Repitch .020 Oktoberfest lager or...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by J A, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    ...just keg it up and suck down them sweet, sweet suds?

    I mashed high because I was pitching W34/70 and expected very high attenuation - too high for an O-fest. I threw in a pint of trub and figured that would probably do the trick. It fermented beautifully, but now after D-rest it's definitely staying at 1.020.

    That's not far from the limit for the Marzen style and since I hopped it up pretty good with Magnum and Mittlefruh, it tastes damn good. It started at 1.056, on the big side for style, and the ABV is just short of 5%. If I was confident that I could get another 3 or 4 points repitching without risking something going off the rails, I'd be inclined.

    But...since I know good and well that it's big and malty and caramel-y with decent hop balance and all my non-beer-snob friends and family will suck the keg dry, I'm tempted to leave well enough alone and keg it up and leave it lagering to be ready for Thanksgiving weekend or deer camp. ;)

    What say ye?
     
  2. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Sounds pretty sweet. Take it to deer camp with some vodka and it will take the chill off "after the hunt.":D
    Mashing high should not have made that much difference. Too much mouthfeel? ie thick? If so try to fix it. If drinkable write it down as a oops and see if you can figure what went wrong so it won't happen again. Age can sometimes help too.
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Do you think high mash temp/high unfermantable sugars caused the low attenuation? Or did the yeast get a it lazy on you and knock of early on the Job? Second rep itch on34/70 this week in my brew too on a starter! Activitys slowing in airlock now day 3 I have ferment at 16 but and I did mash low interesting though. Yours will be a sweet brew hopefully plenty of IBUs to balance it out cheers.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    sometimes we just get that 1020 curse unexplained? , Ive had it and thousands of other people too all over the forums. you can hypothesize 5 different ways to explain it but the truth is if rousing the yeast doesn't start some activity then adding more probably wont either. when this happens you can do 3 things , leave it and drink it, mix it with a thin beer or add enzymes
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I know the mash temp was high, but I would have expected more attenuation from W34/70. It's average is 83% and I'm not even at 70%. The calculator predicted 1.013 FG based on average attenuation at 158 mash temp and that's just barely in the lower range of FG for style. Any lower mash temp would have finished too dry for an O-fest at average attenuation, so I kept it up to 158. Possible that I overshot, but I think I got pretty good temp readings.
    The pitch could have been low, but an entire pint of trub from a first-gen cake should have a lot of yeast in it. It took off a little slow, but never showed signs of stress from underpitching (no sulfur, pretty quick fermentation).
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm tempted to think that way, too. I swirled the bucket to rouse it yesterday and it's been up to 68 or 70 for several days and it's not moving. Even though I have another pint of trub, I think it may be all the beer it's going to be.
    It'll be a good beer and if a big, malty Oktoberfest can't be just a bit on the sweet side, what can? I thought right away about the vodka addition and I think I might just go ahead and boost the ABV by half a point to balance the sweetness, let it clear and keg it up. ;)
     
  7. LlewellynBrewHaus

    LlewellynBrewHaus Active Member

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    I'm actually surprised your 34/70 stopped that short as well.. My o-fest and helles both went to .008 (mash 141 then 156) (89%apparent) with very little encouragement . Anyways my view would be, its not a competition beer, it's not cloyingly sweet,and if my friends and family down it by the liter then I count that as a success ! Regardless of what my numbers would indicate
    Prost!
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I've gotten massive attenuation from that yeast and I doubt that the pitch was particularly low. I think I just mashed so high that the fermentables weren't produced. I used that high mash temp to offset some of the attenuation, but I should have done a short conversion rest at 146 or so before I went to the higher temp. Live and learn.
    Meanwhile, if I add enough alcohol to boost the ABV to a little over 6%, it'll neatly fit the style profile of a traditional Bock and that won't make me sad at all. ;)
    It might take a little time for the alcohol flavor to blend with the malt, but that's what lagering is for.
     
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Decided to try re-pitching. If it doesn't work, it'll only cost me a few more days before the inevitable decision to live with the .020. OTOH, if it works too well, I'll have a .008 Oktoberfest that's a little too hoppy and boozy. I guess either way, I'll have a decent beer and somebody will definitely drink it. :rolleyes:
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE:
    I repitched, roused and kept at D-rest temps for several days but got no further fermentation. Whatever I did during the mash, it just didn't give me fermentables. Not to fear...I crashed down to 35 degrees and let it clear a few days, racked to secondary and added enough vodka to boost the ABV to about 6.25%.
    It's been carbing for several days and I decided to have a little sample (or two)...holy cow! This is going to be good!
    It's still young, especially for a lager, but the malt is clean and present with plenty of caramel and a touch of roast, hops are definitely in the mix, but mostly just adding a nice noble funk to the aroma and a nice touch of smooth bitterness, it still has a lot of residual sweetness but the added alcohol is cutting into that and letting the flavors work together.
    I wouldn't prefer to do it this way in future, but this totally worked. :D
     
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  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I recon high mash temps produced some unfermantable sugars as you know. I mashed in at 69c a while ago with golden promise and that one finished at 1.020. Good to hear your having success with ya Octoberfest JA.
     
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