First Lager Bummer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Minbari, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    So I tried to make a lager for my first time. been making Ales for years with good success but never had a chiller that could get cold enough for a lager.

    decided to make a czech pilsner. brew day and fermentation went well. held at 50°F for 3 weeks, but my chiller system based on a fridge didnt quite work. but, push on! it wont be perfect, wont be lagered, but it will be beer! I finned it with gelatin and bottled it.

    3 weeks later, it still isnt quit ready, not carbonated yet and it looks like a snow globe! it tastes good, but I think I am gonna have to call this one "snow storm beer" so did the lack of lagering cause all this stuff to remain in suspension or did I do something else wrong?
     
  2. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    What yeast did you use? Anything crazy in the grain bill?
     
  3. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    Czech Pils - Northern Brewer
    Bohemian-Style Pilsener

    5.4% / 13.5 °P

    Northern Brewer Czech Pils recipe

    Recipe by

    Bent Nail

    All Grain



    Mash
    Strike Temp — 126 °F

    Protien Rest — 122 °F20 min

    Beta Rest — 149 °F30 min

    Alpha Rest — 158 °F30 min

    Mashout — 170 °F10 min


    Malts (9 lb 12 oz)
    9 lb 8 oz (97.4%) — Pilsner 2-Row — Grain — 2 °L

    4 oz (2.6%) — Weyermann Carahell — Grain — 10.2 °L


    Hops (4 oz)
    1 oz (30 IBU) — Perle 8% — Boil — 60 min

    1 oz (14 IBU) — Saaz 3.75% — Boil — 60 min

    1 oz (11 IBU) — Saaz 3.75% — Boil — 30 min

    1 oz (7 IBU) — Saaz 3.75% — Boil — 15 min


    Miscs
    2 g — Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) — Mash

    2 g — Epsom Salt (MgSO4) — Mash

    0.5 g — Gypsum (CaSO4) — Mash

    2.5 ml — Phosphoric Acid — Mash

    1.3 g — Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) — Sparge

    1.3 g — Epsom Salt (MgSO4) — Sparge

    0.3 g — Gypsum (CaSO4) — Sparge


    Yeast
    1 pkg — Wyeast Labs 2278 Czech Pilsner 74%


    Fermentation
    Primary — 50 °F18 days

    Diacetal rest — 70 °F2 days

    condition — 50 °F12 days
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Some boil finnings would of helped as well as Geletin and even a longer boil like 90 mins. All these things help to combine to get clear beer quick.

    And your yeast of choice I've not used Czech pils yeast but I've used Czech budujevoice yeast WLP802 and it dropped brite as and left some beautiful malty flavours in the lagers I brewed with it.

    If it tastes good well that's a win.
    Never mind try these things next batch and I'm sure you'll be grinning from ear to ear.

    A good cold crash helps too
     
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  5. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    I use whirl-flock

    ya I have read since I used that yeast that alot of people have issues with it. so I may try a different one next time.

    ya if it is drinkable, I will drink it, it just didnt turn out the way I wanted.

    my new setup for chilling will hold 34°F all day long with no issues, so that will help next time.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it sounds like there are some protine or trub floaties in there. Go good 0c cold crash for a day or three will help coupled with geletin it'll drop most I think it's Negative charged particles.

    Hey my safe bet for you is 34/70 I use this most exclusively or if you want to stick to Czech yeast (a noble cause for sure) try the budejovice yeast from the south that one WLP 802.
    Years ago I was going through a Czech pils faze and that's the yeast I went with.
    I remember the beers were spectacular in clarity and flavour.

    528470
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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  8. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    34/70 for practically every lager! Let the brewing techniques so the rest to dictate flavor! 34/70 will ferment excellent lagers at low 50's! - Heck, it'll ferment excellent lagers in the low to mid 60's!

    As for the current snow globe - double check your gelatin addition "process" and see if that may have had something to do with it...

    - OH - and feel free to scrap the gelatin for more time in the bottle - maybe drink half as a "keller bier" and the other half after it has lagered for 4-6 weeks.
     
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    When you say it isn't carbonated, is it possible that you bottled and kept it cold? It needs higher temps to reactivate the yeast. Once it's carbed, it'll "lager" in the bottle and clear once it's held at near-freezing temps for a while..
     
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  10. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    basement is cold. So it will get there
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Warm up the bottles to 60F or higher for a week or two and then when they're carbed up, drop the temp so that the yeast drops out. Eventually, it'll be very clear and nice, though there will be a fair amount of yeast deposit in the bottles so you have to be careful pouring into glasses. :)
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    So maybe the snow globe thing is just a slow secondary fermentation in the bottles at this low temp.

    Yup warm those puppies up get em carbonated then lager
     
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  13. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    #13 Minbari, May 2, 2021
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    So after 5 weeks it finally carbed up and turned out really good. Tastes like every decent Czech pilsner I have ever had. Those saaz hops are definitely the key.
    Wasnt as clear as I wanted, but next time.:)
     
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  14. soccerdad

    soccerdad Well-Known Member

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    Somebody did a video once based on the idea that it took a full three weeks at the right temp to properly bottle carb. The premise was that at 1 week, the carbonation was all on top of the beer, at two weeks it was just starting to push down into the beer, and by 3 weeks, co2 was evenly distributed in the beer. Assuming this is true, it would take longer at less than ideal temps. Just thinking out loud here.
     
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  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Let it sit undisturbed in the fridge for at least 3 weeks then carefully open and pour. You can get clear beer and it'll be even better-tasting. :)
     
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  16. Minbari

    Minbari Active Member

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    Just.......can't........wait. Lol. :D
     
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  17. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    So I'm not personally into clear beer, but the more and more that I enter things into Homebrew Contests, the more I realise that you MUST clear your beer, unless the style doesn't dictate; I.E. Hefeweizen, Saizon, etc.

    What has been working for me is Irish Moss additions @ 10mins of boil, good cold crashes before kegging, letting the keg sit for a few days (I drink the first 1/4 of the keg), and then tapping that sweet spot for the contests. I have been having crystal clear beer.

    I personally don't drink lagers, because I like the ABV and malt of an IPA, but tons of guys come into the shop wanting to brew them. A technique that I've heard them do and also Genus on YouTube, is the 2x2x2 method. So I would personally do 2 weeks high threshold of the yeast, 2 weeks medium, 2 weeks low, and then cold crash for 2-3 days. The idea is that you want the yeast as active as possible early, so that there is nothing in suspension.

    I personally pitch yeast about 2-3 degrees C higher than its threshold. That way, it's active right away and eating everything without stressing it out, because the overall conditions are what it prefers.

    Anyways, don't sweat it, every beer is different, have patience, and you'll be making the best lager you ever had. Especially because it's YOURS! o_O
     
  18. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #18 J A, May 6, 2021
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    Two weeks at the high end of the yeast's threshold (usually in the mid-60s) will completely finish out any beer. The 2 weeks at medium and low threshold aren't doing anything.
    By fermenting completely at it's higher temp range, you're ensuring maximum ester production so any lager fermented that way is likely to be more fruity in flavor and aroma. Fermenting in the lower temp range until most of the sugars have been metabolized ensures a minimum of ester production and allows the malt flavor to be dominant. A properly pitched lager (lower temp, more yeast) should be nearing it's final gravity within 7 days and be ready to be raised to it's upper temp limit for D-rest. What you're suggesting is a Cream Ale fermentation which is a perfectly legitimate way to do things but it's not really a lager per se and, again, you're wasting time letting it sit after fermentation is complete if you're not dropping all the way to lagering temp.
    Personally, I seldom ferment at the lowest end of the range and prefer to pitch at 60 or below and drop to 58 for fermentation. That minimizes ester production and still allows for robust fermentation. Once it gets within a few points of FG, I raise to 68 and leave it until FG settles. From there, I drop temp, let the yeast settle and harvest slurry (conical) and continue to lower temp and let it sit for another week or so and then keg it with finings to help clear.
     
  19. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't go over a yeast's maximum optimum temperature at high kreuzen because fermentation is exothermic. The more active the fermentation the more heat is that is being generated.
     
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  20. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes we have no choice...
     

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