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> Lager question
Beer Novice
post Jun 30 2013, 02:35 PM
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I recently brewed a Chocolate Bock and used a Lager yeast (S-23) to ferment as I did not want a final beer with that distinct Lager flavor. It got stuck at 1.03 so I threw in a couple packs of Nottingham I had laying around in hopes of getting a better FG. It has continued to slowly throw off CO2 over the past 2 weeks.

My question is; what ramifications are there if I don't lager it low temps (40 degrees) for 3-4 weeks? I really don't brew a lot of lagers in FL as controlling temps can be a real PITA during summer months.

Thanks
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Felix
post Jun 30 2013, 09:32 PM
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QUOTE(Beer Novice @ Jun 30 2013, 03:35 PM) *
I recently brewed a Chocolate Bock and used a Lager yeast (S-23) to ferment as I did not want a final beer with that distinct Lager flavor. It got stuck at 1.03 so I threw in a couple packs of Nottingham I had laying around in hopes of getting a better FG. It has continued to slowly throw off CO2 over the past 2 weeks.

My question is; what ramifications are there if I don't lager it low temps (40 degrees) for 3-4 weeks? I really don't brew a lot of lagers in FL as controlling temps can be a real PITA during summer months.

Thanks


Couple of questions:
What temp is it sitting at, the cooler the temp the slower the fermentation.
What is the starting gravity?
Can you post your recipe? Is there a lot of un-fermentable starch, what was your mashing schedule? Batch size?

A couple of guesses to throw out there, and they are welcome to be disputed (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)

Too low a fermentation temp, the optimum range for s-23 is 48.2 to 71.6, the optimum range is 53.6 to 59. Probably not the problem, but worth mentioning.
High starting gravity, this can have a two fold effect. The yeast can optimally attenuate up to 82% under ideal conditions, most home brewers can't reproduce lab conditions and don't ferment only glucose. Couple that with a high un-fermentable percentage and you get a 'chewy' beer with a high finishing gravity. The wort composition will be directly affected by your mashing schedule and adjunct additions, i.e., 160* mashing temp & added dextrin malt.

To address your question about flavor, fermentation temp is separate from lagering temp. The yeast used for lager is not much different from yeast for ale, the cooler temps and extended fermentation times defines lager yeast. Where as ale yeasts are warmer and faster, I'm sure you are well aware of this, but some new brewers may not think about it much. Lager yeast have the ability to ferment higher MoL weight sugars than ale yeast, this allows the yeast to finish the beer to a lower gravity and let other flavors come through without throwing off a lot of esters. They do tend to throw off more sulfur, but it is usually blown off during fermentation. Another thing to look at is that cooler wort tends to hold more CO2 during fermentation. If you don't lager the beer for 3 to 4 weeks or more, the beer will have an un refined flavor, think green, young beer and less clean fermentations. Lagering allows yeast that is less flocculant to re-absorb what ever may be left over during fermentation. The yeast is far less active at 33 to 39 but they are still active, as long as the temp is slowly reduced toward the end of fermentation and the yeast don't experience thermal shock. This is the reason the temp begins to be reduced when the beer is within 2 plato of target finishing gravity. The majority of yeast is flocculated out and the residual yeast is left to finish the job and clean up the beer. And the 2* plato left over keeps them going on more than what undesirables are left over. I forgot to mention, under pitching your yeast and oxygenation. Two more factors to keep in mind. Twice as much yeast is needed for lagers as well as twice as much oxygen. (Not literally but is easiest to express.) Adding the Nottingham probably won't have much of an effect, unless you got the O2 level way up in the starter for the yeast, then tossed that into your fermenter. NEVER OXYGENATE BEER!

This is by no way comprehensive, but it's what I can think of at the moment. I love lagered beer and make them almost exclusively.

Please feel free to challenge, or refute any of the above.
Just my 2 cents.

This post has been edited by Felix: Jun 30 2013, 09:37 PM
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Beer Novice
post Jul 1 2013, 05:22 PM
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Couple of questions:
What temp is it sitting at, the cooler the temp the slower the fermentation.

It's sitting at 75 right now for the ale yeast. I Started it at 75, after 24 hours I started dropping it to 55 which is where it sat for the majority of fermentation which was 2 weeks. It took quite a while for it to get down to that temp.

What is the starting gravity? 1.078

Can you post your recipe? All grains steeped for 60 minutes at 150-155 degrees.

2.25 lb pale ale malt
8 oz Choc. malt
8 oz Crystal 60L
4 oz Carafa II
1 lb Midnight Wheat
5 lb Pale ale extract
3 lb Munich extract

8 oz malto dextrin
20 grams Belgian Cocoa powder

0.5 oz Tettnang
0.5 oz Spalt

Batch size? 5 gallons

I think part of the problem was I under pitched it to begin with. I dropped 3 packs of S23 in it but one of them had an older date on it. But, I've had good luck with the S23 in the past and didn't think it would be that big a problem.
Thanks for the info

This post has been edited by Beer Novice: Jul 1 2013, 05:25 PM
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pilsenhammer
post Aug 27 2013, 08:12 PM
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Well....can we have an update? How'd the beer turn out?
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