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Stalled(?) Oktoberfest

I’ve done a bunch of ale extract brewing but have wanted to start doing some lagers. I got the NB Oktoberfest extract kit (U1350) but they were out of WLP830 at the time. When I looked around, it looked like people were having trouble with that strain so I decided to go with WLP838 instead. I made a yeast starter, and then doubled it again (good activity, lots of cake) before brewing on 8/20. I pretty much followed the directions, except I heated to 155 and steeped for 30 mins instead of the ramped steep they use. I got an OG of 1.058 and pitched the yeast with the wort at 66 F, then put it in the fridge set at 54 F. The next morning I had good activity and the brewmometer showed 59 F, so I lowered the fridge setpoint and let it sit at about 49 F until 8/31. I still had some minimal activity, so I increased to 60 F and let it sit until 9/7 to finish. I then tranferred to 2nd, harvested the yeast and ramped to 34 F and let it sit until 9/29 and took a sample. The FG was 1.030 … even at the low end of the attenuation I would expect closer to 1.020, so I let it sit until 11/3, rechecked it and there was no change, so I moved it back to a ~55 F location and let it sit until 11/10, still no change - FG ~1.030, nice clarity, quite a bit of natural carbonation, clean flavor except for being pretty sweet, which I figure makes sense with the high gravity. I wasn’t sure what to do next, so I re-pitched the WLP838 I harvested from this batch earlier and left it at 55 F and checked it again today (11/16). I have had little evidence of acitivity aside from a little bit of white floaties on top the beer, but it still has decent flavor, but no appreciable drop in gravity.

So … I am not sure what to do now. I am also not sure if I did something stupid, so I would appreciate comments on either front.

It appears you racked it too soon, before it was done fermenting. When you take the beer off the yeast cake too soon you essentially halt fermentation. When you stall fermentation you need to pitch a HIGH amount of healthy active yeast to get it restarted. With lagers your are much better off being a day late than a day early.

I think at this point you take this as a lesson on your first lager.

Thanks for the comment Loopie, in hindsight that seemed like the most likely error.

Sounds like you would not suggest a salvage effort, just dump it and move on? I guess there is not a lot of penalty to leaving that re-pitched yeast in there and seeing if it restarts … I can always dump it later. Or is it just a waste of time?

I wouldn’t dump it. I would try to drink it and if you can’t stomach that making another batch and blending the two together. If that isn’t an option you could use it to cook with.

You could also try this:
Brew another batch using a bucket as fermenter. At high krausen skim some yeast off the top and repitch. That is probably your best option to restart a stalled fernentation.

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