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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: benjammin on December 23, 2009, 12:55:23 AM

Title: Concern about lagering.
Post by: benjammin on December 23, 2009, 12:55:23 AM
This is my first time brewing a lager. I originally was going to just lager it during my secondary fermentation but after I pitched the yeast at 67 degrees I decided that I would lager it at 42-44 degrees for both the first and secondary. I pitched the yeast Saturday night and I've been checking up on it for the past few days and I've noticed that there is only a thin layer of kraeusen. I'm worried that I pitched my yeast at the wrong temperature. Should I add another packet of lager yeast now that its at the correct temperature or just give the present yeast time to work?
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: blatz on December 23, 2009, 02:15:58 AM
wait, you're PRIMARYing at 42-44df?  that's too cold if so, man.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: bluesman on December 23, 2009, 02:23:12 AM
+1

What is the beer your making. Your typical lager will be pitched and fermented around 50F.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: denny on December 23, 2009, 04:27:56 PM
And not only are you fermenting too cold, you pitched the yeast too warm, IMO.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: bo_gator on December 23, 2009, 04:44:32 PM
What yeast and how much did you pitch when you pitched?
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: benjammin on December 24, 2009, 12:36:30 AM
So basically I did everything wrong when it comes to fermenting a lager.

To answer all of your questions:

yes, my primary is at 44df.
it's a dark german style lager recipe that i found in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.
I used an 11 gram dry lager yeast packet and pitched it at the wrong temp.

what should my next step be to try and fix my errors?
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: tygo on December 24, 2009, 01:26:34 AM
Assuming it's a lower to moderate gravity lager 11g of dry yeast would probably be okay but you could rehydrate another pack and pitch it to be on the safe side.  Whether you pitch more or don't get it warmed up to 50 and rouse the yeast.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: benjammin on December 24, 2009, 03:30:41 AM
the original gravity reading was 1.060.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: tygo on December 24, 2009, 03:56:51 AM
For a 1.060 lager you should definitely pitch two 11g packs of yeast.  So if it were me I'd warm it up a bit and pitch another pack.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: majorvices on December 24, 2009, 01:43:02 PM
Here's a good basic primer for making a lager, follow these steps next time and you should have great results.



Quote
For lagers you definitely need a large yeast starter and you can't really ferment a lager warm and expect it to taste lagerish - it may very well be a good beer. But not a lager.

Pick up a gallon size juice jug. 2 vials in 3L/3quarts of a  1.040 OG starter wort would not be too much yeast for a 1.050 - 1.060 beer. You need at least a gallon starter with 1 vial. Pitch the yeast and ferment to completion. Cold crash in fridge for a a day or two to drop the yeast.

On brew day, cool your main volume of wort all the way down to about 44-48 degrees - even if it takes several hours (or over night) to cool. Then aerate well (about 2xs as long as you aerate for ales - with pure o2 I go about 3 minutes).  DECANT the spent starter beer from your starter and only pitch the slurry.

Try to keep fermentation temps around 48-50 degrees letting it warm up some near the end to assure complete attenuation. Give yourself at lest 2-3 (even 4-5) weeks fermentation time. Then transfer to secondary and lager at near freezing temps for 2-4+ weeks.

Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: benjammin on December 25, 2009, 04:36:42 PM
i removed my fermenting beer from the fridge and now its at 51df. the kreausen head is growing and things are stirring in the wort so i think i'll just add one more packet of yeast and hope things work out. thanks a lot for all the input. i knew i joined this forum for a reason. Merry Christmas.
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: babalu87 on December 27, 2009, 05:26:07 AM
i removed my fermenting beer from the fridge and now its at 51df. the kreausen head is growing and things are stirring in the wort so i think i'll just add one more packet of yeast and hope things work out. thanks a lot for all the input. i knew i joined this forum for a reason. Merry Christmas.

Bottom line

You made beer, no shame in that.

I bet it will taste good too  ;D
Title: Re: Concern about lagering.
Post by: benjammin on January 02, 2010, 05:14:05 PM
well I took a few gravity readings in the past couple days and im hitting my target final gravity number so im hopeful. i just transferred over to my secondary fermentation for 2 to 3 weeks. ill let you know how it turns out.