Author Topic: First all grain  (Read 6946 times)

Offline Brandon M.

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First all grain
« on: July 20, 2011, 08:37:08 AM »
A buddy and I just brewed our first batch of all grain pilsner/lager. I have it sitting in my garage at about 65f after a couple of days a thick layer of brown cake looking stuff formed at the top. It is still bubbling away. it has only been three days. Just wondrring if anyone could help me out with the fermentation length. I think we should have started with an ale and went with the lager closer to winter. Thinking about brewing the brown oak butt ale. Anyone got anypointers.

Offline merfizle

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 08:44:50 AM »
What yeast did you use?  That seems a bit warm for a lager unless you are using a hybrid yeast.  When I did my first "lager" yeast we used a hybrid ale yeast and fermented at 60*F and then lagered in a spare fridge at 38*F for 8 weeks.

Mark
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Offline BobBrews

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 08:59:18 AM »
Quote
A buddy and I just brewed our first batch of all grain pilsner/lager. I have it sitting in my garage at about 65f after a couple of days a thick layer of brown cake looking stuff formed at the top. It is still bubbling away. it has only been three days. Just wondering if anyone could help me out with the fermentation length. I think we should have started with an ale and went with the lager closer to winter. Thinking about brewing the brown oak butt ale. Anyone got any pointers.

If it is a lager it should not be at 65F.
If it is a lager it should be bottom fermenting.
If it is a beer it should not be in a garage where the temperature changes rapidly.

Lagers are fermented form 40F to 55F. Some variation is allowed. All fermentation should be at controlled temperatures with no or little change. Lagers should be kept cold and bottom fermented with lager yeast. Ales can be fermented from 55F to 80F depending on the style of beer.  Ale yeast is top fermenting and also need to be kept at a set temperature while bubbling away.

Your beer may work out to be drinkable (I hope) but you need to do more research. The beer you have will defy all styles and types. Leave it in the fermenter for a month and then bottle! wait two weeks and then feed to a squirrel in the park. If the squirrel lives than take a sip! Good luck to you and the squirrel!
Bob Brews
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Offline DaveinPa

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 04:26:02 PM »
Quote
If it is a lager it should be bottom fermenting.

True - but a lager still forms a kreuzen on the surface - just the active fermentation occurs on the bottom.  I suspect that is what he is seeing on the surface.

maddspoiler

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 04:33:22 PM »
Quote
wait two weeks and then feed to a squirrel in the park. If the squirrel lives than take a sip! Good luck to you and the squirrel!
Beer contains no known pathogens. Dont worry unless the cake is growing tendrils (tentacle looking things). It will taste different than you expect,maybe even funny due to the high temps. Good luck.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 06:40:56 PM »
google "steam beer"
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Offline dogma46an2

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 03:54:48 PM »
Correct check out Steam Beer.......
everyone here is correct about what they are saying and most likely your going to have a steam beer ..
your lagering temp is way to high. and you shouldn't have it in the garage . The junk you see on the top is a good thing as long as it doesn't have mold on it which im sure it doesnt I think you'll be fine .
Your brew is for sure going to have different flavor profile than what you were wanting but im sure it will be fine and be a tasty brew

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Offline Brandon M.

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 09:02:12 PM »
the bottom has stuff all at the bottom. So I am guessing it is bottom feeding like it is suppose to. With the stuff on top I can steralize a strainer and remove it? It doesnt smell bad either kinda smells good. When should I rack? When should I bottle? When should I drink?

Offline BobBrews

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2011, 06:02:45 AM »
      Leave the gunk alone! Skimming it does nothing but gives an infection a place to start! Here is a old saying to remember! " one week in the primary, two weeks in the secondary and three weeks in the bottle" 123. The old adage is easy to remember but not wholly accurate today.

       I have a California Common in the primary ready to keg. It has been in the primary 4 weeks. I also have a smoked peat porter that I brewed that same day. We brew in a bag (BIAB) people can brew twice as much as (old fashioned) 3 tier brewers. Sorry for the digression!

       The time in the primary is not that important. It was once thought that to much time on the trube would affect the beer taste? Test's have shown that this is false. Most people actually preferred the beer left on the primary for three weeks or more. So just bottle when your ready, bottle and wait two weeks if you can.
Bob Brews
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2011, 07:47:33 AM »
The stuff on top will settle on it's own.
When it does it is time to rack.
In the mean time leave it alone.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2011, 07:54:01 AM »
BB's 123 is a great rule of thumb for ale, but lagers need a lot more time in primary.  Three weeks is not uncommon.
I've only brewed two lagers, but they both hummed away in primary for almost a month in mid fifty degree temps before spending two more months in secondary. After that I kegged them and put them in cold storage at near freezing temps, and the flavor changed as time went by. They started with a bitter bite that over time went away, leaving only a malty hoppy pleasant yumminess.
About the only thing I'm looking forward to regarding winter is a cool basement where I can ferment lagers in the mid fifties.

I would modify BB's 123 to be months instead of weeks for lager.  One month in primary, two months in secondary, and three months in cold storage (lagering) before drinking.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline BobBrews

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 08:52:47 AM »
Maine Homebrewer,

                 Totally agree with you. I just kegged my California Common and Peat Smoked Porter minuets ago. The first draw off (to get the loose yeast) tasted great! After a month in the primary the flavor was complex. I dry hopped in the primary for the CC after three weeks. I don't really care that much for winter, but lagering or cold storing beer is just super then. I brew primarily lagers in the winter and ales in the summer.
                 I just "dumped" a Oktoberfest that I made in March and tried to store till July! It went bad I suppose because I tried to store it in my basement. 70F is to high! The other lagers were superb. The temperatures have been in the 90F's the last two weeks. Even with AC it's a bit warm to lager!
Bob Brews
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2011, 12:46:49 PM »
RE BB - I still have most of a keg of lager #2 in my converted freezer/keg cooler that I'm saving for a coworker's bbq the weekend after next. I call it 'Bitter Pils' since the 3oz Hallertau for 60min gave it almost tongue numbing bitterness. Great stuff! Not for Keystone drinkers. (recall the "bitter beer face" commercials)
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

maddspoiler

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2011, 01:53:12 PM »
MMMMMM Hop Lager!  ;D Sounds awesome!

Offline Brandon M.

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Re: First all grain
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2011, 09:04:02 AM »
Well now that the brown stuff is starting to subside there are little patches of green. Should I be worried about that.