So, I've brewed a Helles. All grain 98% pilsner malt with 2% carahell, WLP833 yeast. Currently at 1.014, needs to get to 1.010 - 1.011. I was attempting to follow the traditional 'cold fermentation with conventional storage fermentation schedule, as outlined on Kai's site http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fermenting_Lagers
(See diagram A)
The story/stats: so far.
- 4 gallon batch
(13.1 brix, uncorrected) , 12.86 °P
- estimated 289 billion yeast cells pitched (stepped up starter) at 43.7 F into oxygenated wort (@ 1 minute at 1 liter/min flow rate)
-Fast ferment test
revealed FG 1.010-1.011, 2.84 °P (6.2 brix uncorrected)
tested with both hydrometer, and calibrated refractometer (correction factor of 1.019)
-fermentation allowed to free rise to 48.2. Krausen and vigorous fermentation achieved within 24hrs.
-Fermentation @ 48.2 for 5 days, then temperature dropped by 9F each day until reaching 41 F (i.e 48.2 > 47.3 > 46.4 etc). SG at 41 F was 1.013
, 3.33 °P (6.8 brix uncorrected)
- Racked to secondary keg.
- Added Kruasen made from saved wort (1.6 quarts/0.4 gallons)
-continued to drop temp by 9 F per day, until reaching 33 F. This is where I screwed up
. Apparently the rate of temp decrease needs to be dramatically slowed once past 37.5 (according to Narziss). I believe I put the yeast to sleep by chilling too fast, and hence the stalled activity.
- In an effort to fix the situation, I allowed the temp to rise back to 48.2, and krausened with a further 0.6 gallons, made from DME. However
in hindsight, I definitely overpitched into this krausen, and thus it didn't culture the new, vigorous yeast it should have. Lag time to high krausen in the batch of krausen was less than 12 hours.
-pitched krausen, which had totally flocculated in the secondary within a couple of days, with no change of gravity (now at 1.014 from the two doses of krausen).
- After leaving it for 5 or so days, with no change in gravity, I roused the yeast by racking to a new keg, and swirling the first one to pick up some yeast and raised the temp to 51 F. Again, no change in gravity after 2 days.
So, with all that being said. What would anyone recommend I do? Allow to rise to 65 F or so, and leave there till (hopefully) full attenuation, then drop back down to lagering temps, abandoning the traditional cold lager fermentation schedule? Should I make a fresh starter, and pitch only the yeast, and allow to rise in temp?
Sorry for the long post, but I've tried to put as much info in, to save people having to ask for those details.
Thank you in advance!