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Author Topic: Ailing Lagers  (Read 1236 times)

Offline reinheitsgebot

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Ailing Lagers
« on: May 27, 2010, 04:16:10 am »
I am here for a first time in the forum and have a question with regards to a few ales I recently brewed.

1. In early March I brewed a MaiBock, Doppelbock, and Pilsner roughly about a week apart each. According to the instructions as I understand it for lagers at the time, I was to use primary fermentation for  5-7 days, then 24 hour diacetyl rest and secondary fermentation for a few months. Well, I see now that I have gotten that wrong. My lagers have been sitting in secondary fermentation, in 5 gal. better bottles, for 2+ months at 50 degrees in my basement. Two weeks after botteling the Maibock, I have no carbonation, but the flavor and ABV are correct. Also, I didn't use the supplied corn sugar, rather 5oz of belgian sugar.

2. Is there a way to save these brews? or will l have to wait for Fall or Winter to try ales again?


Offline troy@uk

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Re: Ailing Lagers
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 05:38:03 am »
There are many facters that apply to bottle conditioning that could have some effect on your situation.  Basiclly if the belgian sugar is ok (I've never used it to bottle, but it is fermenrable so it should be ok) it may just need more time at the right temperature.  Your secondary temp of 50 degrees sounds fine.  When you bottle condition, the first 10 days to 2 weeks should be at much warmer temps, say upper 60s or lower 70s.  The higher temp will help the yeast create carbination without affecting the flavor profile.

I hope this helps, I know how frustrating it is to wait for the right level of carbination, I bottle condition all of my beers and some just don't act right.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Ailing Lagers
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 06:13:39 am »
First off, technically your lagering temps were way to high. 50 degrees should have been your fermentation temp and your lagering temps should be closer to 32 - that is, assuming you are using a lager yeast and not an ale yeast.

As far as lagering times, a Pilsner only needds 2-4 weeks, a Maibock and a Doppelbock really need 2-3 months at least. But since you aren't lagering these things in a traditional manor (technically you are simply conditioning these in a secondary) you should be able to bottle them all now and they should be fine.

Sounds like you have one batch at least bottled and are lacking carbonation. Anytime you leave a beer in the secondary for longer than a month it is a good idea to add back some yeast to insure proper carbonation. For the beer that you already have bottled, get a pack of dry ale yeast, clip one corner and drop a few grains of yeast into each bottle and recap. Move to a warm location in your house (68-77 degrees would be perfect) for a couple of weeks and you should get carbonation.

As for the other two batches, add a packet of dry yeast to each one when you are mixing the sugar in the bottling bucket and bottle and keep warm as standard procedure.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 06:20:34 am by majorvices »