Author Topic: Is my pilsner done fermenting?  (Read 2262 times)

Offline jimrod

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« on: December 02, 2011, 10:37:19 AM »
Is my pilsner done fermenting? If anyone can tell me if I'm on the right track. I've fermented at 50 for 4 weeks, 60 for 4 days, and is today the time to turn the temp down fo 35 for a while?. I started at 1.048 and ended at 1.015, Am I lagering too soon since the FG might go lower?

Here is the recipe:
Protein Rest  124.0 F 30 min
Saccrification 152.0 F 30 min
Mash Out Add 168.0 F 10 min
Boil Volume: 13.74 gal Boil Time: 60 min

2 Pkgs Southern German Lager (White Labs #WLP838) Yeast-Lager  1 gal starter

16.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 68.09 %
4.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 19.15 %
1.50 lb Pale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.38 %
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.26 %
0.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2.13 %
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops 6.9 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 7.4 IBU
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (20 min) Hops 4.2 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (20 min) Hops 4.5 IBU
2.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (0 min) Hops - 
0.50 gm Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min) Misc 
2.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc 
2.00 l whirlfloc tablets (Boil 5.0 min) Misc 
2.40 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash 60.0 min) Misc 
3.80 gm Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 min) Misc 
4.60 gm Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min) Misc 
5.88 gm Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min) Misc 
7.20 oz Rice Hulls (Mash 1.0 hours) Misc 
1.00 gal Murrieta, Ca Starter Water 
1.00 gal Murrieta, California Water 
14.00 gal Distilled Water Water 

Estimated Color: 5.4 SRM
Bitterness: 23.0 IBU 
 


The liver is evil and must be punished

Offline snowtiger87

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 417
    • View Profile
Re: Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2011, 11:30:09 AM »
Do a diacetyl rest. Let the temperature rise to 65F or so for a couple of days. Then start cooling it down to 35F or so over a few days before you rack it off the yeast. That may get you down a couple more points.
Brewing since 1989 - BJCP National Rank

Fermenting: McChouffe clone, Samiclaus clone
Conditioning: Belgian Tripel, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter - in sherry barrel, Belgain Easter Ale
On tap: CAP, Dortmunder Export, IIPA, Dubbel Chocolate Stout, Wee Heavy, Whiskey barrel aged Wee Heavy, Baltic Porter
Newly Bottled:

Offline redbeerman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1803
  • On the banks of the mighty Susquehanna in MD
    • View Profile
Re: Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2011, 12:14:22 PM »
I don't see the benefit of doing an additonal diacetyl rest.  Although your FG is a bit high for that mash profile.  4 weeks in the primary and 4 days at 60 should have gotten you to the finish line.  I have not used that yeast, so I have no experience as to how well it attenuates.
CH3CH2OH - Without it, life itself would be impossible.

[441, 112.1deg] AR

Jim

Offline blatz

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2620
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 12:15:23 PM »
He did a d-rest already for 4 days  ;)

probably as low as you're going to get.  

By the way, next time, keep it at 50 for the first 10-12 days or so - when fermentation starts petering out, then start your d-rest - I usually try to do it when I have 1-1.5 Plato to go or so if I catch it in time - nearly 5 weeks ferment time is okay, but not necessary - I generally primary 3 weeks, 4 weeks tops with the d-rest being part of that.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline jimrod

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2011, 11:13:16 AM »
This beer is still pretty sweet 1.015. If this is the final gravity then I'm stuck with a 4.3% abv beer.

Is there a chance it will go lower with more fermentation time? 

Can I re pitch another yeast to finish it off ?
The liver is evil and must be punished

Offline blatz

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2620
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2011, 11:25:06 AM »
is it really truly sweet to taste, or are you assuming it is due to gravity?  4.3% ain't so bad for pils - PU (albeit Czech style) is only 4.4% I believe.

You *may* lose another point or two in the keg while lagering, but you are pretty much done.

pitching more yeast is not going to do anything at this - unless if you had access to a brewpub, you could maybe get some very active slurry and pitch a few quarts (yes I said quarts) of that, which I probably wouldn't bother with for 2-4 gravity points.

BTW - according to white labs, your yeast can have low attenuation (68-76%) so I think you're just done - next time I would use a workhorse like 830 instead - its a great all around lager yeast (I use it almost exclusively), but its especially good for Pils IMO.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1672
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Is my pilsner done fermenting?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 12:24:04 PM »
Unless you happen to have some krausening beer on hand, it sounds like you are done.  Next time, take the mash down a little in temperature (148F) and push the pilsner closer to a 90 minute total mash time.  Lastly boil hard for 75 minutes or relatively hard for 90 minutes to be sure to dissipate the precursors to DMS.  Your beer will probably be fine - a little extra body perhaps and slightly sweet, rather than a light guzzler (though low in ABV) - but malty, for sure with that 838.

Cheers.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"