Pils brew continuous updates

After one week in the fermenter, I took a gravity sample this morning. The sample was incredible cloudy, full of tiny particles. 1.022 at 53°. OG was 1.056, but I added about 1/2 gal of boiled/chilled water to top off fermenter as the intended OG was to be 1.051.

Reaching out to experienced lager brewers now to get their opinion on whether I should raise the carboy’s temp now for a Diacytl rest. The intent of a D-rest is to increase the ferementer temp (maybe to 60° F) before the yeast are done, helping them to clean up Diacytl and Acetaldehyde. From what I’ve read, once the ferment is about 75% through is the best time to perform the d-rest.

Not sure if I should be raising the temp in one steady increase, or stepping it up gradually. Currently, in the water bath on the basement floor I can maintain the temp around 52-53° F. To raise it I would place on a table in the basement and attach my fermwrap and Johnson temp controller to warm it up to 60 or so.

They sample, like I stated was very cloudy, and smelled a bit “yeasty” for lack of a better term. Not as hoppy as I expected, which surprised me because I’ve smelled the hop aroma coming out of the airlock this whole week. Fingers crossed!


3 comments on “Pils brew continuous updates

  1. After conferring with a few experienced lager folks, I pulled the carboy from the water bath that was helping hold it at 52°, and over 2 days have raised it’s temp to 62° via fermwrap and Johnson temp controller. The airlock is continuing to bubble. The ferment is clearly still active just looking at the liquid… lots of swirling about at the bottom fermenting German lager yeast continues to eat away at the fermentable sugars. How long I will keep it at this temp is not yet determined. But once the fermentation seems complete, I will place the carboy in the beer fridge which should help me get it down to about 40° F. This will hopefully cause some of the suspended yeast to go to sleep, falling to the bottom.

    I will then rack to a bucket to bottle, allow to carbonate at room temp for a couple weeks, and then place in the fridge for lagering (cold conditioning). If I were kegging, I would lager in a carboy (probably a secondary, to get the beer off the yeast and trub at the bottom of the primary carboy) for a month or so, then rack to a keg. Or, I believe I could use a keg as a secondary vessel. But, given that I still bottle, I need some of the yeast still in suspension in order to eat the priming sugar in bottles, which causes CO2 to build up, carbonating the beer. With kegs, one uses CO2 tanks to force carbonate, and therefore I would prefer to get as much of the yeast to drop from suspension as possible, in hopes of the clearest beer possible.

  2. About 2.5 days after ramping up the temp for the D-rest, I took another gravity sample and it’s now down to 1.013. Yeast is still working, and I’m expecting this to continue to dry out. I’ve removed the fermwrap and temp control, and am leaving it in the basement where ambient is about 54°. Figure I let it sit another week , then bottle, carb at room temp, then lager in the bottles in the beer fridge. Tasted the sample, and can get a nice bitterness poking through. There’s still a yeast taste, but not quite as pronounced as a couple day ago. Still quite cloudy, but hopefully between more time a cooler temps, and the lagering phase in the bottles, I will get a somewhat more clear beer. Problem with bottle conditioning is one can’t strip away everything by cold storage as there needs to be some yeast still in suspension to eat the priming sugar in the bottles to create carbonation. Best I can do is hope cold storage (following carbonation period) in bottles will cause as much as possible to drop as sediment to the bottom.

  3. Headed off skiing TH night, back Sat night. The carboy is holding in the upper 50s and the airlock is pretty still. Thinking I may rack it to the 5 gallon Better Bottle secondary to get it off the pile of yeast and trub, leaving it out for a bit longer in the basement ambient before chilling it down for a day or two. Then bottle, carb for a couple weeks in the closet, and then to the beer fridge for 3-4 weeks lagering.

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