Author Topic: Lagering and fermentation  (Read 6552 times)

Offline Wildrover

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Lagering and fermentation
« on: March 09, 2011, 02:05:14 PM »
All, I brewed a Mai-bock last Saturday and have yet to see any signs of fermentation.  I've checked and have not seen any signs of leakage or a bad seal or anything.  I'm wondering if lagers may take more time to simply get going.  I have some but not a lot of experience with lagers but anytime I've had these issues with an ale it typically had to do with a poor seal or something like that.  I don't see that as an issue with the mai bock so I'm wondering if I just need to be a little more patient?

Offline dogma46an2

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 12:36:32 AM »
Whats the temp? you use a starter ?
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Offline Wildrover

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 08:19:06 AM »
The temp is in the low 50's and I made a big starter.  I think the starter is probably more than what is needed to tell you the truth.  I was low on my OG due to having too much volume.  I only put the planned 6 gallons into the fermenter and dumped the half gallon extra. I was going to take a gravity reading yesterday but when I pulled off the top of the fermenter I could definitely see that something is going on.  My fear is that I have a stuck fermentation but I can't figure out why that might be?  I figured a gravity reading is only going to tell me if things have started, not if they've stopped but then again, I guess gravity readings over several days will, maybe I'll do that and see. 

If it is a stuck fermentation what does one do?  I suspect let the temp come up a bit and see if that doesn't rouse the yeast?   

Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 01:17:04 PM »
Relax...

Wait a day or two, then when you rack to the secondary, I'll bet your reading will tell you it went well.
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Offline Wildrover

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 01:57:35 PM »
Beer Tiger,

I hope you're right but if you are I can't help but wonder, why no blow tube activity?  I use plastic to ferment in so I can't see everything that's going on so I usually rely on the bubbles coming up from the water that's in the container where I stick the end of the blow off tube.  Is it possible that a lot of the CO2 being produced is being dissolved into solution since lager yeast is a bottom fermenting yeast?  I just can't wrap my mind around why I haven't seen any activity at all?

WR

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 07:19:05 PM »
I just started my second attempt at lager last week.  My first attempt went great until the keg lid didn't seat well.  When I adjusted it I accidentally dipped it into the brew and the result was a raft of mold.  Very depressing.

Several years later I tried again.  It took a couple days for the fermentation to get underway. I chilled it to 55 and waited.  As it cooled down to 48 it started to develop some fine bubbles on top.  Now it is at 52 and has a nice inch of white foam topped with some yeast color.  It is not a violent action like a happy ale with a burping air lock, it's more like a wine trying to act all classy and stuff. 

Give it a day or two before you start to worry.

Oh, and my yeast was Fermentis. Not sure which one. Yellow package I believe.



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Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 06:11:21 AM »
It's also possible that with the big starter most of the work was done when you weren't watching.  I've had beers run over night and by morning when I checked they were mostly done and very little activity left.
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Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 12:07:13 PM »
Normally I give my lagers 12-24 hours at 70F so the yeast has a good active start. Then I put it in the lagering cabinet @ 48-50F

If you made a big starter, most likely you are fine. Just wait it out.
Couple questions:
Was the starter the same OG as your Lager?
What is the OG of the lager?

Personally I wouldn't rack it to secondary this soon! Just be patient. I have had Lagers take 4 weeks to finish so leave it along!
RDWHAHB

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Offline Wildrover

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 12:21:46 PM »
I thought about it getting finished when I wasn't watching but then I thought that was improbable given how much slower Lagers are compared to Ales.  I'm not sure of the starting gravity of the starter but the wort was 1.060.  What does it mean if the wort gravity is lower than the starter gravity? 

Thanks for the responses too

Offline shane

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011, 12:41:31 PM »
  It may be a little late , But sometimes if I'm not sure a take the top of the bubbler and put a balloon over it. Be sure to put a pin hole in the balloon. This will let air out but not in. You'll see activity  then . It sort of records what happens when you not staring at the watched pot, cause we all know what happens when....
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2011, 09:34:19 AM »
Shane

Could you explain or show a picture of what you mean, that sounds interesting.

At this point its been more than a week so my intention is to just let it ride until I move it over into the secondary which will be in another week or two but for future reference, I'd like to know more about that method

thanks

Offline shane

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Re: Lagering and fermentation
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 07:01:21 PM »
     Yes, it's quite easy. In fact I just brewed a pale ale last night, so I snapped some pictures in action. The pictures were taken less than 3 mins. apart. This is how I started brewing wine. I never lost a batch to contamination.
    1) sterilize balloon , a regular party balloon
    2) put a pin hole in the top of the balloon
    3) put balloon over a sterilized bubbler
    4) put on carboy
   
  good luck!
 
Had a problem sending the pix. E-mail me I'll send them.
pri   ESB,  english pale ale
sec  amarillo ale   SBL
       cascade ale   honey nut brown
       shane adam's  blueberry ale
       pale lager,    
keg  irish red
up next a Rye P A,