Author Topic: lager OG too high?  (Read 6012 times)

Offline mightyyt

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lager OG too high?
« on: March 22, 2016, 09:54:15 PM »
Hi Everyone

I've been brewing from extract with additions for about six months, getting consistent and tasty results making APAs. Tried my first lager yesterday, per recipe below. Yeast was Saflager 34/70 that I built over 48 hours into a 2.5 quart starter.

6.5 pounds Amber DME
2 cups honey
1 pound crystal malt
1.5 ounces Hallertauer hops (boil
0.5 ounces Hallertauer hops (finishing)

I'm about 20 hours into fermentation at 62F. Was planning to lower this over the next four days to 53F. Seems to be fermenting well, 1-2" of krausen in 6 gal carboy with 5 gallons of wort.

OG was about 6.8 which seems too high for an American lager. Thinking about watering this down to about a 5 OG by adding 2 gallons of water. obviously will need to moved some quantity to a second carboy. Any thoughts or recommendations?


Online brewfun

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 11:21:19 PM »
Tried my first lager yesterday,
...
I'm about 20 hours into fermentation at 62F.

It's not a lager, anymore.

Quote
OG was about 6.8 which seems too high for an American lager. Thinking about watering this down to about a 5 OG by adding 2 gallons of water.

A 6.8 or 5 what? Plato? Alcohol potential? With Amber malt, honey and crystal malt, you're closer to a California Common, than an American lager.

The esters created from the higher fermentation are typical of the Cal Common style, though. You'll likely want the higher alcohol content to balance them out. Seems like you're good, as is.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline jtoots

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 06:50:56 AM »
+1 to all of Brewfun's input.

Next time I'd vote to ferment cooler, and if you're going to dilute the batch do it pre-boil if possible or before pitching your yeast if not.

Offline mightyyt

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 09:51:38 PM »
thanks for the input.

6.8 would be actually 1.068, which is the specific gravity (right??).

The recipe says this is (supposed to be) a premium american lager, but the OG seems way out of the range for such a beer. So...I agitated the 5 gallons and then siphoned 2 gallons as is into a small PET carboy and  pitched in about ⅔ of a pack of dry yeast (Saflager 34/70). I then watered down the 5 gallon to bring the OG down to 1.05. I'm giving them both 24 hours at 62F, then will lower the temp 2 degrees a day until I get to 53F. Then a diacetyl rest, rack, and lager 4 weeks.

Offline jtoots

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 06:48:10 AM »
my typical fermentation temp schedule looks about like the reverse of yours... i start on the cooler side of the yeast's comfort range, hold there until things slow down, then ramp up a bit each day until i'm at d-rest temp.  the beginning of fermentation is the most critical time to keep it cold to avoid esters.

Offline mightyyt

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 11:00:14 PM »
Huh.....this is why starting out is so hard. Two different sources give you advise that is 180 degrees part, and i though I had the simplest lager recipe available. At least I'll have a base brew to work from...

Offline jtoots

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 06:23:20 AM »
Huh.....this is why starting out is so hard. Two different sources give you advise that is 180 degrees part, and i though I had the simplest lager recipe available. At least I'll have a base brew to work from...

LOL that's kind of the beauty of it too... there's always the next batch!!

 :D

Online brewfun

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 08:05:39 AM »
Two different sources give you advise that is 180 degrees part

Ask 3 brewers, get 7 answers.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2016, 12:54:34 PM »
I agree with Brewfun.  It's not a lager anymore.  Lagers use primary fermentations in the low 50's F or lower.  At the temperatures that you had for primary fermentation, you'll get too many esters to get that clean lager flavor.  You made a type of Ale with a Lager yeast.  It should still be delicious, just completely different than what you had intended to make.

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Offline mightyyt

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2016, 09:15:17 PM »
Thanks for the input. I understand about the low temp fermentation for lager; the writeup i used said start it a little warm (to get the ferment going) then lower to ideal temp aver the next several days. Apparently the consensus here is go cold from the first minute. i will try that next time, unless this stuff turns out to be the nectar of the gods and i dedicate my life to replicating it



Offline twhitaker

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Re: lager OG too high?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 08:18:26 AM »
  I do the warm start bit but much less drastic. I typically pitch my all grain lagers at 80f in my cold garage using saved yeast slurry from the fridge. In about 2 hours I have airlock activity and after 4- 6 hours the temp is down to 45-50f where it stays until done.  The warm start helps activate the dormant cold yeast. Then ramp up to 55, cold crash to 34f and keg.

Using a starter from dry 34/70 takes longer, up to one month.
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