Brewed the Bavarian Dunkel and Winter warmer back around thanksgiving and all went well - transfered to the secondary after 2-3 weeks with “appropriate” OG readings and have maintained at recommended temps - Dunkel at about 45 degrees and the Winter at about 65 degrees. Unfortunately, I have not yet had an opportunity to bottle either…
- have I ruined these two batches by keeping in the secondary for too long (off flavors, etc)?
- if not, should there be enough active yeast to allow for bottle conditioning?
- if not, is it possible to somehow use new yeast to ensure that I still get a good carbonation without negatively effecting the flavor profile of each brew?
I have not tested OG since the secondary rack but will be testing this weekend. Any thoughts/advise would be appreciated. cheers.
You’re fine. Wouldn’t have hurt to leave it on primary longer, and you can secondary for over a year if you really want to. Only recommend that for really strong beers, but you’re fine. Brewing doesn’t happen on a timer, its ready when you feel like its ready, and extra time rarely hurts.
You’ll have plenty of yeast to bottle also. If you ever do want to reyeast, just sprinkle a small amount of dry yeast in the bottling bucket. Doesn’t have to be the same strain you fermented with. For your lager, it doesn’t even have to be a lager yeast. The amount of fermentation that happens during bottle conditioning is too small to have a big impact on flavor.
Has that lager been at 45deg its whole life? A diacetly rest (raising the temperature a bit to encourage yeast to clean up diacetly) might have been a good idea. You could still try it now. Also, you’re going to want to lager it before you bottle, which means store it at close to freezing.
Just a note on terminology - OG means ORIGINAL gravity. So that only applies before fermentation starts. Otherwise, we just say SG (specific gravity). When fermentation is done, its FG (final gravity). SG is a generic term for any gravity reading, but OG and FG imply specific points in the process.
That’s excellent - thank you Nate. I have kept the Bavarian Dunkel in the garage but have not seen the fermometer read below 42 (don’t have a fridge setup for brewing yet). Great advice on the diacetly rest prior to bottling.
Yes, my spoof on the OG reference.
First time posting in the forums and glad I did - saved two batches of brew. Thanks again