lagering progress...

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lagering progress...

Postby bredmakr » Tue May 13, 2003 6:21 am

I've got 10 gallons of an Anchor Steam clone that has attenuated to 1.030 from 1.064 after 9 days at 60-62
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Normal?

Postby fitz » Tue May 13, 2003 6:34 am

You are asking about normal behavior for an abnormal process. Lager yeast is normally used at lower temps and it takes longer to work. The whole process of steam beer takes the lager ale out of its realm and makes a quasi lagale out of the lager yeast at ale temps. The lager will brew faster, and give other flavors to the resulting beer. Was this the projected FG for the recipe? At what temp are you going to lager? I do not think the original "steam beer was lagered at all(There wasn't refrigeration in early California) I lager my beer after bottling and carbonation, although we have had discussions for and against both ways.
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making it up as I go..

Postby bredmakr » Tue May 13, 2003 6:38 am

Being my first lagering or as you say quasilagale I'm making it up as I go. The target F.G. is 1.016. Temp has been 58-62F and the range for WYEAST 2112 is 58-68F. Recommendations for lagering temp? My plan was to hold at 42F for three weeks, but you do bring up a good point about refrigeration and California in the 1800s.
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Look at the Krausen

Postby BillyBock » Tue May 13, 2003 9:52 am

I've made 5 made lagers so far. I wait for the krausen foam to fall back into the beer completely--then you know fermentation is finished. The only thing you should see on the surface of the beer is tiny pockets of CO2 bubbles coming out of solution. After mine reaches this stage, I then keg the beer and hold at 30F to lager. I haven't had any problems with reaching terminal gravity. Then about once a week, I'll dispense a cup to get yeast off the bottom of the keg. I've only used 2112 once, but a lager primary ferment can take up to 14 days. I'd leave it in there for 5 more days, then check the gravity--of course, pay attention to the krausen as your signal. What's your krausen doing?

v/r
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krausen weak

Postby bredmakr » Tue May 13, 2003 10:54 am

compared to ales this lager yeast krausen is weak. Real fine bubbles and only about an inch max in thickness. Hasn't really died down yet. Only racked one of two fermenters to have a comparison. Definately have not seen the krausen fall. Will let it sit for another week, and maybe raise the temp to 66F.
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Subdued Lager Yeasties

Postby BillyBock » Tue May 13, 2003 8:11 pm

What you describe sounds about right. All of mine have had up to 1" krausen. They were well aerated, plenty of trace minerals, etc. and fully attenuated. Lager yeasts are subdued fermenters. Yep, if the krausen hasn't fallen, she's still fermenting. Sounds like you have a plan. Let us know how it turns out. If by the time the krausen has fallen and you still have a high gravity, then we'll think about other issues.

v/r
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pitching rate

Postby vtterror » Thu May 15, 2003 4:15 am

I'm pretty familiar with Wyeast 2112, California Lager Yeast.We use it often in both lagers and ales where we'd like to get a nice clean but malty flavor profile.It's been our experience that when a fresh slurry of 2112 is pitched, it generally takes 7-10 days @ 60 degrees for the gravity of the beer to work down to around 1.014. My questions to you are how much yeast did you pitch, and how old was it? Also, for an Anchor Steam clone (we love this beer), we don't generally do a what could be called a typical lagering process.Gernerally, once the beer is in secondary, we let it sit until it starts to clear, then we chill it for a few days to get the rest of the yeast to drop out. We generally wind up with a lovely crystal clear beer.
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1 qt starters

Postby bredmakr » Thu May 15, 2003 5:16 am

The minimum that I ever pitch is a 1 quart starter. This time around I had two 1 qt starters, one for each fermenter. I brought the wort temp down to 65F then pitched.

At this point (day 12) one has been racked to a secondary fermenter and the other is still in the primary. I brought both temps up to 66-68F over night and activity has picked up a bit, with 1/2 inch of krausen still present.

Plan on holding at 66-68F until Sunday then checking the gravity again.
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when you say starter...

Postby vtterror » Thu May 15, 2003 6:14 am

Hello again.When you say starter, do you mean you propagate the yeast from the slap pack in a quart of malt extract and water, and pitch it when it reaches high krausen? If this is what you are doing, a 1.064 gravity beer might be a bit much for a new batch of yeast to ferment.You may want to consider making a lower gravity beer (below 1.050) the first time out using a new batch of yeast. Then you could collect the yeast slurry and pitch it into a higher gravity beer.
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1st gen starter...

Postby bredmakr » Thu May 15, 2003 6:20 am

That was my initial plan. I designed the recipe around my usual system efficiency, which would have resulted in a wort o.g. of 1.052. However, this time around I used a new mill and saw a 12% increase in mash efficiency resulting in an o.g. of 1.064.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that I forgot to add O2 prior to pitching. Yes, yes, I know. I messed this one up big time, but i was distracted. I had three other novice brewers brewing along side of me that I was assisting. In all I missed the addition of irish moss and aerating the wort. I guess I should consider myself lucky if the yeast gets anywhere near 1.020 considering the limitations I've imposed upon its environment.
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that's some new mill!

Postby vtterror » Thu May 15, 2003 7:13 am

Well now I have mill envy!
As for forgetting to aerate the wort...be there, done that. Relax, have a homebrew...
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single vs double roller

Postby bredmakr » Thu May 15, 2003 7:32 am

I used to use a Phil Mill single roller. This is an ideal roller for adding specialty grains to extract and partial mash recipes. I used it for two years with much happiness.

Then I moved to all grain brewing and built a 10 gallon HERM system. Do you know how long it takes to mill 20-25 lbs of grain with a Phil Mill? Trust me, you don't want to find out. So, I shopped around and settled for the Malt Mill (http://schmidling.netfirms.com/maltmill.htm) double roller mill. The grist is totally different than before with uniform milling, very little powder and husks are not destroyed. I'm very satisfied with the product.
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