Lager stuck ?!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Aje1967, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    I brewed a lager on 01-17 with an original gravity of 1060, the recipe builder figured a finished gravity of 1.010. My lager has been stuck at 1.020 since 01-26. I put in a warmer area to do a diacytal rest and figured 1.020 was as good a time as any. Has not moved. When I brewed it I pitched 2 packets of Fermentis Safale lager yeast W34/70 (not starter) and let it sit over night at around 62F. Then put in the garage at 55F.
    What now? Do I need to add more yeast?
    Thanks
     
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Maybe swirl it around a bit to get the yeast mixed back in? How warm is warmer area?
     
  3. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    Ill try that. Its about 70F right now.
    Thanks
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    1.020 doesn't sound wrong for a lager of that size. That much attenuation looks odd. Is the sample sweet when you taste it? 10 points would produce a noticeable sweetness.
     
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  5. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    That yeast should have an attenuation of 83% +/- . So with a 1.060 beer you should get to a 1.010.
     
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  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    However if you are talking about 5 gal. batch you have underpitched for a 1.060 lager. Warming and swirling may help, won't hurt.
     
  7. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    1.020 is too high for that yeast. It should have hit 1.015, that would give 75% apparent attenuation which is average for a lager. If there was sugar in the recipe or you did a really long mash at 145F you can hit in the low 80%'s.

    It may be done as far as fermentation, it would be really hard to get it going, but swirling it around, leaving it @ 68F and time might bring down some. Make sure you don't have some dissolved CO2 in the beer, sometimes that will cause the hydrometer to read high because the bubbles attach to the side of the hydrometer. Give it a spin to release the bubbles.

    If you taste it and it doesn't seem sweet, I guess you could just keg it and drink it.
     
  8. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Extract or all grain? If all grain did you get a feel for how well the extraction went and how long did you leave it? It may just be that you've got all you can out of the wort. As nosy said, taste it to see how sweet it tastes to you.
     
  9. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    If it was an extract beer 1.010 May be lower than you really can get. If it was all grain what was the mash temp?
    How was it aerated? Lagers usually like a bit more oxygen then ales.
     
  10. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    It was an all grain with mash temp of 150-152 for one hour. Seemed to go pretty smooth. I aerated it by allowing the wort to fall some distance into the fermenter. There was an inch or so of air bubbles on the top of the wort in the fermenter.

    I swirled it around today and did taste it. Seems ok. No off flavors, maybe a touch sweet, but I do not know exactly what I am looking for. Certainly "green". I guess maybe give a couple days, secondary it and put it in the cold. Coldish, I am dependent of the weather and may only get to around 40F.
    Thank you.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If it's sweet and goes away immediately, it's esters and your fermentation is complete. If it's sweet and lingers (think of the lingering sweetness after you drink something sweetened with sugar), it's sugar and your beer needs to ferment more. There's a test for residual sugar but the Clinitabs are becoming harder and harder to find.
     
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  12. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    I would say sweet and then goes away. What is the worst thing that can happen when bottling "undone" beer? Bottle bombs?
     
  13. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Yes bottle bombs are the worst thing that can happen. If you add less priming sugar than normal you will minimize the risk, but then you might not get proper carb. But you don't want bottle bombs. Dangerous and messy.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Take a reading with your hydrometer or refractometer a couple of days apart. If the readings are the same, it's done. Estery means fermented too warm, note for your next brew. I'm guessing you have something like a Kolsch, not a bad outcome.
     
  15. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor New Member

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    Check the calibration of your hydrometer and your mash thermometer. If either one are way off, it will cause problems like this.

    You're not using a refractometer for FG... are you? If so, you need to correct the reading properly. I can help with that if applicable.
     
  16. Aje1967

    Aje1967 New Member

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    Ok. I have taken several hydrometer readings over the last week or so and the number is truly stuck at 1.020, so maybe it is simply done.
    I did calibrate the hydrometer in plain water and the thermometer in boiling water.
    I received a refractometer for xmas and used it last week on two beers to get preboil gravity and OG. Really cool little device. Not sure that I needed preboil but what the heck. I have not corrected the machine and just used the #1 supplied by the BF calculator. Should this be close enough for an amateur brewer? I am unsure how to use it for FG as I understand alcohol messes with the reading.
     
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  17. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Alcohol only messes with a refractometer not a hydrometer.
     
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  18. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor New Member

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    Sounds like you've done everything right. But hey, I have an idea. My last lager got stuck too, for 3 whole weeks the gravity didn't change a single point. Then I dry hopped it. Gravity fell from like 1.019 to 1.013 due to "hop creep". Hops contain enzymes, which can get the yeast moving again. Might be worth a try. Just a little 1/2 ounce of a clean noble hop can do the trick. I used Palisade hops, which is a descendant of Tettnang.
     
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  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Maybe also at dry hop you introduced some O2 to get things going again just an idea...
     
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  20. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    When you took the hydrometer reading, did you check the temperature of the beer? Hydrometers are set to work at a specific temp, usually 60F, but some are 68F, and if you take a reading at a different temp you need to adjust the reading. They should come with a correction chart, or you can Google hydrometer correction chart to find one. It may be you actually got a bit below 1.020 if it doesn't taste too sweet.
     
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