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High FG

I have a Schwartzbier I fermented with S-34/70.

5 days - 12C / 2 days 15 / 7 days 18*

Starting gravity was a little low 1.045, but I know why that was and I was fine with it.

My gravity right now is at 1.020, which makes for a 3.3% beer with my low SG.

My strike temp was way too high and I adjusted it within about 5 min, so I’m not sure if that would be an issue (I doubt it).

Is it worth trying to rouse the yeast a little to see if it dries out a little more at this point?

Yes, rouse that yeast and keep it warm, even at 20 C.

You didn’t rack it to secondary, did you? I hope not. Definitely don’t rack it. Just give it another week, warm, rousing the yeast, and hope for the best.

I have not racked. I was going to today until I got the high reading. I’m not in any rush, so I’ll try rousing the yeast and continue to wait it out. Right now I have the Temp at about 19, so that should be OK.

Thanks Dave.

How much yeast did you pitch? 2 packages would have been right for that beer. Everything else in your info sounds like it shouldn’t have caused a problem, but low pitch might explain a high FG.

I pitched 2 packs into 46l, so it was probably a little low. Pitch calculator asked for 3 (with a higher SG). But I only had the 2 packs so…

Hopefully it goes down a bit more. I tasted it and it was pretty good. Did not seem overly sweet - maybe just a little. I actually rarely have a problem with low alcohol. I just don’t like being this far off my targets.

The first thing that went through my mind when I considered this question was your fermentation schedule.Why did you raise the temperature so quickly?Lager yeasts are notoriously slow to get going,compared to ale yeasts,at least in my experience.They take a good 2 weeks to finish the job,at least.I see that you’re giving the yeast 5 days to work at it’s optimal temperature (although even the starting temp is slightly higher than ideal,I’d have to say) ,but then you’re boosting the temp to a point well outside the yeast’s optimal range,and you’re doing it well before the yeast has really had the time to finish it’s job,in my opinion.That,I submit,is the reason your beer is underattenuated.I’m sure there will be someone here who will disagree with me on this one,but to me it’s pretty obvious.Your yeast is falling asleep at the wheel,and the reason has to be the temperature it’s operating at.Try dropping the temp back to around 50 degrees F,not up.Then give the carboy a gentle rousing and throw in some yeast energizer.That’s all I can say.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”]I have a Schwartzbier I fermented with S-34/70.

5 days - 12C / 2 days 15 / 7 days 18*

I agree to a point with Del, Your temps where far too high for proper lagers. But where I disagree is that the higher temps would kick the yeast into high gear and should have fully attenuated. The higher temps used with a lager strain will just increase VDK(esters, diacetyl, higher alcohols etc…) which may not condition out during lagering if % created during primary was too high. An optimal schedule with most strains will be primary for 1-2 weeks at 9-10C or until fermented to 75+% then you ramp the temp up towards 15c for a VDK rest, then lower towards 0C for lagering.

Starting gravity was a little low 1.045, but I know why that was and I was fine with it.

My gravity right now is at 1.020, which makes for a 3.3% beer with my low SG.

My strike temp was way too high and I adjusted it within about 5 min, so I’m not sure if that would be an issue (I doubt it).

5 minutes would not matter much but If you mashed anything well above 153f and it was never lowered to under 153f you will have more unfermentable dextrin than if you were closer to 145-150f. What was you mash temp?

Secondly what other grains and amounts were added to this schwarz? More than a half pound of carapils? Other crystal? Please list your grain bill.

Is it worth trying to rouse the yeast a little to see if it dries out a little more at this point?[/quote]

Grain bill was pretty simple. Off the top of my head I would say 60% Pilsner / 35% Munich / 5% Carafa II.

Within the first 5 min I had the mash temp down to 65*C which is what I was shooting for.

As far as proper lager fermentation, this is basically my first go at it, so I did what I usually do as far as schedule goes. I will alter it next time.

As far as temperature goes, 12* was the lowest end of the manufacturer’s suggested ideal conditions. Otherwise I would have tried lower.

I have not checked the gravity since rousing the yeast - I will probably check it out tonight and see where it is.

I think your lager will turn out fine. Just needed a little more time, that’s the main thing. If time doesn’t help, then you might need to calibrate your mash thermometer, hydrometer, or other equipment to see what’s screwed up because it looks to me like you did everything fine.

Current best guidance from “the Pope” Jamil Zainasheff and others is to pitch your lager yeast kind of on the cold side, maybe at 8 C, then allow it to rise 2 or 3 degrees to around 10-11 C over the course of about 7-10 days, then finally bring up for a diacetyl rest if needed to finish up. However… I do think your schwarzbier is going to turn out great anyway.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Dave. I’m actually not too worried at this point either. Time I do have. I’m pretty confident in my mash temps.

I’ve had good results with the liquid (WL) form of this yeast at well above lager temperatures, so off-flavors are not a big concern. The beer actually tasted very good - just a tad sweet.

Just looking to drop that FG a few more points and we should be golden (or schwatzen) :cheers:

I likely did pitch a few degrees above fermentation temp (though not more than 2 or 3) Next time I will try to pitch slightly below.

I’s been about 5 days since I tried rousing the yeast back into suspension. Not too much movement so far. May have dropped from 20 to 19, but that could also just be movement within the margin of error.

Should I wait a few more days, or should I start thinking of adding some dextrose to shake things up a bit?

If dextrose is an option, how much should I add to a 46l batch?

Maybe first try a little “yeast energizer” which has worked for me in the past. Should be available at any homebrew shop.

Then if that still doesn’t work, yes, perhaps a little kick with dextrose or table sugar might do some good.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]Maybe first try a little “yeast energizer” which has worked for me in the past. Should be available at any homebrew shop.

Then if that still doesn’t work, yes, perhaps a little kick with dextrose or table sugar might do some good.[/quote]

Just to double check, is yeast energizer the same thing as yeast nutrient? Or is it something completely diferent?

Similar but different. They are both salts of some sort. The difference as far as I know is that the nutrient has stuff needed in the beginning of their fermentation cycle, and the energizer has stuff they need at the end of the cycle.

Darn. I have some nutrient. I’ll have to see if I can track down energizer.

I roused my yeast yesterday with some energizer. I used the amount recommended on the package, which ended up being about 2.5 tsp for my 46l batch.

Should I be rousing the yeast daily, or should it be good on it’s own?

Rousing it daily is a good idea.

I wish you the best of luck.

So far it is not looking great. Gravity is still stuck at 20 after several days with the energizer.

I’m thinking of a last ditch effort to ad 500g or so of dextrose. If nothing else it will add a little bit of ABV to a beer which is ending up quite low on that front.

Perhaps there was an issue with my mash. But I don’t recall anything unusual appart from a high initial strike temp which I did adjust.

I may just have to chill this one down real real cold to drink in order to compensate for the sweetness.

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