs (whole numbers only):
C1V1 = C2V2

C = concentration
V = volume
 

remilard

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Briess makes a fairly fermentable extract, I think.

You really could have stood to pitch a lot more yeast and I think that is one thing you should try to improve for next time.

Pitching and fermenting warm should have helped attenuation, if anything.
 
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sparkyaber

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The fg now is 1.020. I am not to worried about the taste so much, I just don't want two cases of "bombs".
Yeah, I screwed up with the starter. I had some bad instructions. That is a whole different story. Actually a thread. Live and learn.
Is there enough yeast to carbonate this beer? Could it be "dead"?
 

Dougan

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It could be dead, but it probably isn't. It doesn't take a lot of living yeast to carbonate a bottle. Heck, a lot of us here have harvested yeast from one bottle of beer and stepped it up enough to ferment several 5 gallon batches!

If your yeast isn't very viable, then it will take longer to carbonate. However, I would think that even if 99% of the yeast from your yeast cake died, that 1% will do the job eventually. From what I've heard, yeast is surprisingly good at surviving... the reason everybody freaks out about it is that yeast that's been through a lot will survive but might not perform as well... which isn't much of a worry here.

If you do want to pitch some extra yeast for bottling, I've definitely heard of it. Some people will lager beers for a very long time (For example I'm sure someone woudl brew a Marzen in march but fermented until fall) and will pitch extra yeast for bottling. I would recommend using the same strain you fermented with because a different strain might be more alcohol-tolerant or just plain stronger and ferment additional things that your original yeast couldn't ferment, causing bombs. I would also pitch a limited amount.

I recently finished bottle conditioning a lager that finished at 1.022. It was terrible, because my recipe was embarrassingly off, but they were carbonated correctly. I did have more unfermentables, though.

Hopefully that helps, might be a good idea to wait for a 2nd opinion. I don't know much about pitching yeast for bottling.
 
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sparkyaber

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I guess. If nothing's happening, then there isn't much you can do. If your ABV and IBUs can handle it, you might consider watering (pre-boiled/cooled water) it down to 1.020. 1.022 is a little thick for me. The upper end of the style is 1.018.

Use this equation to calculate your gravity, ABV, and IBUs (whole numbers only):
C1V1 = C2V2

C = concentration
V = volume
In this equation, volume of the wort/beer? I guess that would be 5 gallons?
concentration? Lost on that one? percentage?
 

menschmaschine

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With it lagering that long, I'd add yeast for bottling. Get a packet of dry lager yeast. A clean ale yeast would be fine as well. Just add about 1/4 to 1/2 packet per 5 gallons to the bottliing bucket. 1/4 is probably plenty. I'd also recommend rehydrating rather than just pitching it dry. Pitching dry yeast dry will kill some of the yeast and may result in "dusty" yeast in your beer.
 

menschmaschine

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In this equation, volume of the wort/beer? I guess that would be 5 gallons?
concentration? Lost on that one? percentage?
Example for diluting 5 gallons with 0.5 gallons water and for IBUs (say, 30)

C1 = 30 (IBUs)
V1 = 5 gallons
C2 = "x" (this is what you're solving for)
V2 = 5.5 gallons (5 plus the 0.5)

C2 = 27.27 IBUs

Understand?

For ABV just use the percentage as a "whole" number (e.g., 6.2 (not 0.062))
For gravity, use the last two digits. For 1.020, you'd just use 20.
 
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sparkyaber

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Thanks menschmaschine. What would happen if I pitched and left it in the carboy? Would I basically be starting all over again? (would I have to re-lager?) Would it lower FG?
About the formula, yeah I get it now, it is just a ratio between any of the variables in the beer and the amount of beer. Pretty easy. Thanks for clearing it up.
 
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