Stuck Oktoberfest

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #26319, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Brewer #26319

    Brewer #26319 New Member

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    Hello,
    On my second batch of Northern brewer's Oktoberfest extract kit. First one turned out good, didn't pay much attention to Gravity readings as it was only my second time brewing. This year I want to improve, so I have a refractometer. I used a 5 gallon boil witch yielded 1.064 OG, I added a gallon and a half of water to bring the OG to 1.051. As directed from White labs, I pitched WLP820(which is notoriously stubborn) to a two pint starter for a couple days and then added to the well aerated wort at 52 degrees. In hind sight I think I should have pitched at room temp and lowered the wort temp after fermentation started. Fermentation seemed to start fine, but after 12 days the SG was only at 1.039. Krausen formed and has already fallen into beer. I know this yeast is notoriously finicky, but I'm worried that after nearly two weeks that is too high and I'd like to do a diacetal rest and rack to secondary before lagering. I've created another starter and have brought the temp of the wort up to 58 degrees over two days.

    So my questions is this: I now have a new starter ready at 70 degrees. Should I bring the wort tempuratur closer to room temp to pitch and then lower slowly again? lower the temp of the starter 10 degrees and pitch? or just pitch as is? Other suggestions like leave it alone for another week?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you cant measure the final gravity very well with a refractometer, they are notoriously inaccurate on final gravities use a hydrometer and check back
     
  3. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    You should try to pitch a starter at the same temp as the wort. Lager yeast should be pitched cold and then you allow the beer to warm up over a few days. Sounds like you may not have pitched enough yeast. Lagers need a big pitch to work at the colder temps. The yeast will work warm, but you wont get the lager character you are wanting.
    The problem now is if you pitch another yeast starter after a beer has partially fermented, the beer no longer has the O2 or yeast nutrients needed for the next pitch to be effective. Best way to pitch at this stage is with a well oxygenated starter at high krausen, when the yeast are going full steam, and don't need anything from the beer/wort. Just the sugars. Don't add O2 to the fermenter, only the starter.

    Before you do this though, I would give it some more time. Lagers are slow. I don't even sample mine until a month has gone by in the fermenter. Lager yeast will continue to work over a long time and can tolerate alcohol better than ale yeast. And as mentioned previously, don't use a refractometer for F.G.
     

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