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Low ABV on Czech Pils

I just bottled a batch of Czech Pils yesterday after about a month of lagering, and the FG was surprisingly still higher than I would have expected/hoped (1.017). I pitched a 2-step starter and fermented it around 52 degrees, gave it a diacetyl rest for about a week, and then put it back in my chest cooler to lager at around 39 degrees for a month. When I bottled yesterday, I was a bit disappointed that the yeast hadn’t attenuated as much as I’d hoped (given it only has about a 3.8% ABV). Has anybody else noticed this to be true when doing a Pils? (BTW, I used Wyeast 2278).

Normally I would chalk this up to a process error on my part, but I did a Bavarian Helles at the same time, following the same exact methods/temperatures and the results were spot-on. Which leads me to believe it may have been the yeast.

Any thoughts or comments are always appreciated!


Ah yes I should have specified…

Yeast about one month old, did a two step starter, 1.75 liters each at 74 degrees

Recipe was the NB Czech pils extract kit, followed to a t

Fermented in the low 50 s for two weeks, diacetyl rest at 64 degrees for one week

Secondary at 39 degrees for a month

Not sure if it was something that I did wrong during the brew process, but if you catch anything that I missed, I’d value the feedback.

Only thing I can think of is, for me, extracts always finished high. Even after realizing my hydrometer was off a few points.

Yes, extract can finish high. Also, 2278 is a notoriously high-floccer so rousing that yeast and getting it back into suspension is important. I was going to mention mash temp and the accuracy of your thermometer but if it’s extract, it’s irrelevant.

Good to know and thanks for the replies! Considering I just did the helles extract kit with near spot-on results, I was thinking it may have been the yeast strain. Glad to hear my logic was sound!

Another thing to consider is thst once you get to lagering temps your yeast is going to become dormant. Don’t expect it to further attenuate at lagering temps. That’s why with lagers I tell people you’re better off being a week late than a day early.

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