Author Topic: lagering and air lock activity?  (Read 2229 times)

Offline xdknjx

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lagering and air lock activity?
« on: May 30, 2012, 04:49:23 PM »
Have been working on my first lager, a clone of the sam adam's noble pils. Mini mash with OG 1.051, using White Labs Southern German Lager 838 which I made a starter 4 days prior. I pitched at fermentation temp at 50F. After 6 days, air lock bubbling slowed to 1 every 45 seconds so I checked the gravity, which turned out to be 1.012 (FG per recipe). Did a D-rest for 48 hours at 60 F and transferred to secondary yesterday. I'm bringing down the temp 4F every day until it hits 38-40. Current temp is 52, and i'm not seeing any bubbling activity in the air lock at all. Just wondering if this is normal or if there's anything that doesn't sound right. Thanks guys!

Offline Pinski

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Re: lagering and air lock activity?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 05:46:20 PM »
Looks good to me. Keep in mind that as you cool the beer it will retain more CO2 in solution and the beer volume will contract slightly, both reducing the amount of CO2 pushing out of your fermenter.
Steve Carper
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Offline weithman5

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Re: lagering and air lock activity?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 06:23:14 PM »
you will probably be okay but after only 6 days i would have rechecked my gravity a second time a day or two out.  i rarely have any air lock activity and i ferment my lagers for several weeks (usually four because, well i just do) i do like that yeast selection, and have used it for several batches now. 
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Offline xdknjx

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Re: lagering and air lock activity?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 07:09:23 PM »
Actually, the gravity was 1.014 after 6 days of fermentation, and went to 1.012 after the D-rest.

For the starter, I split the original yeast into 2 1L flasks and filled to ~600ml using light DME and yeast nutrient. Then I kept at fermentation temp of 50F for 3 days with occasional swirling. Using the calculation from Mr. Malty, it looked like I needed to use 2 vials of the yeast to pitch so I figured what I did was equivalent.

Just a side question, did you use any dry yeast when bottling after fermenting with the 838? If so, what worked for you? Thanks for all your help guys!

Offline weithman5

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Re: lagering and air lock activity?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 01:53:04 PM »
originally i would lager for a few months then put in a scoop of whatever yeast i fermented with and lagered on top of along with sugar.  now i just bottle after primary and throw into the back of the fridge for 2-3 months.  i have gone in the fermenter several months before bottling without adding any yeast and still worked okay.  i usually will bottle one bottle in a pepsi plastic bottle.  you can tell that it conditions reasonable because you can see the yeast on the bottom and the bottle will firm up. 
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Offline xdknjx

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Re: lagering and air lock activity?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 02:14:29 PM »
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely try the plastic pepsi bottle tip.